Novato Grand Jury Fails to Follow Through on Their Legal Obligations

Posted by Sherlock Pwahrow on January 26, 2017 at 1:50 PM

Cowardly Novato Grand Jury: Less than grand

Shady goings on at Northern California's dysfunctional Fire Department BODs 

In November 2013, the Grand Jury learned that a lawsuit had been filed against the Novato Fire Protection District (NFPD). Like many red-blooded Americans, they immediately seized upon any excuse to get out of jury duty. Simply because the former Fire Chief threatened to sue the NFPD, two members of the board of directors (BOD) and the interim fire chief who replaced him, alleging defamation of character, slander, and negligent misrepresentation. 

The Grand Jury proved unwilling to influence the outcome of a lawsuit that never happened between the Novato Fire Chief and the NFPD, so they suspended their own investigation. That is an outrage because the party in question soon settled for a fraction of his demands. For such a weak reason as a lawsuit that never occurred, the jurors threw away the best chance the citizens of Novato will ever have to reclaim their lost tax dollars that they overpaid to their crooked fire chiefs. The former Deputy Chief was the highest paid public employee in the County in 2011: $407,661.

The Novato Grand Jury failed to follow through on their legal obligations to foster justice by bringing to trial those involved in the conspiracy to defraud the taxpayers.

It was the Grand Jury's job to bring to justice the criminals masquerading as honorable Novato Fire Chiefs who conspired with their board of directors to defraud the City of Novato by giving themselves inflated salaries. Ultimately, in the belief that the taxpayers of Marin had a right to more volumes of information that they will never have time to look at, the Grand Jury decided to write a worthless status report --one without teeth of any kind-- that no will read. The Grand Jury report confirms that they phoned in their responsibilities without the slightest concern for justice for their city.

One can understand why of course. The jury is made up of just ordinary citizens trying to get back to their lives and can't be bothered with the disgraceful implications against their local fire officials. Just pass the buck on and turn your backs to the theft of their city's treasure. Just leave the henhouse to the wolves.

Novato Grand Jury Abdicates Responsibility: Kicks Can Of Corruption Down Road

There is no next grand jury. It is always THE Grand Jury in session now or none at all. Because of their alleged fear of interfering with a legal trial, this grand jury once again kicked the can of corruption down the road. To be looked at by some non-existent future grand jury. But what was the grand jury really afraid of, threats to their loved ones, or were they simply paid off with all of the abundant Marin taxpayer dollars that the Novato Fire Protection District loves to lavish on their fire chiefs?

What does corruption look like; the problem is that corruption doesn't usually look like anything out of the norm? It appears to all the world as nothing but business as usual.

What is worse is that even when a classic case like this spews forth, such as the case of the Board of Directors of the Novato Fire Protection District , the jaundiced public turns a blind eye. Too busy it is presumed trying to earn enough to pay for all of the taxes that the NFPD routinely overpays its top fire officials.

The Voice of The Grand Jury: Crying in the Wilderness

Worse still, the Novato Grand Jury concluded that the problems that came to light during their investigation are not unique to the NFPD board by any stretch of the imagination. In a county where there are more than 30 special districts headed by boards of directors, they concluded that, in most cases, there is very little attention paid to board performance by the voters who put them into office. Nor is it any different in Sonoma and Napa County either.

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