Garden Grove Adds Further Protections to Nepotism Policy

Garden Grove City Manager Scott Stiles has tightened rules governing the promotion of city employees with family ties as part of his overall effort to enforce changes to the city’s nepotism policy.

In a Dec. 9 memo to the City Council, Stiles’ informed council members of the promotion of firefighter Travis Mellem to a firefighter engineer.

“This is not something I would normally bring to your attention, but for the fact that Mr. Mellem is also the brother of Firefighter Engineer, Shane Mellem,” Stiles wrote, noting that the promotion does not violate a ban on relatives working together or under each other’s supervision.

Before they promote an employee with family ties, Stiles will now require department directors to submit a compliance plan detailing procedures to ensure that relatives work different shifts and in different locations, and that they will not report to each other, according to the memo.

Last month, Voice of OC reported on the large number of employees — at least 117 — with familial ties at City Hall.

The employment of relatives at City Hall has been the subject of controversy after former mayor Bruce Broadwater’s son Jeremy, then a city Park Ranger, was hired as a firefighter despite allegedly failing key exams.

Stiles’ memo was recently requested through the city’s online public records system by Bruce Broadwater, who is currently under investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.