After Bruce Gibson reveals affair, officials may consider code of conduct

bcuddy@thetribunenews.com, clambert@thetribunenews.comNovember 19, 2012 

Bruce Gibson

JAYSON MELLOM — The Tribune Buy Photo

In the wake of an affair between San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson and his legislative aide, a pair of key county officials say it is time to develop a code of conduct that would regulate such behavior.

Gibson on Friday revealed that he has had a long-term affair with aide Cherie Aispuro. She will be transferred to a different county job.

While the relationship may have personal and political consequences, there do not appear to be any county policies that apply to the situation.

There is a county policy against sexual harassment, but both Gibson and Aispuro have called the affair consensual.

There is also a nonbinding “organizational values” chart that generally gives guidelines about how to behave.

However, “we don’t have a policy that tells people they can’t have relationships at work,” according to Tami Douglas-Schatz, the county’s Human Resources Director.

She said the county will evaluate that.

County Counsel Rita Neal said, “We will have internal discussions about the need for a written policy regarding the personal relationships of county employees.”

“It is important to recognize,” she added, “that any such policy will need to address not only what is in the best interests of the county, but also address the privacy rights of our employees.”

Supervisor Paul Teixeira, who will become chairman next year, said he will meet with Neal today to discuss the ramifications of Gibson’s affair.

Teixeria would not say whether he favors a more stringent policy on workplace relationships or would work as chairman to institute one. He said he would have a statement after speaking with Neal.

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