September 23, 2023

OAKLAND — Newly obtained data present Alameda District Lawyer Pamela Value’s boyfriend obtained a job inside her workplace that was by no means publicly marketed, and regardless of potential crimson flags about his tenure at an organization that he then claimed to assist run.

Information present that Value’s romantic accomplice, Antwon Cloird, oversaw a Richmond-based firm that ran afoul of state tax officers. What that firm does stays a thriller to the individual listed as its enterprise agent, who mentioned he’s by no means heard of it.

The brand new particulars of Cloird’s prior work historical past — in addition to the obvious lack of competitors he confronted in securing a job with Value’s workplace — elevate contemporary questions concerning the circumstances of his employment, which was first reported by this information group final month. Ethics specialists who’ve criticized his new gig now say it’s obvious that Value and the county didn’t comply with good governance requirements when hiring Cloird.

It “simply doesn’t cross the moral check,” mentioned John Pelissero, senior scholar on authorities ethics at Santa Clara College’s Markkula Heart for Utilized Ethics. “Appearances are what ought to be regarding to the DA and the DA’s Workplace. This doesn’t look good.”

In authorities affairs, a clear hiring course of is paramount and “avoids any form of favoritism, discrimination and embraces equal alternative,” mentioned Michael Martello, a former metropolis legal professional for Mountain View and Harmony.

“For a public sector place, the perfect observe — and the one which’s the fairest — is one that’s properly marketed, is open to all people and has a really predictable course of,” Martello mentioned.

A assessment of Cloird’s résumé and job software present that he spent the earlier 5 years as chief operations officer of Neighborhood Partnership Alliance, LLC, the corporate that had its enterprise suspended by state tax officers.

Nonetheless, Cloird managed to safe a “senior program specialist” job title and wage of $115,502. He’s paid $10,500 a yr greater than one other new rent working in his similar unit, despite the fact that that individual has a background in social work and a grasp’s diploma, data present. Cloird lacks a four-year school diploma listed as a qualification for the place he stuffed, however the county permits candidates to substitute real-world expertise within the place of training.

The DA’s Workplace declined to remark for this story. Cloird didn’t reply to an emailed checklist of questions.

For months, county officers fought this information group’s requests to see Cloird’s résumé and job software. County Counsel Donna Ziegler launched the paperwork solely after Cloird personally licensed the disclosure.

In response to questions, Ziegler acknowledged the county didn’t promote the job, however human sources officers say Value was beneath no obligation to take action. It’s unclear if there have been every other candidates apart from Cloird.

When Value assumed workplace in January, Cloird, 60, virtually instantly went to work on her resentencing and re-entry staff — a gaggle of individuals whose job it’s to establish sturdy candidates for early launch and assess their readiness to rejoin society. One former prosecutor mentioned beforehand that Cloird has undertaken his job in an unorthodox method, sending lists of individuals he wished to see launched from jail.

A longtime Richmond resident, Cloird has private {and professional} expertise working within the subject of re-entry. He was as soon as often known as “29 Seconds”, a nickname he nonetheless references, and refers again to his road days when he may “get you no matter you wanted in 29 seconds.”

Within the late 2000s, Cloird was employed for 4 years as a building employee with Laborers Union 324. He then opened a nonprofit round 2011 known as Males and Girls of Goal, his résumé says, and whereas there later met Value, who data present additionally did authorized work for the nonprofit.

In 2017, he left to hitch Neighborhood Partnership Alliance. He labored 40 hours per week, overseeing 12 individuals and offering “program planning, technical help, assessment and analysis capabilities to direct consumer service supply applications,” his résumé mentioned.

“I’m the corporate liaison with service suppliers and funding sources and be sure that program laws and procedures are adopted; and to do associated work as required,” in accordance with his résumé, which supplied few clues concerning the subject of labor it did.

State enterprise filings elevate myriad questions concerning the authorized standing of the corporate.

The enterprise was suspended by the California Secretary of State’s Workplace practically two months earlier than Cloird’s arrival, data present, although the premise of that suspension will not be specified. The California Franchise Tax Board adopted go well with in June 2018 by additionally suspending the corporate, citing an unfiled tax return.

A $250 stability remained unpaid as of early September, which means the corporate has not been in a position to legally function for greater than 5 years, the state tax board reported.

As well as, Phil Allen, the legal professional whose title seems as the corporate’s registered agent on filings with the California Secretary of State’s Workplace, mentioned he by no means heard of the corporate, nor the person listed as its organizer and signatory, Bryan Hancock. Hancock, a frequent enterprise accomplice of Cloird’s who additionally labored as a advisor on Value’s 2022 marketing campaign, declined to remark.

Allen mentioned somebody should have added his title to the doc with out his information, however mentioned he additionally has beforehand labored with Cloird.

“The reality is, I’m undecided how I obtained on this one,” Allen mentioned. “Bryan Hancock will not be a reputation that’s acquainted to me.”

Whereas enterprise suspensions are usually not unusual amongst small California corporations like Neighborhood Partnership Alliance, employment and company regulation specialists say it’s a signal of careless administration. And placing somebody’s title down as an agent with out their information may at worst be seen as perjury, mentioned Andrew Verstein, a UCLA regulation professor and co-director of the Lowell Milken Institute for Enterprise Legislation and Coverage.

“This means both excessive sloppiness, or excessive cheapness, or excessive ignorance, or some excessive cause no registered agent may work with you,” Verstein mentioned. “They’re completely different sorts of unhealthy, however they’re all unhealthy.”

Not a lot else is understood concerning the Richmond firm. A lady who answered the corporate’s telephone on Friday mentioned its leaders have been in conferences and never accessible to speak.

A mission assertion on its web site says it goals “to supply employment alternatives by connecting small companies, mentoring, and training alongside the best way.” It doesn’t point out any such companies however references Cloird by title, and his aim of “equality for people keen and prepared for a second likelihood at a first-class life.”

Its handle traces to a Richmond storefront on Macdonald Avenue, which housed a church for the final seven or eight years, in accordance with the congregation’s minister, Pastor Donnie Featherstone. He mentioned he had by no means heard of a enterprise named Neighborhood Partnership Alliance however knew Cloird from his childhood, had seen him working within the constructing and known as him a “workaholic” and “a go-getter.”

The earlier investigation by this information group revealed deep considerations by authorities ethics specialists about how Value has employed her boyfriend, citing the corrosive nature of nepotism and the blow to public belief that such hires create. It additionally discovered Cloird drew the eye of the FBI in 2015 amid allegations that he extorted Richmond enterprise homeowners for tens of 1000’s of {dollars}, although no felony costs have been ever filed.

Alameda County has no coverage towards nepotism — an omission that has been pilloried in a number of county civil grand jury stories over the past decade — so Value was beneath no obligation to inform anybody of Cloird’s rent, nor did she voluntarily achieve this, county human sources officers beforehand mentioned.

Value has since cited the shortage of any county nepotism insurance policies whereas defending Cloird’s presence on her workers.

She additionally has known as criticism of the rent a “double commonplace,” given how her predecessor, Nancy O’Malley, employed a number of kin, together with her sister and nephew.

“There are in all probability another O’Malleys there that I don’t learn about,” mentioned Value, throughout a city corridor in late August hosted by the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Membership.

In an interview, retired Santa Clara County decide and former San Jose Unbiased Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell known as the DA’s stance “hypocritical.” Merely put, she mentioned: “You may’t have it each methods.”

“You may’t say ‘I’m going to be progressive and clear and it is a new day,’ after which undertake the conduct of the very one that ran the workplace earlier than, who you could have slammed,” Cordell mentioned. “And that’s what’s occurred right here. The county must have an anti-nepotism coverage as a result of everybody is aware of that nepotism is improper.”

“They need to be correcting this,” Cordell continued. “The place is the integrity?”