California mayor running for reelection sues her city for $7.5M over cries of discrimination

California Democrat Deborah Robertson has been the mayor of Rialto, a city east of Los Angeles that boasts just over 100,000 people, since 2012. This November, she is seeking her fourth four-year term.

And she’s also seeking $7.5 million from her city because she believes she is the victim of discrimination.

City documents show Robertson “filed three separate claims last year alleging age and racial discrimination, invasion of privacy and improper handling of her retirement fund, with a total liability she estimated at $7,482,000,” the Daily Mail reports. “She has now taken her own administration to court in two lawsuits after it reviewed and denied her claims internally.”

It’s a move both Rialto residents and Robertson’s fellow council members are calling “self-serving” and “shocking.”

“It’s shocking, because if you’re not the fiduciarily responsible representative, then who is there for the taxpayer?” asked Democrat Councilman Rafael Trujillo, who is looking to replace Robertson as the city’s mayor. “She’s so embroiled in all these lawsuits, she’s lost sight of the direction of the city.”

According to DailyMail.com:

Robertson’s claim is equal to 3.3% of the entire city budget for the year, or about $75 per Rialto resident.

The claims she leveled against the city include:

• Her colleagues discriminated against her by not giving her ergonomic furniture after she was injured in a 2019 one-car accident
• The city discriminated against her by not giving her a special security door in case of an active shooter, while giving another councilor one, because she is black
•Police looked her up on a law enforcement database without a good crime-fighting reason
•The city owes her compensation for giving her the wrong kind of retirement fund

 

Councilman Ed Scott, a Republican, who has worked closely with Mayor Robertson for years, is scratching his head over her claims.

He told DailyMail.com that the mayor, along with all the city’s leaders, were offered ergonomic furniture by the city. Robertson got her security door, though the installation was delayed in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mayor’s plans to move her office.

Robertson alleged that the councilman who got the security door before she did was “Caucasian.”

The truth is, it was her opponent, Trujillo, who received the door first, and he is a Latino.

“I don’t think it was a fair analogy on her part that she was being singled out. I just think a lot of nothing was made of it,” Scott said. “To my knowledge, she’s always been accommodated when she’s had an issue. They’ve changed her furniture in her office a number of times. So I’m not quite sure what that’s all about.”

Scott “said he himself had been a victim of police snooping, after pro-union officers allegedly searched his and his dead son’s details on their database to dig up dirt against his re-election bid,” DailyMail.com reports. “He won a $500,000 settlement from the city in November 2021 over it. But he said the mayor’s near-identical claim with an eye-watering $6million demand didn’t make sense, because she is a pro-union Democrat, with no reason to be smeared.”

“I’m amazed by it,” Scott said. “I’ve known her for a very long time, so I’m very surprised by it.”

Trujillo believes Robertson is opportunistic, to the detriment of Rialto residents.

“There’s a sense that she’s just looking around for the next lawsuit,” he said. “Is her time really being spent leading the city or is it being spent finding another opportunity to bring another lawsuit?”

“She’s lost sight of the direction of the city,” he stated. “People see it. She’s been very erratic last year. People are seeing that she’s not even attending some of her meetings.

“You start to question what her intentions are: being a steward of our taxpayer dollars? Or is it to have personal gains from the taxpayers?”

Melissa Fine

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