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According to the recently published Grand Jury report, the county’s recent release of the problem-plagued Logan Building, now called Victory Mine Center and owned by Steve Abel, has many of the same problems cited in three previous Grand Jury reports of 1999/2000. Why didn’t the county’s facility manager, Russ Fackrell, solve these problems prior to releasing at the Logan? Lack of an elevator, no interior access between floors, lack of soundproofing, lack of parking, large rooms which lack privacy for mental health counseling violating HIPPA, remote location and the cost of running county van pools to Diamond Springs?
Russ Fackrell obligated the county to a 10-year, $3.2 million lease of this antiquated, remote and problem-plagued facility again. According to a high-ranking Mental Health manager’s recent comments in May, “the Logan Building just doesn’t work or meet the needs of the county.” Well that was clearly stated previously in the 1999/2000 era Grand Jury reports when the Grand Jury stated the county should never lease or occupy this facility again. According to a March 13, 2013, press release by Mr. Fackrell, the county was looking to improve HIPAA privacy and ADA accessibility by leasing the Logan Building. It looks as if Mr. Fackrell blundered and failed to do either, as those are reoccurring problems cited by the recent Grand Jury report as well as the previous reports.
The county wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of tobacco tax slush fund money to facilitate and justify this costly move and now must pay annually for costly van-pool busing of Mental Health clients to and from the remote Diamond Springs for 10 years. The lack of an elevator is a major concern for the county, as the county is already in violation of a Federal Court decree, whereby the county was found guilty of intentionally violating the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). There was a lot of malfeasance involving this lease with two supervisors, Briggs and Veerkamp, along with Kim Kerr, assistant CAO, who circumvented and overrode the Planning and Building Department by granting premature occupancy and variances from normal county requirements and state building codes like a Queen Mother Mary on the project, which incidentally was raided by the state Contractors License Board for the county’s use of an unlicensed contractor.
Poor judgement? Payola? Kickbacks? Favoritism? The county is repeating history and is once again traveling down the costly road of repairs to the Logan Building that followed the former acquisition in 1999 for then-Sheriff Hal Barker’s headquarters.
When will El Dorado County hire a real competent facilities manager? Why did the Grand Jury only scratch the surface of this investigation when issues of malfeasance, corruption and collusion regarding the lease of this facility involving two Board of Supervisors was provided to the Grand Jury with nearly 800 pages of backup material clearly delineating the corruption going on? Sweeping it under the rug?
Perhaps we need a competent grand jury that actually investigates and doesn’t succumb to the whims of Terri Daly or seek to cover up corrupt county business practices. Your Board of Supervisors and two CAOs are dirtier than you think.