Oroville resident Matt Lakota, a self-styled lawyer of sorts, filed—get this—five lawsuits just last week. You might remember Lakota. He’s the one who filed suit against Butte County Superior Court two years ago, charging that the courthouse wasn’t accessible to people with disabilities.
This time, Lakota has the Feather River Parks and Recreation District square in his crosshairs. The issue: He charges that FRPD ranger Bob Sharkey illegally lobbied against awarding a bid for building the new Southside Oroville Community Center to a Red Bluff contracting company while he was on the clock for the FRPD. Lakota wants copies of Sharkey’s time cards but said that he was told that they were personnel records and therefore unavailable to him. But instead of backing off, Sharkey filed suit over the denial.
Sharkey, by the way, has denied any wrongdoing and said that he was off the clock for any time he lobbied the supervisors. Lakota has asked the Grand Jury to investigate Sharkey’s alleged misconduct, but so far the jury hasn’t done so.
Also last week, Lakota filed suit against the following: Butte County Sheriff’s Office (for refusing to turn over documents relating to a disturbance call at his home); Oroville Police Department (for the same); the Department of Motor Vehicles (for refusing to release the names of registered owners of cars that Lakota claims were abandoned on the street near his south Butte County home); and the Business Sampler Advertiser (for allegedly failing to pay Lakota for delivery work he says he performed).
Bye-Bye Blacklock; hello, vacancy
County Chief Administrative Officer John Blacklock retired this week, leaving the county’s top administrative seat open.
The Board of Supervisors, which hires CAOs, hasn’t been able to come to a consensus on a replacement, although it’s been interviewing candidates for weeks now. Word is, the closed-session hiring discussions have been fractured, at best. And that makes sense, given the redistricting-related hostility that’s clear among some board members.
Until the board hires a replacement, Assistant CAO Starr Brown will serve as interim CAO.
After huffing and puffing, Cohasset straw goes
The $1,200 worth of straw laid just a couple of weeks ago to stave off dust and erosion caused by last month’s logging operation around Cohasset Elementary School playground has come out.
Parents and other community members dominated the Sept. 5 Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting, telling trustees the straw was making their children sick. Last weekend, a district-hired landscape firm removed the 300 spread bales of straw. Now, the CUSD is paying to have wood chips spread in its place, confirmed Trustee Steve O’Bryan.
More than 250 diseased and healthy trees were logged out last month after a local logger informed the former principal that they posed a safety hazard.
Cohasset resident Dana Hanson said this week she’s glad the straw is gone but still is not convinced the district isn’t just making a public-relations move.
"I don’t think they truly understand," she said. "Kids were honestly sick. It’s a bigger issue than just straw."