Jan 17, 2018 Harbor Commission meeting
Meeting video published on YouTube:
- Mattusch attacks Brennan
- Brennan’s commissioner comment, 6.5 min at the start of meeting
Brennan's email to the board of Harbor Commissioners
- From: Sabrina Brennan
- Subject: SMC Harbor District Culture of Harassment & Retaliation - Jan 17, 2018
- Date: January 17, 2018 at 5:01:42 PM PST
- To: Tom Mattusch, Virginia Chang Kiraly, Robert Bernardo, Edmundo Larenas
Dear Harbor Commissioners,
At the December 20, 2017, Harbor Commission meeting I brought up concerns about the Harbor District's harassment, discrimination, and retaliation investigation process.
Link to December 20, 2017 meeting video
The District's investigation process is not independent, it’s not neutral, and it’s not unbiased. My concerns about the District’s improper investigation process are included in the January 8, 2018, San Mateo Daily Journal article by Samantha Weigel. Link below:
San Mateo Daily Journal—County Harbor Commissioner alleges flawed investigation into her report of harassment
The Harbor District’s broken harassment, discrimination, and retaliation investigation process has contributed to a sustained pattern of predatory behavior.
In 2013, I made a sexual orientation harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation complaint against former General Manager Peter Grenell. Key testimony from a second victim was withheld from the investigation report (findings) produced by the District’s employment counsel Arlin Kachalia of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore (LCW) and investigator Amy Oppenheimer hired by LCW.
Lisa Fernandez, past Harbor District administrative employee is the second survivor/victim. Currently, Ms. Fernandez is the office manager at the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club. Her sexual harassment complaint against Peter Grenell was supported by information included in an investigation report paid for by the Harbor District and Grenell's birthday card artwork published online.
The botched investigation into my complaint against Mr. Grenell was never corrected despite the concerns I raised when I discovered that testimony Lisa Fernandez provided during an interview with investigator Amy Oppenheimer had been omitted from findings included in the final investigation report. I was very disheartened by the coverup and responded by requested a new independent and unbiased investigation. Sadly, my repeated requests were ignored by the Harbor District.
Fast forward to my October 2017 complaint against Harbor Commission President Tom Mattusch.
In 2014, Tom Mattusch invited me to go on an all expense paid safari hunting trip to Tanzania, Africa. A few weeks after the travel invitation Mr. Mattusch sent me an extremely pornographic email with the subject line “My last vacation photos.” The email included 9 demeaning images of women, including an image of a women on all fours groveling in the sand at the beach and a photo of two women on a chaise lounge chair both in spread eagle positions, with sandy handprint on their naked bodies.
I confronted Mr. Mattusch about his inappropriate travel invitation and his sexually explicit email. He said, “you don't get my sense of humor” and he refused to apologize.
President Mattusch's unwelcome sexual advances and excruciating retaliatory behavior has negatively impacted my ability to do my work on the board. He removed me from multiple standing committee assignments and the Oyster Point Liaison Group. I’m currently not serving on any standing committees. President Mattusch recently also voted against allowing the board to hold “committees of the whole” thereby blocking me from participating at all committee meetings and the Oyster Point Liaison Group.
President Mattusch has also repeatedly blocked me from contributing agenda items at Regular Board Meetings.
President Mattusch blocked me from being an officer on the board. In 2017, he voted against me for every officer position on the board.
President Mattusch said during the Aug 16, 2017 Harbor Commission meeting that he was removing me from the Finance Committee because “actions have consequences.” Link to meeting video.
President Mattusch has made threats towards me in person and on the phone. Telling me to “watch out” and saying, “more bad things are coming your way.”
The 2017/2018 Investigation Process:
The following email quotes are from Mary Topliff the investigation hired by Steven Miller, general counsel for the Harbor District:
Dec 5, 2017: “Finally, you asked whether my unredacted fact-finding report will be provided to the Board. I have passed along your inquiry to the District and either Steve McGrath or Steven Miller will respond directly to you.”
Dec 11, 2017: “The issue of the handling of my report is not up to me but I believe that Steven Miller will be getting back to you on that.”
Here is an email quote from Steven Miller. To-date this is the only information I’ve been provided regarding how the investigation is being conducted.
Dec 8, 2017: “When the investigation is complete, we will advise the entire Commission as to how the final report will be distributed. The decision will not be up to the investigator but will preliminarily be up to me…”
I asked Mary Topliff if she was going to conduct interviews regarding the culture of harassment, retaliation, and discrimination at the Harbor District. Ms. Topliff said, “NO.”
Independent oversight is needed because the process is broken. A panel that includes women should interview and select a law firm capable of conducting a truly independent investigation.
My complaints against Steve McGrath (Dec 2017) and Tom Mattusch (Oct 2017) are linked. It’s not possible to talk about one complaint without also talking about the others.
There is a lot more I could say about all of this but my time is limited.
Transcript: Jan 17, 2018 Harbor Commission meeting
Harbor Commissioner Tom Mattusch said:
“I’m quite disappointed by Commissioner Brennan’s complaint here. Particularly saying that we blocked her from putting items on the agenda. If you listen to Steve’s statistics at no time did she ever present an item that we didn't put on the agenda. Commissioner Brennan, when things don’t go her way she’s just going to make something up. And completely lie about things as she has done with the complaint against me. So just to put it out there, if she wants to pathetically lie consistently it’s out there Brennan, you got it. You lie consistently and this is how you get around with all your little complaints.”
Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan said:
“Tom the email that you sent is right here on my computer. You want to see it? The naked pictures that you sent of women, the demeaning naked pictures you sent. They’re right here on this computer, right here.”
Harbor Commission board president Virginia Chang Kiraly said:
“You are out of order Commissioner Brennan.”
“The naked pictures that you sent are on this computer right here. Anyone who would like to see them send me an email and I’ll forward them to you.”
Virginia Chang Kiraly said:
“We’re not hear to talk about, stop your out of order. This is why we are where we are today.”
Brennan said to Mattusch:
“You're a pervert.”
Chang Kiraly said:
“I would like Tom to finish.”
“I’m done, we heard someone adding on, piling on, making false statements.”
“Commissioner Larenas has seen the email. There is someone sitting next to you, to your right who has seen the email you sent.”