Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
December 19, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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December 19, 2001

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B Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2001 Bulletin, Progressive, Rec~~ Continued from page 1B (Gardner points to an arti. cle that alleges the sheriff bought a police car engine to which he was not legally enti- tled.) And, then, all of a sudden, I'm seeing a difference. Up until this time, I trusted him completely. I trusted him with my life. Newspaper: Why did that (newspaper) story change things? Gardner: (Laughs). Newspaper: Why did that change your relationship with Terry?. Gardner: Well, it changed things because I didn't find out that it was Terry who went to the D.A. until (Bergstrand) told me. And that was not too long ago. Gardner: Up to that point, I was still looking, when he came into that office, for rec- onciliation. I knew it wasn't only I he had offended; he had offended Rod and some sergeants~n the department. What I was asking him to do was to, "Let's make it right with everybody." Now, insofar as him going to the D.A., this was no secret around here what was going on. If he felt or, if anybody else felt, it was inappropriate, he has free access to my office, free access to me at anytime. There have been other times he has approached me and we have gotten into some pretty serious discussions back and forth. And we've worked things out that we thought would be better for the department in the situation. He never came to me (about the engine). Newspaper: Maybe three weeks ago? Gardner: Yeah, I think, when he and (attorney) David Adrian were in my of. rice, he told me. He said, "You're angry with me because I went to the D.A." I said, "I'm not angry." Up until then I did not know. I had a suspicion, but I didn't know it was fact. Newspaper: What was your reaction to f'mding out? Here is somebody who has worked for you, who was your right-hand guy who, for whatever reason, genuinely believed that something wrong had occurred. trans- gression? And he wen o the district attorney and said, "Maybe something illegal or inappropriate has happened here, and I don't know what else to do. I want to turn this information over to you be- cause it seems like you're the appropriate agency to handle this." What was your reac- tion to this? Gardner: Like I said, I wasn't angry. I don't think I responded to him when he told me. He said, "You're angry be- cause I went to the D.A." !I tra'nbk gry,)' Newspaper: What were you? Newspaper: At any time? Gardner: At any time. Had he, if he had come to me like he had at some other times and said, "Sheriff, you're screwing up. This isn't right, you know," I would have backed off. Newspaper: At no point did he come to you and say, "I think this is inappropriate or something you should not be doing?." Gardner: (Indicated no.) Newspaper: I'm just going to ask this question straight out, so you can say yes or no and get it out of the way. The events that have happened regarding Terry Bergstrand: They having nothing to do with you retaliating against him for being a whistleblow- er or deciding to run for sher- iff. Gardner: Absolutely not. And I think that can be con- firmed with people other than myself. DeCrona: What do you guys see as retaliation, or what does the public see as retaliation? Maybe we can say why that was done? Because, it's easy to say, "They took my gun away." t.Tl(at simple.ask'errs: -- "They took my unifornf away." That snbt true. We go by past practice. CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE job." And I just go ahead and retire, which I can. Or resign. Then, he was looking for the board (of supervisors) to appoint him (sheriff). And, once he is appointed, he would be running as an in- cumbent. And all l e'd have to do is ask Hagwood, "You don't run for sheriff, and I'll bring you back as an investigator." I think that was the motive, going back. Newspaper: A couple of things happened. There's this perception, which was later confirmed, that he went to the district attorney's off'me. He's also decided, two or Newspaper: My belief about Terry is that he didn't know he wanted to run for sheriff until a few weeks ago, that he was wavering back and forth. Gardner: I don't know. three weeks ago, tb-r n for sheriff. Or at least mdd the f'mal decision to do that. And then, following those things, a certain set of events hap- pened involving him? Some people look at tl). at and say, "He's being punished or re- taliated against somehow." I think that would be the per- ception of a rational person in the community just look- ing at this without having come in here and been a fly on the wall. Gardner: Let me ask you guys something: Just how much do you guys know, or have you been told, about the issue when the engine situa- tion came up? And what was tried with the staff when I was out of state? Newspaper: What was tried with the staff?. Gardner: Yes. Newspaper: I don't under- stand. Gardner: Well, I guess you don't know then. Newspaper: Are you talk- ing about what I have heard as a rumor: Terry trying to solicit support among the people here? Support that the engine calSer was something you shouldn't have done? That kind of support? Gardner: Well, the sup port, because of this article in the paper, getting the staff to give me a vote of no confi- dence. And, if he was successful in getting a vote of no confi- dence, thinking that I would resign or retire, then the only opposition he would have (for sheriff in the election) is Greg Hagwood. Newspaper: Or Rod De- Crona? Gardner: Or possibly Rod. But there was some discus- sion there--well, I wasn't there--that Terry and Rod has referenced that. Newspaper: There were some days when he said, "Forget it. I'll work the next year and hah'--or until he thought he was eligible to re- tire---"I don't need the headache." DeCrona: It's been real mixed. Some things we see and you go, "My goodness, this has been going on for years." And then other things you look at and you go, or at oth- er things he's done, "It's not that cut and dry. It's not that clear in my mind." Newspaper: You've got an undersheriff, and obviously that's your second in com- mand, and he's the guy who you've got to be able to trust. You've got an undersheriff who you can no longer trust because, while you were gone, he was apparently try- ing to rally the troops to have a vote of no confidence to fos- ter his bid for office, as it would appear. And he's also on limited work duty. And you've got to be accountable tb the taxpayers. Election aside, wouldn't it make more sense to simply cut your loss- es; and say, "You know, I've got an undersheriff, and I can't trust him. He's on limit- ed work duty. I can't afford to pay him for that. I've got to reassign his duties, (put him in) a job he can actually han- dle and get an undersheriff in here who can do the job of Newspaper: Isn't it more important, regardless of the consequences, to serve the community rather than be worried about what we or the voters think? Gardner: That goes with- out saying. If you--the newspaper-- comes out and says, "Well, the only reason why Terry is no longer here is because Gardner retaliated against him." And that's all they see printed. If they don't see the explanation, "Well, the sher- iff feels that this is inappro- priate to spend the taxpayers' money on an individual who isn't doing anything." Perhaps, if that were ex- plained, yeah, I wouldn't have any problems with (ter- minating Bergstrand). But, see, I'm dealing with another situation, too, now that I have found out, several weeks ago, that he is the one who's gone to the D.A. Now, I'm dealing with the whisfleblowing thing that, if I terminate him now, then he's going to be able to sue: "The only reason you fined me is because I went to the D.A. I blew the whistle on yOU." That's all he's going to say. He's not going to say that the D.A. investigated it. County council investigated it. And they see that there's nothing wrong on the part of the sher- iff. They're just going to look at it: "Terry blew the whistle on the sheriff, and the sheriff retaliated." Newspaper: Did you, at any point, fire Terry and then bring him back? Gardner: (Laughs). Yes. Newspaper: In the course of one day? Gardner: In the course of 15 to 20 minutes. (Laughs). Yes, that's true. Newspaper: Do you care to explain that? Gardner: Well, yes, I'll be happy to explain that. When some information started surfacing, especially right down the staff. meeting that really me. And it was ry. And I knew then something DeCrona: Well the truth. Gardner: Well So, after him the situation. He gave me He said, "Before advice, counsel and run I did. I went counsel and the ministrative officer's) (l and sat down. I said, "Look, this is! problem. What what I wanted to do minate him because he an at-will employee. ht~~d to resign or retire. state (on the calls me at home heard you're me." I said, "Who told youl And he mentioned thing that I had gone to' kind of meeting. Which I found out ter he I went and that I told people Rotary that I was going fh'e him. Which I been to the Rotary When he called me, asked him, "Who told that," he said, "I don't to tell can if I have to later orL I said, "OIL" I said, "what we need is talk when you l Because, at that time, work things out." And he kept "I need to know. feted aj need to know if to fine me, that I can job and start the moving." And I said, "Terry, til you get back." (And If this took place, if he was undersheriff. All politics after the staff meeting, when said), "No, no, I successfulindo~this~L as~~dn't;~~ Icameback~'om(atripto~ ,: right now. It's not wherelJust ~fd,"~f'fff~ hot ..... fiio~sense? ~ Indiana, we had a staffmeet- forcement, but I've got in here. I don't want this any- Gardner: Yes. But, like I more. I don't need this any- said, I feared what you guys more. The heck with this would do. /m mtmtts p m PASSENGER CLAIM RIETUlIN PROGRAM. H ~ dem't use ywr pesseqar car clmim, for fdl retired dtar the lest Iqd dete far stmlded fires. gi: m l ---- |I F Illlnlln ll0 /llif:l llltl 'l lil/ g IMJD ~Ii l 1111JI1 ..... II?ll.lll-l! 1 111AI ~11 g 1~.11 II/llJIB.111 | llllJD II/II.IIB.11s I 1U 257-8883 73816 DELLEKER RD. 832-1533 Millll. CRESCENT ST. 283-1450 2385 MAIN ST. ing. I knew that, in reference to the engine thing, I blew it not giving the staffall the infor- mation. I just came in and gave them the bottom line and said, "Hey, there's probably going to be an article coming out in the paper. And this is the way it is." And I just didn't go right down the line. Well, when I came back from indiana, after this, and I pulled some documents, got my notes together and I went In case p: 're still thinking about leaving town to do your holiday shopping, odd up these great reasons to shop locally. And I said, "OK, minated." I don't "terminated." I said, ed," And then why. And I was advised the attorneys, give a reason at ployee. Just say And that's all I did. And he know why. Well, then, hung up. I went in, sat down hn living thinking about it. I said, "Golly, it's not the right thing to do the phone." So, after, for, golly, about I0 got a call fl'om Rod. And wanted pened. So, Rod, "Well, camng ing it." I said, "It wasn't to do." SO, as soon as from Rod, I called Terry back. And I said, "Terry, rm going to rescind did." He said, "I've alreadY called some people and told them that me." I said, "Well it's later where you are than so why don't you just them back and tell the unfired So, he said that he And I said tha get back. we'll tal " So, that's how that pened. WHAT DO PREGNANT 15 YEAR OLDS HAVE IN COMMON? The fathers of their babies are absent and over the age of 21. Statutory rape is a crime, report it. Call the Crisis Line for help. LINE and from outside the local calling area call toll free: 1-877-332.2754 Crisis: 1-877-215-7273