Muni’s HR director out after allegations sexual harassment complaints were mishandled

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Employees at San Francisco’s transit agency have for months alleged that sexual assault and harassment allegations go largely unheard…

SFMTA Director of Human Resources Don Ellison’s “last day in the office” was Friday, according to an email sent by SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin to all 6,000 SFMTA staff on Monday, which was obtained by the San Francisco Examiner and verified by the SFMTA…

Ellison’s role will be filled, at least temporarily, by interim Acting Director of Human Resources Derek Kim…

Ellison’s exit is not the only SFMTA leadership turnover that appears related to these allegations — John Haley, SFMTA director of transit, retired from the agency last October following a lawsuit from a subordinate alleging he groped her… (more)

Uber’s terrible week gets worse; Google sues for alleged theft of self-driving technology

By Colin Deppen : pennlive – excerpt

Uber’s week started with a former employee alleging she encountered systemic sexual discrimination during her time with the company.

The week ended with Google filing a lawsuit against the ride-sharing service alleging the technology now fueling Uber’s self-driving fleet in cities like Pittsburgh was stolen. This as both companies remain locked in a costly and frenzied modern-day space race to perfect the nascent technology.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday, the Google self-driving-car group, now known as Waymo, , accuses Uber of using stolen technology to advance its own self-driving car development…

According to CBS News, the 28-page complaint accuses a former top manager for Google’s self-driving car project, Anthony Levandowski, of stealing pivotal technology that Google says is now being used to fuel Uber’s own fleet of autonomous vehicles for its ride-hailing service.

CBS adds that the alleged theft occurred in late 2015, before Levandowski left Google to found a startup called Otto that is “building big-rig trucks that navigate highways without a human behind the wheel.” Uber bought Otto for $680 million last year, and Levandowski is now overseeing Uber’s effort to develop and dispatch cars driven by robots… (more)

Does Uber have a sexual assault problem? Charge against Pa. driver highlights concerns

SFMTA employee accused of selling guns to FBI, son killed in 1994 shooting

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Star quarterback. Future Recreation and Park Department director. Hometown hero.

Sululagi Palega Jr. was all those things until he was shot and killed in Modesto in 1994. The Portola Recreation Center was later renamed the Palega Recreation Center in honor of his life…

Nearly 21 years after his son was shot and killed, court filings from the attorneys of gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow allege Palega Sr. sold a gun to an undercover FBI agent and promised to sell more guns in the future.

Palega is the manager of the Muni Transit Assistance Program for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency…

Palega could not be reached for comment. SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said Palega is “currently on leave for matters that have nothing to do with this.”

The Muni Transit Assistance Program “provides community-based staff to ride transit lines with high incidences of graffiti and juvenile disturbances, to assist with enforcement,” according to the SFMTA.

MTAP also works with junior high and high schools. When asked if Palega worked directly with children while managing MTAP, Rose said, “He managed it. The transit assistants are the ones who ride the vehicles.”… (more)

SF supervisors approve Muni security contract, after no ethics violations found

By sfexaminer – excerpt

No ethics violations found, but ethical concerns remain

A $38 million security contract to guard Muni rail yards was approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, amid accusations of ethical lapses in the contract process.

“It doesn’t quite pass the smell test,” Supervisor Malia Cohen said of the contract at the board meeting.

The controversy swirled around the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s lead contract negotiator and director of security, Chris Grabarkiewctz. A prior employee of Cypress Security, he was given awards lauding his ability to generate great amounts of profit from his negotiating contracts with the SFMTA.

Now he serves the reverse role, negotiating contracts for the SFMTA with Cypress Security against its sole competing bidder, Andrews International…

Reiskin told supervisors they could reform ethics laws, or the SFMTA may make its own rules to protect against alleged conflicts of interest. “To the extent that this [contract] procurement has raised issues, we may consider going above and beyond the law,” Reiskin told the board…  (more)

Reiskin told supervisors they could reform ethics laws? Suggested going above and beyond the law? Since when does Reiskin tell the supervisors what they can do? Someone needs to remind him that he works for the elected city officials, not the other way around. A reduction in his salary might help to remind him where he stands.

Woman Who Drove Off With Meter Maid On Her Car Says She Was Fleeing Sexual Harassment

by — Hoodline (@HoodlineSF) – excerpt – video

A driver took a DPT officer on a 12+ block ride of terror on the hood of her car yesterday:

You probably know the story by now: As first reported by Hoodline, 33-year old Bo Mounsombath was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor hit and run after a number of witnesses saw her hurtling down Oak Street with a Parking Enforcement Officer clinging to her hood. But now here’s the twist: According to Monsoumbath, it’s she who was the victim, as the PCO made her a proposal of an indecent kind.

According to Hoodline tipster Allison Yates, Mounsombath passed her near Oak and Octavia Streets on Thursday morning at around 10:15. “I saw her go by and realized there was a guy on the hood on his back, hanging on kind of spread-eagled,” Yates said…

Mounsombath speaking with KRON4, says “I had stopped many times and he wouldn’t get off,” which Yates confirms in a comment on Hoodline, saying that “The driver actually got out of her car at least once to stand in the street and scream about how scared she was…I have NO idea why the DPT guy did not get off the car when it was stopped.”…(more)

If you needed more proof that the natives are restless and headed for the pitchforks this story should do it.