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Jun 02nd
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Home News Latest Cal/OSHA opens inspection at Lake County Jail

Cal/OSHA opens inspection at Lake County Jail

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LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A complaint against the Lake County Jail has led to an inquiry by the state agency that enforces workplace safety regulations.

The California     Division of Occupational Safety and Health – more commonly known as Cal/OSHA – opened an inspection of the jail on Tuesday, according to Erika Monterroza, an agency spokesperson.

The jail, or the Hill Road Correctional Facility as it’s more formally known, is located on Hill Road outside of Lakeport. It’s operated under the auspices of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Monterroza said the inspection was initiated by a complaint.

Cal/OSHA has a process that allows employees to file complaints if they believe their employer is not complying with the law, according to its Web site, .

Monterroza said the agency keeps the names of complainants confidential to protect people from retaliation.

She said the agency also doesn’t discuss the specific details of ongoing investigations.

“It could be a very long process,” Monterroza explained.

Cal/OSHA has six months to complete its work on the case. Monterroza said such inquiries usually last three to four months.

Once the inspection is closed, there could be a finding that there were no violations of state occupational safety and health standards and regulations, or there could be a citation, Monterroza explained.

If there is a citation, the employer has the right to appeal, she said.

That appeals process also can be lengthy, according to Monterroza.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at [email protected] . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at, on Tumblr at , on Google+, on Facebook at and on YouTube at .

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Comments (20)Add Comment
We'll Never Know..
written by YogiToBoo, March 09, 2012
We'll never know, who the person or persons, who filed the complaint. Everyone assumes it has to be some GOB's run a muck. What if it was the new under sheriff, or even someone who was promoted by Rivero? Guessing is pointless, & destructive to anyone who gets the "Rat" label.

It really doesn't matter who filed it, if the complaint is valid.

When Cal/OSHA gives their decision, I see it as win win. If they have a problem, it gets fixed, if there is nothing, Rivero gets bragging rights he's running a safe jail.
written by Marzocco, March 09, 2012
We hired an under sheriff who was in charge of the jail for many many years at his previous job. Did we utilize his expertise? Was he assigned the job to review the jail conditions? I would.
Now let's see what the outcome of this investigation will be.
Did I forget to mention
written by cantdrive55, March 09, 2012
The best jail commander in northern california that wasn't good enough for rivero?
She built the jail and ran it from 2000 to 2005 until mitchell wanted to put his boys in charge.
She has 30 years experience in corrections
and was solicited by the sate to go to work for the Board of Corrections in Sacramento.
The jail would be running like a fine swiss watch is she was left alone in charge and allowed to do her job
without being hamstrung by the beancounter on rivero's staff.smilies/tongue.gif
who is responsible?
written by ClkOaks, March 08, 2012
It's up to the management of any organization to know and follow all Labor, OSHA and other laws. As any Law official will tell you, ignorance of the law is no defense. Law enforcement especially should be aware of all laws involving their job. No excuses. It's not up to the lowest person in authority to fix or know about these problems. Starts with Rivero and works their way down the chain of command. If his people are not quallified to run the jail, that's his problem. Only he can fix it.
written by a guest, March 08, 2012
The county sheriff is responsible for the county jail and all who are inside, its really the number one responsibility by law.
A sheriff should know what he doesn't know, with ours its the jail, he's never had anything to do with jails except drop off prisoners .
Whatever Cal/Osha finds he owns, he's gotten rid of all his scapegoats, Garzoli, Howe, & Bauman who ran the jail (into the ground) for the last seven years.
He gave the january 2011 jail commander two months to fix everything, and even thought he said she's the best jail commander in northern california, she wasn't good enough for him, and busted her back to sergeant.
Since then he's hand picked no less than five people to run the jail.
The BOS gave him all the money he needed the day he took office, and then some more, and he hasn't spent any.
His department accountant doesn't approve purchase requests or repair expenditures and they are not his priority.
The hilton on the hill is a shambles and he basically doesn't care.
written by Crabpot, March 08, 2012
But make no mistake and switch up my channel
I'm Buddy Rich when I fly off the handle
What could it be, it's a mirage
Your scheming on a thing, that's sabotage
Overkill, Marz
written by chrizzy, March 08, 2012
I have just reached the overkill saturation point with this steady stream of complaints. And once more we wait and wait and wait... and nothing seems to happen... just too many complaints to take any of it seriously anymore.
It's Rivero's Job.
written by YogiToBoo, March 08, 2012
It's Rivero's job to know the condition of his jail. If the condition goes back to Mitchell, Rivero has had 15 months to say something about it. Rivero, stated last year how he likes to get up in the middle of the night and visit the jail, so he's had plenty of time to make his case before the BOS if more funds were needed. We don't even know what the problem might be. We don't know if the chain of command was used. This article states why it wouldn't due to possible retaliation. OSHA has nothing to do with Lake County. No one elected them. Let's wait and see what the outcome, if anything will be down the line.
written by a guest, March 08, 2012
Questions and assumptions is what I have.... like most everyone else. It is becoming very strange that ever since Rivero took office there are complaints every other month it seems... and the public only gets bits and pieces of reliable info... some are personnel issues and must remain confidential... some of the DA"s investigations go on forever... one from years ago that we aren't really sure what that's all about... so many unanswered questions surround all these complaints... it's like throwing mud at a fence to see which clump will stick... and feels like this is just one more. If I had an unsafe condition at work I'd report it to the powers that be... if they ignored it... then I'd go above their heads or to CAL/OSHA depending on how immediate action needed to be taken. But this could be anything... we are in the position again of hearing bits and pieces... transparency does not exsist.
written by Marzocco, March 08, 2012
Did anyone bring it to the Sheriff's attention or any supervisory employee before they filed with CAL/OSHA? I think a very clever group of disgruntled employees with the emotional maturity of a gnat are spending much too much of their time trying in any way they can to destroy the Sheriff. But it only makes the whole department look like losers.

Chrizzy, in cases of harassment, discrimination or working conditions safety the employees can file a complaint directly to Cal/OSHA or other government agencies without going through the internal "Chain of Command." Why? To avoid retaliation.
The article mentions it:

Cal/OSHA has a process that allows employees to file complaints if they believe their employer is not complying with the law, according to its Web site, .

The employees have the right to report any violations if the jail management fails to take action, either by willfully refusing to take care of the problem or fail to recognize the problem due to poor management skills.

Also, you are assuming the problem had not been reported through Chain of Command. Do you know for sure or is an assumption?
Regardless the employees and inmates have the right to work and live in a safe working environment, regardless if the are "gnats " as you say or regular human beings.

guest    1
Bad luck and trouble
written by a guest, March 08, 2012
seem to surround our sheriff.
"when you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp."
There is only one way to fix it all;
effective, comprehensive leadership

Report within dept?
written by chrizzy, March 08, 2012
If there are unsafe conditions have these been discussed or reported within the department? Or did this employee bypass any internal complaint and just go to CAL/OSHA. How long has this unsafe condition existed? Was it there under Mitchell? Did anyone bring it to the Sheriff's attention or any supervisory employee before they filed with CAL/OSHA? I think a very clever group of disgruntled employees with the emotional maturity of a gnat are spending much too much of their time trying in any way they can to destroy the Sheriff. But it only makes the whole department look like losers.
The Spin Begins
written by YogiToBoo, March 08, 2012
Over at the LL Blog, (Which seems to be a mouth piece for Rivero) states there are major problems, but blames it on Mitchell & the BOS. If this was true, I think, Rivero would have send out numerous press releases long ago, detailing the failure of the BOS, and how the fault lies with the past sheriff. And we know, Rivero wouldn't pass that chance up in a heartbeat.
So, so, so
written by Crabpot, March 08, 2012
So listen up 'cause you can't say nothin'
You'll shut me down with a push of your button
Oh my god, it's a mirage
I'm tellin y'all, it's a SABOTAGE.
What If
written by YogiToBoo, March 08, 2012
there is a safety violation? What if, this violation, if not corrected could end up causing injury or even death to a CO or inmate? Another major lawsuit against the county (aka Us). Employees all over the USA, report this type of thing every day. Some do so, to tick their boss off; others, because they would like to live and work in a safe environment. At least here, it's an outside agency, so the usual suspects can't be blamed, for the outcome. We'll find out in 3 to 4 months.
Whoa wait a minute
written by a guest, March 08, 2012
Just because the sheriffs department doesn't believe in preventative maintenance
and doesn't use certified repairmen doesn't mean its not a safe facility.
Just ask the inmates how efficiently they were evacuated when they had that fire.
The jailers did their job.
The inmates were well taken care of and no one appears to have been permanently injured.
And oops, gee I guess the fire was really preventable,
with maintenance!
Where is the DA?
written by a guest, March 08, 2012
The DA must be asleep at the wheel he didn't get in on this one and now a state agency will get the all the attention for this investigation. Are these complaints left over from Mitchell or created by the circle of conspirators against Rivero. More secrets that cannot be revealed to the public. It's sick. Hope all who are wasting taxpayers money are charged in this conspiracy and spend time in this county's jails themselves.
Correctional Officers Hate Rivero
written by barryslogin, March 08, 2012
Rest assured, the entire staff at Hill Road will fully cooperate with Cal/OSHA due to their lack of respect for FR.
written by Finn, March 08, 2012
The sole conceivable motivation for filing an OSHA complaint is to go after Frank.
Another investigation...
written by a guest, March 08, 2012
I only hope this complaint is justified and not just another way to go after Rivero.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 March 2012 04:02 )