Defeated DA-hopeful Lance Daniel vanishes from Butte County
If you visit Lance Daniel’s Facebook page and read some of his postings, you might think the recently defeated candidate for Butte County district attorney was still in town.
“Hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend! Anyone going to Biggs to watch fireworks?” he wondered on July 2.
On June 25 he shared this: “After court this morning I went on a fun bike ride along the river. It’s a good way to start the weekend!”
He’s probably referring to the Sacramento River, and though it runs close to Chico, his riverside ride was most likely in the city for which the river is named.
Daniel, who’s had a law practice in Sacramento for the past 20 years, established residency in Butte County, listing his address as a home on Lazy Trail Drive, an upscale neighborhood just south of West Sacramento Avenue. To prove he was no carpetbagger, as some critics called him, during his campaign he made references to how much he liked his newly adopted county.
His January press release announcing his decision to run for DA included this: “Daniel also believes Butte County has much to offer him. From Bidwell Park, to small communities, to pleasant downtowns, to great bike trails—he sees Butte County as a great location to live and work. ‘I can say without a doubt that, regardless of the outcome of my campaign,’ said Daniel, ‘I will be here to stay and will find much pleasure in making Butte County my home.’ ”
He told Chico Enterprise-Record reporter Terry Vau Dell around the same time that he had rented a house in Chico.
But a short phone interview between this reporter and Daniel last week went like this: Daniel: “I’m not taking questions from the press right now.”
Reporter: “Are you still living in Chico, on Lazy Trail …”
Daniel: “I’m not taking any questions from the press right now.”
And the line went dead.
According to the Butte County Assessor’s Office, the house at Lazy Trail Drive is owned by the Stephen McMillin H Trust. The man who answered the door there said his name was Steve and that he’d rented a room to Daniel, who’d since moved away.
Steve explained that he was friends with Kim Scott, daughter of George Scott, a Butte County scrap-yard operator prosecuted by Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey for environmental transgressions. George Scott formed Citizens for Economic Balance, a political-action committee, which took aim at Ramsey and drafted Daniel to move here and run for DA.
On Thursday, July 1, Daniel’s Facebook page had this post: “I want to keep contact with the good folks of Butte County and I know they could use a tough, experienced, trial lawyer who will stand up for them. To that end, I’m happy to consider representing new clients in Butte County. Please spread the word.”