How Do People Get Themselves into these Situations?


How Do People Get Themselves into these Situations?

The head of parking in Fresno was fired in 2006 for sexual harassment. He supposedly asked an employee to raise her shirt in exchange for $300 in city funds. She did. She also went to the city and complained. The city paid her an additional $150,000 and fired the parking head.

Oh it doesn’t stop here. Robert Mandewell who had worked his way up through the ranks to run the parking, maintenance and landscaping department for the central California city, the raisin capital of the world, was put on trial this month for four felony counts including the sexual harassment, accepting $6200 in baseball tickets in exchange for lower parking rates for the team, nepotism (contracting with his brother to do some research, parking related).

The legal wizards in Frenso went to trial and couldn’t even convict him on the baseball ticket charge, which he freely admitted.

You can go here and check out the stores in the local paper but I’m not absolutely sure Fresno got the better part of the deal.

When Mandewell became head of parking, they were netting 400K a year. In 2006, they netted $3 million. The deal he cut with the Local ball Club, the Grizzlies, gave him the ability to pass out tickets to his employees and enhance moral. As for his brother – the problem was nepotism, not the contract. For all I know, his brother was an expert in holding car shows on unused parking lots.

Obviously there wasn’t enough smoke here to fan the flames in a jury’s heart.

Oh, my comment on the sexual harassment. If he did it, he should be drawn and quartered. However this is a most difficult crime to prove and it is usually settled, as in this case, out of court with everyone agreeing to keep quiet and a lot of money being paid to someone. I just wish there was a better way to deal with folks who use their authority to ply favors…



John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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