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Report Prompts Draft Of City Nepotism Policy
February 21, 1997


Friday, February 21, 1997
Section: news
Page: A05

The issue of nepotism in city government, and particularly public works, is one that Richmond needs to address, investigator Don Casimere said in a written report to the City Council. 

In the wake of Casimere's report, the city's labor negotiator drafted a city policy on nepotism, which is scheduled to come before the council in the next few weeks. 

Casimere's report focused on the building regulations unit, where LaTeresa Tingle works as an inspector. The unit is within the public works department, which Deputy City Manager Henry Tingle heads. 

The result: LaTeresa Tingle works in her husband's department. 

"This has proven to be problematic," Casimere wrote. "A review of this situation should be done." 

City Manager Floyd Johnson had announced a reorganization that would solve the Tingle situation, but it has yet to be implemented. 

The city's contract with its largest employee union, Local 790 of the Service Employees International Union, has a clear position on the issue. 

"In order to avoid real or perceived favoritism, no employee (permanent, temporary or seasonal) may be in a direct or indirect supervisorial position over a member of his/her immediate family," the Memorandum of Understanding states. 

LaTeresa Tingle belongs to Local 790; her husband, as deputy city manager, does not. 

When Henry Tingle assumed his position several years ago, LaTeresa was moved out of the building regulations area so that she would not be reporting to her husband. She was a building inspector assigned to the planning department.

But last year, she was moved back to building regulations. It is not clear who ordered the change. 

Johnson told the City Council in December that he was planning to reorganize city departments. One of the results, he said, would be to pair building regulations with planning. That would mean Fred Clement and his workers including LaTeresa Tingle would no longer be in Henry Tingle's department. 

But those changes have not yet been finalized, Human Resources Director Marva Wallace said on Tuesday. 

Johnson did not return several phone calls seeking comment on the matter. 

But he distributed a report to the council Tuesday night on the nepotism issue, which was put on the agenda by Councilman Tom Butt. 

The report contains suggested language for a new city policy on nepotism that would cover all employees and would not conflict with current union contracts, officials said.