WALNUT CREEK -- The city will release a controversial investigative report detailing employees' actions in the aftermath of suspected child sex abuse by a city employee at the Lesher Center.
The City Council met for four hours in closed session Friday and decided to release the internal report, which examined possible mandated reporting failures by city employees.
Mayor Cindy Silva said the report and any other documents required to be disclosed under the California Public Records Act will be released July 10.
"To the extent the privilege exists, the City Council has elected unanimously to waive privilege," she said.
The report focuses on the actions of city employees after they learned a Lesher Center employee was suspected of inappropriate sexual contact with teenage girls. Four city employees -- Lesher Center Manager Scott Denison, city Arts Director Barry Gordon, his deputy, Kevin Safine, and city Human Resources Manager Sally Rice -- were placed on paid leave for more than two months during the internal investigation.
The former employee, Jason Pedroza, was charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors. His next scheduled court appearance is July 18. An actor and theater teacher, Pedroza turned himself in to police in February, three months after being fired.
Denison, Gordon, Safine and Rice returned to work this month, after a city employee empowered to decide their fates determined they did nothing wrong. The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office decided two months ago not to file criminal charges against any of them but did conclude they are all "mandated reporters" required by law to report such suspected abuse to police.
During the investigation, it was also discovered that City Manager Ken Nordhoff and others knew something of the Pedroza situation earlier than council members were originally told. It is believed the report details his and other employees' actions.
Releasing the report had been a bone of contention among council members, some of whom have called for the release of the report for weeks. The council itself only got a chance to read the report last week, even though it was finished May 31.
This newspaper had filed a public records request, which was denied.