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 or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo. 

  • LFOldTimer

    Oh, so after all the horses escaped they closed the barn doors, eh? ha. Anyone in an influential position in government who promotes the hiring of a friend or a relative (or a subodinates friend or relative) by virtue of their blood or plutonic relationship IMO should go to jail. Government jobs are supposed to be open to all taxpaying citizens based on qualifications and merit. Not by ‘who you know’. It’s officially called “Equal Employment Opportunity”. Violating it flies in the face of what America is supposed to represent. IMO it should be a felony and considered a very serious crime. It’s like stealing a job and a means of support from a more qualified citizen applicant. Egregiously disgusting.

  • Jacki Livingston

    Too bad this doesn’t apply to SSA. It is more inbred there than the entire history of the British Royal Family AND the characters of “Game of Thrones”…and just as bloody ridiculous.