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Praesidium Presents Recommendations on Best Practices for Youth Programs and Policies
October 9, 2019
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At the October 15, 2019 Santa Monica Council Meeting, Aaron Lundberg, the President and CEO of Praesidium, Inc., will present regarding Praesidium’s review of the policies and practices of City youth programs and recommendations on current best practices for preventing incidents of abuse.
Founded 25 years ago, Praesidium has developed a national reputation for assisting organizations in evaluating, designing, and implementing best practices to prevent and detect sexual abuse of minors. The City retained Praesidium shortly after the October 18, 2018 arrest of Eric Uller, at the time an employee in the City’s Information Services Department, on charges that, while volunteering at the Santa Monica Police Activities League, Uller had abused boys in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
The City is committed to responding to the horrific and heartbreaking allegations of abuse with transparency and accountability. The City retained Praesidium to examine the current policies and practices of City youth programs and make recommendations for any improvement to those policies and practices going forward.
Since being retained, Praesidium has reviewed current policies and practices of City youth programs. This review has included two site visits to observe City youth programs in action, one in early March 2019 to observe programs active during the school year, and a second in late July 2019 to observe programs active during the summer break. As a result of its review, Praesidium will be making recommendations to the City to implement best practices
The City also retained Irma Rodriguez Moises and Gabriel Sandoval of 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 Uller’s alleged criminal conduct. That investigation remains ongoing.
This presentation will be a Special Agenda Item and will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. City staff anticipates returning to Council with a resolution resulting from Praesidium’s recommendations at a future Council meeting.