DA needs more money investigating public corruption

  Five major fraud investigations, which include two potential public corruption cases, plus a homicide, sent District Attorney David Hollister to the Board of Supervisors asking for help.

  During his Nov. 13 appearance before the board, Hollister reminded the supervisors that he warned them during the budget hearings that he would probably need more money to pay for investigations this fiscal year.

  At that time he had just over $5,000 in that fund and now has about half of that.

  Hollister estimates that he will need $30,000 to undertake the investigations, but said he would return any unused portion of the money to the general fund.

  Hollister was reluctant to be too specific about how the money would be spent.

  “I can’t use the budget process to pick and choose what cases to prosecute,” he said.

  But he did say that he would need to hire a certified public accountant to help with the fraud investigations and a pathologist for the homicide investigation.


Ag commissioner

  The supervisors voted to extend an employment agreement with Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights & Measures Keith Mahan.

  Mahan’s contract expires Nov. 23.

  The supervisors had previously voted not to renew Mahan’s contract, which would have automatically renewed for four years.

  County Counsel Craig Settlemire told the supervisors that they could extend the contract with Mahan until “which time Keith is reappointed or a successor is appointed.”

  The board also approved an amended contract with John Steffanic, the county’s fair manager.

  Last fiscal year Steffanic took a 50 percent pay cut, but this fiscal year, he will earn 80 percent of his original pay.

Taking vehicles home

  The supervisors reauthorized an action that was originally approved in 1993, which allowed designated public works department employees to take their county vehicles home overnight.

  Back in 1993, an in-depth discussion preceded that board’s vote to allow the practice, and Public Works Director Bob Perreault included documentation from that time to back up his request.

  This board didn’t require a lengthy debate and unanimously approved it.

Next meeting

  The next Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11.

  Typically, the board meets the first three Tuesdays of the month, but the Thanksgiving holiday and the annual California State Association of Counties conference have altered the schedule.


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