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The Battle For Carrie Hamburg’s Remains

Allman & Hamburg
Allman & Hamburg

Sheriff Allman confirmed late Monday afternoon that an investigation by the Sheriff's office is underway to determine if Carrie Hamburg, the late wife of 5th District supervisor Dan Hamburg, was illegally buried on the Hamburg family's property southwest of Ukiah. “It's under investigation but I'm not prepared to publicly discuss it right now,” the Sheriff said.

The Hamburg family is not denying that Mrs. Hamburg is buried at their home. Supervisor Hamburg has hired Ukiah attorney Barry Vogel to contest the Sheriff's implicit mandate to, if necessary, seize Mrs. Hamburg's remains.

Attorney Vogel, responding to our request for clarification, said by e-mail, “Yes, there is an investigation. We are still working to resolve the matter short of litigation. Home burial on large rural properties, distanced from watercourses and property lines, is allowed in most states. We believe this to be is a matter of individual privacy guaranteed under Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution.”

Mrs. Hamburg died from cancer on March 5th of this year. She was apparently buried on her 60-acre home property by her family soon after.

At least two, and sometimes three, legal signatures are required verifying that the deceased has not only died from the causes asserted by an attending physician, but that the deceased has been lawfully interred or the ashes of the deceased returned to the family. The Mendocino County Department of Public Health did not sign off on the disposal of Mrs. Hamburg's remains. It was the absence of that necessary sign-off that launched the rumors that compelled the Sheriff to find out where and how Mrs. Hamburg’s remains had been put to rest.

California law requires, “Every person who deposits or disposes of any human remains in any place, except in a cemetery, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

The fallout from this grisly standoff between the Sheriff and Supervisor Hamburg will be huge in Mendocino County. Hamburg inspires a cult-like devotion among his liberal supporters, who remain numerous up and down the Northcoast, so numerous Hamburg was elected to Congress where he served one term.

But local law enforcement is known to regard Hamburg as “a guy who thinks he's above the law.” That opinion is also prevalent among what can be described as the “straight” community, liberal and conservative.

Hamburg has always been a controversial character. As supervisor for the Ukiah area from 1981 to 1985 he was subjected to a recall election for opposing a tourist-related development north of town. The recallers wanted to install present-day Superior Court Judge Richard Henderson as supervisor in Hamburg's place. The recall failed. Running for Governor as a Green in 1998, Hamburg was found to have filed false claims for unemployment benefits. He has also been a member of the sinister Adi Da cult, a sex and drugs affiliation that operates a lush spa in Lake County. Hamburg is a public advocate for marijuana. The Hamburg property was subjected to a task force marijuana raid in October of 2007; that case was thrown out of court due to a faulty warrant. Elected 5th District supervisor in 2010 during which Hamburg's advocates routinely slandered his opponent, Wendy Roberts, a non-pot smoking liberal, the Hamburg family soon attempted to open a medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Boonville. Hamburg currently functions as chairman of the County's board of supervisors.

Clearly, Sheriff Allman has been pressured to act in this case by anti-Hamburg forces, and he has no choice but to act since Hamburg is accused of breaking the law.

We understand that the Sheriff has given attorney Vogel until Monday, June 3rd to give the Sheriff a legal reason why the Sheriff should not exhume and seize for re-burial Mrs. Hamburg's remains.


  1. izzy May 22, 2013

    This the certainly one of the most macabre and ugly vendettas in local politics I can remember. It’s not as if there is any real question about Carrie Hamburg’s death. Where was the Sheriff when former supervisor Kendall Smith was cited by the grand jury for looting the county treasury in pursuit of personal gain? Aren’t there any real criminals out there needing his attention?

  2. Mike Jamieson May 22, 2013

    I sure would love to be a fly on the wall over at the Mountain of Attention in Lake County as they take bookings for their “sex and drugs” “lush spa”, roflmao! That’s completely hilarious, Bruce. Of course, that might become a winning business model for them as they proceed with their Master now in the afterlife. There were definitely wild parties in the old days but I’m afraid things have sadly petered out in that department. That’s largely an aging group of people, very little new blood coming in. But, you might have presented just the right business model for them to proceed with.

    This all seems to be about politics and a possible battle for the 5th district seat in 2014, one which Hamburg will likely win with a minimum of 70% of the vote this time. After all, it’s his record as a supervisor that will be the key factor.

    Tom Allman, a personable man and smart politician, might best solve this by bringing a pen over to the Hamburg;s and not a shovel. Sounds like some signatures are needed, is all. This is a family cemetery plot! Certainly not unusual or weird.

  3. Paul Andersen May 22, 2013

    What do you expect from the good-ol-boys club in Mendocino County? Their blind hatred for Dan Hamburg knows no bounds. How dare an “outsider” like Hamburg (a ls

  4. Paul Andersen May 22, 2013

    What do you expect from the good-ol-boys club in Mendocino County? Their blind hatred for Dan Hamburg knows no bounds. They (Mayfield, Henderson, et al) are sick and deranged lot as clearly evidenced by this latest move.

    Imagine the prolonged pain and suffering for the Hamburg family. And for what? Petty personal and political vendettas. Jesus, let Carrie rest in peace!!

    Idiots like these ought go be rounded up and shipped off to Round Valley like their ancestors did to the native men and women of the area. They are truly disgusting human beings.

  5. David Gurney May 23, 2013

    The AVA, and the “anonymous source” who turned in Mr. Hamburg for a “may have been buried illegally” (Wendy Roberts again?) have reached new lows as despicable human beings.

    Anderson writes: “We understand that the Sheriff has given attorney Vogel until Monday, June 3rd to give the Sheriff a legal reason why the Sheriff should not exhume and seize for re-burial Mrs. Hamburg’s remains.”

    Given the level of Anderson’s capacity for understanding, this story should have been buried – or rather, flushed down the toilet.

  6. wineguy May 25, 2013

    The ‘Sheriff’ looks like a sad and bloated stereotype of a ‘Pentagon General’ with all the phony stars and bars on this uniform! Come on Mr. Allman get rid of that sorry ‘fake Marine ‘ posturing and put on the standard issue damn khaki jacket like a real Man, pathetic ego trip going on in little old Mendo

  7. Martin Zemitis May 27, 2013

    I’m not a Hamburg fan but should we have to the government’s permission as to where we can bury our loved ones ? Unless there’s an issue of foul play this should not concern the police.

  8. David Gurney June 1, 2013

    A David Yearsley article in ‘Counterpunch’ links to the above article, with the words: ” a sheriff perhaps too eager to exhume the body of a political foe’s wife. This talk of bringing up the bodies…”

    It’s time to get it right:

    On Thursday, May 30, 2013, Bruce Anderson, editor of the Anderson Valley
    Advertiser, wrote in his “Mendocino County Today” blog, that Mendoocino County Sheriff Tom Allman had “stated intention to both file misdemeanor
    charges and disinter the late Mrs. Hamburg, who is buried on the Hamburg
    property southwest of Ukiah.”

    Bruce Anderson’s account of the Sheriff’s “stated intention” is pure
    fiction, a total fabrication, simply a personal hit by a rich, malevolent newspaper owner, against a family still in mourning over a recently passed loved one.

    I emailed Sheriff Allman, to ask him “Have you made such a statement of
    intent – to file charges and disinter – or is this simply conjecture?”

    Mr. Allman’s response: (and I quote)

    “No, it is not my intent to file charges to disinter. My intent, as it has
    been since the beginning of this, is to allow the Judicial Branch of
    government (The Judges) to bring this to a legal resolution. I am looking
    for a legal resolution and let’s hope that we achieve this soon.”

    “To answer your question, no, I have never uttered the words which were
    attributed to me.”

    “Thank you for the courtesy of allowing me to state my feelings.”

    Bruce Anderson seems to have misquoted the Sheriff, and created a story that doesn’t exist. Nothing new there.

    However, in this case, Anderson’s spiteful and fictional “reporting” not only
    affects his target, Dan Hamburg, but also other family members and friends
    of the late Carrie Hamburg, who are still mourning her death. Not to
    mention the Sheriff, who has had false words put in his mouth that are
    hurtful to others.

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