Allegations sent to Board of Supervisors detail harassment by Sacramento County Executive Navdeep Gill

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As the pandemic continues, Sacramento County Executive Navdeep Gill has been facing a slew of accusations.

Those allegations include Gill not sticking to coronavirus safety measures in county meetings and sending millions meant for public health work to the sheriff’s office for salaries.

In a packet emailed to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Monday night, community members and current employees of the county’s health system say Gill has failed the community with his behavior as county executive.

The pages detail claims filed with Sacramento County about harassment and bullying that supposedly happened to mostly female managers who tried to accelerate the county’s response to COVID-19.

Liz Gomez, the chief of staff at the Sacramento County Department of Health Services, said the allocation of resources Gill talked about in one public meeting was simply untrue.

“Frankly, it was heartbreaking to see our leadership respond with lies,” Gomez said. “He said, ‘The decision was always if this has got to do with the emergency, there was no brakes. Go do what you need to do, we will find a way to fund that.'”

Gomez said she was left “baffled by this because it had taken us 130 days from the point where an emergency had been declared for any of the items that I worked on for Health Services to even be heard by the Board of Supervisors. And so, it was clear that what was being said out in public at the meeting was not being practiced internal to the county.”

The complaints sent to board members allege employees were denied pay for the overtime they were working and denied the ability to add needed staff as the pandemic intensified. They alleged it was because normal request procedures were not modified to fit the emergency.

Others claim Gill requested they be punished by their department heads for making long-range suggestions like planning for a mobile vaccine unit. 

They allege they were told certain meetings had been canceled when they actually weren’t to keep the voices of women, and especially Black women, out of discussions.

One of the women who has filed a complaint with the county about Gill is County Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. Witnesses have written to the board that she was undermined, her work was plagiarized and given to others, and that Gill would shout at her, once yelling, “Do you know who I am?”

Dr. Kasirye was not commenting about those details Monday night but colleagues were.

“The health officer is not treated with the respect that she deserves, it puts all of our health and safety in jeopardy,” said Leesa Hooks, the health program manager of the Sacramento County Department of Health Services.

A copy of the letter sent to the Board of Supervisors can be viewed below. Names have been redacted from this letter because the copy obtained by FOX40 was not finalized.

In October, supervisors Phil Serna and Patrick Kennedy sent a letter asking the executive to step down following a meeting of several Sacramento County department heads where some in attendance did not wear face coverings.

Kennedy sent FOX40 a statement Monday night, saying, “I have already called for Mr. Gill’s resignation and continue to do so. At this point, this is a personnel matter, so commenting publicly beyond the memo that Supervisor Serna and I have issued is not appropriate.”

“Mr. Gill’s pattern of behavior, including his treatment of our dedicated county public servants, continues to be very troubling, and it is the cumulative weight of this and other aspects of his tenure that compounds the need for him to resign,” Serna wrote in a statement.

FOX40 has reached out to the other board members for their reaction to these allegations and has yet to hear back.

The next board of supervisors meeting in Sacramento County is Nov. 17.

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