Vincent Cal, owner of the Cal’s Market in Greenwood, was sentenced to three years summary court probation Friday morning.
Cal’s attorney, Steve Tapson, began the hearing with a motion, stating that the jury had been “mistaken in their examination” of evidence and that El Dorado County is formally required to declare parcels as abandoned. Prosecutor Michael Pizzuti had not received or heard of the motion.
Judge James R. Wagoner ruled that the court had already addressed the issue during Cal’s trial and that there had been opposing views and testimony. He ruled that the jury had properly analyzed facts and used the law. “I cannot say the jury erroneously applied facts,” he said. He declined the motion.
Tapson then moved on to a trailing case for Cal, not related to permits or whether the store could legally operate, which involves worker’s compensation and whether Cal had insurance. Tapson said that Cal would not plea to the charge and that a trial should be set. He noted that Cal did get worker’s compensation after he hired an employee that needed it. Tapson said that the subject of the case was never actually an employee.
A readiness and settlement conference was set for Nov. 16 with a trial, which Tapson estimated to take two days, set for Dec. 4.
With all other matters settled, Wagoner began the sentencing, asking if there was anyone to speak for either side. Tapson spoke for Cal’s side, requesting the minimum sentence, as Cal was “obviously not going to open the store without permits.”
Pizzuti asked that the deck that Cal was found to have built without a permit should be permitted within 30 days and that Cal have search and seizure terms plus a three-year probation.
Tapson countered, saying that Cal doesn’t own the building and that it is technically not his deck.
Wagoner sentenced Cal to three years probation and suspended jail time; gave terms of search and seizure so that health and building inspectors could inspect the building day or night, with or without a warrant; ordered that the deck be permitted within 90 days or torn down; and imposed the maximum fine of $3,000 plus fees, but stayed all but $500. The jail time and other fines and fees were still “out there,” Wagoner said, for use if Cal does not obey the court orders and opens the store without the proper permits.
Tapson then asked for permission to file an appeal, which was granted.
After the hearing, Tapson again noted that he intended to file an appeal. “In my view, we’re going to win (the appeal),” he said. He also called the prosecution demanding a plea for the worker’s compensation issue “overkill.”
Cal said the residents of Greenwood are, “All pissed off up there about (the market) being closed. Obviously people don’t count, what they want and need in the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter. Is this supposed to be an act for the people against the people?”
Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @CMayerMtDemo.