May 12, 2015
By Keith Burbank, Bay City News
A preliminary investigation by BART lawyers and managers into campaign activities surrounding a state Senate race found that employees violated BART’s conduct code, according to BART.
BART officials released the preliminary findings Monday evening after state Senate candidate Steve Glazer accused the BART union Monday morning of campaigning against him illegally at BART workplaces.
A special election for the Senate seat will occur a week from today. Glazer is running against state Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, for the District 7 seat.
BART officials said they made conclusion after interviewing some of the individuals involved in meetings where campaigning took place. Glazer is demanding a full investigation.
BART’s employee code of conduct prohibits employees from being involved in political activity on BART property, according to BART. The meetings took place on or about April 29 or April 30, according to BART.
BART officials said that union leaders asked managers for time to meet with employees during break time, which is allowed by contract. But union officials did not tell managers what they would be talking about, according to BART.
“The Employee Code of Conduct makes abundantly clear that there is to be no campaigning allowed on BART property,” BART Board president Tom Blalock said in a statement. Blalock added in the statement that political activity is not allowed in maintenance shops.
Glazer claims that employees campaigned in maintenance shops and he provided photos to support the claim.
BART officials said they recognize employees’ rights to participate in politics, but employees cannot use public resources to campaign or campaign for a candidate on public property.
BART is a public agency.