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    Post: Padilla 2 Poway City Council, Re: $3M Tax Money, Mold, Work

    Posted by Sharon on 8/17/10

    Council Meeting Tonite. Injured Workers Will Speak

    Dina Padilla

    California Insurance Commissioner Candidate

    7564 Watson Way
    Citrus Heights, Ca.

    tele: (916) 725-2673 fax:

    August 17, 2010

    Mayor Don Higginson

    City of Poway City Hall

    13325 Civic Center Drive

    Poway, California 92064 y

    Council Member Merrilee Boyack

    Council Member Jim Cunningham

    Council Member Carl Kruse

    Council Member John Mullin

    Re: $3 million in taxpayer redevelopment funds to a Poway
    business that has: i.) harmed the health of employees via a
    known environmental work exposure; ii.) has attempted to
    shift the cost burden of the injuries onto CA taxpayers;
    and iii.) has attempted to intimidate an employee into
    silence by threat of libel from the workers comp attorney.

    Honorable Mayor Higginson and Poway City Council Members,

    My name is Dina Padilla. I am running for California
    Insurance Commissioner for the Peace and Freedom party. My
    primary area of interest that caused me to run for this
    position is my deep concern for workers’ rights, health and
    safety, being adversely impacted by rampant, questionable
    insurer practices in the State of California.

    I am concerned of not only the adverse impact this is
    having on the injured workers and their families
    themselves, but also the cost burden it is placing on the
    taxpayers of the State of California. When employers and
    their insurers are able to successfully game the workers
    comp system to deny their financial responsibility to
    injured workers, these injured workers and their families
    end up on depending of state and federally funded programs
    for survival. The taxpayers are footing the bill.

    According to Governor Schwarzenegger, when addressing the
    California Chamber of Commerce in May of this year,
    Workers’ Comp “Reform” has given back or saved California
    industries and their insurers $50 billion since the Ca
    Senate Bill 899 was implemented in 2004. However,
    California is now $20 billion dollars in debt with much of
    the problem being our now beleaguered state disability

    As the saying goes, “Think globally. Act locally.” It has
    been brought to my attention that the City of Poway is
    intending to give the owners of Toyota of Poway $3 million
    dollars of taxpayer dollars in the name of redevelopment.
    Questions should be asked of these new business partners of
    Poway regarding how they handle injured worker claims.

    Is the City of Poway aware that these same owners appear to

    i.) knowingly exposed employees to the health hazard of a
    moldy building; and

    ii.) have fired no less than one of the employees injured
    by the moldy building; and

    iii) have attempted to run from their responsibility to
    this injured worker by attempting to deny his workers comp
    claim, running him through the gaunlet; and

    iv.) have attempted to shift the cost burden for this
    injured employee onto state disability funds; and

    v.) are documented as threatening this employee via their
    workers comp legal counsel, with libel for daring to inform
    his prior fellow employees, fellow human beings, of the
    potential long term health threat to which Toyota of Poway
    is continuing to expose them?

    Does the City of Poway condone this type of behavior among
    businesses with whom they intend to partner while using
    taxpayer funds? I am not inclined to believe this is the
    case. Poway and its leaders have a well respected
    reputation of doing what is in the best interest for the
    residents and taxpayers of Poway.

    I am aware there are senior residences within close
    proximity of the new body shop that is to be built by
    Toyota of Poway with a portion of the redevelopment
    funds. What has the City of Poway done to assure that
    their new business partners, Toyota of Poway, will protect
    the health, safety and welfare of the Poway area residents
    from body shop contaminants, better than Toyota of Poway
    has demonstrated they protect the health, safety and
    welfare of its own employees?

    I urge you to investigate this matter further before you
    choose to allocate $3 million Poway taxpayer dollars to a
    business that has demonstrated they have little regard for
    the use of taxpayer dollars if it means they can shift
    their responsibility for environmental exposures and
    resultant illnesses on to the taxpayers of California.

    Attached are letters I have sent this week regarding the
    matter of Toyota of Poway being indicative of how commerce
    is gaming the workers comp insurance system to: SD County
    District Attorney, Bonnie Dumanis, CA Commissioner of
    Insurance, Steve Poizner; and CA Attorney General Jerry
    Brown. Also attached is the attempted threat into silence
    of injured worker, Tim Hack, by Toyota of Poway’s workers’
    comp insurer, “legal” counsel, Ms. Amy Lessa, Fisher &
    Phillips LLP.

    Thank you in advance for your attention to this very
    serious matter. By properly addressing how taxpayer
    dollars are used by businesses in Poway and what are the
    businesses’ societal responsibilities to the workers and
    citizens of Poway before you allocate dollars; you are
    helping all injured workers, citizens and taxpayers of


    Dina Padilla


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