Sacramento to audit city departments to address 'workplace toxic cultures'

Following reports of hazing and racism at the fire department, the city auditor will investigate workplace complaints and resolution practices


Marcus D. Smith
The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO — Departments at the city of Sacramento will be audited to assess the city's progress in diversity, equity and inclusion in its workforce.

The Sacramento City Council unanimously approved the City Auditor's Proposed Audit Plan for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Under the plan introduced by Councilman Eric Guerra, the Sacramento city auditor will investigate workplace complaints and city departments' resolution practices, as well as conduct racial disparity assessments starting with the Office of Public Safety.

"The audits being pursued by the City Auditor will bring transparency within all of our departments and ensure credibility of processes in place to address workplace toxic cultures," said Guerra.

In March, The Sacramento Bee reported that a former Sacramento Fire Department employee resigned after reports of hazing and racist practices from colleagues and managers. Guerra cited those reports as the spark that led him to this proposal in a closed meeting with media on June 1.

The department responded to the allegations with discrimination training for all firefighters and employees.

"We are being proactive to ensure that our firefighters, captains and all employees of our agency are trained and informed up to the standards and expectations of our fire administration," said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Keith Wade in a March interview about discrimination in the department.

The audits will assess diversity, equity and inclusion within city departments. Diversity assessment among boards, committees and commissions will also be conducted.

Other reviews will include language accessibility for community engagement and a diversity review of employment applications and firings.

The audit is expected to take approximately nine months.

Employees are encouraged to come forward with their experiences in the city of Sacramento. Their testimonials are kept private and confidential.

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(c)2021 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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