LA DAILY NEWS ARTICLE
|Article Last Updated: 1/13/2006 08:11 PM|
|Council hears Stuckey critics|
|By Rick Orlov, Staff Writer
LA Daily News
|The Los Angeles City Council on Friday again delayed
a decision on whether to uphold the firing of Guerdon Stuckey after
hearing from critics of the ousted Animal Services chief.
Capping a week in which Stuckey and supporters urged the council Wednesday to overturn the decision by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, opponents in Friday's public hearing said Stuckey's job performance was inadequate.
"He has not succeeded," Dr. Charlotte Laws, a member of the Greater Valley Glen Neighborhood Council and organizer of an animal welfare group, said in the hearing that included testimony televised from Van Nuys.
"There is no shortage of evidence that he failed to live up to the goals of (former Mayor James) Hahn or Mayor Villaraigosa. He never agreed with the no-kill policy and he refused to meet with experts in the no-kill community," said Laws, noting that Stuckey had initially been welcomed by members of the humane community but relations soured.
Stuckey told the council this week that he had supported the program and that the number of animals killed in city shelters dropped dramatically during his tenure.
Stuckey also said he was never given specific goals by Villaraigosa or his aides for his $154,000-a-year post.
But Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates said Stuckey had been given goals and also knew he served as an "at will" employee subject to removal by the mayor.
"He knew all along the mayor could fire him," Cummins said. "Please do not reinstate him. Please do not reward him."
Stuckey has said he is considering filing a wrongful termination suit. He is said to have asked for a severance package that would equal 11 months' pay.
The council has until Feb. 1 to make a decision.
Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 firstname.lastname@example.org