A boo-boo on Temple City’s part may cost the city $50,000 and may earn City Manager/City Attorney Charles Martin a raise, according to Star-News reporter Alfred Lee.

TEMPLE CITY – When city manager-city attorney Charles Martin revealed earlier this month that the city had been flagged by the IRS for improperly hiring full-time employees as independent contractors, he attributed it mostly to Temple City’s contracting of parks and recreation workers.

Turns out, Martin himself was part of that problem.

Since taking over the dual roles of city manager and city attorney in 2005, Martin has been paid as an independent contractor, rather than as a city employee.

That has allowed Temple City to avoid providing medical, dental or retirement benefits to Martin, and to pay him less than it might otherwise have to.

The city also does not have to pay or withhold taxes on Martin’s behalf, as he gets paid on a 1099 tax form instead of a W-2. Such contractors are responsible for paying their own income taxes.

The city, which may be fined up to $50,000 by the IRS for such hiring practices, plans to comply with the audit by changing the wording of some contracts, and also by converting some contractors to regular employees.

Martin will be reclassified as a full-time employee as of Jan. 1, and he might receive a pay increase at that time, Financial Services Director Monica Molina said.


Bribery allegations out of Temple City

A developer is claiming that Temple City officials asked for money in exchange for their support on a project in the city.

TEMPLE CITY – The developer of the long-delayed Piazza mixed-use project has accused unnamed city officials of soliciting bribes in return for cooperation on the project.

The accusations were made in a countersuit filed on behalf of Randy Wang, owner of TCD Enterprises, as part of an ongoing litigation battle with the city.

“Representatives of the city of Temple City and the Temple City Redevelopment Agency have repeatedly solicited bribes from cross-complainants, and have conditioned their cooperation with the progress of the project on the payment of bribes, which have included demands for condominiums and cash payments,” the cross-complaint stated.

It also alleges officials made a specific request

Developer’s counter-complaint alleging bribery for $3,000 from Wang, which he was instructed to deliver in an envelope at an Arcadia private school. Read more.


Medical mystery solved


In a story Star-News reporter Alfred Lee writes in Monday’s paper, Temple City Councilman David Capra’s medical mystery is addressed.

Apparently, Capra suffered a mild stroke.

Lee writes: Capra added that although he is still in physical therapy, he has recovered “100 percent, mentally.”

“I’m feeling great and the progress is remarkable,” he said. “I look at things with more open eyes, a more open heart. It just changes things, because I was on a death bed and I got a second chance.”

Medical mystery


Tucked away in our paper today was this little story on Temple City Councilman David Capra.

City hall stays quiet on Capra’s condition
By Alfred Lee, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 07/18/2008 12:50:05 AM PDT

(Courtesy)TEMPLE CITY – Residents are raising questions about the medical condition of City Councilman David Capra, who has missed two council meetings this month, but City Hall remains mum about the specifics of Capra’s illness.

No one answered the phone at Capra’s residence. Efforts to reach him at his hospital room were unsuccessful.

Capra was discharged Tuesday from Methodist Hospital of Southern California in Arcadia.

“I am a concerned resident and he is my public official,” Rachel Barbosa said. “Will he be in the right frame of mind to be making decisions?”

On Wednesday, Mayor Cath Wilson said Capra is at home and “doing great,” but she declined to give more details.

“You’d have to ask him,” she said, but also added that since Capra still was recovering, “You don’t want him disturbed.”

Wilson expected Capra to return to the council, but is unsure of a timetable.


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Federal privacy laws – namely something called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, aka HIPAA – have made it nearly impossible to get health-related information on a patient unless you are designated by that patient to receive the information or you’re their medical provider.

As journalists, that has made reporting a little harder, especially when it comes to checking the condition of crime or accident victims.

In this case, it is clear that some residents are concerned with the councilman’s condition and how it will effect his job on the council.

Do you think the city should release the nature of Capra’s condition? Is it anybody’s business to know?