AC TRANSIT | AC Transit At-Large Board Director Joel Young will receive his fate this week when the entire board deliberates over a resolution to censure him for misuse of district property for his own personal gain.
The resolution posted in the agenda for this Wednesday evening’s board meeting calls for the censure of Young for violations contained in an investigative report compiled by the board’s interim general counsel last May. Young’s six colleagues on the board will decide whether to rebuke him for breaking two board policies covering ethics and decorum and a state law for misuse of district property for personal gain.
The resolution strives to focus on a single policy because it contains language providing for potential penalties, including removal from various committees, restricting use of a travel account and public censure. “It further determines that Director Young did not adhere to the provision of Board Policy 113 to observe the highest standards of integrity and to discharge faithfully the duties of his office, including the potential use of confidential information for speculation or personal gain for himself or another,” says the resolution.
However, it falls short of condemning Young for circumstantial evidence he may have used the information viewed and copied from AC Transit’s confidential legal documents to directly aid in two lawsuits he represents against the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Portland, Ore. and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. “Other potential violations (conflicts of interest, disclosure of privileged and confidential information, breach of fiduciary duty) were investigated, but the Report concluded that there was insufficient information available to determine whether such violations had occurred,” the resolution adds.
Noticeable in the draft resolution is any reference to Young’s written rebuttal to the charges released to the public two weeks ago. In the documents, Young flatly denied ever expressing a desire to AC Transit officials to view confidential legal documents for the purpose of helping him in the similar case related to complaints by bus drivers partially settled last year by AC Transit. According to the investigative reports, Young’s alleged admission to interim general counsel, Ken Scheidig, essentially erased any doubt of his wrong-doing. Young also claims to have spent only 20-30 minutes viewing the stack of over two dozen legal files. The resolution, though, maintains Young spent 3-4 hours reading and copying an unknown numbers of pages and files last October 2012.
The board’s decision June 26 to instruct its current general counsel to draft a resolution of censure comes as no surprise. During the same discussion for meting out some sort of punishment for Young, not a single board director espoused any support for Young, while others remained silent, before unanimously approving a resolution, including censure, against their colleague. The resolution needs a two-thirds majority to pass, or, the affirmative votes of at least four members.