The Health Department:
For the past week, I’ve been working with the Association attorneys to get the health department to follow their own rules. One of the trucks was shut down because of no bathroom letter, even though John Mwrick (UCLA truck coordinator) was standing right there explaining to the health inspector that the truck employees had permission to use the UCLA bathroom. The State code does not require a letter, only permission. The health inspector explained that because the truck operator had not made an appointment to get the truck distance measured he would have to be shut down. Their argument is that they only have two measuring wheels in the County so the preliminary measuring appointment is necessary.
A few weeks ago I explained to the higher ups that they could not require anything more than what is in the State code. To do so, is overstepping their authority. Since the message didn’t filter down to the inspectors we had to get our lawyers involved. Kevin Behrendt, one of our attorneys explained to Clement Shoola that what they were doing was illegal. It’s not our fault the County doesn’t have the correct equipment to measure when they have an onsite inspection. After a lot of back and forth I think we’re making progress.
In all this back and forth with the Health Department, we learned a piece of valuable information that we did not know before. If you get shut down for no bathroom letter, you have to leave that spot. BUT YOU ARE NOT SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY. It just means that you can’t return to the spot you didn’t have the bathroom letter until you get a bathroom letter and it gets verified. Clement Shoola who is the supervisor (above Jose Martinez) explained this to us yesterday. We told Clement that Jose and other inspectors have been telling trucks that they’re shut down completely until they resolve the bathroom letter violation. This is more than infuriating and we plan to tell Terrence Powell the head of Environmental Health (the agency above Public Health) that the inspectors are using heavy handed tactics to unlawfully shut down trucks indefinitely.
If you’ve been shut down for a bathroom letter violation and forced to remain shut down until the Health Department approves a letter, please email me ASAP. I want Clement Shoola and Terrence Powell to know just how much damage (monetary) their inspectors have done to our members.