CALIFORNIA−On September 23, following an investigation by FOX11, an employee of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) exposed the corruption going on within their hotline “Off-Limits” which was established three years ago to prevent violence on their metro lines.
Jennifer Loew, who has worked as the Manager for Metro Transit during the time that the alleged corruption occurred made a statement regarding the incident.
Documentation of Loew’s lawsuit against POV indicates false claims of the number of people actually served by the Off-Limits Hotline.
Loew claimed publicly that the number of calls and services rendered by Off-limits is inaccurate. There were months when only one person called the hotline, Loew reported.
Phone calls included reports of clients served include all incoming calls which Loew indicated were very few, and sometimes, just hang-ups.
Beginning in January 2017, Metro created a crisis hotline for those who had fallen victim to sexual harassment, violence, and even rape while traveling on Los Angeles public transportation.
The POV website indicates that sexual harassment may be verbal, unwanted touch, assault, and a wide variety of other unwanted advances.
After receiving staggering 2015 reports of one in fourteen travelers being assaulted on L.A.’s public transportation, the “Off Limits” hotline was borne. In a 2015 survey, those numbers more than doubled reporting 1 in 5 Metro riders experiencing unwanted sexual behavior.
Metro staffed their hotline through an L.A. non-profit called, Peace Over Violence (POV). Darcy Pollan is the Director of Strategic Partnership and Ron Dickerson is the Deputy Executive Officer of Systems Security and Law Enforcement.
Patty Occhiuzzo Giggans is the Executive Director of POV and Christina Mauro reportedly serves as Board President.
According to their website, Peace Over Violence is a non-profit social service agency dedicated to the elimination of sexual assault and domestic violence of any kind. On their website, POV claims to be of a “grassroots origin revolving around volunteer contributions.”
The material contributions including those transitioning to a 3-year contract, are listed are as follows;
$160,000 for the year 2017
$160,000 for the year 2018
$160,000 for the year 2019
$164,800 for the year 2020
$169,743 for the year 2021
Wages, benefits and taxes listed by POV for 2019 include; Professional Services at $410, Telephone Services $8,952, Rent: $8,821, Printing Costs: $3,389, Liability Insurance: $1,168, and other costs: $1,583 equals $138,079
The question, “What do you say about the Fox News report that claims each hotline call is costing taxpayers over $8,000?” was answered on the POV webpage with “Can one put a price tag on serving a survivor of violence?”
Full-text may be seen at peaceoverviolence.org POV claims that Loew, “misrepresented the program and in some cases gave completely false information.”