Building officials are the most trusted people when it comes to construction and design of buildings. The public’s safety is quite literally in their hands. But all Building Officials are not this caring. Building Officials can be unethical. In fact, they can do unethical things like run employment scams. Let us introduce you to one such person: Novato, CA, Chief Building official Annette Chavez. Annette Chavez did the unthinkable before coming to the city of Novato, CA: Annette Chavez ran an employment scam where engineers were scammed for jobs. They applied for one fulltime position, but were offered one part-time position with as few hours as possible, about as many hours as men using the bathroom for 3 months!
We got emails from Annette Chavez while she was employed at the Roseville, CA, office of Willdan.
AN ACCOUNT OF NOVATO, CA, CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL ANNETTE CHAVEZ RUNNING AN EMPLOYMENT SCAM AS TOLD BY ONE PERSON WHO APPLIED AT WILLDAN
Back in December 2014, Mr. X applied for a plan review position at Willdan for the Supervising Plan Check Engineer position in Roseville, CA. Here is the ad they posted on their website:
“We currently have an opening for a Supervising Plan Check Engineer in our Roseville, California office. The qualified candidate will be responsible for overseeing plan review (architectural and structural) for commercial and private buildings to ensure compliance with building code regulations. The qualified candidate will also provide Building Official services to local jurisdictions when necessary.
ICC Building Official Certification
ICC Plan Examiner Certification
5 – 10 yrs plan check experience
Professional Registration in California
Thorough knowledge of building codes
Excellent written and oral communication skills”
Since Mr. X was a certified as a Chief Building Official and a California Licensed Structural Engineer, this position would be a great fit. Mr. X was a plan reviewer at three different jurisdictions, two of which were in California.
Mr. X had a phone interview and an in-person interview in their Roseville office with Willdan employee Annette Chavez (now Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA) and Michael Graham. The problem is that it was for a Plan Review Engineer position for Willdan instead of the one Mr. X applied for. Annette Chavez decided to pull a bait-and-switch with this applicant.
Willdan employee Annette Chavez (now Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA) promised the proverbial moon because she said there would be lots of work to do. She stated there would be at least 30 hours of work a week.
After Mr. X signed the job offer, they never gave him any work to do for several weeks. This should have been a red flag. No work showed up for weeks on end. Willdan employee Annette Chavez (now Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA) was mentally AWOL by not returning Mr. X’s calls. When it did show up, it was as only for a two hours a week many months later. Mr. X knew this was not going to be a full time job like they stated.
Check out the email and offer letter, folks. On the top is the email from Annette Chavez representing WillDan. On the bottom is the offer letter from Public Agency Resources. Looks like someone named Annette Chavez is scamming job seekers, don’t you think? We say a big fat yes! PAR is the company that WillDan uses to avoid paying benefits to their employees as required in their contracts.
Guess how many hours Mr. X actually got? 15 hours for the whole year! That is the equivalent amount of time for men spend using the bathroom for three months. The work stopped coming a short time later. Mr. X did not consider this a full-time job at all. And why would a company like Willdan do this? There could be plenty of reasons for this:
- They were looking to use Mr. X’s name in proposals to get work. When they didn’t get the work, they gave Mr. X none.
- They were cheaping out on salary and benefits, because they have none.
- They were using Mr. X until they could find someone much cheaper.
- Willdan did not want Mr. X working for someone else. That is pretty stupid when the contract says that Mr. X have to find a full time position.
- Willdan wanted samples of Mr. X’s review letters so they could get free consulting.
But why does a company run ads requesting engineers and then not have the work for them to do? Nowhere in the contract does it mention that Mr. X would have to ask for the work at all.
What really should have tipped Mr. X off is that the name of the firm was changed to Public Agency Resources, compliments of Willdan employee Annette Chavez (now Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA). And they have no benefits at all for their employees! When Mr. X interviewed with Willdan employee Annette Chavez (now Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA), Michael Graham & Patrick Johnson, Mr. X was told there would have 30 to 40 hours a week of work because they were so busy. This firm reminded us of a Joe Isuzu ad where they lied about their cars in an effort to sell them!
In addition to the bogus job interview, Mr. X was never even given a company computer or engineering software to use. Mr. X wrote a Glassdoor review to remind other people not to fall for their scams, the ones invented by Annette Chavez.
Engineering is about trust. This is pretty important because people need to be told that their buildings and structures are safe. So what kind of message does Willdan send their clients when they cannot even be accurate about the amount of work they give their employees to do? Even better yet, why would people trust someone who lies about career opportunities? And why would their clients trust them or use them when it comes to building plan review? If this is how they are when it comes to work at their firm, just imagine how they are when it comes to public safety? Do you think they would tell the truth? Based on Mr. X’s encounter, the answer is a big fat no!
Is this what Willdan CEO Thomas Brisbin meant when he said: “After the recession, we said to ourselves, ‘The world has changed, and we better change with it.”? Brisbin is partially right because all Mr. X was left with was change!
The city of Glendale, CA, sued WillDan in 2014 for making fundamental mistakes in a water study that cost that city a loss of $9 million!
We wonder what CEO Thomas Brisbin, CFO Stacy McLaughlin, and Senior VO of Corporate Development Mike Bieber would do about this issue. So far, we have heard nothing from them.
And because their clients are municipalities, do the municipalities know what is going on? We do not know about that, but they have the right to know.
Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA, is not even a Licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California. How can Annette Chavez , the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA, tell people how good they are as engineers when she is not one herself.
CONCLUSION: ANNETTE CHAVEZ, NOVATO, CA, CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL IS ONE BAD BUILDING OFFICIAL
You need to ask yourselves why a city like Novato, CA, would hire someone who does this to people who want to work with like Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA. We believe the city politicians had no idea what is going on. Now they will all be briefed about the scams pulled by this woman. We emailed this to everyone in Novato City Hall and all of her staff. We even used this as an economic development tool against the city of Novato, CA.
If there are any single guys reading this, they need to ask themselves if they would date Annette Chavez. Based on the information highlighted here, men should not want to consider dating her. If Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA, is this deceptive to job applicants, just imagine how she is with dating men.
Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA, needs to herself a favor and resign immediately. If Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA, doesn’t, we will be campaigning against every politician who appointed you. We will be setting up shop all over Novato and showing off Annette Chavez’s scams. Annette Chavez, the Chief Building Official for the city of Novato, CA, is proof she is the Chief Building Official you cannot trust.