Statement on Arrest of City Employee

October 18, 2018

Statement on Arrest of City Employee

Update October 25, 2018:

City leadership reaffirms its long-standing commitment to responding to the horrific and heartbreaking allegations underlying the arrest of City employee Eric Uller with transparency and accountability.  Here is an update: 

  • The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced today that six additional victims have come forward, and that their investigation is now looking at conduct in the years 1986 to 2010.
  • The City has identified that Mr. Uller was an instructor in the City’s Youth Tech Program, a summer program preparing high school students for careers in the tech industry that ran from 2012 to 2017. This morning, the City reached out to all families whose children participated in this program to inform them of the arrest and criminal charges and to share contact information for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department should they be aware of any facts that may be relevant to the criminal investigation.
  • The City continues to urge anyone who has information that may be relevant to the criminal investigation to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau, at (877) 710-5273 or by email at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org.
  • The City has retained Irma Rodríguez Moises and Gabriel Sandoval at the law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo to conduct an independent investigation of allegations that the City previously knew, or should have known, of Mr. Uller’s alleged criminal conduct. The investigation will also review whether the City had in place sufficient procedures to encourage reporting of such conduct, and to ensure that reports are acted on.
  • The City continues to actively review its current procedures relating to youth programs to be sure we are doing everything we can to give parents and community members confidence in our vigilance and reporting procedures and the safety of those programs. The City will use this review to reassess its procedures in light of recognized best practices.     
  • The City recognizes that incidents like these can trigger physical and psychological distress, therefore the City has:
    • Notified SMMUSD’s Mental Health Coordinator to ensure that the school-based mental health clinical team is attentive and responsive to any reaction from students, parents, caregivers, or school staff; and
    • Worked with local mental health providers to ensure that therapeutic services are available onsite and as-needed to PAL, CREST, and VAP participants and their families.

City staff will continue to work with agencies and residents on an ongoing basis to monitor the community for any needs that may arise in response to these events.

Update October 19, 2018:

Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this deeply troubling situation. We again encourage anyone who has information about Eric Uller's conduct, or other information relevant to its investigation to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), Special Victims Bureau toll free tip line at (877) 710-5273 or by email at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org. The City will continue to fully cooperate with the Sheriff’s Department as its investigation continues.

The City is aware of the additional allegations that the City was aware of Mr. Uller’s conduct and did nothing to address it.  The City is in the process of retaining outside counsel to conduct a comprehensive investigation of these allegations.  The City is committed to transparency and accountability.  The City will take all steps to protect youth participants in all City programs, and to determine whether there have been any past failings to live up to this commitment. 

October 18, 2018:

We are deeply disturbed by the allegations that led to the arrest of Eric Uller, a city employee, working in the Information Services Department.  Earlier this summer, the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) received an anonymous tip about an alleged crime involving Mr. Uller.  Following identification of the victim, SMPD reported the information to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for investigation.  As a result of its investigation, this morning, LASD arrested Mr. Uller on charges of Lewd Acts with a Minor, 288(c)(1)PC.  The City has been informed that the charges relate to alleged incidents that date back to the early 1990s and occurred while Mr. Uller was volunteering with the City’s Police Activities League (PAL) program.  The City is aware that a PAL employee was convicted in 2015 of a misdemeanor charge of annoying or molesting a minor.  That employee was fired.  The City will continue to take all steps to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of youth enrolled in City-sponsored programs.  The City has and will continue to cooperate fully with the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office as the matter proceeds.  Mr. Uller has been placed on administrative leave, pending resolution of the charges. Anyone with information related to this investigation is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau toll free tip line at (877) 710-5273 or by email at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org.
 
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