Assessor Bradley L. Jacobs relented Friday and granted a leave of absence to one of his deputies, a candidate for Jacobs’ job in the June election.
“I’m high as a kite now, I can finally get some work done,” said David J. Holbert, a deputy county assessor whose application for a two-month unpaid leave so he could campaign against Jacbos was originally rejected.
“We received a letter from the assessor today (stating) that he has changed his mind and is going to be granting the leave,” said Judy Davis of the county Personnel Department.
Jacobs’ change of heart came three days before an appeals hearing by a board composed of aides to the five county supervisors. Holbert had planned to argue that the assessor had granted six-month leaves to two other employees.
Jacobs has been unavailable for comment on the matter all week, but Thursday another deputy, Webster J. Guillory, said that Holbert was too valuable to be spared at a time when real estate appraisers like Holbert were working overtime to prepare the tax rolls.
“More than 10% of the professional staff in that division is out on legitimate leave over which this department has no control,” Guillory said. “To let (Holbert) go would jeopardize production.”
Guillory said the original denial of Holbert’s request for leave “was a straightforward business deal” that had nothing to do with his campaign against Jacobs.
Guillory himself is due to take leave soon so he, too, can run for assessor, but in Los Angeles County.