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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 1, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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October 1, 2014

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6A Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 Feather River Bulletin. SENTENCE, from page 1A behavior. I think it needs to be punished and, therefore, I intend to do that. "The court has selected the upper term because of the extensive planning and sophistication of the crime," he said, adding Moore showed "limited remorse.',' Kaufman said Moore harmed the Indian Valley community and "will continue to harm the community for a long period of time." "I think it deserves the maximum punishment allowable by law," he said. The judge ruled Moore would not be eligible for probation. He also ordered her to pay restitution and fines totaling more than $2.4 million. She has 60 days to appeal the sentence. Moore sat expressionless through the 30-minute sentencing hearing wearing handcuffs and inmate clothing. She was free on $100,000 bail following her June 20 "no contest" plea in order to get her affairs in order. However, she was ordered at that time to enter the Plumas County jail on Sept. 12. At last Wednesday's hearing, Judge Kaufman ordered Moore to be transferred to the state women's prison in Chowchilla to begin serving her sentence. Moore was convicted on one count of embezzlement by a public official and three counts of forgery. She also received an aggravated white-collar crime enhancement because her theft totaled more than $500,000. The enhancement doubled the length of her sentence. Moore admitted stealing $626,000. She was accused of taking $676,375.60. About 20 people attended the sentencing hearing. When Kaufman asked if anyone wanted to address the court, only one person spoke. Indian Valley district board chairman Brad Smith read a short statement, saying Moore's actions have divided the community and will affect it for years. After the hearing, Smith credited the district's remaining employees for stepping up to "keep things running." During Moore's tenure, the water district's staffwas cut from 14 employees to four. "They have done a terrific job. And, in my mind, they haven't received enough credit," Smith said, referring to current GM Jesse Lawson and his staff. "They allowed us to keep the water flowing and the sewer flowing." District Attorney David Hollister said he felt horrible for the Indian Valley ratepayers. He said he intends to meet with the community in Indian Valley and will continue working to get some restitution money from Moore. "If there are assets out there, I think we will be able to get them," Hollister said. Hollister addressed the division that has happened in Indian Valley in the wake of the embezzlement scandal. An organized group of residents has been calling for the board members to resign. Hollister said the board members were extremely cooperative during the investigation and shouldn't be blamed for Moore's actions. "The idea that the board should have seen this stuff happening, that it was happening right under their nose ... it just wasn't true," Hollister said. "I'm not sure that the public has the full picture on that. "What I think is important to know is the leVel of planning and sophistication that the defendant engaged in to allow this to happen .... (Moore) really worked very hard on this," he said. "She literally would take bank records, reformat them to hide the theft and then present them as if they were the original records" and present them to the board and the public. "Certainly there are things the board could have done better. And I think they are doing better now." Hollister said he hoped the lessons learned from the case will impact the way all volunteer boards in the county do business. "I think Judge Kaufman sent a loud and clear message that the public's trust in their officials, and how they handle the public's money, is paramount," he said. "And when that trust is breeched, there's going to be a significant, meaningful response." Hollister said he was grateful to Frank Richardson, who became the district's GM in 2012 after Moore resigned. Richardson contacted the district attorney's office when he discovered financial irregularities. The subsequent investigation uncovered systematic fraud by Moore. Investigation almost didn't happen Hollister said two years before the Indian Valley investigation began his staff was cut from three investigators to two. "The sheriff had been reduced as well," he said. "This was very close to public safety or law enforcement not having the resources to investigate this," Hollister said. "And if you have somebody steal almost three-quarters of a million dollars, and then have nothing happen from that, and have it be public money.., that's just not a result that I think anyone would find acceptable. "It very much concerned me from the start of this, all the way until today, how close we came to not having the resources to do this. "Our investigation staff-- Jessica Beatley in particular --just did a remarkable job." BUDGET, from page 1A wrist.' Those cuts were made 'by the board." Kennedy had sent out an email the prior week asking all departments to take a fresh look at their budgets to see if additional cuts could be made. Some directors estimated more revenue, while some did cut expenses, but not Hagwood. "You come up with a number," Hagwood said he told Kennedy and Scarlett, and they did. "It means that I've lost 8 percent of my budget on top of 8 percent last year," he said. When asked what that would mean to his department, he said it would mean fewer deputies. While he currently has two in the academy and one slated to enter in January, he won't be able to replace individuals that he knows are planning to retire or relocate. Hagwood said he can't cut front office staff or his secretary, because he has neither. He can't cut correctional officers because the jail is operating under a consent decree with mandated staffing levels. Almost all departments received some cuts and their requests for more employees were denied: --Facilities: maintenance worker. --Planning: assistant planner. --Clerk-recorder: two half-time positions. --County counsel: change in job classifications resulting in increased wages. --Building: code enforcement officer. Facilities did receive $186,000 for deferred maintenance and Kennedy argued successfully for $40,000 for senior nutrition. Once again the popular... "Black Bean w/Avocados & Chorizo (optional) 557 Lawrence Street Quincy 7-2 Every Day "Serving Darn Good Comfort Food Since 1976" j Thursday, Oct. 2, 6:30 pm Four course dinner with beer pairings, Reservations essential, Spanish theme bar/deck menu. The latter commanded the health department finance the POTHOLES, from page 1A streets, the discussion of who bulk of the discussion during plan because the senior meal should be responsible the budget hearing, with is about more than food, it's trench surfaces are presently continued. Kennedy supporting the about socialization and not in compliance with the "It was constant with both request made by Public keeping seniors engaged.Plans and Specifications that sides defending what they Health Director Mimi Hall After further discussion, are a condition of the Plumas did," Simpson said. and Supervisor Sherrie the board decided to keep the County Encroachment The group rode the West Thrall adamantly against it. $40,000 allocation in the Permit,"Perreault wrote in a Main stretch of road and "all Hall envisions a new budget, but to discuss Hall's letter to all of the parties agreed it was a bumpy ride," dynamic for providing the plan as soon as possible, and involved. Simpson said. congregate noon meals, pursue the mental healthSo Sept. 19 representatives Joe Blackwell, deputy which involves working in contribution, from public works, the director of public works, said cooperation with local To date budget discussions services district and the it's feared that the trenched restaurants. She asked for the have centered on the roughly contractors spent nearly four areas will deteriorate over money to assist in developing $6 million in general fund " hours examining pavementthe winter and become low the plan. contributions. The throughout Quincy. spots that the county's snow Thrall questioned whether supervisors haven't met with "We started off in the plows will not be able to the plan was even feasible, those departments that meeting room," Supervisor clear, resulting in dangerous given the seasonal nature of receive the bulk of their Simpson said. "And I told icy patches. many local restaurants, and funding from state and federal them I didn't want any more Partially what is at issue is why it would take $40,000 to sources: social services, 'he said, she said.'" the pre-existing quality of the streamline a process, mental health, public health, Those in theroom included roads that were excavated. "I just can't in good alcohol and drug, and public Bob Meissner, the president Some weren't in very good conscience use fund balance works, which includes the of Cal Electro, the Redding condition. to do that," Thrall said. road department and flood firm hired to upgrade the "That has to be factored "Mimi (Hall) might have control sewer; Buddy Cox, president in," Perreault acknowledged. to lay someone off," Kennedy The board was scheduled to of Cox&Cox Construction, a The meeting concluded said if the money isn't made officially adopt the budget Redding subcontractor; and with the contractors available, during a special meeting Sept. Caleb Holland, owner of local agreeing to submit a Supervisor Lori Simpson 30 when Scarlett presents the contractor Dig It proposal for the work that suggested that the mental final document. Construction. needs to be done ..... , Keith Krantz, of Redding's Perreault anticipates that Pace Engineering, the the work, which includes company charged with the pockets throughout Quincy including Bellamy Tract and design and oversight, was also present. Nugget Lane, will take about But once the group hit the a month to complete. 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