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Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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PCCD public safety director Tim Thomas pleads no contest, receives six months probation for battery charge

PRA update: Thomas ‘did not apply/request to work remotely’ on day of DUI/concealed carry charge, district says
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(Photo: Katrin Bolovtsova/Pexels)

Peralta Community College District (PCCD) Executive Director of Public Safety, Tim Thomas, received a deferred entry of judgment at a disposition hearing March 6, for his misdemeanor case related to a May 2022 altercation with an elderly RV resident who was parked near district offices.

Thomas pled “no contest” to misdemeanor battery March 6. The court dismissed Thomas’ charges of elder abuse and grand theft related to the altercation.

To comply with the terms of the deferred entry of judgement, Thomas must go through a six-month probationary period in which he must obey all laws, refrain from being arrested for or convicted of any new crimes, abide by a criminal protective order, and complete 24 hours of community service.

At the hearing, Gloria F. Rhynes, an Alameda County Superior Court judge, said she would allow for deferred entry of judgment as a potential remedy for the case.

The case will be dismissed Sep. 6 if Thomas complies with the terms.

If he does not comply, he could face a conviction being placed on his record, a $220 fine, restitution payments, and a 10 year prohibition and relinquishment of firearms.

A warrant for Thomas’ arrest was issued in January after he failed to appear to the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program (SWAP), for a separate conviction on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle. Thomas has since resolved the warrant and was re-referred to SWAP.

Thomas was placed on leave pending resignation last month. On Feb. 27, the PCCD Board of Trustees approved Thomas’ resignation effective May 14.

A “Motion to Dismiss” hearing for Thomas’ case is set for Sep. 6 at 9 a.m. in Department 108 of the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse.

No record of Thomas’ remote work authorization on day of concealed carry charge

The Citizen has filed multiple Public Records Act requests (PRAs) to PCCD for records that could point to whether or not Thomas was on campus on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023 – a school day and the day he was arrested for DUI and concealed carry charges.

Firearms are prohibited on campus, unless authorization is provided by the district, according to Administrative Procedure (AP) 3530. No employee has been granted authorization to carry a weapon as of January 2021, according to a Nov. 29, 2023 PRA response letter from PCCD.

On Oct. 13, 2023, Mark Johnson, PCCD’s Executive Director of Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations, told The Citizen via email that Thomas took time off on Jan 30, 2023.

“My colleagues in HR reported that Mr. Thomas took a personal day on Monday, January 30, 2023,” Johnson wrote. “That was the only time off taken that week.”

After The Citizen followed up with requests for documentation showing that Thomas requested time off, Johnson said the initial statement was inaccurate, and that Thomas worked from home on Jan 30. According to Johnson, the source for the initial information was Ron McKinley, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Employee Relations.

“After reviewing the situation more thoroughly, we have determined the initial PCCD statement to the Citizen was inaccurate,” Johnson wrote in a Dec. 7, 2023 email to The Citizen. “While Mr. Thomas did not work on campus on Oct. 13 (sic), he did work for Peralta Community College District on that date, but it was remotely from home.”

The Citizen submitted a PRA for Thomas’ remote work plan and log pursuant to Administrative Procedure 7900 Employee Remote Work (AP 7900).

According to AP 7900, a remote work plan must be created and submitted for final approval by HR in advance. Employees must establish an approved protocol to submit the hours they work remotely and a schedule for routine check-ins.

According to a March 8 PRA response letter received by The Citizen, PCCD does not have record of Thomas’ plan or request to work remotely.

“Tim Thomas did not apply/request to work remotely,” the response letter states. “The District does not have record of Tim Thomas requesting/applying to work from home using the Administrative Procedure 7900 Employee Remote Work policy/procedure.”

According to public records previously obtained by The Citizen, Thomas was scheduled to work Jan. 30, 2023 and had meetings on his calendar that day.

In an email statement to The Citizen yesterday, Johnson explained that Thomas told him on Oct. 10, 2023, that “he was not physically on PCCD on the date of his arrest.”

Following this, Johnson and McKinley reported to The Citizen that Thomas took time off that day, realized the error, and issued the statement that Thomas worked remotely from home.

“Because Mr. Thomas told me he was not physically here on the day of his request, I assumed he was working remotely,” Johnson wrote.

According to Johnson, AP 7900 applies to “long-term remote request and would not be used by an employee, such as Mr. Thomas, for working remotely for a short period of time–such as one day.”

About the Contributor
Lylah Schmedel
Lylah Schmedel, Managing Editor
Lylah Schmedel-Permanna is a Bay Area native and graduate from the University of California-Davis where she received her bachelor’s degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis on political structures. She is returning back to the community college system after having attended Las Positas College, where she was student body president in 2019. Lylah also has a strong background working in employment law and police misconduct law. She is passionate about uplifting voices in the Bay Area which has sparked her interest in becoming a journalist.
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