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500 WEST TEMPLE STREET LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90012-2770 assessor lacounty.gov 1888.807.2111
A~r¥h _,_-.S$.~"s._;;Q_el'' 1 ~ I
Dear Mr. Schenter:
LETTER OF INTENT TO DISCHARGE This letter is to inform you of the Department's intent to discharge Appraiser Specialist 1 with this Office and from County service. you from your position
action is based on the following:
processing Violation Guidelines
follow Assessor's Guidelines and Procedures by submitting and unauthorized value changes. or Assessor's Real Property Handbook No. 5207-2-4, Public Snvicc at the Regional Level, for Property Review, which states: for taxpayer reviews in
10 (D) - Request
Use the modified Rea! Property Memo RP-70.12 situations requiring investigation and research.
(a) Get the taxpayer's name, Assessor's Identification Number, situs and mailing address, and daytime telephone number. (b) Briefly describe and explain the taxpayer's problem 011 the mod ificd form. (c) In situations concerning value arid or costs, get a copy or ihc taxpayer's verification documents and attach them to Form RP70.12. (d) Give the "Property Review" form to the Supervising Clerk who: (i) Makes a "ready to work" Ilk of those review forms with the supporting document auachcd and files them in a folder or binder. (ii) Makes a separate filing those review Corms ~lwaitil1g supporting documents from taxpayers. (c) The Supervising Clerk gives the "ready to work" Iile to the Principal Appraiser for volume count and review.
'To Enrich Lives Through Effective And Caring Service"
Scott Schemer Intent to Discharge Page 2 of6
(I) The Principal
Appraiser Supervising Appraisers work per schedule.
in turn assigns the property reviews to the who then assign appraisers (0 process the
The appraiser should usc the RP-70.12 review Iorm to 110le signi 11c:l!1! data while engaging in public service phone calls, during taxpayer service at the counter or while reviewing property in the field.
11.2 (8), which states:
Describe, "remarks" Authorized prior year's
in sufficient detail, the basis for the authorization in the section. As of June 30, 1981, the phrase "Proposition 13 Change" was no longer permitted as the authority for making a change.
At the bottom of the form enter your signature and date. Obtain approval, signatures, and dates from the Supervising and Principal Appraiser. • Violation of Assessor's Policy and Operating Practice Manual No. I502-1-~, which states: Assessment roll decreases of $5,000,000 or more but less then $]5,000,000 require the approval and signature 0(" appropriate District Chier. Conduct unbecoming and incompatible with your position Specialist I, and as a County employee. Civil Service Rule 18.03], entitled Discipline, which states: as an /vppruiscr
Failure of an employee to perform his or her assigned duties so as to meet fully explicitly stated or implied standards of performance may constitute adequate grounds for discharge, reduction or suspension. Wllcrc appropriate, such grounds may include, but are not limited to, qualitative as weI! as quantitative elements of performance, such as failure to exercise sound judgment, failure to report information accurately and completely, failure to deal effectively with the public, and failure to make productive use of human, financial and other assigned resources. Grounds for discharge, reduction or suspension may also include any behavior or pattern of behavior which negatively affects an employee's productivity, or which is unbecoming a county employee; or any behavior or condition which impairs an employee's qualifications Cor his or her position or lor continued county employment. (Ord. 88-0020 § 1 (part), 1988.) FACTS The specifics arc us follows:
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On January 4, 20 II, your supervisor, . ....-: while reviewing Assessment
became aware of a value change to Assessors Appeals cases ....... nnJIt searched the parcel
Scott Schemer Intent to Discharue to Page 3 01'6 jacket, the Dccli.ne-in- Value system, and the Appraiser Public Service system but could not lind any documentation to support the value change. In order to determine who made the change, ..._ checked the bat.ched d?cuments and found several Transfer Value Multi-entry forms (MTV) that you had submitted without supervision approval and without documentation in the parcel Jackets _or on any the Assessor appraisal databases/programs. expanded"" search and. found additional MTVs submitted by you without supervisor approval or documentation to support the value change.
is a sampling of the unauthorized value changes that you either processed Database system (PDB) or attempted to process to the PDB:
I) had been granted a 2010 Prop. 8 assessment of $3,(/)0.000. The parcel was scheduled for an assessment appeal hearing and assigned to an appraiser in Region 7 who appraised it at $4,000,000 and recommended no further reduction. However, without any approval, documentation or supporting evidence you changed the 20 I 0 Prop. 8 value to $2,800,000.
2) was sold on 4/] 3120 1 and had a reported purchase price of $2,150,000. This property was listed at the time of sale and the reponed purchase price was enrolled as the assessment for the base value. However, without any approval, documentation or supporting evidence you changed the base value to $1,500,000. . -_-::::-:-::"I ., -3) "'was sold on 8/4/2009' and had a reported purchase price or $3,110,000, 5 months prior to the 2010 lien date. The $3,110,000 was enrolled as the base value. Subsequently, the owner applied to the Assessor's office for a 2010 Prop. 8 review for decline in value. You were assigned the review and the review was completed by you on 913/2010. The applicant did not submit cornparables or evidence so you denied the applicant/taxpayer any reduction and that was approved by'" supervisor. However, subsequent to that without any approval, documentation or supporting evidence you changed the 20 I0 roll value to a Prop. 8 value of' $2, 100,000 . had a 2010 roll value or $15,833,543 which came from a transfer with a reported sales price $14,375,000. There: was no Prop. 8 on the parcel and no application submitted to the Assessor's office for review. However. without any approval, documentation or supporting evidence you attempted to enroll a 2010 Prop. 8 value of $10,000,000. This attempted value change in excess of 5,000,000 would have required Chief level approval. However, this attempted value change W<1~ never processed as it was removed before it was processed.
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5)4 • , _ had a 2010 roll value of $9,] 69,432. The property was reviewed for a 20 10 decline in value by the Assessor in their proactive review. The appraiser who did the review determined that the market value was in excess the assessment and denied any reduction. There was no further application for decline in value submitted to the Assessor's office. However, subsequent to that without any approval, documentation or supporting evidence you changed the 20 10 roll value to a Prop. 8 value 01'$6,000,000.
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had a 2009 roll value of $3,486,547 which carne from a with a reported sales price of $3,100,000. There was no Prop. 8 on
Scot! Schemer Intent to Discharuco Page 4 of 6 this parcel and no application submitted to the Assessor's office for review. Furthermore, (h~ date of the original sale was beyond the scope of the proactive reviews. However, WIthout any approval, documentation Or supporting evidence you changed the 2009 and 1010 roll values to a Prop. 8 value of $2,300,000. 71· .J •• had been granted a 20 I Prop. 8 assessment or $1,764,000 by the ~sscssor's office in their proactive review. There was no further application for decline 111 value submitted to the Assessor's office. However, without any approval, documentation Or supporting evidence you changed the 2010 Prop. 8 value to $950,000 . 8) hearing and had a had a 20 I 0 Prop. proactive review. you changed the Assessor does not pnor years .
. . ,m, '.'_'" e•.
had been granted a 2009 Prop. 8 from an assessment appeals Board Found Value for the 2009 roll of $2,500,000, The property also 8 value of $2,692,000. The 20 J 0 Prop. 8 had been granted from the However, without any approval, documentation or supporting evidence 2009 and 2010 roll values to a Prop. 8 value of' $1,700,000. The have the legal authority to override board found values for current or
..... search resulted in a total or 80 value changes were submitted parcels which had multiple year submissions and several properties which because the value changes did not post to the PDB. For your reference. copies a spreadsheet which provides data related to the value changes and the amount enrolled are incorporated herein and are made as part of this letter.
including, several were resubmitted of the M'lVs and of' the reductions
On January 19, 20 I 1, you were interviewed by g IP'''PM_ . In the interview, you were shown a list of properties that you processed without approval. You stared that nobody in the Assessor's office assigned the properties for you to work. You also stated that you received inquires from taxpayers or their representatives about the properties' values and that you went on your own to look into the properties and processed them. You indicated that the procedure of the Assessor's office is to have the taxpayer ti!c H formal application with the office. The application would go through the screening system and then it would be assigned to various appraisers. You admitted to not following the Departmental procedure in looking into and processing these properties. You also admitted that you did not obtain your supervisor's approval because you know" would not have approved them.
You were hired as Appraiser Trainee on June 27. 1988. Following a one-year training program, you were promoted to Appraiser on June 27, 1989, the position you held unt il YOLIr promotion 011 July 13. 1992 to your current position of' Appraiser Specialist I. review of your work records revealed that you were suspended Cor thirty (30) days, Irorn .I une July 14, 2009, for violation of the Assessor's Code of Ethics, conduct unbecoming and incompatible with your position as an Appraiser Specialist I, and as a County employee. Attached is a copy of the suspension letter for your reference.
15, 2009 through
Scott Schemer Intent to Discharge Page 5 01'6 lMPACT The nature the duties and responsibilities of the Office or the Assessor imposes upon the: employees of the Department a very high standard of conduct, including, but not limited to, d::lca.1 condl1?t. Also, actions constituting a failure to exercise sound judgment, a failure to deal dl~clI~elY':lth the public, or behavior which negatively affects an employee's productivity or \.VhIC~l imparrs an employee's qualifications for his or her position or which unreasonably risks creating the appearance of impropriety, or actions that are incompatible with and unbecoming of an Appraiser Specialist and a County employee. compromise the ability or the Department to carry out its lawful functions. Therefore, every employee must not only maintain complete integrity in all matters relating to his or her employment within the Assessor's office, but must also exercise careful and sound judgment in all of his or her activities so ,IS to avoid unreasonably risking the appearance of impropriety or acting in a manner that is unbecoming an Appraiser Specialist and a County employee. CONCLUSION Your action put in jeopardy the foundations of trust that must exist between you and departmental supervisors and managers, between you and the taxpayers of Los Angeles County, and between the Office of the Assessor and the taxpayers of Los Angeles County. Your actions undermine the credibility of the Department in its interactions with the: public at large, constitute harm to public service, constitute a failure to deal effectively with the public, constitute behavior which negatively affects your productivity and impairs your qualifications [or your posuion. .md constitute conduct unbecoming an Appraiser Specialist and County employee It is lor these reasons that the Department intends to discharge you from your position as Appr<liscr Sp!"':ci,llist
A copy of this letter wi II be placed in your official personnel EMPLOYEE RIGHTS
i'dl written materials and reports upon which this proposed action is based will be made available lor your review. If you wish to sec them or obtain copies, please contact,..,.RI . _ ....
You and/or your representative have the right to respond orally, in writing, or both to the charges contained in this letter. If you choose to respond in writing, you have ten (10) business days from the date this letter was mailed or hand delivered ito you to provide your response toa W' ,A MM...... vr>-)'. ; .d' m•••• A - If you wish to have a personal meeting with 7 mmt, you may arrange for an appointment by contacting Me within ten (10) business days from the date this letter was mailed or hand-delivered to you. You may have a representative or your choice at this meeting. l lowcvcr, if you have not contacted • 2 in person or in writing within len (10) business days from the date this letter was mailed or hand-delivered to you. you will have waived you right to respond at this level.
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Very truly yours,
Intent to Discharge Page 6 of 6
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