- Attorney General: Investigate The Cubbison Suspension
- A Property Tax ‘Error’
- Sheriff Kendall On Suicide
- Wrongful Suspension
- No Special Interests Here
- New Broom Sweeps Clean
- A Failed Experiment
- Another Shut Down?
- Not A War
- U.S. Marines Birthday
- Siltation Defined
- Ceasing War
ATTORNEY GENERAL: INVESTIGATE THE CUBBISON SUSPENSION
Office of the Attorney General
PO Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
RE: Mendocino County District Attorney; Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
November 13, 2023
Dear Attorney General,
I am running for 1st District Supervisor in Mendocino County. I am concerned about a chain of events that is currently happening in Mendocino County. Our District Attorney, David Eyster, has been mis-using asset forfeiture funds and restitution funds in our County. He has targeted three of our previous Auditor-Controllers over their inquiries and concerns about the use of these funds for office expenses, etc., as well as submitting reimbursement for office parties and calling them training sessions.
On October 13, 2023, DA Eyster filed a felony criminal complaint for mis-use of public funds charges against our current Auditor/Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector, Chamise Cubbison, an elected official, for an employment agreement with employee Payroll Manager Paula Kennedy for payroll services performed ($68,000.) in 2019-2020, during Covid. This was an agreement initiated by previous Auditor/Controller Lloyd Weer. Subsequently, Cubbison found the agreement was not approved correctly and employee Kennedy was placed on leave and ultimately fired.
Ms. Cubbison officially started her four-year elected, recently combined Auditor/Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector office January 2023. She was previously the Acting Auditor/Controller for 16 months fulfilling the term of Mr. Weer, who retired early. Therefore, she initially had no control or authority over the contract that was entered into with Mr. Weer and Ms. Kennedy.
The DA, previous to Ms. Cubbison’s arrest for felony mis-use of funds, offered a deal of a misdemeanor charge if she resigned from her elected position. She refused.
Following the filing of these charges, the Board of Supervisors, without proper notice to Cubbison, has suspended her, without pay or benefits, from her office, before she has entered a plea. Ms. Cubbison, as of today, has still not been arraigned. The next arraignment date is set for November 29th, 2023, in Ukiah.
My concerns for contacting your office are:
DA Eyster mis-using forfeiture funds and having a vendetta against Auditors who question the legality of use and reimbursement.
DA Eyster not recusing himself from this case due to a conflict of interest.
DA Eyster not charging former Auditor/Controller Lloyd Weer who initially entered into the contract with Ms. Kennedy.
The Board of Supervisors suspending an elected official without due process and possibly not having the authority to remove an elected official from office without a felony conviction, which is defrauding the voters of an independent Auditor. The Board of Supervisors cited Government Code section 27120 when placing the current Acting Auditor/Controller/ Treasurer/Tax Collector, Sara Pierce into office, which applies to a Treasurer, not the combined Auditor/Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector structure that our County currently has.
I know this is a lot of background information to absorb and I've tried to simplify it as much as possible. I am very concerned about the mis-use of funds in the District Attorney’s office, as well as, the Board of Supervisors having received incorrect legal advice as to the suspension of an elected official.
I would truly appreciate your attention to this matter.
A PROPERTY TAX ‘ERROR’
I am working on a piece for the Mendocino Voice about the property tax bill error. I have had my property tax bill on the table here for a week now, wondering what to do with it. Has anybody out there heard anything more? I have been been calling for a week trying to get basic public info and just CCd Supervisor Dan Gjerde. The press release the county sent out didn't have enough information for the taxpayer to know what to do next. I have been calling and emailing for a week. I also filed a CPRA request last week on the county portal.
Here is my request. You can see the original press release at the end. Am I right to be bemused or should I just be befuddled?
The Mendocino County Tax collector's office recently sent out a correction. The correction said there were errors in some of our tax bills. The press release lacked basic information I need. Can I have more information ASAP?
Please describe the error so that taxpayers can have basic information. When was it made? By what person? What was the error? Please describe the error. Was it an error in numbers? Could my entire tax bill be off and I need to wait for the corrected version? Is the information online correct? Can I go to the county website and pay the amount specified?
If this error was made by a contractor as the press release seems to indicate, please provide the name of the contractor. How much is this contractor being paid? What other services does the contractor provide to the county for that amount?
How many total tax bills were mailed out at the time of the mistake? For how many different properties? If the county knows this next answer please provide, on how many was the mistake included?
The press release references that this happened to people with “more than one notice.” What is a notice? Is this a reference to the two tax bills we all get every fiscal year? Or tax bills sent to two addresses such as with partner owners? Or does this mean this mistake only happened to people with two properties or more? Or?
Was this error made before or after the removal of Chamise Cubbison? Did that removal play any role in the mistake?
The deadline is fast approaching. Will I still be charged late fees this year if I am unable to figure out how much to pay? What has been done to remedy this?
Original press release:
“It has come to our attention, taxpayers with more than one notice, could see errors on the tax bills, due to a printing error with the contracted vendor.
The corrected tax bills will be prepared and sent to you as soon as possible. To avoid any confusion, we kindly request you use the reprinted bill when sending in your payment.
We understand that errors like these can be inconvenient, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
If you have any questions or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Tax Collector’s office at (707) 234-6875.”
So in conclusion, can I pay my tax bill now or not? A story will be coming..hopefully soon enough for us to pay our bills on time.
SHERIFF KENDALL ON SUICIDE
I’m seeing a lot of arguments of both sides of the suicide coin here. But is anyone truly looking at both sides or simply voicing an opinion they haven’t researched?
I’ve seen more suicide than I want to remember. A few have been folks who were suffering immensely and it was a way to end their suffering. I may not agree with this due to my upbringing however I always understood it and I prayed they found peace and comfort.
Sadly the vast majority of suicides that will always haunt me were folks who had a problem that seemed completely out of their control. Mostly these were young people, teens to late 20’s. Many of the problems they were facing wouldn’t make a hill of beans to most folks my age. Many were people who got into a very low spot without the years under their belts to realize the peaks and valleys will always be here, we just have to move through the low spots to get back into the place we should be.
Young folks who had a break up not realizing their world wasn’t truly ending it just feels like it is. People who allowed their stress and unhappiness to consume them. And some folks who simply didn’t have a friend who cheered them up or helped them through the hard times.
Many of these folks didn’t have the tools to get through the low spots. Without some help and support they made a decision that devastated everyone around them. Anyone of us who has raised children through their teenage and hormonal years has had to do a lot of coaching on these topics. We all pray these kids will gain the experience and resiliency to continue on after we are gone.
Years ago I read an article where a researcher spoke with people who had survived a jump off of the Golden Gate Bridge. I believe every single one of them regretted this decision the moment they stepped off of the bridge deck.
Several years ago The California end of life option act was enacted. This law allows a terminally-ill adult, California resident to request a drug from his or her physician that will end his or her life. I don’t know if I agree or disagree with this but it is the law.
I do know many families who have been devastated due to the suicide of a family member. Many of these victims were teens or very young adults.
So as always the truth for me will always be somewhere in the middle.
Just my 2 cents. Take it for what it’s worth.
Mendocino Sheriff Matt Kendall
PS. I don’t know much about AI, however that’s one hell of a compliment, leaves me feeling good. I doubt my high school teachers would agree with your assessment of my literary prowess. You might want to look at my grammar a little closer but it certainly boosted my confidence a little and I thank you for that.
I often fear Bruce McEwen will take to handing me correction slips when I post something on this site. I always considered him to be a great when it came to the rules of literacy. When I was a much younger man, and assigned to investigations, Bruce wrote about cases being prosecuted in our Mendocino County Courts. I spent a lot of my younger life reading his work. Why you may ask? Because he provided a view into things I wasn’t previously aware of and it fascinated me.
I arrived home last night and had to complete my chores in the dark. I spent a short spell searching for an oil lamp. Something had interrupted the PGE service and my wife was working late. Therefore I had a little time to read.
I was seated in my chair awaiting her arrival home when I began reading the AVA on my cell phone. I was feeling quite fortunate that I had one little spot in the house which was getting enough cell service to connect and read the daily happenings. During that time I began reading about the Golden Gate Bridge improvements. Then I began reading the comments. That was what stirred me to weigh in on the conversation.
As far as my childhood dogma. Well honestly I had to look that one up. Dogma, in its broadest sense, is any belief held unquestioningly and with undefended certainty. I don’t think my statements would qualify under this definition however again, that’s my opinion not yours.
I did have a great childhood. My mother had a lot of faith. And my father always backed her play when raising my siblings and I. Great parents and siblings we had a lot of work in the summer. But it was good work. Hauling hay, moving irrigation lines, feeding cattle and things like that. The twins and I battled quite a bit but I think with brothers it’s to be expected. We grew out of it just about the time we should’ve. Covelo had a lot of freedom for kids with bicycles and eventually horses.
Speech writer? Teflon coated politician? I wish!!!
Most who know me would find that statement pretty damn hilarious. I often have to remind folks many of the things coming out of my mouth, I am also hearing for the first time myself.
That being said when you work at something your entire adult life, you pick up what my Pop referred to as “a little sage brush wisdom” . Pop would remind my siblings and I that not all education comes from books. A lot comes from experience.
I only spoke of my experiences and the fact there are two sides to most things. We seem to be in a time when people refuse to acknowledge this. Folks would rather draw straight firm battle lines than have a reasonable conversation. Keyboard warriors often help draw these lines and many seem to fall into line behind them. I don’t believe that approach to be good for our country. I think we can do a little better.
Just my thoughts and nothing more.
To the Editor:
I’ve known Chamise Cubbison since she was a child. She’s always been honest and incredibly bright. I’ve heard from her co-workers that she’s diligent and hard-working, often arriving to the office before anyone else and staying long after others have gone home. I’m not a bit surprised that we, the people, elected her to the office of Auditor/Controller of Mendocino County.
Ms. Cubbison’s job requires her to question the spending and allocation of funds in every department of our county. She has been doing this, and many other duties, since being elected. While nobody actually likes to be audited, it is necessary to keep our system of checks and balances in order. If any county department is doing things inappropriately or incorrectly, it’s Ms. Cubbison’s job to question the actions of that department.
In her duties as Auditor/Controller, Ms. Cubbison has questioned the DA, Mr. Eyster, in his allocation of funds. This is her job. To me, it looks like Mr. Eyster is retaliating and slandering Ms. Cubbison and her reputation for questioning his actions. It is her job to question funding allocations in every department in our county, including the DA’s office. He has stated that Ms. Cubbison is a “pain in the ass.” This is one thing that Mr. Eyster is correct about. It is Ms. Cubbison’s job to be a “pain in the ass.”
The Board of Supervisors has taken a wrongful action against Ms. Cubbison. They decided to fire her without pay before they even talked to her or notified her they were considering this action. This is not only a huge mistake, but is likely illegal. If I understand the government codes correctly, the BOS has no right to fire an elected official unless that person has been convicted of a felony. (See Title 1, Division 4, Section 4, 1770 (h)). Ms. Cubbison has never been convicted of any wrong doing, let alone a felony. If the BOS had done their research, they would have discovered this. The applicable state government codes were read to the BOS meeting by Jim Shields. The BOS has no excuse!
Chamise Cubbison hasn’t had her day in court, yet. If and when she does, all of the facts will come out. Until that day comes, Ms. Cubbison should be reinstated in her job and should get all of her pay, including the funds for the time she was prematurely dismissed.
I’d like to see a written, public apology from the DA and his department. I’d also like to see the BOS admit their mistakes, apologize, and reinstate Ms. Cubbison. We were so lucky to have Ms. Cubbison in her role as Auditor/Controller. It’s a thankless job, even on a good day. And if the DA, BOS (and others) are going to concoct lies and slander her and attempt to ruin her reputation for doing her job, they should be removed! Nobody is above the law, including the DA and the BOS!!
NO SPECIAL INTERESTS HERE
I met with John Pinches, former 3rd District Supervisor, on Friday and went over the County budget. He stated, “It's a mess.”
I am honored that he has given his endorsement to my campaign for 1st District Supervisor.
I was not asked by anyone or any organization to run for this office. I have been committed to helping our County and spending my time for the last several years learning and speaking out against wasteful spending, the direction of the County, etc. I consider myself a watchdog of the People's money.
I will not be seeking endorsement from any special interests, organizations, unions, etc., as I will not be beholden to any interest other than the People of Mendocino County. I feel that this is a huge problem with our Country and politics that accept endorsements/money in return for favorable votes and outcomes. I am endorsed by the People, like Pete Bushby.
People Vote, Money Don't.
NEW BROOM SWEEPS CLEAN
The idea contained in the subject above - various iterations keep coming to mind, but this one seems to fit the current BOS and DA's office. True, it doesn't suggest what replaces as the “new broom sweeps” away. But if we want a county government that works, let's start with the sweep and seek out individuals we might encourage to be party to and become “new brooms.”
Wishing you well,
Gregory Sims (too old to be a contestant)
A FAILED EXPERIMENT
Sheldon H. Jacobson ignores the fact that abandoning twice a year time changes was tried in the mid-1970s, and people hated it. I remember being in class at Santa Rosa Junior College during that time. The experiment with permanent daylight saving time was to last from 1974 to 1975. It ended under public outcry to revert to clock switching since kids were endangered going to school and buses in pitch dark. Often sunrise wasn’t until 9 a.m. This experiment keeps coming up, and old-timers who experienced it need to speak up.
ANOTHER SHUT DOWN?
I have a friend who keeps telling me, “If you’re not worried, you haven’t been paying attention!”.” There is certainly plenty to worry about now. We have a new GOP Speaker of the House. Finally, right? What should concern us citizens of the greatest nation and democracy on earth the most is the looming shutdown of the entire US Government in a bit more than one week.
This new Speaker, Mike Johnson R Louisiana, is THE foremost election denyer, far right winger, Bible thumber who hasn’t ever led anything in Congress before.
And he is absolutely clueless as far as having any plan to avoid a shutdown. The clock is ticking. November 17 is only a week away.
NOT A WAR
Calling the conflict between Israel and Palestine a “war” is intended to hide the truth. There can be no war when there is such a huge power imbalance.
The Palestinians have no army, navy or air force. They have no bases for training soldiers. They don’t have the latest high-tech weaponry or surveillance system. Palestinians live under occupation by people who are backed by the largest military on earth — ours.
Gaza has no water, no food, no medicine, no fuel because Israel controls all those things. Now, many Gaza residents have no homes because Israel has destroyed them. Gaza is 50% children. Gaza has been under siege for 17 years. It’s a total power imbalance.
It’s time for Americans to ask more of our government. Only when the most powerful, the United States and Israel, lay down their weapons and raise up justice can the world know peace. Until then, call it a massacre, call it an ethnic cleansing, call it genocide, but you can’t call it a war.
Susan Collier Lamont
U.S. MARINES BIRTHDAY
Happy birthday, bro!
From a Website I’d forward you but don’t know how, honors Marines with some good-natured insights:
1) Put a U.S. Marine in a locked room with an anvil. He’ll either lose it, break it or get it pregnant.
2) What do you call a Marine with an iQ of 160? A Platoon
3) “Were you in the military?” “No, bitch. I was in the Marines.”
4) Poster-style photo of a batch of exhausted, grimy Marines with cutline: “72 Virgins Dating Service”
5) Drill sergeant screaming at recruit: “There is no “I” in Team, but there are three U’s in “Shut the Fuck Up!”
6) 1950’s style poster:
Little Girl: “Mommy, is there really any such thing as a perfect man?”
Mother: “Of course dear. They’re called Marines.”
7) Drill sergeant screaming in face of Marine with a Union Jack patch on his sleeve:
“Did you come here to Die?!!?
“No matey. Came ‘ere yesterdie.”
Another mass shooting. Ho-hum. Another angry letter to the editor. Ho-hum. Another plea from do-nothing politicians to keep those slain in our thoughts and prayers. More hollow chatter about a ban on assault rifles. Perhaps we should pray for those who will be shot later this week. Or next month. And hope the total for 2023 doesn’t reach 600 mass shootings. Isn’t 501, almost two a day, enough?
The number dead has become just that — a number. Not human beings with lives to live and a future to look forward to. We the people in order to form a more perfect government must elect those who can change what’s been happening for far too long and far too many times. We need to know who in Congress, and who among those hoping to win the public trust in 2024, will work to protect their countrymen from being shot while shopping, going to school, praying in church or bowling with friends.
We the people can change things. We can stop the madness when we stop electing those who say it’s not guns, it’s people who kill people. Wrong. It’s people with guns who kill people.
As a biologist and soil scientist who has been working on the North Coast for 50 years, I would like to add some information to Michael Rugg’s comments. The delivery of silt and clay is a normal and common seasonal event in almost all rivers, and in fact the minerals delivered (calcium, silicon, carbon, sulfur, phosphorus) are the base of the food pyramid for fish and people. Salmonids are completely adapted to this cycle. The Russian River and ultimately the ocean need this turbidity in the winter. In the summer the water clears up as organisms take up these minerals.
The Lake Mendocino dam is releasing excess sediment right now. This does imperil salmonids, and if the agencies (North Coast Water Quality Control Board, state Department of Fish and Wildlife) were doing their jobs we could be working on a solution. The Army Corps of Engineers has not maintained the sediment pool of the lake (98% full by their own account), so the Russian River from Coyote Valley Dam to Hopland and beyond is being polluted by clay, silt and turbidity. If this were a vineyard owner or lumber mill, they would be in jail.
Environmental Director, Potter Valley Tribe
Can Israel and Palestine ever make peace? When it comes to two nations always seemingly being at war, “ever” is a long time. Think of England and Spain. They fought for hundreds of years, from the Middle Ages until after World War II. Other countries that have fought each other for many years are the United States and Great Britain. Or, for that matter, the US and Mexico. There are many others.
Israel began about 1948. From that time until now Its presence at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has been contested by Palestinians. The Fatah during the 50’s onward, then the PLO, and now Hamas. Like Biden, 1942 was my birth year. Throughout my lifetime, Palestinians and Israelis have been enemies. In spite of present-day tragedies we witness now, we must always continue to pray for peace. Some day I am certain it will happen, but probably not in my lifetime.
First there must be a cease fire. Hamas, or its subsequent Palestinian national organized government, must give up its insane call for killing all Jews on earth. It must also recognize the existence of the state of Israel.
Frank H. Baumgardner, III