Gene Maddaus reports in the Daily Breeze that ties to Supervisor Yvonne Burke led to the Peace & Joy battered women's shelter in Carson being allowed to operate despite filth, maggots and cockroaches.
County administrators watched as the situation spiraled out of control. But they were wary of cracking down on the shelter because they believed that Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke was inclined to protect it. One of Burke's deputies was friends with the shelter's director, and both women were active in Carson politics.
Still, the staffers believed that conditions were so bad that they had to take action. So they drew up a plan to cut off funding and move the women and their children to other facilities.
But that didn't happen. Instead of suspending Peace & Joy's contract, the Community and Senior Services agency merely put the shelter on probation. Peace & Joy no longer got referrals, but it still got funding.
Burke denies having any role in the shelter. But Maddaus says after he reviewed thousands of pages of e-mails and other documents obtained through the state Public Records Act, "it became clear that Burke and her staff have been more engaged than she lets on, and that county staffers felt inhibited from doing their jobs because of it. Of particular concern was the relationship between the shelter director, Wilma Wilson, and Burke's deputy, Del Huff....Wilson is a former planning commissioner who has run for City Council, and Huff is the president of a major neighborhood association."