Feb 6, 2016

McKinleyville Community Watch Group action regarding Jason Balke shows how citizens can and do make a difference.

A group of citizens can and do make a difference. This is the kind of involvement from the community that the District Attorney and law enforcement need if you do not want the same repeat offenders on the street over and over again.

Scott Binder, a member of the McKinleyville Community Watch group started this petition. They intend to present this to DA Maggie Fleming before Jason Balke's probation revocation hearing.


I spoke with MCW founder Aaron Ostrom. He said, "The court needs to heat from the people that are forced to put up with his antics on a daily basis. He has done enough of terrorizing our town and putting innocent hardworking citizens in harms way."

I am so impressed with this group. They take an active role, with knowledge of the law, and go through proper channels to make a difference in their community.

Jason Balke

Related posts:


Feb 5, 2016

Eddie Koch bails out but MIA in court today; not appearing in court is Koch's thing

Eddie Koch would have a date set for violation of his parole this afternoon in Courtroom 1. He also had a bail/OR hearing scheduled.

He bailed out yesterday. Judge Feeney said that the bail/OR hearing was moot.

He was not given a date to appear in court. He already had a date on March 3.

Deputy District Attorney Jamie Murdoch was in court for the People. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Kaleb Cockrum represents Koch.
Edie Koch, who absconded from testifying during the Jason Warren jury trial, then testified reluctantly, after a material witness warrant was issued, was arrested yesterday for violation of parole.

An arrest warrant had been out for Koch since he failed to appear for a pre trial hearing on 7/22/2015.

Previous post:


No charges to be filed in September 2015 Wetchpec shooting

 District Attorney Maggie Fleming has determined that no charges should be filed related to the September 2015 shooting of Richard Kelley in Weitchpec.  Her decision was based on the following information.  Law enforcement officers responded on Friday, September 4, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. to a report of a shooting in the parking lot outside of the Lucky Bear Casino in Hoopa.  Citizens reported observing a man who was later identified as Richard Kelley shoot another man and then flee on a red and black motorcycle.  Initially the motorcycle was observed going southbound on Highway 96 but later citizens reported seeing the same motorcycle driving around Hoopa and then heading northbound.
 The following paragraph presents information provided by the officer involved.  After viewing the motorcycle on the Casino's surveillance video, Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Sergeant Seth Ruiz drove northbound on Highway 96, checking side roads to locate the motorcycle. Sergeant Ruiz then turned around to check side roads on southbound 96.  While on Marshall Lane, the sergeant observed the motorcycle turn onto Marshall Lane from Big Hill Road and pass him.  Sergeant Ruiz notified dispatch that he was attempting to catch up to the motorcycle.  The sergeant observed the motorcycle travelling at a high speed and saw it go through the stop sign at Marshall Lane and Highway 96.  He pulled in behind the motorcycle as it traveled northbound and turned on his emergency lights and siren.  Mr. Kelley continued approximately 10 miles on Highway 96 traveling at speeds up to 80 mph and crossing over the double yellow line through turns.  After crossing over the bridge at Weitchpec, Mr. Kelley lost control and went down on the north side of the highway.  Sergeant Ruiz stopped, quickly exited as he drew his firearm and was ordering Mr. Kelley to show his hands when he saw muzzle flash and attempted to take cover behind the tailgate of his vehicle.  He returned fire and heard additional shots from Mr. Kelley.   Sergeant Ruiz moved to a position behind the rear passenger wheel well.  He continuously ordered Mr. Kelley to show his hands.  Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Chief Guyer arrived, followed by deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department.  All initially took cover.  Ultimately the law enforcement officers present approached Mr. Kelley and removed the firearm.  The scene was secured until emergency medical responders arrived at approximately 9:00 p.m.  Medical personnel pronounced Mr. Kelley deceased at 9:04 p.m.

 Three civilians witnessed the shooting.  All three were travelling together in one car northbound on Highway 96.  As they crossed the bridge at the junction with Highway 169 they heard the lights and siren and the driver of the vehicle pulled over because he thought the officer might be pulling them over.  As they pulled off to the side of the road all three saw the motorcycle rider speed past them and then lose control and go down on the other side of the road.  The police car pulled and stopped in the roadway slightly behind their vehicle. The motorcyclist was in the lights of the patrol car and it appeared his leg was pinned under the downed motorcycle.  The motorcyclist was half straddling the bike when he started shooting.  All three described hearing the gunshots coming from the motorcyclist and seeing muzzle flashes.  The officer ran to the back of his vehicle and began to return fire and the witnesses then fled.   All three described the scene and order of events the same way: the motorcyclist first fired at the officer who then returned fire.
 Sergeant Ruiz' police vehicle had eight bullet entry holes in the driver's door, two in driver's window, and one on the left side of the tailgate.  The interior of the vehicle had several ricochet points and holes.  Five bullet fragments were found in the interior of the vehicle.  
 An autopsy was performed on Richard Kelley (dob 6/4/88) on September 11, 2015 by Dr. Mark Super, who determined that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the neck.  A blood sample revealed that methamphetamine was present in Mr. Kelley's blood.
 The victim from the earlier shooting was interviewed.  He said that he arrived at the Ray's Food Place in Hoopa on his motorcycle and then had words with Richard Kelley regarding a stolen car.  The two then began pushing each other and Richard Kelley pulled out a pistol and shot one round into the ground.  After Kelley grabbed the helmet and got on the motorcycle, the victim told him to get off the motorcycle and tried to grab the keys.  As they fought over the keys Kelley shot him in the leg and then left on the motorcycle.
 After review of all the evidence in this case, the District Attorney has determined that the law enforcement officer acted in self-defense when he returned fire and fatally shot Richard Kelley.  A homicide is justifiable when committed by any person, "resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person." Penal Code section 197(1). California Criminal Jury Instructions (No. 505) state that a person is not guilty of murder or manslaughter if that person: 1) "reasonably believed that he [or] someone else was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury"; 2) "reasonably believed that the immediate use of deadly force was necessary to defend against that danger"; and 3) "used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger."

 District Attorney Maggie Fleming has contacted Richard Kelley's family and advised them of her decision not to file any charges related to his death.

No bail for Nicholas Leigl, first suspect arraigned for homicide of Jesus Garcia

Preliminary hearing February 22 at 8:30. Office of Conflict Counsel appointed for now.

According to the bail schedule, with the special allegaton, he is to be held with no bail.

Supervisor Virginia Bass comments on Penn Air service and says additional destinations are an ongoing effort

"I am pleased that Penn Air wants to be partners with our community," said Supervisor and Board Vice-Chair Virginia Bass. "I want to remind people that securing new destinations is an ongoing process."

"For anyone who has been watching the process, they know how important it is to secure new destinations. Southern California is an area there is a lot of interest in the  community. We will continue our efforts to add additional service."

Penn Air expands service to include Eureka and Arcata

Press Release:

PenAir, one of Alaska’s largest regional airlines, has announced that over the next
three months they will be expanding service out of Portland, OR, to three additional destinations.
On March 21, 2016, PenAir will initiate new daily service from Portland, OR to North Bend/Coos Bay, OR.
Effective April 21, 2016, PenAir will provide service out of Portland, OR, to Redding, CA, and Arcata/Eureka, CA.
PenAir will operate two flights per day to each of these destinations with their 30-seat Saab 340 turboprop aircraft.
According to Danny Seybert, PenAir’s CEO, “Ever since opening our new hub at the Portland Airport, we have
continued to look at additional Pacific Northwest destinations. PenAir has been in operation for 60 years
throughout Alaska and for the last several years in the Northeast U.S. We plan to provide daily service to
Redding, Arcata/Eureka, and North Bend with our Saab 340 aircraft while providing our Alaskan brand of reliable
customer service.”
“PenAir began operating daily service out of Portland, OR, to Crescent City, CA, on September 15, 2015. Since
then, we have met with key officials from each of these three additional communities during the planning process”,
said Dave Hall, PenAir’s Chief Operating Officer. “All the communities have been especially supportive of PenAir
and our plan to operate in markets similar in size to some Alaska and East Coast markets.”
Coos Bay borders the City of North Bend, and is often referred to as Coos Bay-North Bend. It is the largest city on
the Oregon Coast. “Coos Bay is also home to the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, a world-class venue comprised of 4 links-style courses and a par-3 golf course. We are excited to market and promote this year-round, world-class
venue”, said Melissa Roberts, VP of Marketing. “We are also excited to initiate service to Portland from both
Redding and Arcata/Eureka. With 75 connecting flights out of Oregon’s largest airport, and the ease of getting to
and around this airport, our customers will be able to connect to many domestic U. S., European and Asian
destinations in a timely and efficient manner.”
“We’re pleased to see PenAir expand their service at PDX,” said David Zielke, Port of Portland air service director.
“Linking smaller cities in southern Oregon and northern California to PDX with convenient, nonstop flights opens a
world of possibilities and connections for both business and leisure travelers.”
Proposed flight schedule:
Monday thru Sunday – daily midday service
Effective Dates Market Departs Arrives
March 21, 2016
Portland – North Bend 10:20 AM 11:10 AM**
North Bend – Portland 11:40 AM 12:30 PM**
April 21, 2016 Redding – Portland 4:50 AM 7:20 AM*
Portland – Redding 1:35 PM 3:10 PM
Redding – Portland 3:40 PM 5:15 PM
Portland – Redding 6:30 PM 9:00 PM*
April 21, 2016 Arcata/Eureka – Portland 5:50 AM 7:20 AM
Portland – Arcata/Eureka 9:20 AM 10:50 AM
Arcata/Eureka – Portland 11:20 AM 12:50 PM
Portland – Arcata/Eureka 6:30 PM 8:00 PM
*Indicates thru flight with Arcata/Eureka.
**Indicates daily service 3/21/16 thru 10/14/16. Effective 10/15/16 service will be reduced to 4 times/week.
 Flight departure and arrival times for Portland/North Bend routes will change on 4/21/16 to 20 minutes later than
listed above.
PenAir currently operates out of the E Gates at the Portland Airport. Effective 3/1/16 they will begin operating out of gates B 2 and B 3.

County Press Release:

Beginning in April, local passengers will have more flights and more destinations available to them when they decide to fly Humboldt. Peninsula Airline, Inc. (PenAir) announced today that it will begin servicing the California Redwood Coast – Humboldt County Airport with flights to Portland International Airport, the largest airport in Oregon.

The agreement means Humboldt County will have two airlines and two destinations serving our regional airport for the first time in nearly five years. The first flights are scheduled to depart on April 21.

Proposed flight schedule:
Monday thru Sunday – daily midday service

April 21, 2016
Arcata/Eureka – Portland
Departs 5:50 AM
Arrives 7:20 AM

Portland – Arcata/Eureka
Departs 9:20 AM
Arrives 10:50 AM

Arcata/Eureka – Portland
Departs 11:20 AM
Arrives 12:50 PM

Portland – Arcata/Eureka
Departs 6:30 PM
Arrives 8:00 PM

“We are thrilled to have PenAir coming to Humboldt County,” said Public Works Director Tom Mattson. “Our community has made it clear that they want more flights to more destinations, and I’m confident that PenAir will do a great job offering quality air service to the people of our area. There are so many positive aspects to this news. I’m excited to see our community reap the benefits.”

Neal Sanders appointed for Nicholas Johnson as Conflict Counsel cannot represent him

At his arraignment, Conflict Counsel had stated they had briefly represented his co-defendant Jonas Semore and needed to check discovery to see if there was a conflict.

Today, there was a hearing for confirmation of counsel. Private attorney Mr. Neal Sanders was appointed for him.

This afternoon, a clean shaven Johnson looked like his booking photo. Other inmates in the box, specifically Jesse and Jedediah Hiller, took time to exchange pleasantries with Johnson in court as they walked out after their cases.

It is indeed a small, small criminal world in Humboldt.

Nicholas Leigl, one of the suspects in the Jesus Romero-Garcia with alleged ties to the 18th street gang arraigned for murder and criminal street gang charges

Nicholas Leigl will be arraigned this afternoon at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Count 1 Murder with special allegation that he was an active participant in a criminal street gang and the murder was committed to further activities of the gang.

I will update this post later.

He is one of the suspects in the homicide of Jesus Romero-Garcia and is believed to have connections to the 18th street gang.

Feb 4, 2016

Homicide of 14 year old from 2014 involves alleged connection to Mexican gang mafia

EPD held a press conference this morning.

DA has filed charges. Mexican gang mafia, 18th Street gang and homicide of Garcia is believed to be due to an internal gang dispute.

Captain Brian Stephens held the press conference.

This is the text of what Captain Stephens read to the media:

On December 17, 2014, at about 8:10 a.m., a citizen near McFarland and 15th Street, found a male subject, ultimately identified as 14 year old Jesus Romero-Garcia, lying on the front lawn of a home on 15th Street.  The citizen reported Jesus appeared to be sleeping.  The citizen tried to get Jesus’s attention but he would only make groaning noises.  It was raining at the time and Jesus’s body was wet.  The citizen called the Eureka Police Department at approximately 8:22 a.m. for a welfare check.  At the time the citizen didn’t notice Jesus had suffered any injuries and none were reported to our Dispatch center.

At approximately 8:34 a.m., the first two EPD Officers arrived on scene to investigate.  They contacted Jesus and quickly learned he was bleeding, had been stabbed, and was having labored breathing.  The officers summoned medical aid to the scene.  Detectives from the Eureka Police Department also responded to the scene to take over the investigation.  City Ambulance transported Jesus to St. Joseph Hospital’s emergency room where he was pronounced deceased approximately one hour later.  While examining Jesus’ body, investigators discovered three wounds in his upper front thorax area, consistent with being stabbed.  They also discovered what appeared to be several defensive knife wounds to his forearm.

Based on the initial facts learned during the investigation of the crime scene where Jesus was found, investigators believed he suffered his mortal wounds at another location and was transported and left somewhere near his final location on 15th Street.  It is believed Jesus was left on or near 15th Street approximately 8 ½ hours prior to being found by the citizen.

On the same day as Jesus’s murder, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the United States Marshall Service Fugitive Task Force, working with the Fortuna Police Department, received information regarding a felony warrant suspect, Joseph Daniel Olivo Jr.  Olivo’s warrant was for a parole violation and he was believed to be armed.  At approximately 9:45 a.m., Olivo was observed as an occupant in a parked sedan in the Strong’s Creek Plaza in Fortuna.  Two officers approached the vehicle and it fled towards Highway 101, resulting in a vehicle pursuit.  Olivo eventually pulled to the rear of a residence and surrendered to officers.  A second subject, Mario Nunez, who had exited Olivo’s vehicle just prior to the pursuit was located within the Strong’s Creek Plaza and arrested by the Fortuna Police for a felony warrant and possession of narcotics.  As a part of the follow-up investigation Olivo’s son, Joe Daniel Olivo III was located and arrested. According to the State Parole, Olivio Jr., and Nunez are connected to the Mexican Mafia as well as the Sureno gang.  Olivo III is known to EPD officers as an associate to the local Sur 13 gang. These were significant arrests and would be vital to our homicide investigation.

At the onset of the investigation, Investigators were misled by social media and were seeking a known Norteno gang member.  However, two days after the murder, an alternate theory began to develop based on other sources.  On the afternoon of December 19, 2014, Investigators received a letter in the mail from an anonymous source.  This anonymous source gave specific details about what happened and who was involved in the murder of Jesus.  This source named the four suspects who were eventually arrested and throughout the investigation, Investigators were able to find supporting evidence for everything stated in the anonymous letter.

This has been an extensive and complex investigation.  Even though we had identified the suspects early on in the investigation, our Investigators needed to build a case and collect and process all the relevant evidence and prepare a thorough report that would assist the District Attorney’s Office with prosecution of the suspects.  This was done through significant collaboration with the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Federal Probation Department, United States Marshall Service, the local Department of Justice Forensic Lab, the Redding DNA lab, and the San Luis Obispo Probation Department.

During the course of the investigation, Investigators obtained and served 15 search warrants, identified and processed several crime scenes, and collected and processed over 100 pieces of evidence.  The result of all this hard work culminated on February 02, 2016 with warrants being issued by the Humboldt County Superior Court for the arrests of the following suspects for PC 187 (a) - Murder:

Joe Olivo Jr, 37 years old, Validated Mexican Mafia gang member from San Luis Obispo, arrested on February 3rd, while being housed at Pelican Bay Prison.  Has contacts in Eureka since 2008.

Joe Olivo III, 18 years old, Sureno gang member from San Luis Obispo, arrested on February 2nd by the San Luis Obispo Probation Department and Gang Task Force.  Has contacts in Eureka starting since 2012.

Mario Nunez, 30 years old, Validated Sureno gang member from Watsonville, arrested while being housed at San Quentin prison.  Has contacts in Eureka since 2000.

Nicholas Leigl, 33 years old, History with the 18th Street gang from Eureka, arrested on February 3rd by EPD’s POP team as he arrived at his place of employment.

All the above suspects have ties to the Eureka area and local arrest.  The motive behind the murder of Jesus appears to be for the furtherance of the Sureno gang and involved an internal dispute within the gang.

The suspects will all be transported back to Humboldt County at some point in the future and arraigned on the murder charge.

The Eureka Police Department will not stand for gang activity in the City of Eureka, especially activity that is associated with violence.  If you’re involved in this type of activity we will eventually find you and bring you to justice. The citizens of Eureka and those who come to our city for a multitude of reasons deserve to live and travel in peace and safety.

Judge Reinholtsen said ruling on Sears v Dale lawsuit will be out next week

The lawsuit that Leo Sears filed against Greg Dale in Humboldt Superior Court had a case management conference scheduled this afternoon.

Another court date is set for April 20 at 1:30 p.m.

He also referred to a Califirnia U. S. Supreme Court case, Montebello v Vasquez about anti-slapp motion.

Nov 30, 2015

FPPC opens investigation into Leo Sears' allegations about the Harbor District, FPPC also rules that Greg Dale can use campaign funds for this civil lawsuit

This afternoon, a hearing was held for the lawsuit that Leo Sears has filed against Greg Dale, Jack Crider, and the rest of the Commissioners of the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District. Judge Reinholtsen did not make a ruling today on either the defendant's motion to strike or the continuance requested by Mr. Bill Bertain. He has taken the matter under submission and will be issuing a written ruling.

Mr. Bertain is representing Mr. Sears. Mr. Paul Brizzo is representing the Harbor District.

The Fair Political Practices Commission sent a letter on November 10 to Mr. Bertain that they are looking into the allegations made by Mr. Sears. As required, they have notified Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming of this investigation they have opened.

Mr. Bertain filed an opposition to the defendant's motion to strike on November 16. Mr. Beratin also filed a declaration in support of objection to evidence based on newly acquired evidence on November 24. In this declaration, there are documents attached including emails which Mr. Bertain claims contradict declarations by Greg Dale that he did not participate in any Harbor District transactions with Pacific Seafoods/Coast Seafoods.

Mr. Brisso also filed responses. Mr. Brisso said that the lawsuit against Greg Dale was a violation of his first amendment rights and other consitutional rights. He also called most of the ex-parte issues "irrelevant."

I will have another detailed post on the oral arguments today by the attorneys.

At today's hearing, Mr. Bertain asked the Judge for a 30 day continuance to file a supplemental opposition based on newly acquired evidence.

From the FPPC Nov 5 monthly report:

Greg Dale     A-15-210 The Act does not prohibit a Commissioner of the Humboldt  Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation  District from  using campaign funds to pay for legal services related  to  defense of a civil lawsuit  alleging that the Commissioner  and the District violated Section 1090 because there  is a direct relationship between the  expenditure  for legal services and  the  Commissioner’s status as an elected officer.

Previous posts:

Leo Sears rejects LOCO's characterization of him as a "railroad buff" and sets the record straight
I happened to call Mr. Leo Sears right in the midst of him writing a response to LOCO mislabeling him as a railroad buff.

After reading all of today's coverage of the press conference, including mine, Mr. Sears gave me permission to print his response on my blog.

This is Mr. Sears response:

"Your headline derogatorily refers to me a “Railroad Buff”. At the-turn-of-the-century, I served a three year term as a Director of the North Coast Railroad, and have long since recognized our areas need for improved transportation.

That having been said, I have never advocated for (or against) an east west railroad. Richard Marks, President of the of the Harbor District, also serves as a Director of the North Coast Railroad Authority and has spoken of the need for improved transportation. I have never thought of Richard as a “Railroad Buff”, and doubt that Richard is a member or advocate of the east west group. I totally reject the bias you've used to paint me with false colors.

Over the past 20 years I have attended numerous monthly Citizens for Port Development luncheons at the Samoa Cook House, as have many Harbor Commissioners. I never felt doing so necessary made me or them members of the Citizens for Port Development. I am not a member of the Citizens for Port Development, and was unequivocal when asked at the press conference. You have simply taken a whole cloth claim by the Commissioners, and ignored asking me for confirmation.

The accusation that the timing the suit is simply to affect the election is a wholly biased and unfounded accusation. Any blame for the timing of the suit fall directly on the shoulders of the Harbor District. It is in reaction to actions they took in September, and I could not have acted any sooner.

To be perfectly clear, I answer to no one other than myself. Over recent years I absented myself from community involvement to care for the declining health of my wife. But I believe my track record to be one of pursuing Economic Growth and Stability. That is what I'm trying to do now. Nothing more, nothing less."

Oct 5, 2015

"I really want to avoid this lawsuit" Leo Sears wants Greg Dale to resign among other remedies sought

The Harbor District races this November just got a kickstart.

A press conference was held at 1 p.m. outside the Humboldt County Courthouse. A lawsuit was been filed in the Humboldt Superior Court this morning by Leo Sears against Harbor District Commissioner Greg Dale as well as fellow Commissioners Aaron Newman, Mike Wilson, Richard Marks, Pat Higgins, Executive Director Jack Crider and the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District.

The main point of the lawsuit is that the plaintiff, Leo Sears, alleges that "each and every defendant conspired with each of the remaining defendants and that they had common knowledge of and agreed to a plan to borrow $1.25 million from Coast Seafoods and, in a quid pro quo bargain, grant a 10 year lease extension with 4 five year options to Coast Seafoods while Greg Dale was serving on the Board of Commissioners of the Humboldt Bay Harbor District."

"The lawsuit alleges that all defendants were aware of Greg Dale's capacity as an officer of Coast Seafoods, the party with which the Harbor District was contracting. The lawsuit alleges violation of Government Code 1090.

The lawsuit asks that Greg Dale no longer serve as a Commissioner on the Humboldt Bay Harbor District, that the lease extension and $1.25 million loan be voided, several injunctions and costs of attorney fees.

The lawsuit was filed by local attorney Mr. William Bertain for Mr. Leo Sears. The civil lawsuit is a complaint for declaratory relief and preliminary and final injunctions.

Mr. Bertain said that the Commissioners ignored the wishes of citizens. Mr. Bertain said by filing this lawsuit Mr. Sears hoped this would avoid future of conflict of interests.

One of the things that make this conflict of interest significant said Mr. Sears is the quid pro quo issue. "I really wanted to avoid this lawsuit," said Mr. Sears. "No man can serve two masters."

Section 1090 does not excuse a person from  violation of the law just because he abstains or leaves the room, said Mr. Bertain.

Mr. Bertain referred to a 1985 Supreme Court case that upheld 1090. "I would no longer like to se Greg Dale serve on the Commission because of his conflict of interest," said Mr. Bertain. He described it as "blatant."

"We have two commissioners here right now, I guess we are ready to have a meeting." One of those commissioners was Mr. Marks. Mr. Crider had arrived with Mr. Marks. Mr. Greg Dale came in a few minutes late to the conference.

"We are dealing with the 1090 issue," said Mr. Dale. "You have to have ten percent in the company which I don't. This is a political stunt."

Mr. Dale called the people behind this effort a "group of individuals who have an interest in the East-West rail. It's not a coincidence that these people have been sending me threats for the past month and a half, are doing on the day the absentee ballots are to be sent out."

"I look forward to going to court," said Mr. Dale. "I have never been sued before."

Mr. Crider agreed with Mr. Dale that "this was a political stunt.". He said "I try not to get involved in the election office." Being named as a defendant in a lawsuit involving the Harbor is par for the course since he is the Executive Director.

"As soon as the election is over this will get dropped," said Mr. Crider. "We have had multiple attorneys on this, it was a complicated agreement. Because of public interest, we took public input in the final agreement."

Mr. Marks said that the timing was of interest since the absentee ballots come out tomorrow.

Mr. Sears said the timing was dictated by the actions of the Harbor District in September. It was September 10th when they multi-year extension of the lease with Coast Seafoods was signed. It was September 16th when he wrote a letter to the Editor asking for Mr. Dale to resign.

In the press release as well as remarks at the press conference, both Mr. Sears and Mr. Bertain said that at a luncheon meeting of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Dale told the public attending that he was the one who conceived the idea and pushed the idea of Coast Seafoods, his employer, making a loan to the Harbor District to assist in the removal of pulp processing liquors from the Harbor District's recently purchased property at Samoa that was formerly the Freshwater Pulp Mill.

Mr. Sears also dismissed the criticism by Greg Dale that this was motivated in any way by people involved in the East West railroad. Mr. Sears said he had no connection with the East West railroad. "The only organization I pay dues and am a part of is the Taxpayers League."

Oct 5, 2015

Leo Sears filed a conflict of interest lawsuit in Humboldt Superior Court against Greg Dale, the Harbor District and other commisioners.

This morning, Leo Sears filed a conflict of interest lawsuit in Humboldt Superior Court against Greg Dale, the Harbor District, and the other 4 commissioners.

A press conference is being held at 1 p.m. in front of the Courthouse where more details and a copy of the complaint will be available.

"I am aware that this statement will not affect the outcome of the defendant's sentence, however I want to let the court know that this was not my doing I wanted to stand up and face the monster who raped me."

When your trust has been shattered and you have been violated, it takes courage to stand up and tell your story in court. Jane Doe contacted me today and gave me permission to publish the statement she read at court at Markis Shirley's sentencing.

Although she was fine with using her real name, she was Jane Doe in court, and for her privacy I will not print her name. This is Jane Doe's space and I will not link my coverage of the case in this post. It is accessible through the search feature.

"I am aware that this statement will not affect the outcome of the defendant's sentence, however I want to let the court know that this was not my doing I wanted to stand up and face the monster who raped me. I wanted him to be labeled for what he is, a rapist. I wanted him to serve his time alongside others that committed the same horrifying crimes against humanity that he did. I wanted him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life in hopes that it might save other girls from having to go through the same terrifying experience I suffered through. Unfortunately I am powerless over the decisions made today but I am NOT powerless to how I choose to let it affect my future. I will not let Mr shirley affect my life any further I will go on to live a happy healthy life and unlike mr. Surely I will be free unlike him he will be caged for being the animal he is. I want to let Mr surely know that in the future if and when he hurts another girl I will be there to fight with her and even for her if she can not this is my promise this is my word."