August 18, 2016 Board Meeting Minutes

The California Victim Compensation Board (Board) convened its meeting in open session at the call of Marybel Batjer, Secretary, California Government Operations Agency, at 400 R Street, Sacramento, California, on Thursday, August 18, 2016, at 10:15 a.m. Also present was Member Richard Chivaro, Deputy State Controller and Chief Counsel, acting for, and in the absence of, Betty T. Yee, Controller, and Member Michael Ramos, San Bernardino County District Attorney.

Executive Officer Julie Nauman and Acting Chief Counsel Dorothy Le were in attendance. Tisha Heard, Board Liaison, recorded the meeting.

The Board meeting commenced with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Item 1. Approval of Minutes of the June 30, 2016, Additional Board Meeting

Chairperson Batjer and Member Chivaro approved the minutes of the June 30, 2016, additional Board meeting. Member Ramos abstained from the vote.

Item 2. Approval of Minutes of the June 16, 2016, Board Meeting

Chairperson Batjer and Member Chivaro approved the minutes of the June 16, 2016, Board meeting. Member Ramos abstained from the vote.

Item 3. Public Comment

The Board opened the meeting for public comment. Richard Trainor provided public comment.

Mr. Trainor commented that it took CalVCP three years to settle his first claim which he alleged caused him to lose everything he owned and cost him nearly $100,000. He commented that he also had a victim claim that involved an assault that occurred in 2013 that was denied by CalVCP. He remarked that in 2011, he published a story detailing his interactions with CalVCP. Mr. Trainor commented that he intended to bring legal action against the Board if the matter was not settled to his satisfaction.

Item 4. Executive Officer Statement

Executive Officer Nauman reported last week she attended the 2016 National Training Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Office for Victims of Crime sponsored the conference designed exclusively for VOCA assistance and state compensation administrators. Ms. Nauman gave a presentation to the states on the work CalVCB is doing under the OVC grant focused on underserved communities; shared information on the work done in the Legislature over the past few years, specifically AB 1140; and discussed CalVCPs regulations relative not only to sexual assault and domestic violence victims, but also human trafficking victims. Ms. Nauman reported she led the Large-State Compensation Roundtable thatincluded Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, Texas, and California. Attendees were impressed with the Board’s progressive approach to victim services. Ms. Nauman explained that she was previously an officer of the organization, a Board member, and was elected 2nd Vice President of the compensation organization.

CalVCB will conduct an awareness and advertising campaign assessment survey. Executive Officer Nauman explained that in the past, CalVCB utilized transit as a means of advertising the program; however, CalVCB wants to do more to ensure that advertising in that way is effective. To that end, Ms. Nauman reported CalVCB would measure awareness of the victim compensation program before and after an advertising campaign that will run in target areas of California in 2017. The information collected will help CalVCB determine effective advertising strategies for the future and measure the awareness levels of the program.

CalVCB will partner with WEAVE to develop a video on their behalf. Executive Officer Nauman reported the 60-second spot would air in the waiting room in the Sacramento Native American Health Center, among other possible locations. The purpose of the video is to promote clinics and hospitals as a safe place for victims of domestic violence in the tribal communities to seek help.

Ms. Nauman explained that many Native Americans are often reluctant to report domestic violence because of cultural sensitivities.

Chairperson Batjer requested to view the video at a future meeting.

In September, staff will participate in the 30th Annual Children’s Network Conference in Ontario and the California Probation, Parole & Correctional Association’s 85th Annual Training Conference & Vendor Show in Sacramento. Executive Officer Nauman reported CalVCB would expand its network of providers and service entities to connect victims to the compensation program.

Item 5. Contract Report

Western Integrated Systems will secure on-call software maintenance and support for the CaRES Kofax application that includes expert level consultation and service for unexpected product downtime, troubleshooting, configuration, and updates. The Board approved the contract with Western Integrated Systems in the amount of $62,000.

University Enterprises, Inc., on behalf of California State University, Sacramento (Institute for Social Research), will conduct an outcomes evaluation to measure increased awareness of, and improved access to, CalVCB by ensuring commitments were achieved as a result of strategies implemented during the grant period. The Board approved the contract in the amount of $230,000 that will be funded by the 2015-16 Crime Victim Compensation Program Initiative Grant awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime.

The fiscal year 2016-2017 State of California budget allocated an increase to the Joint Powers (JP) contracts in the amount of $578,451. As such, 18 of the 20 JP contracts will receive varied increases to handle the anticipated workload due to an increase in the number of victim witness advocates (a result of the increased VOCA funding). The Board approved the revised fiscal years 2015/16–2017/18 JP contracts in the total amount of $34,345,404.

Item 6. Legislative Update

AB 1701 (Committee on Appropriations) ― Government Claims Bill

The Board’s second Government Claims Bill of 2016 appropriates $448,458.22 to pay 210 claims approved by the Board from January 2016 through May 2016. Executive Officer Nauman reported the bill was on the Senate floor.

SB 836 (Committee on Budget) ― State Government

The Budget Trailer Bill implements the transfer of the Government Claims Program and other duties to the Department of General Services. Executive Officer Nauman reported the bill was signed by the Governor.

AB 1563 (Rodriguez) ― Victim Compensation Program Appeals

The bill would require the Victim Compensation Board to make a decision on a Victim Compensation Program appeal within six months of the date it was received or to notify the appellant in writing that there is insufficient information to make a decision. Executive Officer Nauman reported the bill was signed by the Governor.

AB 1731 (Atkins) ― Statewide Interagency Human Trafficking Task Force

The bill would create the Statewide Interagency Human Trafficking Task Force within the Department of Justice that would consist of representatives from several state agencies, including CalVCB, and would be chaired by a representative from the Department of Justice. The bill would require the task force to gather statewide data on sex and labor traffickers, sex buyers, and human trafficking victims to recommend interagency protocols and best practices for training and outreach to law enforcement, victim service providers, and others likely to encounter sex trafficking, and to evaluate and implement approaches to increase public awareness about human trafficking. Executive Officer Nauman reported the bill was held on the suspense file in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1754 (Waldron) ― Elder and Adult Dependent Financial Abuse Pilot Program

The bill would create the San Diego County Elder or Dependent Adult Financial Abuse Crime Victim Compensation Pilot Program. CalVCB would be authorized to provide compensation to victims of elder or dependent adult financial abuse if the crime occurred in San Diego County. Compensation would be limited to $3,000 per person and an aggregate total of $1,000,000 for financial counseling and mental health counseling. The pilot program would end on January 1, 2021. Executive Officer Nauman reported the bill was held on the suspense file in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1802 (Chavez) ― CalVCB Board Membership

The bill would add two Governor-appointed positions to the membership of the Board, which currently has three members. The fourth and fifth members would include a victims’ rights advocate, and a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist with expertise in treating crime victims. It would also require the Governor to appoint a Special Master who would hear erroneous conviction claims submitted to the Board. Executive Officer Nauman reported the bill was held on the suspense file in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 1404 (Leno) ― Trauma Recovery Centers

The bill would require the Board to use the Integrated Trauma Recovery Services model developed by the State Pilot Trauma Recovery Center when it provides grants to trauma recovery centers. It would also require the Board to enter into an interagency agreement with the Trauma Recovery Center of the University of California, San Francisco as the technical assistance provider to the Board for the period between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019 and to select a trauma recovery center, through a competitive process, to be the technical assistance provider every two years thereafter. The agreement provided for in this bill would require the technical assistance provider to assist the Board by providing training materials, technical assistance, and ongoing consultation to the Board and to each center to enable the grantees to replicate the approach. Executive Officer Nauman reported the bill was held on the suspense file in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Victim Compensation Program

The Board commenced the Victim Compensation Program portion of the meeting at 10:27 a.m.

Disqualification of Providers of Mental Health Services

Robin Foemmel Bie, CalVCB Resource Branch Manager, explained that in November 2015, after a victim complaint, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office began investigating Marlie Palmer and Lori Palmer. After many months of investigation, the District Attorney’s Office concluded that the Palmers committed fraud that included submitting numerous false, fraudulent, and inaccurate billing statements to the CalVCP for payment for the past four years. During those four years, CalVCP paid Lori and Marlie Palmer over $650,000 for the services they provided to over 200 victims.

In April 2016, the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office charged Dr. Lori Palmer and Marlie Palmer with committing fraud against the State and grand theft. Lori Palmer and Marlie Palmer both pled guilty to a felony charge. At their sentencing hearing last week, Lori and Marlie Palmer each made a partial restitution payment to CalVCB of approximately $27,000. Ms. Foemmel Bie reported their respective licensing boards have been notified of the criminal proceedings and are taking action.

Ms. Foemmel Bie requested Board the adopt the staff recommendation to disqualify Lori Palmer and Marlie Palmer as authorized providers of mental health services to eligible claimants of the California Victim Compensation Program and calculate the appropriate overpayment amount.

The Board adopted the staff recommendation.

Request for Authority to Submit the California Code of Regulations Rulemaking Record to the Office of Administrative Law (title 2, §§ 649, 649.1, 649.3, 649.4, 649.18, 649.46, 649.49, 649.50, 649.51, 649.52, 649.57, 649.60, 649.62)

Dorothy Le, CalVCB Acting Chief Counsel, reported the proposed revisions to the regulations were largely intended to conform to the legislative changes enacted with the passage of AB 1140. AB 1140 mandated the Board develop a regulation defining what evidence, other than crime reports, may be considered when determining if a claimant was the victim of sexual assault. Additionally, because AB 1140 eliminated the eligibility exemption for claimants participating in a qualifying crime and now exempts claimants only for involvement, revisions were necessary to codify the Board’s definition of involvement. Finally, some revisions to current regulations were necessary to reflect the Board’s improved financial condition, reflect the Board’s new name, and correct clerical errors.

Ms. Le recommended the Board adopt the proposed regulations and authorize the Executive Officer to file the rulemaking record with the Office of Administrative Law for its review and approval.

The Board adopted the staff recommendation.

Closed Session

Pursuant to Government Code section 11126(c)(3), the Board adjourned into Closed Session with the Board’s Executive Officer and Acting Chief Counsel at 10:32 a.m. to deliberate on proposed decision numbers 1–110.

Open Session

The Board reconvened into Open Session pursuant to Government Code section 11126 (c)(3) at 10:35 a.m. The Board adopted the hearing officer’s recommendations for proposed decision numbers 1–110.

Adjournment

The Board meeting adjourned at 10:36 a.m.