May 31, 2011 Report by Marian M. Johnston, Staff Counsel to the Commission To: Citizens’ Redistricting Commission Investigation and Report to Citizens’ Redistricting Commission regarding interactions between Q2 staff Karin MacDonald and Tamina Alon and Commissioner Michael Ward SUMMARY After the Salinas meeting on May 22, Commissioner Michael Ward wanted to speak with Karin MacDonald to request help with his proposal to have the Commission reconsider requiring an inline review process. Ms. MacDonald was in a hurry to leave, and asked him to walk with her and her staff member, Tamina Alon, to their car. He did so and also helped carry their equipment. Commissioner Ward was insistent that he needed Q2’s help and input in drafting a proposal for an inline review process. Ms. MacDonald was equally insistent that she and Ms. Alon needed to leave and that Commissioner Ward should make his request by e-mail. While the exact exchange of words cannot be recreated, Commissioner Ward said something to the effect that although he trusted Q2, other people did not, and that others thought of Bruce Cain when they thought of Q2, so that an independent reviewer would protect Q2. Ms. MacDonald and Ms. Alon were both insulted by the idea that they were not trusted. They then drove off. Everyone agrees there was absolutely no physical contact or threat of contact. Ms. MacDonald then reported this incident to Commissioner Maria Blanco the next day during the San Jose meeting and informed Commissioner Blanco that she was “pissed” off at Commissioner Ward. Ms. Alon went over to Commissioner Blanco after the meeting to tell her how sorry she was for how badly Commissioner Blanco was treated during the meeting. Commissioner Blanco then asked Ms. Alon about the incident in Salinas, and when Ms. Alon began to tell her about it, she began to cry. Ms. Alon stated she cried because she was exhausted and upset that she and Q2 were not trusted. Ms. Alon is not afraid of Commissioner Ward and never told anyone she was afraid of him. CONCLUSION This appears to be an unfortunate case of misunderstanding, caused by frustration and fatigue, with no apparent improper conduct or actions by Commissioner Ward. After the Salinas meeting, Commissioner Ward wanted Q2’s help in developing a proposal for the Commission to reconsider its decision not to require an inline review process, but Q2 staff were in a hurry and put him off. He tried to explain that the reviewer was needed because some members of the public did not trust Q2, and Q2 staff found this insulting. He tried to explain that he did trust Q2, but at least one Q2 member believed he was saying that the Commission did not trust Q2. His statement that some people still associated Bruce Cain with Q2 was particularly offensive to Q2. Ms. Alon did cry when Commissioner Blanco asked her about the incident the next day, but this was because she was exhausted and insulted by the thought that she was not trusted. She never said she was afraid of Commissioner Ward and does not feel afraid of him.


Q2’s decision to put off interviews about this incident until the conclusion of the Northridge meetings also caused this incident to appear more serious than it was, and contributed to a misperception by some Commissioners as to what had occurred in Salinas and why Ms. Alon was crying. INVESTIGATION On Monday, May 23, 2011, at about 10:15 p.m., Chief Counsel Kirk Miller missed a telephone call from Commissioner Maria Blanco. Mr. Miller called her the next morning, at which time Commissioner Blanco reported that she understood that an incident had occurred between an unidentified Commissioner and an unidentified Q2 staff member, leaving the Q2 staff member feeling afraid and threatened. Mr. Miller then contacted Commissioner Angelo Ancheta, then acting as Chair, and Commissioner Ancheta responded with an e-mail reporting that he had already been advised of the incident by Commissioner Blanco. He also identified the Commissioner who was involved as Commissioner Michael Ward. Commissioner Ancheta asked that the new Chair, Commissioner Vincent Barabba, be contacted and be the contact person for an investigation of the incident. On that same day, May 24, I met with Executive Director Daniel Claypool and Mr. Miller, and they directed me to investigate these allegations, as an investigation was required by law once the Commission had such allegations. On Wednesday, May 25, I telephoned Commissioner Barabba, and he concurred that a review of the incident was required. I determined that I needed to interview the persons directly involved, Commissioner Ward, Ms. MacDonald, and the other Q2 staff person. Interview with Commissioner Barabba Commissioner Barabba told me that in San Jose on May 23, the day after the Salinas meeting, he heard from Commissioner Blanco that Ms. MacDonald and one of her staff were upset. He heard that in Salinas, Commissioner Ward asked Ms. MacDonald how CRC would use the services of an inline process reviewer, and she asked him to put his request in writing or e-mail. He pursued her and her staff and followed them out to her car. He made comments to the effect that review was required because people didn’t trust Ms. MacDonald. Ms. MacDonald was frustrated; he kept persisting. One of Ms. MacDonald’s staff, he didn’t know her name, started to cry in San Jose and said she felt stressed about not being trusted. Commissioner Blanco witnessed this conversation and called over a few other commissioners. Commissioner Barabba instructed me to speak with Commissioner Blanco. Messages and telephone calls On Wednesday, May 25, I called and left a message for Ms. MacDonald and also sent her an e-mail asking to speak with her as soon as possible. She responded by e-mail saying, “i would like to do this in person. we will be in northridge so lets find a time to talk.” She also identified the staff person as Tamina Alon. Copies of these e-mails are attached at the end of this report. I also called Commissioner Blanco and left her a message, and also sent her an e-mail, asking for more information. A copy of the e-mail is also attached. I also sent an e-mail to Commissioner Ward, asking to speak with him. A copy of the e-mail is attached. Interview with Commissioner Ward


I spoke by telephone with Commissioner Ward on May 25. He told me that he wanted the Commission to revisit the idea of requiring an inline process reviewer. After the meeting in Salinas, on May 22, he helped carry out the computer monitors to Ms. MacDonald’s car. He asked her about what was needed for an inline review process. She got very upset, and he tried to calm her. She was saying he didn’t trust her, and was emotional, so he had to raise his voice and tell her repeatedly “It’s not about you.” No one else was around except one of her staff, and he doesn’t know her name. The other staff person said “It seems like you don’t trust our work.” He said he did trust them, but that others didn’t. The other staff person did not appear to be upset, only Ms. MacDonald. The next day he heard from another commissioner that Ms. MacDonald had gotten together with other commissioners and told them he verbally and physically accosted her in the parking lot. He wants to get the matter cleared up and have any accusations made by Ms. MacDonald out in the open and pinned down. Interviews with Tamina Alon and Karin MacDonald In Northridge, I tried time after time to speak with Ms. MacDonald and Ms. Alon, as Ms. MacDonald has requested. Ms. MacDonald arrived on May 26 in the afternoon, but said she had no time to speak with me as she had to listen to the presentations. I replied that since she had already missed the morning presentations it would not interfere with her work for her to take a few minutes to talk with me. She then told another CRC employee, Janeece Sargis, that I had yelled at her and accused her of not working. I was astonished by Ms. MacDonaId’s comment. I had not yelled, but spoken to her quietly while the meeting was underway, and I had never accused her of not working, but had only said that her work should not interfere with taking time to talk with me, that she had promised to talk with me in Northridge, I was only asking for a few minutes, and she had already missed the morning presentations. I inappropriately called Ms. MacDonald “crazy,” but then apologized. Despite Ms. MacDonald’s May 25 e-mail to me stating that Ms. Alon would be in Northridge, Ms. Alon was not at the Commission’s meeting on either May 26 or 27. Ms. MacDonald kept telling me there was no time to discuss the incident, even though I had come to Northridge at her request. I kept telling her that it was urgent for me to talk with her and Ms. Alon as soon as possible to find out exactly what had happened in Salinas. Ms. MacDonald later e-mailed me saying that she and Ms. Alon would call me on Thursday night, May 26, but they never called me. I sent e-mails to both of them, again saying I really needed to speak with them. Copies of these e-mails are attached. On May 27, I tried again to speak with Ms. MacDonald, and she promised she would call me later that day. However, she sent me an e-mail that night saying she would not be available until after 11 and would prefer not to talk then, as she had little sleep and had a migraine. I replied that I hoped she would get some sleep. On May 28, after the conclusion of the CRC meeting, Mr. Claypool and I changed our flight schedules so we would be able to speak with Ms. MacDonald and Ms. Alon. Tamina Alon Mr. Claypool and I spoke first with Ms. Alon. She said that after the Salinas meeting, while she and Ms. MacDonald were packing up, Commissioner Ward came over to ask questions about Q2 helping him design a system for inline review. He seemed very agitated and insistent. Ms. MacDonald said she could 3

not talk then and asked him to send her an e-mail with his request. He walked with them to their car, carrying their computer monitors, and kept asking about an inline review system, telling her that a review system would be for their protection. He seemed frustrated. Ms. MacDonald kept telling him to make his request by e-mail and that they had to leave. He said a review was necessary because “They don’t trust you.” He never said who “they” were, but she assumed it was the Commission because he had just been talking about the Commission’s need to retain an independent reviewer. He also said he had heard comments that “people” don’t trust Q2 because all they see is Bruce Cain. Ms. Alon asked him, “Are you telling us this because you don’t trust us?” He replied, “I trust you, because I know you, but others don’t.” She then left with Ms. MacDonald. The next day, after the San Jose meeting, Ms. Alon went over to Commissioner Blanco to say how sorry she was about the mean things said to Commissioner Blanco during the meeting. Commissioner Blanco then asked her to tell her about what happened in Salinas. She didn’t know how Commissioner Blanco knew anything about this as only Ms. MacDonald, Commissioner Ward, and she were involved in the conversation in Salinas. Ms. Alon was not intending to bring the incident up, and she was exhausted. When she began to tell Commissioner Blanco about Salinas, she began to cry, probably because she was so tired and didn’t understand why the Commission would not trust Q2. She told Commissioner Blanco she was upset at the thought that she and Q2 were not trusted. She never told Commissioner Blanco that she was afraid, just that she didn’t appreciate not being trusted. She was never afraid of Commissioner Ward and never told anyone she was afraid of him, and there was no physical contact at all during the encounter in Salinas. Karin MacDonald Mr. Claypool and I next spoke with Ms. MacDonald. She said that Commissioner Ward came over to her after the Salinas meeting while she and Ms. Alon were packing up, and said he needed to talk with her. She told him she was in a hurry. He told her he wanted her to help with a proposal for getting an in line process review, as he was going to bring the idea back before the Commission and wanted to propose a system that would help Q2. He seemed frustrated. Ms. MacDonald told him they really needed to leave and asked him to walk with them to the car. He did so and helped carry their equipment. He told her he was getting bad feedback from people about Q2’s work. She told him that all Q2 needed was a mapper, but he got agitated and told her she didn’t understand and they needed someone who was more than a mapper in order to protect Q2. He said that all people see when they look at Q2 is Bruce Cain. She asked “What does Bruce Cain have to do with it? Do you mean you don’t trust us?” He replied “No, I don’t mean I don’t trust you, but other people don’t trust you.” She thought this was an insulting comment. She told him they really needed to go and that he should e-mail her. He said the Commission needed an independent neutral review, and Ms. Alon told him that Q2 was neutral. The next day, after the San Jose meeting, she saw that Ms. Alon was with Commissioner Blanco and was crying. She knew that Ms. Alon was really tired. Ms. MacDonald had previously had a conversation with Commissioner Blanco and told her that Commissioner Ward had really “pissed” her off after the Salinas meeting. She knew that Ms. Alon had gone over to Commissioner Blanco to tell her she was sorry Commissioner Blanco had gotten so beaten up during the San Jose meeting, and that Commissioner Blanco had then asked Ms. Alon, “What about you?” Commissioner Blanco called over some other Commissioners after Ms. Alon began to cry. Ms. MacDonald confirmed that there was no physical contact during the Salinas incident, only words exchanged.


Staff Interviews In addition to speaking with the three persons directly involved, I tried to get information from others who were present during the meetings in Salinas and San Jose. Janeece Sargis and Lonn Leitch said they were still cleaning up after the meeting in Salinas, when Commissioner Ward came back into the room and told them they would not believe how angry Ms. MacDonald got when he asked her about what was needed to request an in line review process. He said Ms. MacDonald said she didn’t want to talk to him and that another Q2 staff member told him that he just didn’t trust Q2. Commissioner Blanco and other Commissioners I spoke with Commissioner Blanco about her understanding of the incident. Commissioner Blanco told me she had heard from Ms. MacDonald during the San Jose meeting about what happened in Salinas the previous day. Ms. Macdonald told her that after the Salinas meeting, Commissioner Ward told Ms. MacDonald that an in line review process was needed because people did not trust Q2. She was never told that there was anything other that verbal interactions. In San Jose, Ms. Alon began crying when Commissioner Blanco asked her to describe what happened in Salinas. Commissioner Blanco said that Ms. Alon told her she was afraid of Commissioner Ward, but did not say why except that he did not trust Q2. Nothing was said to her about any physical abuse, just verbal. Commissioner Blanco’s report was confirmed by Commissioners Angelo Ancheta and Jeanne Raya.



Series of e-mails

####On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 11:20 AM, Johnston, Marian <> wrote: Hi Karin, I have been asked to look into the incident between you and a member of your staff and Commissioner Ward after the Salinas meeting. I don't know the name of your staff person. If you and she are going to be in Northridge Friday and Saturday, I could speak in person with you then. Otherwise, you could call me, and ask her to call me. Or, if you prefer, I could arrange an in-person meeting early next week. But the sooner the better. Thank you. Marian ####On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 11:36 AM, Karin Mac Donald <> wrote: hi marian i would like to do this in person. we will be in northridge so lets find a time to talk. thanks. karin

####On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 11:38 AM, Johnston, Marian <> wrote: Thanks, fine. And what about your staff person? Will she be there? I would like to talk with her also. Marian

####On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 11:44 AM, Karin Mac Donald <> wrote:yes, i'm sorry i wasn't clear. we will all be there. it was tamina alon. i'm guessing that she won't want to talk until after the meeting on saturday because she has a wrap up on friday and will then have to work through the night to incorporate the commission's decisions for saturday afternoon's line drawing directions.karin

####On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 11:47 AM, Johnston, Marian <> wrote: OK, thanks. See you then. Marian

####On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 11:44 AM, Johnston, Marian <> wrote:Hi Maria, I have been asked to look into the incident that occurred in Salinas between C. Ward and a member of the Q2 staff. I understand that you may have witnessed this? I would like to talk with you either by phone, 916 709-6478, or in person. I will be in Northridge Friday and Saturday. Please let me know which is best for you. Thanks, Marian

####On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 2:14 PM, Johnston, Marian <> wrote:Hi Michael, I have been asked to look into what occurred during a conversation between you and a member of Q2's staff after the meeting in Salinas. Apparently, one of Q2's staff became very emotional. I will be in Northridge and would like to speak with you then. Perhaps lunch? Or whenever there is a break. After speaking with you and Q2 I will report to the chair, now Commissioner Barabba. Thanks, and see you soon. Marian ####On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 10:36 AM, Johnston, Marian <> wrote:If it is possible to talk with you and Tamina this afternoon or tonight, I could meet you whereever you are staying. I don't mean to push but I am getting pushed ............Thanks. -#On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 2:26 PM, Johnston, Marian <> wrote:Hi Karin, I understand how busy you are, but I really need to talk with you and Tamina as soon as possible, as the events in Salinas and their aftermath are becoming a devisive issue for the Commission I need to report to Commission Chair Barabba before these events take on a life of their own and disrupt the work of the Commssion, which is the goal we are all striving to achieve.. I would be happy to come meet you wherever you are staying or whereever you wish and whenever you will be able to take a meal or other break. Please let me know when and where this would be possible. Given that I am absolutely committed to meeting within your constraints, I do hope you can acommodate this request either today or tomorrow. If a face-to-face meeting is truly impossible, then I must insist on talking with you and Tamina by telephone. Thanks, Marian ####On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 5:15 PM, Karin Mac Donald <> wrote:ms johnston tamina and i will call you tonight at some point. i have conference calls scheduled and do not know when we will be available. i do not appreciate the way you approached me earlier: this is a difficult and contentious situation and i would hope that it can be handled in a civil manner. i understand that you are under pressure to deal with this issue promptly, but please remember that we are not the ones who started this complaint or this investigation! i do not need to be told that "i am not working" when i am clearly not only in a conversation with a commissioner about a data issue but i am also listening to a presentation AND working on a document for the VRA attorneys. since you are clearly keeping tabs on me, let me advise you that i slept 3 hours last night and drove my entire staff down to los angeles this morning. i got here at 1pm and have been sitting in the hearing since then. we also worked in the car the entire way down. please feel free to ask for further information. we will make time for a brief call between calls and meetings. thank you and best regards, karin mac donald

#### On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 5:44 PM, Johnston, Marian <> wrote:Thank you. This will confirm that you will call me tonight at 916 709-6478, and that you will talk with Tamina and ask her to either call me separately or talk with me sometime tomorrow. You indicated that she might not want to talk with me, and if that is the case, please let me know that as well so I may complete my investigation without her input.

Marian #On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM, Johnston, Marian <> wrote:Karin and Tamina, It is now 10 p.m. I have been waiting for your calls and I will be going to bed in 15 minutes. If you cannot call me before then, please call me after 7 a.m. tomorrow, or make time to speak with me in person tomorrow. #On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 10:35 PM, Karin Mac Donald <> wrote:hi marian i texted you 30 minutes ago to ask how long you would be up. we are still in a mapper meeting that will end in about 15 more minutes. we can talk tomorrow evening. thanks. Karin
#### On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 10:41 PM, Johnston, Marian <>

wrote:Tamina, I don't know if we have ever met, but I just learned yesterday that you were the one with Karin at Salinas when the incident with C. Ward occurred. As I hope Karin has told you, I really need to speak with you. Please either call me after 7 a.m. tomorrow or make time to speak with me sometime tomorrow. Thanks. Marian Johnston 916 709-6478 ####From: Karin Mac Donald <> Date: Fri, 27 May 2011 21:02:17 -0700 To: Marian Johnston<> Cc: Claypool, Daniel<> Subject: thank you and call tonight hi marian thank you very much for sending the line drawing notes so quickly. we appreciate it. how late will you be up tonight? we are going to dinner and figuring out tomorrow, then i have to call commissioner galombos maloy (before 11pm) and then i can talk. i have a migraine and would rather not talk tonight but i promised i would so i'm emailing you with my availability.please advise. thanks. karin #On Fri, May 27, 2011 at 9:17 PM, <> wrote: You are welcome. I hope to be asleep by 11 and hope you are also