OCPA CEO Brian Probolsky Retains Attorney Seeking Whistleblower Protections Against Board Members Mike Posey and Dan Kalmick

Quick Summary

CEO Brian Probolsky became aware, through information CFO Tiffany Law received from OCPA Board Member(s), that OCPA Board members were planning on holding a special meeting to remove Brian Probolsky from his position as CEO. In response, Probolsky retained an attorney who served a letter seeking whistleblower protections.

What protections are afforded to whistleblowers?

1. An employer may not make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from being a whistleblower.
2. An employer may not retaliate against an employee who is a whistleblower.
3. An employer may not retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of a state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.
4. An employer may not retaliate against an employee for having exercised his or her rights as a whistleblower in any former employment.
Under California Labor Code Section 1102.5, if an employer retaliates against a whistleblower, the employer may be required to reinstate the employee’s employment

Excerpts from the letter 

“Kalmick attempted to coordinate an official government action outside of a properly noticed meeting, when on or about May 2022, Kalmick called other Board Members asking for their support in next steps to remove existing agency management, including CEO Brian Probolsky. This plot and scheme constituted a meeting, or at the very least a serial meeting, within the scope of the Brown Act. By calling Board Member Sonne, Board Member Jung, Board Member Khan, and others in an attempt to evade a public meeting via individual phones calls (“spoke and wheel”), an illegal violation of the state’s open meeting law occurred, and a serial meeting was conducted in violation of the Brown Act.”

“As has been relayed to many people at various events over the past several weeks, several witness accounts establish that Posey and Kalmick conspired to create a common plan and scheme to insert Kalmick onto OCPA’s Board, fire the CEO, Brian Probolsky, and hire Posey to serve as “Chief Business Officer” – a position neither authorized nor created by the other Board members.”

“On or about May 29, 2022, Board Member Sonne finally outlined the conspiracy to CFO Tiffany Law. In a phone call to Law, Sonne outlined that “there will be a special meeting, there are votes to fire Brian, bring in management from Marin, and hire new Executives.” Sonne also told Law “not to believe anyone who says anything differently.” The reasons cited by Sonne to Law included “lack of experience and transparency.” CFO Law reported this conversation to CEO Probolsky immediately because she believed that it was both inappropriate and untrue.”

“My client, OCPA CEO, Brian Probolsky, is entitled to whistleblower protections under state law. He is an experienced government executive with more than a decade in government management, and fourteen years working in public utilities. Under the leadership of Probolsky, OCPA has enjoyed financial and operational success like other California power agencies and has achieved the single highest proportion of 100% renewable customers in the State. The “cover” of Brian’s “lack of experience” is nothing more than a cover story for Posey, Kalmick, and Sonner to attempt to carry out their conspiracy to take control of the organization and to install their people.”

Brian Probolsky’s Whistleblower Letter

Read entire letter here or below.

FILE-5214

 

Brian Probolsky’s Employment Agreement (for future reference)

  • Annual salary of $239,000
  • Car allowance $500 per month
  • 10 weeks of paid leave (added on January 11, 2022)
  • “C-level” executives have option to cash out 50% of their unused time off (added on January 11, 2022)
  • $1,200 stipend for medical insurance
  • Technology allowance $100 per month
  • Severance Pay equal to six months’ salary