West Hollywood Responds to Block by Block’s Hiring of Shea Gibson

Block By Block – Shea Gibson

On July 7, 2022, the publisher of the WeHoville blogged Block by Block Operations Manager, Shea Gibson for being convicted of intentional homicide in Georgia – a crime that dates back 27 years to 1995.

Some community members condemned the blog, calling it a racist hit that attacks a black man who has served his time and paid his debt to society. They highlighted how Mr. Gibson turned his life around to become an upstanding citizen serving the city of West Hollywood.

Other members of the community called for Mr Gibson’s firing and questioned Block by Block’s vetting practices for former convicts. WeHoVille commentators also condemned council members who voted to increase the number of safety ambassadors in the city of West Hollywood.

During a regular meeting of the West Hollywood City Council on Monday, July 18, 2022, City Manager David Wilson read a statement from the City of West Hollywood regarding Block by Block’s hiring practices, specifically regarding vetting of background:

“Community safety is the city’s top priority, and the city takes seriously its legal obligations to ensure that contracted vendors meet legal requirements and ethical standards. The current two-year contract for Block by Block’s Security Ambassador Services was approved on June 6, 2022. Block by Block’s selection followed a Request for Proposals and Care Assessment process. The contract will return to City Council in August and we are looking at the August 1 meeting to consider an expansion in accordance with City Council’s June 27 guidelines.

“With respect to background checks, the RFP process through which Block by Block was selected includes specific requirements for meeting guidelines established by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Block by Block responded in a statement that it is complying with state law by not considering criminal convictions over seven years. The city is adhering block-by-block to state law on this issue.

The city manager also read an excerpt from a Block by Block statement regarding the company’s stance on Shea Gibson:

“Mr. Gibson is an excellent and valued member of the Block by Block team. Since joining the company as a Hospitality Ambassador in Santa Monica in 2013, he has received numerous promotions and continues to serve as Head of Block-by-Block Collaborations in West Hollywood, a position he has held since 2019.”

Several community members came to Mr. Gibson’s defense during public comments at the council meeting. Support also came from Mayor Lauren Meister, Pro-Temp Mayor Sepi Shyne and Council Member John Erickson during comments from council members.

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