Update on La Quinta Library Independent Investigation
RIVERSIDE – Following approval by county supervisors last week, Riverside County’s Office of County Counsel has brought on board a law firm that has begun an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding a performance by Cesar Chavez Elementary School students at the La Quinta library on Sept. 15, 2018.
The investigation has also expanded to include a claim the County Counsel recently became aware of involving a presentation by Victor Villaseñor, a national best-selling Mexican American writer, in 2016 at the same library branch.
“My focus is on making it up to the community and especially the kids, and finding the appropriate way to move forward,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “A thorough and objective investigation will help determine exactly what occurred, how decisions were made, and ultimately think through measures of oversight, governance structure, lines of communication, cultural competency and other necessary improvements to ensure everybody presenting at our libraries is treated with respect.”
County Counsel has retained Barbara Raileanu of the law firm Woodruff Spradlin & Smart to conduct the investigation.
As head of the firm’s labor and employment department, Raileanu has extensive experience in conducting investigations into misconduct, including allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, workplace violence and other allegations of workplace misconduct.
The investigator has started lining up interviews. The county’s goal is to have the investigation completed by the end of the year, with a report to present to the Board of Supervisors in January.