Minutes after Chino Valley Fire board member Winn Williams was hit with his third censure Wednesday night, Fire Chief Tim Shackelford warned the board member if he enters a non-public area of fire district headquarters again without prior approval he could be cited for trespassing.
Board members voted 3-1 in favor of the censure, with Mr. Williams voting no. Board member Harvey Luth was absent from Wednesday’s meeting.
Board policies violated
Mr. Williams was accused of violating two board policies during a Sept. 11 meeting by suggesting staff members are not capable of doing their jobs and presenting a statement that includes charges or complaints against employees.
Mr. Williams, who was elected to the board in November, stated at that meeting that the district has an “incompetent” chief and Chino Valley Fire District firefighters are inadequately trained for firefighting. He was referring to the Star Fire in Chino Hills that burned 156-acres and one multi-million home on July 28.
“Our leadership are all paramedics first and firefighting a distant second,” Mr. Williams said. “You’re a disgrace to this department, and a disgrace to this community, and every day you remain as chief, your incompetent leadership puts the residents of this community at risk.”
Board members advised Mr. Williams he was breaking board policy with his criticism and brought up the idea of another censure.
Other censures against Mr. Williams were approved in February and June for alleged violations of board policy.
Chief Shackelford told the board he sent a letter on Sept. 11 to Mr. Williams explaining that the censure resolutions require him to first make an appointment with the chief before visiting any Chino Valley Fire District facility and talking with fire district staff.
A witness is also required to be present during conversations between Mr. Williams and staff, according to the censures.
Chief Shackelford reported on Wednesday Mr. Williams entered non-public areas of the administration building at 14011 City Center Drive on Oct. 2, the same day he left several voice mails for a human resources specialist regarding health benefits and direct deposits.
“When you have accessed the non-public areas of the building, it has created situations that are likely out of compliance with the requirements set forth in the resolution of censure as you have encountered staff members,” Chief Shackelford told Mr. Williams. “Any contact with staff members outside of the interaction that takes place during the board meeting needs to conform to the requirements in the resolution of censure.”
Won't abide by rules
Mr. Williams told the chief on Oct. 2 he was not going to abide by the rules of the censure, saying only a judge has the authority to make him do so.
Mr. Williams said he entered a non-public area of the administration building that day to use the restroom.
After Wednesday's meeting, Mr. Williams told the Champion that the chief had escorted him out for just using the restroom.
“He’s making stuff up," Mr. Williams said. "A lot of what he is saying is just not true. It’s bogus. He’s really exaggerating what took place. They're pushing me out and I’m not going anywhere.”
Chino Hills resident Brad Goldman spoke at Wednesday’s meeting, asking Mr. Williams to resign from his position because “the public has lost faith in you.”
Mr. Goldman showed a video from the Sept. 11 board meeting of Mr. Williams walking directly to him after Mr. Goldman spoke during public comments.
“You were trying to converse with me, which is illegal under the Brown Act, or you were trying to intimidate me,” Mr. Goldman said. “So, I ask you now, please resign.”
Mr. Williams responded by saying he wasn’t going to resign and only walked up to Mr. Goldman to speak with him, adding there was no intimidation.
“If you were intimidated, I can’t help it,” Mr. Williams said. “I didn’t mean to intimidate you and I’m sorry, but I’m not going to resign and didn’t do anything that causes me to be removed or resign or anything else.”
No public contact
Board members added rules in the Wednesday’s censure that Mr. Williams is not allowed to touch any Chino Valley Fire District personnel or members of the public.
“So what you are saying is that I can’t shake hands with anybody in the public,” Mr. Williams asked board member Sarah Evinger. “I shook hands with several members here tonight. I’m not supposed to do that anymore? Is this the ridiculousness of what you are trying to say Sarah?”
Board President John DeMonaco told Mr. Williams, “If they don’t want to shake your hand, you are not to touch them.”