​These are the Summaries, Findings, Commendations, Recommendations, and Requests for Responses only. For the full Report, click here. Alternatively, all of the full Reports including this one can be found on the Shasta County Grand Jury's website here.

 
 

Audit of Shasta County Accounts

"No Exceptions Noted"

SUMMARY


Penal code section 925 requires the grand jury to annually examine the financial accounts and records of the County. In addition, Government Code section 25250 requires the Board of Supervisors to conduct an annual audit of all County accounts. This audit is conducted by a “contract auditor” pursuant to Government Code section 31000. Penal Code section 926 allows the grand jury to enter into a joint contract with the Board to employ an auditor for both of these purposes.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

City of Redding Wastewater Treatment

The Choice is Clear

SUMMARY


The City of Redding (City) has embarked on an approximately $100 million improvement and expansion project at its two wastewater treatment plants. The City’s wastewater system has not been the subject of a comprehensive examination in at least a decade. For these reasons, the Grand Jury decided to investigate.

FINDINGS

F1. The City of Redding Wastewater Treatment facilities are financially self-supporting.

F2. Both plants were clean and relatively odor free.

F3. Staff was friendly, cooperative and knowledgeable.

F4. In accordance with Resolution 68-16 the State Water Resource Control Board will cite the City if it uses blending under non-emergency conditions.

F5. Several engineers stated that if it came down to blending effluent or dumping raw sewage during high inflow, both of which could result in a fine, the City would elect to blend.

F6. Employees stated that additional filtration capacity would alleviate the need for blending; however, additional filtration was removed from the original facility plan due to cost.

F7. At this writing, the project plan is being modified to include additional filtration which should eliminate the need to blend.

F8. The City failed to secure the Board’s written approval for the blending process in the initial design.

F9. The City has no staff engineers that are expert in wastewater treatment technology. Consequently, it has no in-house capability to fully evaluate the merits of engineering designs.

F10. Construction oversight was assigned to a division of the company that performed the engineering design. This created at least an appearance of a conflict of interest.

F11. The City has a program to repair collection mains to reduce inflow and infiltration, but none to address faulty or improperly plumbed laterals. Implementing a program would reduce the problem caused by rain and groundwater.

F12. The macerators (grinders) installed within the last two years require excessive maintenance. The manufacturer’s warranty has expired; however, the firm is re-engineering the unit at no cost to the City, at least this time.

F13. There is a comprehensive procedures manual which includes operational data forms that are not being utilized. However, required information is gathered and recorded, utilizing locally generated forms.

F14. The Clear Creek plant emits a significant amount of methane gas which is flared (burned) on site.

RECOMMENDATIONS

R1. The City should insure that major proposed changes to the treatment plants or the collection system are approved in writing by the Board prior to implementation.

R2. The City should try not to hire one division of a company to oversee the work of another division within that same firm.

R3. The Grand Jury recommends the procedures manual be updated so only the forms that are currently used are in the manual.

R4. The Grand Jury recommends the City enforce an ordinance requiring property owners with rain gutters connected directly to their lateral to disconnect them.

R5. The City should adopt an ordinance requiring property owners to inspect and repair laterals prior to sale or change of ownership.

R6. The City should explore methods for using locally generated methane gas more profitably.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

Redding City Council:

R1 through R6

Redding City Manager (invited):

F4, F7, F11

 

Business Improvement Districts

To Tax or Not to Tax

SUMMARY


The Grand Jury received a complaint that stated, "City of Redding created two illegal motel taxes without a vote of the people." The complainant demanded refunds of monies, plus interest, to the "victims."​

FINDINGS

F1. Streets and Highways Code 36601(d), states that BID assessments are not taxes.

F2. Assessments do not require voter approval. Both legal counsels concurred.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

REU Reserve Fund Loans to the City of Redding

"The City of Redding's Piggy Bank"

SUMMARY


None.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

Shasta County Law Enforcement Agencies

"Use of Deadly Force"

SUMMARY


The City of Redding (City) has embarked on an approximately $100 million improvement and expansion project at its two wastewater treatment plants. The City’s wastewater system has not been the subject of a comprehensive examination in at least a decade. For these reasons, the Grand Jury decided to investigate.

FINDINGS

F1. The City of Redding Wastewater Treatment facilities are financially self-supporting.

F2. Both plants were clean and relatively odor free.

F3. Staff was friendly, cooperative and knowledgeable.

F4. In accordance with Resolution 68-16 the State Water Resource Control Board will cite the City if it uses blending under non-emergency conditions.

F5. Several engineers stated that if it came down to blending effluent or dumping raw sewage during high inflow, both of which could result in a fine, the City would elect to blend.

F6. Employees stated that additional filtration capacity would alleviate the need for blending; however, additional filtration was removed from the original facility plan due to cost.

F7. At this writing, the project plan is being modified to include additional filtration which should eliminate the need to blend.

F8. The City failed to secure the Board’s written approval for the blending process in the initial design.

F9. The City has no staff engineers that are expert in wastewater treatment technology. Consequently, it has no in-house capability to fully evaluate the merits of engineering designs.

F10. Construction oversight was assigned to a division of the company that performed the engineering design. This created at least an appearance of a conflict of interest.

F11. The City has a program to repair collection mains to reduce inflow and infiltration, but none to address faulty or improperly plumbed laterals. Implementing a program would reduce the problem caused by rain and groundwater.

F12. The macerators (grinders) installed within the last two years require excessive maintenance. The manufacturer’s warranty has expired; however, the firm is re-engineering the unit at no cost to the City, at least this time.

F13. There is a comprehensive procedures manual which includes operational data forms that are not being utilized. However, required information is gathered and recorded, utilizing locally generated forms.

F14. The Clear Creek plant emits a significant amount of methane gas which is flared (burned) on site.

RECOMMENDATIONS

R1. The City should insure that major proposed changes to the treatment plants or the collection system are approved in writing by the Board prior to implementation.

R2. The City should try not to hire one division of a company to oversee the work of another division within that same firm.

R3. The Grand Jury recommends the procedures manual be updated so only the forms that are currently used are in the manual.

R4. The Grand Jury recommends the City enforce an ordinance requiring property owners with rain gutters connected directly to their lateral to disconnect them.

R5. The City should adopt an ordinance requiring property owners to inspect and repair laterals prior to sale or change of ownership.

R6. The City should explore methods for using locally generated methane gas more profitably.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

Redding City Council:

R1 through R6

Redding City Manager (invited):

F4, F7, F11

 

Employee Theft at the Sheriff's Office

SUMMARY


On November 25, 2009, a former senior civilian clerk working for the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office was arrested and charged with misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement by a public officer, and grand theft. This clerk worked for the sheriff's records division for 19 years and had been committing these criminal offenses since the spring of 2007. On January 15, 2010, this clerk was convicted for stealing $15,363 from fees that citizens had paid for permit renewals to carry a concealed weapon (CCW), fingerprinting services, and copies of Sheriff's Office investigative reports.


Having accepted a plea bargain, the clerk received a sentence of 270 days in jail and five years probation, and ordered to pay approximately $80,000 in restitution, which included court costs and the Sheriff’s investigative time.


The Grand Jury’s intent was to review the procedures that allowed these thefts to continue without detection for over three years and to review the new procedures, implemented since, to prevent this from happening again.

FINDINGS

F1. The CCW processing procedures were inadequate.

F2. Supervision of clerks was inadequate.

F3. A senior clerk was allowed to continue her criminal behavior despite the early warning signs.

F4. Office policies and procedures have been modified to preclude future occurrences.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

The Sheriff's Office Budget

Was closing a floor of the jail necessary?

SUMMARY


Due to the declining economy and decline in revenues, the Sheriff's Office has made expenditure reductions, including, but not limited to, reductions in personnel, overtime restrictions, and demotions and reassignments of employees to previous positions.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

Shasta County Justice Center - Main jail

SUMMARY


On October 16, 2009, the Grand Jury conducted its annual site visit and inspection of the Shasta County Jail. This inspection included the in-take processing area, holding cells, laundry, kitchen, law library, and inmate housing areas.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

Sugar Pine Conservation Camp

SUMMARY


Driving east along Highway 299 about 30 miles outside of Redding, tucked back in the hills surrounded by ranchettes, you’ll find Sugar Pine Conservation Camp #9, a California Department of Fire (Cal Fire) and California Department of Corrections facility.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

Shasta County Juvenile Hall

SUMMARY


Built more than half a century ago, the Shasta County Juvenile Hall was designed to hold approximately 50 juveniles. Today, the facility averages 30 to 35 juveniles with an average stay of seventeen days. Twenty full-time staff members provide supervision 24/7.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

Shasta Area Safety Communications Agency

SHASCOM

SUMMARY


The 2009-2010 Shasta County Grand Jury completed its annual tour of the Shasta Area Safety Communications Agency (SHASCOM) facility. SHASCOM is a joint powers agency that handles 911 emergency dispatches for the Shasta County Sheriff's Office, the Redding Fire Department, Redding Police Department, Probation Department, the District Attorney's Investigative Office and three emergency medical service (EMS) companies. It also has reverse-911 capability for use in evacuations for floods, fires and other emergency incidents within the county.


This year’s Grand Jury also chose to interview the public safety personnel dispatched by SHASCOM. With customer-service in mind, interviews were conducted with several members of the agencies mentioned above. These interviews included line officers, supervisors and administrative officers.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

Anderson Fire Protection District

Since You Asked...

SUMMARY


In the summer of 2009, a member of the Anderson Fire Protection District (AFPD) Board requested that the Grand Jury “investigate the proper handling of placing the chief on paid administrative leave”.

FINDINGS

F1. When the Board advertised to fill the position of fire chief, the search committee failed to clarify the State of California’s certification requirements.

F2. The Board accepted a verbal, rather than a written, report of the pre-employment investigation.

F3. Training certificates presented at time of hire were from out of state. The Board did not follow up with the Chief to assure that state-required certificates were completed. (After the fire Chief was placed on administrative leave, the investigation revealed that the out-of-state certificate(s) were invalid.)

F4. The Board exercised little scrutiny of the day-to-day activities in the fire hall. Consequently, it was unaware of many of the alleged misdeeds of the Chief and the deteriorating morale of firefighters and staff.

F5. The District’s purchasing policies were not monitored by the Board. Items were purchased without authorization.

F6. The Board conducted only one cursory performance review of the chief and failed to keep a written record of it.

F7. The Board, on advice of counsel, chose not to undertake the investigation of the allegations themselves.

F8. The Board, unaware of investigator licensing requirements, erred by hiring an independent, unlicensed investigator at the time the Chief was placed on administrative leave.

F9. The Board erred in allowing the chief to resign, rather than dismissing him for cause.

F10. The Board erred in agreeing with the Chief’s stipulation to seal the investigation report.

F11. The Board’s acceptance of legal counsel’s recommendations to hire an investigator, accept the resignation, and seal the report appears to have backfired because of resultant costs ($58,000 plus legal expenses) of tax payers’ money.

F12. Board members lacked training in matters concerning their duties and responsibilities. Consequently they relied heavily on legal counsel.

RECOMMENDATIONS

R1. When advertising for new employees, the Board must clearly list required certifications and qualifications in the advertisement.

R2. The Policies and Procedures Manual needs to be revised and enforced by the Board to ensure certification is current and valid for all firefighters and emergency medical technicians prior to and during employment.

R3. The Board needs to exercise closer oversight of the operational and fiscal activities of the District.

R4. The Board should establish a method for employees to confidentially report misconduct to the Board.

R5. The Board should consider contacting the California Special Districts Association regarding training for all Board members. To reduce costs, the Board should consider consolidating training with other special district and agency boards.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

Anderson Fire Protection District Board:

R1 through R5

 

Gateway Unified School District

Good Ol' Boys Will Be Good Ol' Boys!

SUMMARY


Recently, a school board president stated that the role of a school district board is to provide citizen oversight to the instructional program and the business of the district. To support the latter responsibility, typically, a board retains a lawyer to advise them on legal matters. The role of legal counsel is different from that of the board. The obligation of counsel is to advise the board and district employees of their duties and powers and to represent the district in legal matters. In addition, counsel alerts the board as to any action that may be of questionable legality.


Usually, but not always, the obligations of boards and their counsels are in concert. Sometimes, issues are not clear-cut and actions are not black or white. In those gray cases of questionable propriety, counsel’s advice may focus on avoiding the board’s exposure to public questioning and possible litigation. In contrast, the board’s oversight responsibility compels it to investigate such matters, whether controversial or not, and to attempt to set right any wrongs committed. Such a situation developed in the Gateway Unified School District (GUSD) in 2008.

FINDINGS

F1. After conducting 25 interviews of the principals involved and reviewing voluminous documentation, the Grand Jury concludes that GUSD purchasing and bond management practices did not conform to pertinent state regulations.

F2. The GUSD Board violated its responsibility to its constituents by not allowing the CBO the opportunity to present and defend her case before the board.

F3. The GUSD Board’s decision to hire the District Counsel’s law firm to conduct an impartial investigation appears to be an error of judgement because of a potential conflict of interest.

F4. An impartial and comprehensive method for resolving the dispute is an AB 139 Extraordinary Audit by FCMAT. This would result in little or no cost to the district. Had it been done, it would have saved GUSD the significant cost incurred by the 430-page investigative report.

RECOMMENDATIONS

R1. The Shasta County Superintendent of Schools should immediately request an AB 139 Extraordinary Audit of GUSD to be conducted by FCMAT.

R2. The GUSD Board should receive training on how to provide effective fiscal oversight, with special emphasis on how and when to exercise independent thinking versus when to only accede to the direction of the superintendent or the advice of counsel.

R3. When disputes occur, the GUSD Board should conduct its own inquiries and research, instead of relying solely on advice of counsel prior to formulating a plan of action.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

Shasta County Superintendent of Schools:

F1

R1

Gateway Unified School District Board:

F1 through F4

R2, R3

 

Local Districts and Agencies

"Board Meetings - 101"

SUMMARY


For local governance to succeed, district and agency board members have a responsibility to their constituents to make informed decisions. Historically in Shasta County, some of these decisions have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars. Two examples of this type of loss are reported in this 2009-2010 Grand Jury Report (see Gateway Unified School District and Anderson Fire Protection District). This loss of taxpayer dollars was not due to wanton negligence or intentional wrongdoing, but rather due to poor training and questionable guidance. This report departs from the traditional grand jury report in that it analyzes seven years of publicly recorded Shasta County Grand Jury reports which document the results of investigations conducted using well-established investigative practices and procedures.


Required responses to this report are also handled in a non-traditional manner. Each local district board and agency board identified at the end of this report are required to respond to recommendation number two.

FINDINGS

F1. Emphasis is needed from the Shasta County Board of Supervisors to make the public aware of the necessity for local board members ongoing training.

F2. Investigations of the 2009/2010 Grand Jury and previous grand juries revealed that local districts and agencies board members are not adequately trained. Some are unaware of their duties and responsibilities.

F3. Many training courses for board members are available from California Special Districts Association and other state agencies.

RECOMMENDATIONS

R1. Although the Board of Supervisors has no direct authority over local districts and agencies, the Grand Jury recommends that the Shasta County Board of Supervisors pass a resolution supporting and encouraging CSDA or other professional board training.

R2. The Grand Jury recommends that all local districts and agencies within Shasta County adopt an ongoing training program developed by CSDA.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

Shasta County Boartd of Supervisors:

F1

R1

Anderson Cemetery District:

R2

Burney Cemetery District:

R2

Cottonwood Cemetery District:

R2

Fall River Mills Cemetery District:

R2

Halcumb Cemetery District:

R2

Manton Joint Cemetery District:

R2

Millville Cemetery District:

R2

Pine Grove Cemetery District:

R2

Burney Basin Mosquito Abatement District:

R2

Pine Grove Mosquito Abatement District:

R2

Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District:

R2

Fall River Resource Conservation District:

R2

Western Shasta Resource Conservation District:

R2

Anderson Fire Protection District:

R2

Burney Fire Protection District:

R2

Castella Fire Protection District:

R2

Cottonwood Fire Protection District:

R2

Fall River Mills Fire Protection District:

R2

Happy Valley Fire Protection District:

R2

McArthur Fire Protection District:

R2

Millville Fire Protection District:

R2

Shasta Lake Fire Protection District:

R2

Anderson Cottonwood Irrigation District:

R2

Bella Vista Water District:

R2

Burney Water District:

R2

Cottonwood Water District:

R2

Shasta County Water Agency:

R2

Crag View Water Agency:

R2

Centerville Community Services District:

R2

Clear Creek Community Services District:

R2

Fall River Mills Community Services District:

R2

Igo-Ono Community Services District:

R2

Mountain Gate Community Services District:

R2

Shasta Community Services District:

R2

Shasta Area Safety Communications Agency:

R2

Mayers Memorial Healthcare District:

R2

Shasta County Air Quality Management District:

R2

Keswick Community Services Area:

R2

Anderson Union High School District:

R2

Bella Vista Elementary School District:

R2

Black Butte Union School District:

R2

Cascade Elementary School District:

R2

Castle Rock Elementary School District:

R2

Columbia Elementary School District:

R2

Cottonwood Union Elementary School District:

R2

Enterprise Elementary School District:

R2

Fall River Joint Unified School District:

R2

French Gulch-Whiskeytown Union School District:

R2

Gateway Unified School District:

R2

Grant Elementary School District:

R2

Happy Valley Union School District:

R2

Igo-Ono-Platina School District:

R2

Indian Springs Elementary School District:

R2

Junction Elementary School District:

R2

Millville Elementary School District:

R2

Mountain Union School District:

R2

North Cow Creek School District:

R2

Oak Run Elementary School District:

R2

Pacheco Union School District:

R2

Redding School District:

R2

Shasta Union Elementary School District:

R2

Shasta Union High School District:

R2

Shasta-Trinity Regional Occupational Program:

R2

Whitmore Elementary School District:

R2

 

Shasta County Animal Control

It's for the Animals

SUMMARY


The Grand Jury received a request to review the animal control facilities within Shasta County. Of the four shelters located within the county (listed below), the Grand Jury visited and reviewed the two largest.*

  • Shasta County Animal Shelter*

  • City of Anderson Animal Shelter

  • City of Shasta Lake Animal Control

  • Haven Humane Society*

FINDINGS

F1. The Shasta County Shelter is unhealthy and beyond repair.

F2. There had been $3 million set aside in the County’s budget for replacing the shelter; however, some funds were transferred to save 16 jobs in the Sheriff’s Office, and the remaining were transferred to the County general fund.

F3. Clutter in the work area, such as stacks of paper on the desks, pet food dishes near doorways, and old tools and other items stacked in the back of the property- all have the potential for causing work related injuries.

F4. The 2006-2007 Shasta County Grand Jury Report revealed similar findings; however, nothing has been done to improve the facility or working conditions.

F5. By comparison, Haven Humane Society is larger, well maintained, well organized, and offers a wider range of services.

F6. All shelters accept donations of food, blankets, pet toys and other items.

RECOMMENDATIONS

R1. As funding becomes available, Shasta County should consider a contract with Haven Humane Society for the sheltering, care, and licensing of all county animals on a permanent basis.

R2. As a first step, Shasta County should consider an agreement with Haven Humane Society to temporarily house county animals and livestock, excluding high risk animals, during periods of crowding.

R3. The Shasta County animal shelter should immediately create an acceptable isolation area for high risk and sick animals.

R4. Shasta County Sheriff/Coroner should retain the responsibility and enforcement of all county animal regulations.

R5. Utilizing county resources, shelter personnel should organize their cluttered work areas.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

R1 through R5

Shasta County Sheriff:

F3

R1 through R5

 

Shasta County Environmental Health

Food Safety?

SUMMARY


The 2009-2010 Grand Jury looked into food safety and sanitation practices in Shasta County within the restaurant and food service industries.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

The Shasta County Grand Jurors' Association is a nonprofit 501(c)3 public charity (EIN# 20-8389473)

©2020 by Shasta County Grand Jurors' Association. Proudly created with Wix.com