Archive for the ‘Contra Costa County’ Category

UPDATE 10/13/17: Jury in County Coroner’s inquest finds officer involved shooting death of Antioch man was an accident

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Nathan Banks. Photo courtesy higginsmortuary.com

Finding of “accident” defined

Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston announces that a coroner’s jury has reached a finding in the June 16, 2017 death of Nathan Gregory Banks. The finding of the jury is that the death is an accident.

Antioch police contacted a man and woman inside a car on the 2300 block of Manzanita Way. The man was later identified as Banks. The police officer noticed that Banks was in possession of a handgun. The officer ordered Banks to stay in the car, however, he fled holding the weapon in his hand. During a confrontation, the officer fired his duty weapon at Banks. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The coroner’s jury reached a verdict after hearing the testimony of witnesses called by the hearing officer, Matthew Guichard.

A coroner’s inquest, which Sheriff-Coroner Livingston convenes in fatal incidents involving police officers, is a public hearing, during which a jury rules on the manner of a person’s death. Jury members can choose from the following four options when making their finding: Accident, Suicide, Natural Causes, or At the hands of another person, other than by accident.

According to the obituary on Higgins Mortuary website, “Nathan Gregory Banks (37)” was a “lifelong resident of Antioch born June 11, 1980…a graduate of Antioch High School” and was “an apprentice in the Carpenters Union. He was fiercely loyal, loving, and protective of his family and friends” and “the beloved son of Dawn Marie & John Delucchi of Pittsburg and Greg & Theresa Banks of Antioch.”

He “is survived by his parents, grandparent Nana Peggy Banks, along with aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and cousins who will dearly miss his sense of humor, smile, and warm heart. Nathan was preceded by his sister Tarah Lynna Banks (2017), and Papa Byron Banks (2013).”

A memorial service was held for him on July 21 at Calvary Temple Church in Concord.

10/13/17 UPDATE: When asked why it was ruled an accident instead of “at the hands of another person, other than by accident” the Sheriff’s Public Information Officer, Jimmy Lee responded, “the inquest, although it is a hearing, is not like a traditional court case. There are no attorneys involved. Individuals directly involved in the case testify. The jury hears the testimony and selects from one of four options.”

“Also a finding of accident does not necessarily mean he (the officer) accidentally fired his service weapon,” he added.

Lee then provided the instructions to the jury which included definitions for each possible finding. The finding of “accident” included the following definition:

ACCIDENT: DEATH BY ACCIDENT CAN REFER TO A VARIETY OF UNFORSEEN OR UNINTENTIONAL EVENTS. SOME OF THOSE INVOLVE NATURAL PHENOMENA, SUCH AS DEATH BY FIRE, FLOOD, OR EARTHQUAKE, IN WHICH NO HUMAN AGENCY IS INVOLVED. ANOTHER SPECIES OF ACCIDENT IS THE KIND WHICH RESULTS FROM HUMAN ACTS OR CONDUCT. DEATH BY ACCIDENT WHERE A HUMAN AGENCY IS INVOLVED IS THUS BEST DEFINED AS THE UNINTENDED OR UNEXPECTED RESULTS OF HUMAN CONDUCT. THE TERM “ACCIDENT” AS IT APPLIES TO THESE PROCEEDINGS IS AN UNFORSEEN EVENT, MISFORTUNE, LOSS, ACT OR OMISSION.

Following are the complete jury instructions and definitions for each possible finding:

OFFICE OF THE CORONER – CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

CORONER’S JURY INSTRUCTIONS

MATTHEW P. GUICHARD, HEARING OFFICER

GUICHARD, TENG & PORTELLO, ATTORNEYS AT LAW

101 YGNACIO VALLEY ROAD, SUITE 112

WALNUT CREEK, CA 94596

TEL: (925) 459-8440 FAX: (925) 459-8445

DATE: October 10, 2017

CORONER’S NUMBER: 2017-2941

INQUEST INTO THE DEATH OF: NATHAN GREGORY BANKS

BORN: June 11, 1980

DIED: June 17, 2017

 

MEMBERS OF THE JURY: HAVING NOW HEARD THE EVIDENCE, IT BECOMES YOUR DUTY TO RENDER YOUR VERDICT.

YOU ARE THE SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE JUDGES OF THE EVIDENCE GIVEN TO YOU FROM THE WITNESS STAND, AND FROM THAT EVIDENCE YOU SHOULD STATE IN YOUR VERDICT WHO THE DECEASED WAS, HOW, WHEN AND WHERE HE CAME TO HIS DEATH.

THE LAW PROVIDES THAT YOU SHALL FIND, IN ADDITION TO THE MEDICAL CAUSE OF DEATH, WHAT WAS THE MODE OR MANNER OF THE DECEDENT’S DEATH. TO THAT END, THE LAW PROVIDES THAT YOU MUST FIND WHETHER THE DECEDENT’S DEATH WAS BY:

1. NATURAL CAUSES, or

2. SUICIDE, or

3. ACCIDENT, or

4. AT THE HANDS OF ANOTHER PERSON, OTHER THAN BY ACCIDENT.

EACH MODE OF DEATH IS ALTERNATIVE AND INDEPENDENT OF THE OTHERS, SO THAT YOU CANNOT COMBINE VERDICTS. YOU CANNOT ADD TO ANY OF THE DEFINITIONS. YOU MAY MAKE A SEPARATE COMMENT IF YOU WISH, BUT NOT ON THE VERDICT FORM.

THE FOUR MODES OF DEATH ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:

1. NATURAL CAUSES: DEATH BY NATURAL CAUSES IS SO WELL KNOWN TO ALL OF YOU AS GENERALLY TO REQUIRE NO EXPLANATION. HOWEVER, FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROCEEDING, IT MAY BEST BE DEFINED AS A DEATH ARISING FROM AN ACT OF NATURE AS OPPOSED TO ONE BEING ARTIFICIALLY INDUCED.

2. SUICIDE: SUICIDE IS DEFINED AS AN INTENTIONAL ACT OF SELF-DESTRUCTION BY ONE WITH SUFFICIENT TOUCH WITH REALITY TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF HIS ACT. THE FACT ANOTHER PERSON, INCLUDING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, ACTED AS THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF THE DECEASED SUBJECT’S DEATH, DOES NOT PRECLUDE A FINDING OF SUICIDE, WHEN THE SUBJECT INTENDED TO PRECIPITATE THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE AGAINST HIMSELF.

3. ACCIDENT: DEATH BY ACCIDENT CAN REFER TO A VARIETY OF UNFORSEEN OR UNINTENTIONAL EVENTS. SOME OF THOSE INVOLVE NATURAL PHENOMENA, SUCH AS DEATH BY FIRE, FLOOD, OR EARTHQUAKE, IN WHICH NO HUMAN AGENCY IS INVOLVED. ANOTHER SPECIES OF ACCIDENT IS THE KIND WHICH RESULTS FROM HUMAN ACTS OR CONDUCT. DEATH BY ACCIDENT WHERE A HUMAN AGENCY IS INVOLVED IS THUS BEST DEFINED AS THE UNINTENDED OR UNEXPECTED RESULTS OF HUMAN CONDUCT. THE TERM “ACCIDENT” AS IT APPLIES TO THESE PROCEEDINGS IS AN UNFORSEEN EVENT, MISFORTUNE, LOSS, ACT OR OMISSION.

4. AT THE HANDS OF ANOTHER PERSON, OTHER THAN BY ACCIDENT: THAT PHRASE IS ESSENTIALLY SELF-EXPLANATORY. IT IS EITHER AN INTENTIONAL ACT WHICH DIRECTLY CAUSES THE DEATH OF ANOTHER PERSON OR AN INTENTIONAL OMISSION TO ACT WHICH DIRECTLY CAUSES THE DEATH OF ANOTHER PERSON.

YOU SHOULD DETERMINE THE MODE OR MANNER OF DEATH HEREIN BY A MORE LIKELY TRUE THAN NOT TRUE STANDARD. THAT MEANS IN EXAMINING ALL THE EVIDENCE YOU SHOULD DECIDE WHICH MODE OR MANNER OF DEATH OF THE FOUR LISTED MODES IS THE MOST LIKELY TO BE TRUE. THEREFORE, IF YOU SHOULD DETERMINE THAT THE EVIDENCE HEREIN IS MORE CONVINCING, AND CREATES A GREATER PROBABILITY OF TRUTH IN FAVOR OF ONE MODE, THAT MODE SHOULD BE YOUR VERDICT.

IN DETERMINING WHETHER A MODE HAS BEEN PROVEN TO BE TRUE, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER ALL THE EVIDENCE BEARING UPON THAT ISSUE. YOU SHOULD ALSO BEAR IN MIND THAT IT IS THE LAW OF CALIFORNIA THAT ALL DEATHS MAY BE DESCRIBED BY ONE OF THE FOUR STATED MODES.

YOUR FINDINGS SHALL NOT INCLUDE NOR MAKE ANY REFERENCE TO CIVIL OR CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY ON THE PART OF THE DECEASED OR ANY OTHER PERSON.

UNDER THE LAW THAT GOVERNS INQUESTS, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT YOUR VERDICT BE UNANIMOUS. A SIMPLE MAJORITY IS SUFFICIENT.

I HAVE NOT INTENDED BY ANYTHING I HAVE SAID OR DONE, OR BY THE QUESTIONS THAT I HAVE ASKED, TO INTIMATE OR SUGGEST HOW YOU SHOULD DECIDE ANY QUESTIONS OF FACT SUBMITTED TO YOU. IF ANYTHING I HAVE DONE OR SAID HAS SEEMED TO SO INDICATE, YOU WILL DISREGARD IT AND FORM YOUR OWN OPINION.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Contra Costa Fire District open house Saturday, Oct. 14

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

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New Contra Costa DA Becton takes oath of office, begins her interim tenure

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Diana Becton was given her oath of office as the interim Contra Costa County District Attorney by Board of Supervisors Chairman Federal Glover on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 as the other Supervisors, John Gioia, Candace Andersen, Diane Burgis and Karen Mitchoff look on. Photos by David Fraser, Office of Supervisor Federal Glover

An overflow crowd of friends, family, colleagues and supporters gathered in the District Attorney’s Office Community Room for the ceremony.

By Allen Payton

Retired Superior Court Judge Diana Becton was sworn in as the new District Attorney for Contra Costa County on Monday, September 18th, at 4:30 p.m.  The oath of office was administered by Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Federal Glover in the District Attorney’s Community Room in Martinez.

“I am honored to have been chosen by the Board of Supervisors to serve the people of Contra Costa County,” she said. “With over two decades of experience in the administration of justice and the practice of criminal law, I am excited by this new opportunity to reform our justice system and restore integrity to the DA’s office. I look forward to serving alongside law enforcement and county prosecutors to promote public safety, equality, fairness, and confidence in our courts and legal system.”

The overflow crowd included friends, colleagues and supporters, as well as her new office staff including her Deputy District Attorney overflowing into and standing in the hallway outside.

A Bay Area native and an El Sobrante resident, Becton attended Oakland public schools and received her B.A. in economics from S.F. State University and her J.D. from Golden Gate University Law School. She worked as the Housing Finance & Development Supervisor for the City of Richmond from 1979 to 1987. Prior to that she worked as the Housing Finance Corporation Manager Becton then worked as attorney in private practice from 1987 until 1995, first as a partner of Alexander & Becton (Brown) Law Offices which had has many as nine lawyers. Later she operated her own law practice, which according to her application for the appointment, “focused on litigation in real estate, business, landlord tenant, personal injury and criminal cases.”

Although Becton has no experience prosecuting criminal cases, in private practice she “was responsible for both criminal and juvenile cases. I appeared at arraignments and bail hearings, analyzed cases, talked to witnesses to determine what happened, identified strengths and weaknesses, participated in plea bargaining and resolution, developed trial strategies, conducted jury selection, opening statements, questioned witnesses, prepared law and motion, and presented closing arguments,” also according to her application. DBecton DA apptmt application

She was appointed to the court in 1995 by Gov. Pete Wilson and presided over a diverse collection of misdemeanor, felony, civil, mental health and juvenile cases.

In 2011, Becton was elected Presiding Judge of the Contra Costa Superior Court. In this capacity, she was responsible for leading the court and managing its staff and resources, including an annual budget of approximately $56 million. In 2012, Becton received the Rose Bird Memorial Award for judicial excellence from the California Women Lawyers. She subsequently served as President of the National Association of Women Judges.

In 2013 she obtained her Real Estate Broker’s license which expired in January. In 2015, Becton earned her Master’s degree in Theology from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Upon her appointment, she became the first African American and first female Contra Costa County District Attorney.

“This job is a tremendous responsibility,” Becton said. “I am committed to restoring public trust in the DA’s office. The people of Contra Costa County need to be confident in their judicial system, and I will work tirelessly with law enforcement, deputy district attorneys, and public defenders to rebuild that trust. As District Attorney, I want to bring people together to improve our office’s accountability and encourage community engagement throughout Contra Costa County.”

According to a news release from the county, it was an informal ceremony at which the constitutional oath of office necessary for Becton to assume office was administered.  The ceremonial investiture proceeding that traditionally accompanies the District Attorney’s assumption of office will be held in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers at some point in the near future, for the public to witness. The election for District Attorney will be held next June.

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DA’s office expands education outreach on cyber-bullying, campus and online safety for kids

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Starting on September 14, 2017, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office Sexual Assault Unit, in conjunction with the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, expanded an outreach program directed at parents, teachers and students on the topics of cyber-bullying, campus sexual assault awareness and online safety for kids.  The presentations are aimed at educating parents and teachers on new trends involving social media, as well as providing students with information and tools to improve campus safety and prevent online exploitation.

“The effort was started last year, first at DVC,” according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves. “The first presentation in a high school was at Campolindo in Moraga.”

“Since then we’ve been working with police officers and those in our office on the task force,” he continued. “Campus sexual assault awareness is geared toward high school seniors and community colleges, due to the content. The cyberbullying and online safety for kids is for everyone, but mainly targeted to middle school students and parents, with presentations for both,”

“We’ve been working to have somewhere for schools to call to have presentations made for students and parents,” Graves added.

Schools, community organizations and parent/teacher groups who are interested in learning more can call Deputy District Attorney Lauren Whalen at 925-957-8603. 

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Graves to hold campaign kick-off for Contra Costa DA in Pleasant Hill Friday

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Contra Costa Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves. photo courtesy of Paul Graves for DA

The campaign for Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves, running for Contra Costa District Attorney in next June’s election, announced they will hold a Kickoff Celebration this Friday, September 22. The event will be held at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center, 223 Gregory Lane from 5:30 – 7:30 PM.

Join Paul Graves and his supporters for drinks and tacos to celebrate. All are welcome. RSVP through their Eventbrite page.

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Supervisors fund illegal immigrant family aid program to monitor ICE actions in county

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Helps pay for “Rapid Response” inspectors, education workshops, legal aid sessions

By Daniel Borsuk

In response to policies and actions by President Trump and to assist illegal immigrant families “facing immediate separation due to deportation,” Contra Costa County supervisors unanimously agreed to use $500,000 of AB 109 funds to cover expenses and match funds from non-profit organizations for the launch of a Stand Together CoCo pilot project in January. Stand Together CoCo 8_16_17

The proposal by the Contra Costa Immigration Rights Alliance, originally submitted earlier this year needed a total of $1,002,750 for the program. The county will use funds from state Assembly Bill 109 automobile license fee revenues. According to their Facebook page, “CCIRA seeks to end ICE collaboration in Contra Costa and to promote immigrant rights, inclusion and a spirt of welcome in cities throughout the county.” Draft CoCoCo Immigrant Legal & Ed P-ship

The effort had already rounded up $585,000 from six non-profit organizations that will help fund Stand Together CoCo operate during its inaugural year of operations consisting of education workshops, legal aid sessions, and the hiring and oversight of 12 Rapid Response inspectors who will be dispatched around the county to observe and take notes on how United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents conduct themselves at arrest sites.

According to the staff report, “The proposal requests that the Board of Supervisors authorize the Office of the Public Defender to establish Stand Together CoCo as a pilot project. The requested allocation is $500,000 in FY 17/18 funding to support operations in the January-June 2018 first phase, with a further commitment that the County will provide $500,000 in annual support in each of fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-20. Working with key local partners, Stand Together CoCo will then use this commitment to generate funding from other public and private sources.”

Presently the program has received letters of commitment from the Y & H Soda Foundation of $275,000, the San Francisco Foundation of $100,000, the East Bay Community Foundation of $50,000, and the Firedoll Foundation of $50,000, and letters of intention from the Richmond Community Foundation of $10,000 and the California Endowment of $100,000.

During the public hearing portion that drew 21 persons speaking in support of the program that Contra Costa County Deputy Public Defender Ali Saidi will oversee, District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen questioned about the functions of the Rapid Response Dispatch Inspectors and whether they would create potential legal problems with the federal government should Rapid Response Inspectors interfere with ICE agents.

“I don’t want to see ordinary citizens getting in the way of the actions of ICE agents,” Andersen said

In the early going it looked like Andersen was going to possibly cast the lone negative vote, but later on she decided to vote along with her colleagues.

“I’m going to take a leap of faith.  I am concerned about public safety,” the supervisor later said before casting a yes vote for the program.

Andersen also voiced concern that this new county-backed immigrant rights program might duplicate services already provided in the county through existing nonprofit organizations like the Contra Costa Crisis Center.

“I don’t want to spend one half million dollars on duplicating services,” said the supervisor who represents a large minority population consisting of Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani residents.

“A Google search doesn’t show what’s really being done,” District 1 Supervisor John Gioia said in response to Andersen’s concern about the potential duplication of legal aid services for immigrants.

Deborah Bernstein of the Jewish Family and Community Services in Walnut Creek said her organization has served 875 county residents seeking immigration legal assistance from January through August.

“These people are living in a high level of fear,” she said.

Since January, Catholic Charities of Contra Costa County has helped 924 people receive legal immigration aid.

“We’ve seen a big increase in people needing help,” said Christopher Martinez of Catholic Charities.

Rubicon Contract Approved

In other action, supervisors approved a $408,750 contract with Rubicon Programs, Inc., an ex-felon nonprofit assistance program, after receiving a letter from Contra Costa Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston that he is now satisfied the one-year contract extension complies with contract protocol.  Last week, supervisors had delayed action on the contract because of the sheriff’s concern that the contract did not go through adequate review by a county contract panel.

The practice of assessing $30 a day cost living charges for juveniles serving sentences at the county’s two juvenile facilities – Juvenile Hall in Martinez and Boys Ranch in Discovery Bay, is over.  Supervisors voted 5-0 to officially end the bill that parents or legal guardian had to pay the county upon the release of their child for the daily living (meals, lodging, other expenses).  Contra Costa County joins other counties like San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles ditching the juvenile hall daily cost of living fee because it is viewed as being financially retaliatory to parents of children in the juvenile justice system.  The county had begun to temporarily cease the billing practice in 2016.

Next week, supervisors will vote on permanently ending the $17 daily electronic surveillance fee of minors in the juvenile justice system.

The county can afford to eliminate the daily cost of living fee and daily electronic surveillance fee because county officials laid off two fulltime juvenile hall clerical positions.

Supervisors also instructed John Kopchik, director of the Conservation and Development Department, to present to the board by next February proposed regulations for short-term rentals in unincorporated areas of the county.  Supervisors especially representing Discovery Bay, Kensington, Alamo, and Black Hawk have seen a surge in short-term rentals that have produced parking, noise and other problems.  County planners will develop an ordinance by examining what other jurisdictions like San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento and other counties have drafted.

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Contra Costa Supervisors select first African-American and female District Attorney Diana Becton

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Diane Becton. Courtesy of CCLawyer.cccba.org

By Daniel Borsuk

On an initial split vote, Contra Costa County Supervisors picked Superior Court Judge Diana Becton to complete the nine remaining months of former Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson on Tuesday.

Supervisors initially made their preferences known on a 3-2 split vote, to pick Becton from a field of five well-qualified competitors, for the top county criminal prosecutor post that pays $21,415 a month. Supervisors John Gioia of Richmond who represents District 1 and Diane Burgis chose Becton, while Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff chose Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves. Board Chair Federal Glover broke the tie and stated his preference for Becton.

A few minutes later, supervisors voted to unanimously approve the selection of Becton as interim DA.

She has announced her retirement as judge in order to assume the DA position next Monday.

Becton, the first African American female judge to be selected by former California Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, will now become the first African American and first female in history to be in charge of the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, an office marred by scandal, most recently the June resignation of Peterson for illegally spending of $66,000 of his campaign funds over a five-year period for personal use, then not disclosing it on finance reports.  In 2008, the county DA office was rocked when deputy prosecutor Michael Gressett was charged with allegedly raping a female DA colleague.

Graves, who had won the endorsement from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Association and most all of the police officers associations in the county, has already announced his candidacy to run for the DA office in the June election. Santa Clara County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Patrick Vanier, another applicant for the interim post, has also announced his candidacy.  Vanier, who is running on a campaign of conducting a “comprehensive audit” of the department, did not draw a vote from any supervisor.

In addition to Vanier, Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Danielle Douglas, a former San Francisco prosecutor, did not attract any votes from supervisors, either.  Douglas portrayed a conservative management “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” style that may have turned off supervisors.

During the public hearing prior to the supervisors’ vote, Becton had scored the most support from 20 out of 40 speakers, many who had acknowledged the judge’s 22 years of criminal courtroom experience and progressive views about bail reform and the need to decrease the rising number of BART crimes, gang and freeway shootings.  Becton also earned the endorsement of the NAACP clergy, following the East County Branch’s public interview of the five applicants, last Saturday.

On the topic of plagiarizing material for her application for the post Becton admitted, “I did liberally copy from all sorts of sources.  I own those mistakes. But you have to look at my 22 years of service in this county of working with integrity to improve our criminal justice system.”

She also stated that she didn’t think U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) would have a problem with Becton’s use of her words.

Under questioning from supervisor Andersen, Contra Costa County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Kensok, a 30-year veteran of the DA office, also admitted he had copied material in his application without identifying his sources.

“I should have put in quotation marks, but I did not think of it,” he said. “There was no intent to deceive.  I’m sorry for the way it came out.”

So far Becton has not stated whether she will run in the 2018 election campaign for the full-time position.

Sheriff David Livingston chipped in a recommendation that supervisors might want to develop a duo DA position with Beckton/Kensok holding the post in a caretaking status until the June election. That idea did not draw any reaction from supervisors.

“There is need for change.  The department needs to be transparent,” said Glover of Pittsburg, who represents District 5. “We want the department to think differently, and Judge Beckton can bring that.”

On the initial vote, District 4 Supervisor Mitchoff voted for Graves because of his “integrity and extensive prosecution experience.” Later on the supervisor joined her colleagues to make the appointment of Becton unanimous on a second vote.

Andersen of Danville, who represents District 2, had also initially voted for Graves, but later voted to support Judge Becton. “We need to have a person who can restore public trust, public safety, and protect the mentally ill who enter our criminal justice system,” she said in support of Graves.

District 5 Supervisor Burgis of Oakley said, “My first choice is Judge Diane Becton.”  Burgis said Becton will promote diversity and that “she’s earned the trust of our community.”

Supervisors to Consider Rubicon Contract

In a related matter, supervisors will get an update at their Tuesday, Sept. 19 meeting on the status of a $408,750 contract with the non-profit ex-felon organization Rubicon Programs, Inc.

With the contract expiring at the end of September, a political tiff has developed between Livingston and Gioia, who had opposed the recently approved $70 million West County Detention Jail expansion in north Richmond, a major project of the sheriff.

The problem is the CCP panel is not scheduled to convene until November, too late to renew the Rubicon Contract for the West County Reentry Success Center.

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Nominate someone who has made a difference in the arts in Contra Costa County by Sept 28

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

The Arts & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County (AC5) is seeking nominations for the 2017 Arts Recognition Awards. AC5 is celebrating its 20th Anniversary of honoring those who have made a significant artistic or philanthropic contribution to the communities in the County. The Commissioners ask that you nominate someone you feel is deserving of this award.

The nominees must be, or have been, an active supporter of arts and culture, with sustained contributions and work, that has had a far-reaching impact.  

Consider those you feel have made a difference in visual arts, music, performing arts, dance digital arts or arts education for this award. Other worthy candidates might be those who have shown exceptional leadership, vision and commitment to the growth and support of arts and culture, or organizations that have kept the arts alive through continuous or significant financial support.

Please visit www.AC5.org  for more details and to submit nominations online.

The nomination period closes at midnight on Thursday, September 28, 2017.

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