Carson obtains restraining order against City Clerk Jim Dear’s friends. City officials obtained restraining orders Friday against Carson City Clerk Jim Dear and three political supporters he brought to work with him last week as volunteer “deputy clerks.”
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge said they created a public nuisance by trespassing in City Hall to ostensibly assist Dear with his duties as clerk, though he has three full-time staff members who handle the primary jobs of the office. Dear’s duties are largely ceremonial, and include attending City Council meetings, preparing the minutes and administering oaths of office.
Dear argued, despite orders from City Manager Ken Farfsing to stop, that he wanted their help because his staff was moved to another office due to widespread employee reports of Dear’s threatening behavior. Also, Dear’s attorney, Bradley Hertz, said his friends were serving as witnesses in case employees made “false accusations” against Dear.
But all city employees are required to first pass drug and background checks, city officials argued in court.
“Mrs. Janice Schafer, Mr. William Koons and Mrs. Joy Anderson … are not authorized to be physically present in non-public and/or restricted areas of City Hall,” city attorneys wrote to Dear, his friends and attorney on Thursday. “Each of you must immediately cease this trespass.”
The City Council initiated censure proceedings against Dear last week, in the wake of an internal personnel investigation that found at least a dozen employees had been bullied by Dear. He is accused of making racist comments and retaliating against his enemies and black employees, as well as harassing staff to do favors for him.
Dear served as mayor for 11 years before he was elected in March to the clerk’s position, which pays about $120,000 a year. The mayor of Carson receives roughly a $25,000 salary. Both positions are largely ceremonial.
Dear is campaigning against a resident-led effort to recall him from office.
He has denied all charges against him, and argued this week that he is allowed to deputize his friends as deputy clerks to work with him without any city approval, according to court documents.
“Each of you have been provided with more than ample notice of the city’s rules and procedures and, regrettably, each of you are refusing to comply with these standard safety rules,” city attorneys wrote to Dear and his friends.
When Schafer decided to fill out application materials to comply with City Hall rules, they said, Dear ordered her not to, according to statements in the court record from several employees who saw him intervene.