Gail Wilcox, the former deputy county administrator who was fired amid sex scandals and conflicts of interest, has been thrown back into the fray, but this time she’s playing for the other team.
SLO County Employees Association (SLOCEA), the largest county employee’s union, has hired Wilcox to complete a classification and compensation study to be used during upcoming labor negotiations. Wilcox, who was a chief labor negotiator for the county, was fired last July after an extensive $337,000 investigation that revealed a sexual relationship between her and Tony Perry of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. After being fired, she sued the county and her former boss David Edge for sexual harassment and was awarded a $180,000 settlement.
“I won’t be interacting with the county,” Wilcox told New Times in an e-mail. “My job is to get SLOCEA the data they want to ensure their members are treated equitably.”
The study will compare the compensation of SLOCEA members with eight other counties. General Manager Kimm Daniels said county officials promised SLOCEA members the information in 2007, but the association still doesn’t have it. Asked if Wilcox’s notoriety played any role in her hiring, Daniels said she wouldn’t discuss strategy as the union goes into labor negotiations.
“Again, to emphasize, you cannot manipulate the numbers,” she said of Wilcox’s task. “They are what they are. … There’s nobody in the county that’s more eminently qualified … than Ms. Wilcox.”
In a prepared statement to New Times, Cory Black of Public Policy Solutions, Inc., said, “Ms. Wilcox has 20 years of experience in county government and is well versed in all areas of budget analysis and labor relations.”
The compensation study was agreed to under a December 2007 memorandum of understanding in which Daniels signed on behalf of the union and Wilcox signed for the county.