Dear ASA-DOJ Members,
In April, I wrote everyone to discuss the issues surrounding the decision to place the Association of Special Agents into trusteeship. Since that time I have met with a number of you to discuss my role and the future of the Association. As promised, I have spent considerable time in meeting with DOJ management in an effort to open lines of communication which were closed as a result of the prior Board of Directors. I have also taken an active role in conferring with management regarding the new firearms positions which were allocated as a result of SB140 and to advocate on behalf of agents. Last month, I also sat as your representative at contract negotiations and met at length with Director Wallace regarding funding issues.
Although the former ASA Board of Directors initially claimed the placement of the affiliate in trust was illegal, they have since conceded that the trust is in fact legal under California law. All books, records and assets (including what is left of ASA members’ dues contributions) have been turned over to me. On Monday, an interim Board of Directors for ASA-DOJ will be meeting for the first time to address moving the affiliate forward. This board will put the Association back into the hands of the agents.
I read with great interest today’s letter from Mike Loyd advocating for the formation of a fraternal organization within POC on behalf of the agents. This is another example of the rash behavior that created the need for the ASA-DOJ Affiliate to be taken out of the hands of the former Board of Directors.
Before committing to joining this organization, members should consider the following:
1. POC (CalDOJ-OSA) does not have a voice with DOJ management or play a role in the bargaining process. CSLEA is the exclusive bargaining agent for Unit 7 members and POC cannot speak on your behalf. Additionally, DOJ management has made it clear that they understand that CSLEA is the only representative for the agents and they will not be responsive to any other organization.
2. CSLEA has a well funded Legal Defense Fund (LDF) which has been used to defend the rights of ASA members in litigation arising from the course and scope of their employment. Our LDF currently has in excess of $1.5 million dollars in reserve for litigation expenses. The CSLEA LDF has a panel of well-qualified attorneys throughout the State of California who are available to respond 24/7 in the case of an emergency.
3. POC’s LDF is limited to a retainer agreement with their attorneys and is not funded or guaranteed. POC’s plan exists only as long as the single law firm with whom it contracts agrees to provide legal services. (The last POC firm severed its relationship with mere written notice). It is only a matter of time before POC’s “LDF” either fails to timely respond to a shooting or the law firm decides that it cannot afford the costs to go forward on a major criminal defense trial where a peace officer will be left hanging.
4. CSLEA and ASA are represented on a number of statewide law enforcement Boards of Directors including CCLEA, SCALE and OC Cops. These organizations advocate for and on behalf of law enforcement officers statewide. POC does not have that presence.
5. CSLEA continues to work with PORAC and will become a member organization in the near future. But in order to take advantage of the benefits PORAC offers, you must be a member of CSLEA.
Having worked with many of you, I know that most of you think things through and process what is best for you and your family before making any major decisions which could have career, and even loss of liberty, implications. Furthermore, Mike Loyd is retiring effective June 30, 2013 and would be relinquishing his CSLEA benefits (and the need for such benefits) at that time. Thus, those who would be foolish enough to take his advice, would be subjecting themselves to a risk that he won't endure.
I am available for sincere discussion on any of these issues. Please call 714-894-4411 or email me at email@example.com if you would like to do so.
Jim Vitko, Trustee