Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Top 10 stories of 2013: 1. Supervisor Ray Nutting under fire for burning issues

Nutting 106

SUPERVISOR RAY NUTTING, left, appeared in a South Tahoe court with his attorney David Weiner Sept. 20. Democrat file photo by Krysten Kellum

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From page A9 | January 06, 2014 | 59 Comments

A county supervisor ran in to many fire-related problems over the past year, including losing control of burn piles and a subsequent court case.

After charges from the District Attorney’s Office, a Grand Jury indicted Ray Nutting on counts of filing a false document, perjury by declaration, another filing of a false document and failure to recuse oneself from voting in a potential conflict of interest. Charges had also been filed related to loans Nutting received to pay for the initial bail from the DA’s charges.

The charges came from fire grants for Nutting’s property in Somerset between 2000 and 2009. He also allegedly voted to increase funding to the El Dorado Resource Conservation District and the Georgetown Resource Conservation District, about $80,400 each, on June 30, 2010 — money which would be used to fund the same grants he, in part, received.  A letter from the Fair Political Practices Commission of California, Nutting said, showed there was no conflict of interest and that the money Nutting received for grants was not connected to money he voted on. A letter to Nutting from Katie Maloney of the Placer County Resource Conservation District also states there is no direct connection to Nutting’s vote.

Nutting said he believes the charges to be political. He claims the politics stem from Auditor-Controller Joe Harn and District Attorney Vern Pierson backing another candidate for sheriff than he did; and Nutting previously pointing out that Harn is “grossly overpaid,” as he is the fourth highest-paid county auditor in the state, according to the California State Controller’s Office Website.

An appeal to the Third District Court was denied in November — just a few days before more fires broke out on Nutting’s property.

On Nov. 22, 2013, five acres burned. Four fires were started from burn piles. Nutting’s account and Cal Fire’s report do not entirely match; Nutting claimed that no trees burned while Cal Fire firefighters noted trees had fire in them. The speed of the spread of fire was also disputed.

Nutting will appear in Department 2 on Jan. 10 at 1:30 p.m. for a readiness and settlement conference.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 59 comments

  • Bob ReevesJanuary 05, 2014 - 6:43 pm

    Congratulations Raymond your the number one impious fish in Eldorado County.

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 05, 2014 - 6:47 pm

    LINK - THIS COULD BE YOU!

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 05, 2014 - 7:02 pm

    LINK - Do El Dorado County Leaders Reflect the Community's Standards? ~~~ ". . . Meanwhile, back at the "Celebrity Bartender Fundraiser" things were going swimmingly until Mr. Steers left and was subsequently arrested for Drunk Driving by the CHP. ~~~ This is when Mr. Pierson's potential conflict of interest was realized. It is Mr. Pierson's job to prosecute his friend and campaign contributor, Ken Steers. Additionally it is the DA's job to investigate if a bartender or server had served him drinks when he was in a state apparent drunkenness, as it is criminal to continue to serve someone that is drunk already. ~~~ And who served drinks at the event? According to Vern's own invitation, it was He and his buddies Harn and McGinnis. Who actually served Mr Steers the drinks and was it too much? Well that has to be investigated by the DA, the same man that may be a prime suspect! Will he be aggressive at prosecuting the man that is a key player in his political campaigns? ~~~ This is a clear conflict of interest. One that caused our Sheriff to decline the invitation to be a "Celebrity Bartender." One that Mr. Person should have learned for his prior boss's experience. ~~~ Now we are left wondering if our DA will do his job, even if that means . . . "

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  • Clyde N.January 05, 2014 - 7:14 pm

    And what does this have to do with Nutcase?

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  • Bonnie P.January 05, 2014 - 8:02 pm

    Nuttin. Just the ? of impartiality. Which isn't a ? at all.

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  • sunshineJanuary 06, 2014 - 2:09 pm

    Mr.Mayer, I'm confused! The Fair Political Practice Commission said there was" No" conflict of interest. Documents from Cal Fire said there was" No" comingling Of county funds in the grant. Joe Harn said in a public meeting that "a woman brought this information to him", and he took it to District Attorney Vern Pierson. Is your article "POLITICAL SPIN "? Which Grand Jury looked at this information, the one that did not complete the year and was disbanded? One fact stands as the truth and that is Joe Harn is always putting his friends political interests before the county's interests. Second , editor Raffety is a BFF of Joe Harn.

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  • Cole MayerJanuary 06, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    Sunshine, Thanks for reminding me, there's actually a clarification for this article, mentioning said letter, that I forgot to add back in to the article itself. It should be fixed shortly after this comment posts.

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  • connectionsJanuary 06, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/l2hhexd

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  • Ernie LouisJanuary 06, 2014 - 3:14 pm

    Who edits this stuff. Sounds like troubling times in the kingdom. I don’t understand how the DA can base his charges from the “incomplete results” of a disbanded Grand Jury. Why one elected official can run for re-election at age 80? How many times can the Auditor/Controller be re-elected without accounting for his public and not so public life discretions. How old is the County Tax Collector? I don’t expect full editorial disclosure on every opinion written in the Mountain Democrat, but lets not forget that this is a small community and we know who is related to who. I thought the State fire agency determined that Nutting had not broken any laws as a Member of the Board Supervisors. I agree that we all have a lot to learn about burning debris on our property (especially in steep country) and Ray is no exception. So Be aware, if Nutting can go down on a political agenda, the whole kingdom is at risk. Ernie Louis

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  • JimmyJanuary 06, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    Sunshine & Ernie, the grand jury which issued an indictment against Ray Nutting was a separately empaneled criminal grand jury. They are completely separate from, and have no connection with, the disbanded civil grand jury.

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 06, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    1036-Frank-you are back to commenting on this issue but have not responded to my questions regarding the DUI'S causing great bodily harm or death being ignored by our District Attorney. For using a blog name that indicates you are in or have been in law enforcement, you sure do ignore my alcohol/drug related questions. I would think that would be a priority to us all. The DA should be prosecuting ALL DUI'S..you are so fixated on politicians.

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  • 1036-FrankJanuary 06, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    People forget a criminal GJ is not the civil GJ that was disbanded and that a criminal GJ from the regular jury rolls is often assembled to hear the evidence for one indictment and then dismissed from further service. Then going over old ground about the FPPC, they are not a source for opinion of guilt or innocence of criminal charges as are any of these multi-layered conservation districts which receive funds and Calfire is also included. The source of opinion will be a jury after hearing the evidence. From my understanding, the case against Nutting includes, along with the recorded votes at the BOS to fund the districts where the grants were obtained, are also the several felony violations of the 700 forms failure to disclose income sources and income received which are plain and on paper and signed. There is no great mystery to these form requirements as they are all over the FPPC site and all politicians are very aware of them because they are required and closely monitored for suspicion of corruption. This case will also be very similar to the Sac County DA who is charging a public office holder, one Cortez Quinn, for nearly the same offences without all of the local conspiracy inventions and the latest one who "did it." As the county did before in the last case like this, a trial will be held and the people will decide.

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  • Bob ReevesJanuary 06, 2014 - 5:09 pm

    1036 you forgot his rent money, and his bail money.

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  • EvelynJanuary 06, 2014 - 5:10 pm

    It would help to know the criteria for violations that can result in felony charges. For example, last year the FPPC fined Arnold Schwarzenegger $30,000 for violating state campaign finance laws. Schwarzenneger paid up: end of story. Contrast this with the $400 fine the FPPC levied against Ray Nutting. Nutting also paid up; not the end of the story.

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  • Fair TrialJanuary 06, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    Good question, Evelyn… even more so because the law that created the FPPC and set up the rules for campaign finance and economic interest reporting doesn’t contain any felony penalties. None. Violations of that law are punishable only by fines or misdemeanor prosecution (for intentional violations). As you point out, fines can be significant: Schwarzenegger was fined $30,000; I think Chris Hansen was fined some $50,000 for his failure to report contributions opposing the new downtown arena, and in October, the FPPC levied a record $1,000,000 against an independent expenditure committee related to 2012 ballot measure reporting violations. … Yet, Ray Nutting is fined a mere $400 – and the DA charges him with a felony? Seems likely to be an effort by the DA to force Ray Nutting out of office…a misdemeanor conviction won’t do the trick, but a felony conviction will usually remove an elected official from office. The heavy-handed approach offends fair-minded people who believe in in due process and equal protection. Seem in El Dorado county these days, the criteria for felony charges is that you pi$$ off the wrong people.

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  • Additional correction neededJanuary 06, 2014 - 5:14 pm

    Mr. Mayer, your correction helps, but it doesn’t go far enough. The article falsely states that Mr. Nutting voted to allocate funds to the RCDs, “money which would be used to fund the same grants he…received.” The Mt. Democrat should know this is not true. Your paper published a LTE from the Chuck Mitchell, President of the El Dorado County RCD on June 11, 2013, which included the following: “…the RCD’s have never administered a grant whereas Mr. Nutting was the recipient of funds. The RCD’s have never negotiated or authorized a contract involving Mr. Nutting..." To recap…Ray Nutting, the RCDs, Katie Maloney of Placer County RCD, Cal Fire and the FPPC all say Mr. Nutting did not vote to approve funding that he later received back from the RCDs. (Nutting’s grants were funded by Prop 40, a statewide bond measure…not from local funds.) Please, pick up the phone and ask the RCDs if they gave money to Ray Nutting. Then, print what they tell you for all to read. And put this issue to bed once and for all…

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  • oh brotherJanuary 07, 2014 - 10:33 am

    Ray?

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 07, 2014 - 11:39 am

    Can you not come up with your own original blogging name? You really have to pretend to be someone else. You must be afraid of your own opinions.

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 09, 2014 - 4:42 pm

    I thought I NEVER capitalized my name?

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  • GrizzJanuary 19, 2014 - 9:19 am

    Remember Ray when you point a finger there are three pointing back at you and one pointing as to where you are going because of all your illegal activity in life.

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  • well then, 3 fingers at ya, GrizzJanuary 19, 2014 - 9:24 am

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  • Fran DuchampJanuary 19, 2014 - 9:30 am

    As I was reading the last points...I tried to make my hand pretend to flip someone off...my hand wont do it anymore...well that bites dirt. Another urban garden bites the dirt By Claire Thompson http://grist.org/urban-agriculture/2011-09-20-urban-gardener-memphis/remember the woman who was arrested for having veggies in her front yard? Well now a math teacher is having problem for the same issues.

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  • Fran DuchampJanuary 19, 2014 - 9:31 am

    Adams veggie garden/photos http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/adam-guerreros-garden/Slideshow?oid=3054030

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  • Fran DuchampJanuary 19, 2014 - 9:37 am

    Now some will say--but Fran these article are from 2011...yep. I have also said the same issues are across the country....this attitude of veggies out front has just landed in California...something to think about. There are people who went to jail for this. I think veggies in front yards is great...mixed with flowers...varieties of colors and shapes.

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  • EvelynJanuary 20, 2014 - 7:02 am

    “Vern Pierson v. Ray Nutting,” a random, January 2014 perspective…. HERE

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 20, 2014 - 10:31 am

    Pretty discouraging reading...sad state of affairs around here. Wish we could all stick together to bring some change. Cookie, Dee, Phil, James, RJ, Evelyn et al, why are we fighting about the big political world when we could be doing something about our own county by sticking together and making this area a better place. After that we can move on to the bigger world of corrupted politics.

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 20, 2014 - 10:32 am

    And now I will get blasted by Bob Reeves, fake oh brother et al..oh well.

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  • EvelynJanuary 20, 2014 - 10:37 am

    OB: "All politics is local." ~ Tip O'Neill (55th Speaker of the U.S. House of Reps)

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 20, 2014 - 11:07 am

    That's true and that's fine, however; lets clean out our own home first and stick together for a change.

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 21, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    Are you seriously still using my name? I have reported you to the Mountain Democrat webmaster. You need to stop right now and get your own name!

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 21, 2014 - 3:48 pm

    Nope, I am not still using YOUR name. Difference for you copycat is that I am notified of follow up comments via my email. My comments do not come to my email, only others do. So, smart one, take a guess whose is coming thru to my email. So please, feel free to report whatever you so choose.

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 21, 2014 - 3:30 pm

    This piece is just an opinion piece, presented in a way that makes it appear to be investigative reporting. If all of the alleged misdeeds of the people he singles out are true, where is the proof? It certainly isn't presented anywhere in the piece. Please, stop using inedc as a source. It's no more valid or official than the comments section of this website.

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  • EvelynJanuary 21, 2014 - 3:47 pm

    OB: As pertains to the 5th paragraph (inedc), at today's BOS meeting a former EDC employee made allegations, which, if untrue would certainly leave him open to charges of defamation. As for the 1st paragraph, the info. contained therein is easily checked. I have. However, you seem to have done an about-face from yesterday @10:31 am.

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 21, 2014 - 3:53 pm

    Evelyn - that is my impersonator today. My opinion from yesterday still stands. I have the proof of who is the real Oh Brother. I refuse to give in and change my blogging name so I guess this District Attorney sidekick can just keep trying to play games. I have the proof in my email.

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  • EvelynJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:02 pm

    OB: The impersonator does himself no favors. His fakery immediately discredits his input.

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  • EvelynJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:07 pm

    Talk about rapid response! The video of today's BOS meeting is already up. I'm thinking of transcribing the allegations referenced @3:47pm.

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  • RaulJanuary 20, 2014 - 8:25 am

    Does this come as a surprise to anyone? The story posted on the inedc.com website is spot on. Us that have worked for this county for many years have always known these facts about the corruption that exist on Fair Lane. Think maybe the last grand jury new about it and was getting to close? I know they were!

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 21, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    Please, don't call it a story as if the person who wrote it is a reporter. It's a guy with a website spouting his opinion with absolutely no proof or accountability. It's as worthless as all the Ty Robben sites.

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  • Fran DuchampJanuary 20, 2014 - 11:18 am

    Many people are working on this county....several petitions...getting issues put on the ballot...law suits. People have to read outside of this county...because people across the USA have already been fighting some of the economic groups. It is always a good start to go "general" then focus to the smaller local governments. Believe me--no one in this county thought this stuff up by themselves. Smart growth...walkable communities...forecasted false population numbers. sign ordinances...banning bill boards...attacking motorcycles....small groups deciding for a whole...even the mission statements are copied from other places in some city and local papers. shrugging shoulders.

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:07 pm

    Evelyn - no he doesn't. He doesn't like my attitude at times toward the DA's pick and choose prosecution. I don't know Ray Nutting but I do know that the DA should prosecute fairly and honestly. Not driven by a tall drink of blonde that doesn't get held accountable for drunk driving and killing a bicyclist. The DA is prosecuting to play political games. That seems to tick off my impersonator.

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:10 pm

    Will the REAL ob please send me an email?

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:11 pm

    Evelyn - to clarify, it seems to tick my impersonator off that I question the DA's prosecution choices.

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:18 pm

    Evelyn - my feelings about the Nutting situation is that he has an attorney and will have his time in court. That has to play out as Fran puts it. The young lady that was killed on her bicycle because of a drunk driver doesn't have her day in court...that is so unfair. And the young woman that hit her is getting no favors by getting away with it. And it does tick me off that a bigger deal and tons of newspaper articles and pictures of Nutting is given far more meaning that a persons death. Phil I will figure out a way to get in touch with you but you better not tell on me....

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:26 pm

    mum's th' word . . . . jethromcswift@yahoo.com

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  • EvelynJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    . . . well, OB, we certainly DON'T want to tick off the impersonator!

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  • Fran DuchampJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    Phil...im jealous...dont you want to know who I am...oh right--I use my real name....never mind lolololol I wont tell if you write the real name of OB...shhhhhhhhhhhh The real OB seems "nice." They make a good sockpuppet. What about a closed animal sanctuary---would the cost of the hookups be useful? Does it have to be houses? Or units....

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  • EvelynJanuary 21, 2014 - 4:51 pm

    Above @3:47 pm, I referenced allegations made at today's BOS meeting by a former EDC employee. THIS is the video of today's meeting. The former employee spoke three times. The inputs are on the video at 00:27:50, 01:19:43 & 03:04:17. Total viewing time for all three: under 15 minutes.

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  • Oh BrotherJanuary 21, 2014 - 5:21 pm

    Evelyn - I watched the video at the times you printed. Wow, I can't believe this county. Now you know why I made my comment on January 20, 2014 - 10:31 am. I bet people are too afraid to ban and stick together against the bullies.

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 7:27 pm

    How does it come to pass that serial sexual harasser, Joe Harn, is not bankrupted from litigation?

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  • EvelynJanuary 21, 2014 - 7:38 pm

    I believe -- but stand open to correction -- that the County (thank you, taxpayers) has handled past litigation.

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 7:46 pm

    By golly! You are probably 100% correct! Joe Harn has no fear whatsoever of personal financial devastation. The TAX PAYERS will defend his sexual adventures with County staff. We elected this sexual predator. By golly We will defend this sexual predator. Go Joe go! Get'er done! Bring'em young 'n bring'em often! What a stud, Joe!!!

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 7:50 pm

    BTW ~~~ for those who mistook sarcasm ~~~ Recall JOE HARN! ~~~ and if we lack the will to recall JOE HARN then, hello Board of Supervisors - strip Joe Harn of all duty, responsibility and staff. Let Animal Control an Audit.

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 7:58 pm

    LINK - Joe Harn, sexual predator, harasser, bullier , and abuser on the video at ~~~ 00:27:50 ~~~ 01:19:43 ~~~ 03:04:17

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 5:03 pm

    EDUs, Fran, EDUs (equivalent dwelling units) = For the western county ~ .77 acre foot - way above average for the state. EDU for eastern county (Camino, Pollock) ~ .54 acre foot the west hogs the water and is subsidized by the east . Fran search this document fro "EDU" ~~~ LINK - 2012 WATER RESOURCES AND SERVICE RELIABILITY REPORT

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  • Fran DuchampJanuary 21, 2014 - 7:22 pm

    thanks Phil...I have scanned the paper...it will really take awhile to understand most of it. However it seems the county promised some water for pay up front. and that we up here are fine...and El Dorado Hills should do what...be nicer to us up here :) or stop building until they figure out their water per unit. it also seems people kept putting off rate raises--hoping what --they die off before it caught up with them >:( Maybe im wrong...but if there had been a gradual raise throughout the years...and developers didnt get any freebies...wouldnt that have made more sense? All of this is way above my head. I dont go to Sly Park anymore--cant afford it...cant walk down to it...but I still believe it was a great purchase. I love the visitors...if there were more for them to do in town--they would spend more money here. Maybe its time for that McDonald's -tourists wanted so long ago. Water is complicated.

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 10:00 pm

    James, on matters of corruption I can offer no better advice than my Dad's, "Look near before you look far" ~ Were Joe Harn and Bill Clinton separated at birth?

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  • EvelynJanuary 24, 2014 - 3:15 pm

    INTERESTING: Angela Swanson, South Lake Tahoe, announced last year that she would seek a seat on the Board of Supervisors (replacing Norma Santiago). HERE ********* (To be continued, next comment)

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  • EvelynJanuary 24, 2014 - 3:23 pm

    (Cont'd): "SOUTH LAKE TAHOE COUNCILWOMAN CLEARED IN BRIBERY INVESTIGATION" - HERE: Angela Swanson was investigated for accepting “an uncounted bag of cash” from career criminal Gennaro ‘Gino’ DiMatteo between two votes on the future of DiMatteo’s former medical marijuana dispensary in the city. ... “Our investigation revealed that Mr. DiMatteo clearly believed that prior to councilmember [Angela] Swanson’s vote on his dispensary he was told that he needed to make a donation to a local South Lake Tahoe charity,” District Attorney Vern Pierson wrote in a four-page letter to the South Lake Tahoe City Council. “Mr. DiMatteo told investigators it was his understanding — ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours.’”

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  • EvelynJanuary 24, 2014 - 3:33 pm

    The cash was for Lake Tahoe Educational Foundation, a charity Swanson is involved with. The cash transaction was set up and attended by Swanson and no receipt was given during the transaction, according to the investigation. ... “Upon a final review of all the evidence, it is our conclusion that South Lake Tahoe City Councilmember Swanson’s actions do not rise to the level sufficient to file criminal charges as she clearly harbored no criminal intent. Accordingly, this case is now closed,” Pierson wrote.

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