Civil Service Board Cancels Hearing on Oakland Paramedic/Oscar Grant Whistleblower Case
The Civil Service Board cancelled its hearing on Oakland Fire Department Paramedic/Oscar Grant Whistleblower Sean Gillis’ case set for July 14th at 5:30 p.m. just one day after Gillis confronted the Oakland City Council at its Public Safety Committee meeting.
The Civil Service Board took the extraordinary step of canceling the hearing set for July 14th, 2011 on Oakland Fire Department Paramedic/Oscar Grant Whistleblower Sean Gillis’ appeal of his suspension.
Gillis is a paramedic and paramedics supervisor and teacher at Oakland Fire Department. Gillis ran the EMT training program of historically-black Merritt College until early 2010 when he was forced from that position.
On January 6th, 2009, Gillis launched an investigation of mistreatment against Oscar Grant, an un-armed passenger who was shot in the back by BART police while in their custody, on the Fruitvale BART station. OFD first responding paramedics failed to treat the exit wound on Grant’s body with an air-tight bandage as is the medical protocol for penetrating chest injuries. According to papers filed by Gillis, the egregious nature of the medical misconduct indicates the possibility of criminal intent and must be criminally investigated by District Attorney OMalley.
On January 10th, 2009, OFD stopped the investigation and, in writing, forbid Gillis from discussing the matter with the Grant family and public. OFD destroyed Grant’s medical records and deleted computer backups. Gillis and then-Medical Director Dr. Howard Michaels, MD engaged in an 18-month struggle for justice within OFD. Michaels was forced out in October 2010 after OFD withheld his pay. OFD then moved Gillis’ office from Jack London Square to a small trailer in the middle of a remote parking lot and took Gillis’ mailbox, car, and secretarial support. In January 2011, about three months after Michaels left, OFD suspended Gillis for alleged long lunches and a messy closet.
Gillis alleges the suspension is retaliatory and seeks relief from the Civil Service Board by appeal. OFD asked the CSB to transfer the matter to a contract attorney.
Gillis seeks community support and “went public” with an interview with Labor Video. Stories appeared in the SF Bayview and Chronicle and both KGO and KTVU made Gillis lead stories.
The Sean Gillis Support Committee was born June 29th, 2011. It’s first direct action was July 12th, 2011 when the SGSC confronted the Oakland City Council at its Public Safety Committee Meeting. The video of that appearance is time 00:55:35 of http://oakland.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=898
Just 24 hours later, at 3:50 p.m. on July 13th, the Civil Service Board issued the following statement: “[T]he July 14th, 2011 Civil Service Board Meeting has been cancelled. An update of what the next steps will be will be given to you by staff as soon as possible.”
“Nothing scares the City more than big ‘L’ Labor teaming up with Racial Justice groups teaming up with Police Brutality groups; they will do anything to prevent that, said Phil Horne, attorney for Sean Gillis. “Sean has exposed misconduct against patients, felonious destruction of evidence, $16,000,000.00 in Measure Y misappropriation to the detriment of at-risk youth citywide, and self-dealing privatization of Oakland’s black college program.”
To get involved in the defense of Sean Gillis and to force DA OMalley to respond to demands that she investigate crimes against Grant, the destruction of evidence, and unlawful retaliation against the medical director, contact the Sean Gillis Support Committee at justiceforseanatoaklandfire [at] gmail.com.
Attached is the Civil Service Board appeal. Other public records are available at justiceforseanatoaklandfire [at] googlegroups.com by clicking the links.