Approximately 12 San Franciscans, including his wife, cared about the revelation last week that Supervisor John Avalos had an extended affair with one of his close aides. That aide, Raquel Redondiez, has since been dismissed, so she is no longer collecting an almost-six-figure salary to be advisor/lover to one of our elected officials. But now the Human Resources Department over at City Hall has decided to make a small change to the employee handbook regarding, you know, fraternizing.
The previous wording, as the Chron notes, advised all employees to "notify your supervisor if you are, or become, related to or romantically involved with another employee in the workplace over whom you have the authority to impose or recommend an employment action." The loophole there, though, for elected officials like the Mayor and Board of Supervisors is that none of them technically have supervisors. Thus Avalos technically didn't do anything wrong in conducting his affair and, presumably, continuing to promote and give raises to Redondiez.
So, now the employee handbook for all city employees will read, "You must notify a third party if you are, or become, related to or romantically involved with [a subordinate]."
The timing of Avalos's admission last week is curious, though was he afraid his wife, from whom he is now separated, would go public with the affair as a bargaining chip in his divorce? Or is he planning to make his relationship with Redondiez more legitimate and public in the future, and therefore had to get this out of the way? Time will tell. As of last week he claimed that he and Redondiez were "not currently together."
The HR Department at the city also seems like they want to tread lightly around the fact that Avalos unilaterally decided to put Redondiez on unpaid leave in order to address the situation. "The employee has a say in whether they go on a leave and what type of leave they go on," says the city's HR Director Susan Gard. Yikes.