The County Equity Oversight Panel is an independent oversight body comprised of employment law experts with the authority and responsibility for reviewing County equity investigations and making recommendations to County Department Heads concerning the disposition and discipline.
The CEOP shall meet as needed to conduct briefings on County equity investigations. The involved subject’s Department or supervising chain of command shall attend the Briefing. All applicable County Employees due process, grievance and appeal rights remain intact under this policy and procedure.
Vickey Bane Executive Director of the County Equity Oversight Panel
Ms. Bane has been a dedicated County employee since 2007. Having just graduated law school, she began her professional career working as a legal writer for the premier legal news publication, the Daily Journal, and is a published legal writer. Later, Ms. Bane began her County career with the Office of the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Section, assisting with complex felony prosecutions, including murder and theft cases and jury trials. Later, she worked for the Office of the County Counsel’s Property Division where she performed legal research and drafted legal memoranda. Thereafter, Ms. Bane began working in the area of employment investigations and performance management with the Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Performance Management team. While at DHS, Ms. Bane transitioned into working directly with the DHS Chief Medical Officer in assisting with specialty healthcare initiatives and special projects, which proved to be a valuable and rewarding professional experience.
Ms. Bane began her work with the Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors in 2012, as a Deputy Compliance Officer with the County Intake Specialist Unit. This was a logical transition for Ms. Bane given her legal background and the breadth of employment investigation and human resources skills developed working in the area of Performance Management. Ms. Bane was promoted to the position of Senior Deputy Compliance Officer and managed a team of investigators and other professional staff. In this role, Ms. Bane accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience managing personnel, assisting Countywide Human Resources managers regarding the County Policy of Equity program, and she worked with her management in fine tuning the program and improving processes and efficiencies. Ms. Bane looks forward to continuing to contribute to the CEOP program, serving as part of the CEOP management team, and being a member of the Executive Office.
Ms. Bane obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from California State University Northridge and she obtained her Juris Doctor from Whittier College School of Law where she served on Law Review and received multiple awards in her legal studies. She is a member of the California Bar.
Ben Stormer Deputy Executive Officer (Assistant Executive Director) of CEOP
Mr. Stormer has over 17 years of experience in employment law and employment investigations, employee relations and managing highly complex assignments in Los Angeles County and the private sector. As an Assessor and Deputy Compliance Officer with the Executive Office, Mr. Stormer provided County departments with recommendation regarding CPOE process and procedures. In 2015, Mr. Stormer was promoted to Acting Sr. Deputy Compliance Officer and was responsible for a team of 12 administrative and investigative staff. In this acting capacity, Mr. Stormer was tasked with managing case sensitive and high priority assignments which included investigations of high level County employees and department heads. Mr. Stormer was responsible for identifying potential areas of risk/liability to the County and preparing recommendations to County departments on possible proactive interventions related to the administration of CPOE. Additionally, Mr. Stormer develops and presents department-specific informational seminars and trains staff regarding the CPOE, equal employment opportunity laws and legal updates. Mr. Stormer was promoted to Assistant Executive Director of the CEOP in 2016. In this capacity, Mr. Stormer supervises the day-to-day operations of the CEOP by planning, organizing, and assigning the work of CISU professional and administrative staff, and develops, implements, oversees, analyzes, and measures innovative management concepts and strategies for accomplishing and improving the work of the CISU/CEOP. Mr. Stormer Routinely advises departmental executive managers regarding the CPOE policy and process.
Prior to joining the County of Los Angeles, Mr. Stormer worked at an array of employment litigation law firms.
Mr. Stormer obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo in June 1996, Juris Doctor from University of West Los Angeles in July 2002 and is an active member of the State Bar of California.
COUNTY EQUITY OVERSIGHT PANEL MEMBERS
Gary A. Bacio is a Partner with the Firm of Lynberg & Watkins, representing both public and private entities in Insurance and Employment Defense matters. He began his legal career representing individuals in personal injury and employment matters. After a few years he joined the Law Office of Daniel P. Aguilera as a litigator defending private and public entities in insurance and related matters. That office soon became Aguilera & Bacio as Gary continued defending public entities and began trying cases throughout Los Angeles County. In 1996 he formed the Law Office of Gary A. Bacio in the San Gabriel Valley where he practiced until joining Lynberg & Watkins. For many years Gary served on the County of Los Angeles Risk Management Advisory Committee advising the County as to all aspects of Risk and Loss Management. He has also served as a Judge Pro Tem and as a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association. Gary graduated from Loyola Law School and earned his Bachelor of Arts from UCLA.
Mercedes Cruz was admitted to the California State Bar in 1985 after graduating from UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. Ms. Cruz is a Partner in the law firm of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP. Ms. Cruz specializes in defending and advising private and public entities in all aspects of employment law, with a special emphasis in dispute resolution and prevention. Ms. Cruz has extensive experience in employment litigation in court as well as state and federal administrative agencies. Her areas of concentration include oversight, internal investigations, advising employers on terminations, discipline, complying with state and federal employment laws, and training and formulation of policy. Ms. Cruz also defends employers in litigation involving wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, employment discrimination, and related tort action. In her twenty-six years of practice, Ms. Cruz has conducted and overseen hundreds of investigations in both the public and private sectors, and has assisted hundreds of employers in drafting their policies and procedures, as well as in resolving employee claims and disputes. Ms. Cruz has also trained thousands of employees, including law enforcement personnel, in the prevention of harassment and discrimination in the workplace and related employment topics. For the past six years, Ms. Cruz has sat on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Equity Oversight Panel and has served as their past Chair.
Jacqueline J. Harding
Jacqueline J. Harding is well regarded for her service as chair of Wilson Elser's Pro Bono Committee and her involvement in professional activities devoted to the advancement of women and minority attorneys. Jackie's law practice focuses on labor and employment law in addition to product liability, business and health care litigation. In her practice, Jackie represents clients in state and federal courts, arbitrations, mediations, civil service commission hearings, EEOC/DFEH administrative hearings, and labor commission and OSHA hearings. She has litigated several class action lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Prior to joining Wilson Elser, Jackie worked in the Labor Relations Department at The Walt Disney Company, an American multinational diversified mass media company. Before becoming a lawyer, she was a television producer for 13 years, including producing an Emmy award-winning weekly magazine series in Chicago for a major network. In Los Angeles, she and her husband owned several businesses, including two restaurants in a national chain.
While experienced in litigation and workplace consultation, her skills in communicating effectively to various constituencies and resolving problems have also garnered favorable results for clients. They particularly appreciate her ability to understand the facts and nuances of cases, which helps to avoid unnecessary litigation, and prevent future workplace problems.
Richard D. Klinger
Richard Klinger has served as Hearing Officer for the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission and a Mediator for the Human Resources Department Mediation Program. He has conducted hundreds of mediations for the Los Angeles Superior Court system and participates in the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Attorney-Client Mediation and Arbitration Services Program. Previously, in Montana, Mr. Klinger served as Asst. Attorney-General, designated as Montana Environmental Affairs Legal Officer. Mr. Klinger's experience extends to the entertainment industry as well, where he served as Vice President of Programming and Business Affairs for RCA Video and President of King World's Home Entertainment Division. His unique diversity of legal, mediation, and executive experience gives him special perspective and understanding in dealing with conflict in the workplace environment. And, his prior experience with L.A. County has imparted a solid knowledge of the County's policies and culture. Mr. Klinger received his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.
Michael H. Leb, Esq. has been a mediator and arbitrator for over ten years. Before becoming a neutral, Michael practiced law at Latham & Watkins, worked on employment-law matters in-house at two Fortune 50 companies, and represented plaintiffs in employment-law matters at a trial boutique and as a solo practitioner. As Wal-Mart's Senior Vice President of People, Michael oversaw the human resource compliance function and its internal complaint resolution procedure to which over 1 million associates had access. Prior to that, as Safeway's Vice President of Labor Relations, he oversaw the company's internal grievance procedure applicable to over 100,000 employees. Michael is a cum laude graduate of both Yale University and the University of Michigan Law School. He is an avid cyclist, scuba diver and golfer. Michael also speaks several foreign languages. Michael and his wife, Nancy, live in Pasadena with their beagle, Otis.
Named a “Top California Employment Lawyer” by the Daily Journal, and one of Los Angeles’ “Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Angela J. Reddock-Wright is the Founding and Managing Partner of the Reddock Law Group. A practicing attorney for nearly twenty-one (22) years, and a former employment and labor law litigator for more than fifteen (15) years, Angela’s practice now focuses on the mediation, arbitration and investigation of workplace disputes. As a part of her investigation practice, she is retained by public and private sector employers to conduct independent and neutral investigations of workplace harassment, discrimination and other claims.
Angela is the President-Elect of the Southern California Mediation Association, and is a member of the distinguished panel of arbitrators and mediators for the American Arbitration Association. She is a Member of the Los Angeles County Equity Oversight Panel, an independent oversight body comprised of employment law experts that advises the County on equity investigations.
Angela has extensive training in the area of workplace investigations, and holds certificates from the Association of Workplace Investigators ("AWI-CH"), and T9 Mastered for Title IX investigations involving sexual harassment and sexual assault on college campuses. Angela also is a frequent speaker and trainer on preventing sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, along with other workplace topics.
Angela is a graduate of UCLA School of Law, Amherst College, and the Coro Foundation Fellowship in Public Policy and Public Affairs. She received her training as a mediator from the Strauss Institute at the Pepperdine University School of Law.
Ronald N. Wilson is a native of Los Angeles, California. He has practiced law in California for over 44 years. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Stanford University in 1970. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1973. After graduation from law school, he worked two years as a corporate/litigation attorney for the Beverly Hills law firm Ervin, Cohen & Jessup. In 1975 Mr. Wilson co- founded the law firm of Wilson & Becks in Los Angeles. During his tenure at Wilson & Becks, Mr. Wilson practiced civil litigation representing numerous public entities, private corporations and individuals with a mixture of defense and plaintiff’s cases in the fields of employment law, products liability, personal injury, real estate, public finance, and commercial litigation. Mr. Wilson has tried numerous jury trials in the federal and state courts. Since 1998 Mr. Wilson has focused his solo practice on employment and real estate matters.
Roberta M. Yang
Roberta M. Yang has an active corporate law practice in Los Angeles, California, and consults with senior management (CEO, President, COO, Executive Director, and HR) of privately-held companies and large public agencies who are faced with a myriad of day-to-day and long-term challenges in their businesses. Her services include advice on transactions, corporate governance, employment law including workplace and Title IX investigations, compliance and regulatory issues, strategic planning, mediation and resolution of organizational conflicts, and business continuity/contingency planning.
Roberta offers clear-headed, objective analyses of the challenges and executive concerns, and in consultation with the client, assists management in identifying priorities, clarifying objectives, and developing action steps for executive implementation and avoidance of legal issues.
Ms. Yang has a unique professional background, having herself been a member of the C-Suite and other senior executive positions in both the public and private sectors.
Most recently, Roberta served as General Counsel of a $300M+ consortium of global logistics companies where she supported and advised the principals on strategies from legal, human resources, and bottom line perspectives. She previously served as Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Homeland Security on and during 9/11, representing the City’s interests in emergency preparedness and homeland security policies at the local and national level. As Deputy Mayor, she was charged with oversight of Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, and Emergency Preparedness Department.
Prior to serving as Deputy Mayor, Roberta worked as the Deputy Chief Trial Counsel for the State Bar of California, managing the day to day operations of the prosecutors and investigators assigned to attorney misconduct cases where violations of ethics and professional responsibility standards were charged. She also worked at the law firm of Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe on complex litigation matters involving accountant liability, commercial litigation, and environmental issues, including the Exxon Valdez oil spill matter.
Ms. Yang has substantial trial experience as Special Attorney, Los Angeles Organized Crime Strike Force, U.S. Department of Justice, and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney [Criminal Division] in Houston, Texas prior to moving to Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Rice University and University of Houston Law Center.