The County of Santa Clara
California

Agreement/Amendment
79571

Consider recommendations relating to legal and expert services for the Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations.

Information

Department:County CounselSponsors:
Category:Agreement

Item Discussion

Possible action:
a. Approve usage of Board Policy 5.6.5.1(D)(2)(a), Exceptions to Competitive Procurement (Single Source), relating to a First Amendment to an Agreement with Moscone, Emblidge & Otis, LLP, to provide investigative services, and relating to an Agreement with Aaron B. Zisser, to provide consulting services on inmate grievance and complaint procedures, both to assist the operations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations.
b. Approve First Amendment to Agreement with Moscone Emblidge & Otis, LLP relating to providing legal investigative services to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations, increasing the maximum contract amount by $100,000 from $100,000 to $200,000, with no change in term, that has been reviewed and approved by County Counsel as to form and legality.
c. Approve Agreement with Aaron B. Zisser relating to providing a review of policies, procedures, and practices related to the inmate grievance and complaint procedures and related topics in an amount not to exceed $20,000 for period January 12, 2016 through June 30, 2016, that has been reviewed and approved by County Counsel as to form and legality.

Body

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS

The current Board approved budget for the Office of the Clerk of the Board can cover the cost of the agreement with Aaron B. Zisser, however the Clerk of the Board is seeking additional funds at Mid –Year to recover costs associated with supporting the Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations.  The Office of the County Executive will be requesting additional funding at Mid – Year to cover increased legal investigative services.

CONTRACT HISTORY

Pursuant to the County’s Board Policy 5.6.5.1(D)(1)(k), contracts with law firms hired by the County to assist with legal matters are exempt from competitive procurement.  In November 2015, the County entered into an agreement with Moscone Emblidge & Otis, LLP (“Moscone”) to provide legal services, at the Board’s request, with respect to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations.  This firm was selected because the attorneys have unique expertise and are highly qualified to provide legal services in this particular area.

The Agreement between the County of Santa Clara and Moscone, which became effective as of November 2, 2015, and had a compensation limit of $100,000, was approved by County Counsel pursuant to a delegation of authority granted by the Board of Supervisors on February 28, 2006 (agenda item 42). 

The First Amendment increases the maximum contract amount by $100,000 from $100,000 to $200,000, with no change in term or scope of work. 

There is no history of agreements between the County and Aaron B. Zisser.

REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION

Reason for exception to Board Policy:

On October 6, 2015 and November 17, 2015, the Board of Supervisors adopted Resolution BOS-2015-138 establishing the Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations, and Resolution BOS-2015-159 clarifying Resolution 2015-138 relating to the establishment of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations, respectively.  Resolution BOS-2015-138 provides:

“…The Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations [ ] shall…2. Solicit testimony and recommendations from outside experts so as to inform and guide the work of the Commission;”

“The Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations shall be supported by both the Office of the County Counsel and outside counsel contracted through the Office of the County Counsel.”

Reasons for approval of amendment and agreement:

Moscone Emblidge & Otis, LLP

The initial agreement with Moscone Emblidge & Otis, LLP anticipated limited investigative services as directed by the Blue Ribbon Commission.  However, as the Blue Ribbon Commission met and further defined its scope of work, it directed Moscone Emblidge & Otis, LLP to interview inmates and custody personnel on a scale that was not anticipated at the outset of the Blue Ribbon Commission, and that could involve the use of multiple investigators, translators, etc.  These investigative services could easily exceed the compensation limit set in the initial agreement.  The First Amendment is thus required to ensure that Moscone Emblidge & Otis, LLP can be compensated for work performed at the behest of the Blue Ribbon Commission.

Aaron B. Zisser

Chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations, LaDoris Cordell, has asked the County to hire attorney Aaron Zisser as an expert on the inmate grievance and complaint process.  A copy of Mr. Zisser’s resume is attached to this report.  Chair Cordell anticipates that Mr. Zisser will conduct a review of policies, procedures, and practices related to the inmate grievance and complaint procedures and make recommendations to the Commission based on best practices and professional standards. 

CHILD IMPACT

The recommended action will have no/neutral impact on children and youth.

SENIOR IMPACT

The recommended action will have no/neutral impact on seniors.

SUSTAINABILITY IMPLICATIONS

The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.

CONSEQUENCES OF NEGATIVE ACTION

Going forward, the County would not be able to provide the Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations with the benefit of the expertise of Moscone Emblidge & Otis, LLP and Aaron B. Zisser.

STEPS FOLLOWING APPROVAL

The Clerk of the Board will notify Kim Forrester, Office of the County Counsel, and Chanthavy Sivongxay, Office of the Clerk of the Board, when the agreements are fully executed.

Meeting History

Jan 12, 2016 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Removed from the consent calendar at the request of Supervisor Chavez.

RESULT:APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Cindy Chavez, Supervisor
SECONDER:Ken Yeager, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager, S. Joseph Simitian