Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Evidence shows defendant did work after contract expiration date

By
From page A1 | April 28, 2014 |

a1 nutting

SUPERVISOR RAY NUTTING enters the courtroom followed by his attorney, David Weiner, on April 24. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

Evidence presented in the Supervisor Ray Nutting trial on April 24 pointed to work being done after a contract deadline — meaning Nutting likely should not have received the money, a potential conflict of interest.

The day began with former county counsel Lou Green retaking the stand. He reiterated that he was told information by Nutting concerning the Happy Valley Trust, land adjacent to Nutting’s land, and that Nutting was a trustee and his brother, Tom, was the beneficiary of the trust. Timber sold from either piece of land could result in a profit for Nutting.

However, under questioning from defense attorney David Weiner, Green said that he did not know when the timber harvesting was done. No specific plan for harvest was given to Green.

Next to the stand was Scott Johnson of Wilbur-Ellis, a nationwide chemical distribution company. A vegetation management specialist, Johnson said he had worked on many California Forest Improvement Programs, supported by money from Proposition 40. He said he provided the signed prescription for herbicide for Nutting, “like a doctor’s prescription.”

Johnson had been contacted by Nutting’s registered professional forester, Mark Stewart, whom Johnson dealt with directly. He provided what he said amounted to an industrial version of Roundup for both Nutting and his brother’s land, pointing to invoices for the product. The herbicide, according to documents, was ordered on April 27, 2009 — after the April 15 contract expiration date. Earlier testimony from multiple witnesses stated that Nutting should not have received the reimbursement grant money if he had done work after the contract end date. A credit card statement showed payment two days after being ordered. Johnson stated of the herbicide, “I think he applied it in May.”

He told Weiner that while he was not present during the application, he had seen reports. He noted that if the herbicide was sprayed two-to-four hours before rain, the spray would not work. Snow could also cause the product to not work, as the plant would not take in the spray. Instead, it would be better to wait until the end of May through mid-August, when growth cycles in plants are consistent, to spray.

He said that purple dye was also sold to Nutting to see where the herbicide had been sprayed.

Dustin Durrett and Daniel Randall were the next two witnesses. Both had applied the herbicide in 2009 to Nutting’s land under Nutting’s direction. Both had checks for multiple dates in May for the work — spraying the herbicide and burning detritus. Durrett remembered being paid at the end of each week, though Randall couldn’t quite remember but believed the same.

The creator of the Form 700, used to show economic interests of elected officials, Linda Cassady of the Fair Political Practices Commission of California, described when officials have to file the form: When they assume office, annually and when they leave office. It allows the public to see where the elected official’s outside income is coming from and any potential conflict of interest.

Cassady was shown multiple Form 700s — and Form 721s and 730s, the Form 700′s predecessor — filed by Nutting over the years. She was shown an amendment filed on April 4, 2013. The amendment was for a Form 700 filed three years previously. It was for Prop. 40 grant money.

George Turnboo, Nutting’s opponent in the supervisor race in 2012, said he saw Nutting at Tea Party meetings during the time. The two would hold debates. He testified that he never heard Nutting tell the public that he was receiving taxpayer money to improve his land, but Nutting told Turnboo in private. Turnboo said Nutting “didn’t want it to get out” during the campaign. It was, Turnboo said, a heated discussion at a Republican Central Committee meeting.

The supervisor who beat Nutting in the two elections previous, Helen Baumann, testified next. She told co-prosecutor Pete Williams of the state Attorney General’s Office that she had no idea Nutting was using taxpayer money for his land. Had she known, she would have used it during the campaign. Baumann, a vineyard owner, had not applied for Prop. 40 money herself, she said as, “It is a conflict of interest, in my opinion.”

Weiner’s questioning focused on whether Baumann had seen Nutting’s 700 Forms. She had not, but believed people on her campaign had. He also focused on whether Baumann had voted on anything that would improve her vineyard, which she denied. There had been a heated discussion between Baumann and Nutting on whether there was a conflict of interest concerning the vineyard.

Switching to direct questioning, Weiner asked about the consent calendar. Baumann said it was not unusual for a supervisor to take an item off the consent calendar — which essentially approves a batch of items, such as contracts being renewed — and budget items were typically not on the consent calendar during her time in office. However, it depended on the year, as sometimes they were.

Al Hubbard and Carlan Meyer’s testimonies closed out the day. Both previous members of the Sierra Coordinated Resource Management Council, the joint powers association that cuts the reimbursement checks for the region for Prop. 40 grants, both had signed the checks in the past. Both also noted that the El Dorado Resource Conservation District, part of SCRMC had a base funding, voted on by the Board of Supervisors. Hubbard joked that a major part of his compensation for being part of EDRCD was a sandwich during a lunch with the Board of Supervisors to “brag” about what the RCD had accomplished so the Board of Supervisors would continue the funding. Meyer testified it was similar with the Georgetown Divide RCD.

Hubbard and later Meyer served as the chairman for SCRMC. Both cut checks, and both said that Cal Fire could not demand the checks be signed. No special favors were granted for Nutting.

The trial ended for the day. It will continue on Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Department 2.

Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or cmayer@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @CMayerMtDemo.

Comments

comments

.

News

General Plan workshop today

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

 
Two growth control initiatives get green light

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fatal accident in Camino

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

By Ross Branch | From Page: A3

 
35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Bee-ing silly

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
.

Letters

Want more water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Refugee crisis

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Letter to Speaker of the House

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
GDPUD misinformation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

At the crossroads

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Camp experience is ‘priceless’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Speedway races cancelled

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

El Dorado doubles up on Pro Players

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Under the Scoreboard: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Schedule: July 28 – Aug. 2, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Local spiker shines

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
Sports Scene: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

A beautiful day at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

By Cathy Barsotti | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

Bipolar Insights: From point A to point B

By Marcia Rose | From Page: B2

 
Cool time at Cowboys and Cornbread

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
As we were: Recreation district grows

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

After 5 Club to meet

By Senior Day | From Page: B10

 
Cantare names new director

By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

Crime Log: July 14-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Divorces

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

DUI Log: June 25-July 9

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Monday, July 28, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8