Four city employees — two of them Glendale police officers — are currently on paid administrative leave for undisclosed reasons.
The employees, who officials declined to identify due to personnel reasons, work in Glendale Water & Power and the finance and police departments, according to a city report. One of the officers has been on paid leave since Oct. 31, 2011.
“That’s very uncommon for [a case] to go that long,” Human Resources Director Matt Doyle said. “Although, situations can drag longer than we wish they would.”
At a Civil Service Commission meeting last week, Doyle said the situations involving the employees “are such that we truly believe it’s appropriate to have these individuals on administrative leave.”
Some of the cases “are far more complex than others” and all involve extensive investigations, he added.
“We are attempting to conclude those investigations and come to some resolution on these cases as quickly as possible,” Doyle said.
Employees on paid administrative leave have an “abundance of due process rights,” which he said includes an investigation phase, a notification letter and appeal rights.
The action of placing an employee on leave must reach a certain threshold, including safety, security and disciplinary circumstances, or it won’t be approved, Doyle added.
“I don’t want to see this process abused in any way shape or form,” Doyle said.
City officials want to keep the number of administrative leave employees low because it’s paid and the employees are mostly at home, Doyle said.
The report came after Commissioner Garo Ghazarian expressed concerns in January about the number of months employees — specifically police officers — would be on administrative leave, and whether it they would be on the city’s pay roll.
He was also concerned about whether it’s fair to taxpayers for employees to be on paid leave for an extended period of time.
At the meeting last week, Commissioner Sam Manoukian said he was “confident” that Doyle had the administrative paid leave process under control.
-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News