Board not right to criticize Grand Jury

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webmaster | 08/09/13

In the Madera Tribune issue of Wednesday, June 26, there is an article entitled “Board slams Grand Jury.”

I find it interesting that the Board of Supervisors makes much of the report being “leaked,” rather than its content. They fail to recognize that the Grand Jury report is a reflection on themselves, as they are the ones that cannot control their own employee. The Board takes the Grand Jury to task for taking six months to investigate “one” complaint; isn’t that how most investigations start? The report indicates that 15 individuals were interviewed to corroborate the complaint.

The Board’s response to the Grand Jury report states that the human resources director (who was appointed by the Board and reports directly to the CAO) received no complaints about the CAO. They use this fact to evaluate the credibility of the Grand Jury report. I almost have to laugh out loud. Why would anyone go to the human resources director to complain about the very person (Mr. Fleming) to whom the director reports?

I suspect that the 15 individuals who testified before the Grand Jury did so because they were assured anonymity so they would not fear retaliation.

Unfortunately, the Board in its arrogance has dismissed the Grand Jury’s report, even though the report advises the Board of potential liability because of the CAO’s actions. They are now on notice. When the inevitable lawsuits arise, the Board will not be able to claim that they were ignorant of the issues. Even worse they have put in writing that they refuse to acknowledge or take any action to remedy the problem.

It is clear that the County of Madera lacks leadership. We need to elect strong leaders. Think before you vote in June 2014.

Dale Alquist,
Coarsegold

 

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