LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles County official is looking into adopting a new ordinance on retreats following an investigation by CBS2’s David Goldstein.
“I was very upset when I saw your story,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said.
The story she’s referring to is last week’s investigation where Goldstein confronted local officials who spent roughly $17,000 on a managers retreat at the beach.
Undercover cameras caught county probation Chief Deputy Sheilia Mitchell and other members of the executive staff at a management retreat at Shutters on the Beach Resort in Santa Monica.
“I thought that was wrong,” Hahn said. “It was bad judgement, and I think it sends a really bad message to residents of L.A. County.”
The retreat was conducted by the Spirit Awakening Foundation — their website says the company works with youth in the juvenile justice system — and the organizer told Goldstein that the probation executives learned how to work with youth in a more compassionate way. The training included breathing and meditative exercises to pass along to the rest of the staff.
When Goldstein confronted Mitchell to ask what she learned at the retreat, she remained silent as she got into a vehicle.
Hahn said that probation officers need more training, but not that kind.
“I don’t think that’s what they’re asking for,” she said. “I don’t think they’re asking for more meditation or breathing exercises.”
As far as the venue — an expensive beachfront hotel — Hahn said she’s considering an ordinance to mandate future retreats be held in county buildings.
“It was bad judgement all the way around,” she said. “It made me upset, and I’m sure it made a lot of people in Los Angeles County upset.”
When CBS2 first started asking questions, the probation department said it launched an investigation. They say that investigation is still ongoing.