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Park Middle, possibly other Antioch school teachers asked to promote state unions’ May 1st Day of Action

Friday, April 21st, 2017

One of the posters on the CTA website offered for the May 1st Day of Action.

Another poster on the CTA website offered for use on its May 1st Day of Action.

Teachers, students asked to wear red, put names on red strips of paper, make posters; district, principal unaware of effort

By Allen Payton

On Thursday, an Antioch resident concerned with “communist propaganda being pushed at school” informed the herald of an effort at Park Middle School entitled “‘Park Spartans Stand in Solidarity’ – May 1st” asking all staff and students to wear red that day, as part of “a movement to build a stronger union.” In addition, students are asked to make signs and posters during the “first week of our block schedule for testing, April 24 – 28,” which begins next Monday.

May 1st was the day chosen by the International Workers of the World and the Communist Party to protest for workers’ rights, starting in the late 1800’s and gaining prominence in the early 1900’s. The raised, clinched fist became the symbol of the movement. That symbol has since been adopted by other movements such as the black power and feminist movements.

Now it’s being used by the California Teachers Association (CTA), the state’s largest teachers’ union, which, via its website, is asking teachers and students to participate in their May 1st Statewide Day of Action to “Stand Up for Students.”

In an email message, the resident, who wished to remain anonymous wrote, “This memo [below] is circulating at Park Middle School. Why are public schools pushing political propaganda? Thought you may want to look into it” and forwarded the following message:

“Remember that on May 1st we are ‘Park Spartans Stand in Solidarity,’ so you can have your students make posters next week.

‘Park Spartans Stand in Solidarity’ – May 1st

This is a day where the Nation will create a movement to build a stronger union to strengthen free, safe, and quality public education for ALL students based on social, economic, and political justice.

  1. ALL staff and students should wear RED this day.
  2. Students will be writing their names on red strips of paper during their lunches on April 26th – 28th. They will be linked together. (PLEASE send any red construction paper you would like to donate to Shelly in room 602.)
  3. Share the information with your students, and they can make signs and posters. A great week to have your students do this is the first week of our block schedule for testing, April 24 – 28. Any posters you want hung up outside of the school, please send to me by the end of the day on Friday, April 28th. Also, if anyone wants to get here early on May 1st to hang up the posters, I would appreciate it.
  4. I have attached a scan of the Action page. At the bottom are different links. One includes different ideas and activities you can do.
  5. Please take the pledge to Stand for ALL Students: cta.org/ForAllStudents (copy and paste the website)”

Posters on the CTA website offered for use as part of the organization’s May 1st Day of Action.

In an email response to questions about the memo, the anonymous resident wrote, “It is my understanding that it is a District wide program and each school is encouraged to set up their own May Day celebration based on the CTA guide. As far as the email I provided, it was sent out to all Park Middle School employees and I have been told that many employees are upset that the District is pushing this propaganda on the students. I have also been told by a friend at Mno Grant Elementary School that they are setting up a similar program there.”

On the CTA’s web page promoting the activities for the Day of Action, it asks people to sign a pledge with the message, “Take the Pledge: A Call to Action for the Public Education ALL California’s Students Deserve.”

It includes non-controversial clauses about supporting “safe learning and teaching environments, and the right to attend school free of fear, bullying and discrimination” and “all students deserve a well-rounded education – ensuring that students and schools have access to multi-cultural education, art, music, theater, dance, physical education, and career-technical classes.”

But, the pledge also includes political positions of the teachers’ union, in the following clauses:

“WHEREAS, public schools should serve as centers of the community, not profit centers with taxpayer dollars diverted to private voucher schemes and unaccountable corporate charter schools; and

WHEREAS, California has always been a place for DREAMers and supports safe-haven schools and sanctuary cities that reflect and embrace the diversity of our students and their families, as well as the rich language and cultural assets they bring to our communities.”

The website also provides a variety of posters that can be used, including one that shows two hands in a handshake with the words “The Union Makes Us Strong.” Others promote the LGBTQ agenda with the new symbol that includes male, female and transgender.

A message left for Park Middle School Principal John Jimno seeking comment about the activities at the school proposed for next week was not returned.

An email was sent to Board President Walter Ruehlig, who is out of town on vacation, all board members and Superintendent Stephanie Anello asking if they were aware of this, if it was a district-wide effort and if they supported it.

Anello responded, “I am looking into this and will get back to you. I was unaware that this went out, etc. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

Board Vice President Debra Vinson said “I hadn’t heard of it. That’s news to me” and that there are “so many things that we need to reel in.”

In a later email message from Anello, she said Jimno was not aware of the memo, either and that he would be contacting the teacher who sent it.

“I was unaware of the email as was Mr. Jimno as he was out of the office yesterday,” Anello wrote. “According to Mr. Jimno, nothing has gone out to students or their families about this. CTA and its membership certainly have a right to free speech and expression that would include their ability to wear red and make posters and comments on the issues and to encourage their membership to do so. However, there is no legal basis for taking class time to direct students (or non-CTA staff) to do so as it is not part of a district approved curriculum. Mr. Jimno has already reached out to the teacher who sent the email and she will send out clarification letting teachers know.

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention,” she concluded.

Communist poster

On the Marxists.org website it provides background about the first International May Day.

“In his preface to the fourth German edition of the Communist Manifesto, which he wrote on May 1, 1890, Engels, reviewing the history of the international proletarian organizations, calls attention to the significance of the first International May Day:

As I write these lines, the proletariat of Europe and America is holding a review of its forces; it is mobilized for the first time as One army, under One Bag, and fighting One immediate aim: an eight-hour working day, established by legal enactment…. The spectacle we are now witnessing will make the capitalists and landowners of all lands realize that today the proletarians of all lands are, in very truth, united. If only Marx were with me to see it with his own eyes!

The significance of simultaneous international proletarian demonstrations was appealing more and more to the imagination and revolutionary instincts of the workers throughout the world, and every year witnessed greater masses participating in the demonstrations.”

Soviet Propaganda poster from the 70’s stating “We are in solidarity with you, Vietnam!”

On the same website the French Marxist, communist activist, essayist, and journalist, Boris Souvarine is quoted from his work entitled, The Call, published in 1920 about the Communist roots of May Day celebrations.

“Since the foundation of the Communist International, containing all the revolutionary forces of the world proletariat, the international manifestation of May Day has taken on a character of working-class solidarity which it never possessed before,” Souvarine wrote.

“Previously, when the Second International had resolved to choose the first day of May as the occasion to affirm the universal fraternity of the workers, the annual demonstration of the exploited of every country was a luminous symbol. But the Second International shed itself of its revolutionary spirit, and sunk more and more in opportunism, whilst the general strike of the May Day also lost its revolutionary spirit, for which was substituted an overweening concern for the ‘practical.’ And during the war when, more than ever, the solidarity of the proletariat was a pressing necessity, when Imperialism intensified the oppression and the exploitation of the producing class, the International backed out, and its weakening parties traitorously renounced the traditional celebration of May Day.”

On the CTA website, it explains why it chose May 1st and that it’s part of a national effort in coordination with the National Education Association (NEA), the national teachers’ union. They want parents and community members to support the effort at local schools, as well.

“Why May 1?

May 1st has been historically linked to international worker’ rights. On May 1, 1886, the U.S. Federation of Organized Trade and Labor Unions (including immigrant workers) ruled that an 8-hour work day, would be a full and legal work day. NEA and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) are also holding a national day of action on May 1. May 1, or May Day, continues to be a national day of action to raise awareness about immigration rights and the need to keep families together as they fight for a better life.  

How can I get involved?

CTA is asking our local chapters and members to hold actions with parents and community members at their local school sites. Actions may include “walk-ins” with parents and community members, unveiling new safe zone policies and safe zone resolutions, taking the pledge, hosting community meetings, and more. Please join our Facebook group and fill out our form to let us know how you are participating.”

However, nothing could be found on the NEA’s website regarding a national day of action on May 1st. 

Nothing could be found on the NEA’s website regarding a national day of action on May 1st. However, on the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools’ website, their May 1st day of action is entitled “Build Schools Not Walls” and is about opposing President Trump’s proposed wall on the border with Mexico and education for illegal immigrant students.

That website states, “Every community deserves quality public schools where immigrants are welcome and kids & families are safe, respected, and loved.”

Further, it states, “Join millions nationwide on May 1st, 2017:

Demand an end to mass deportation and threats to immigrant communities

Demand our schools be safe spaces free from the threats of ICE raids, racism, and bullying

Demand that billions not be spent on a wall, but on strengthening public schools to educate all our children regardless of immigration status.”

However, the AROS website only shows a few sites throughout the U.S. participating in their Day of Action and the only one in California is in Los Angeles.

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Sheriff’s Detectives seek additional child molestation victims of Richmond man

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

JB Yancy

The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is seeking additional possible victims in a child molestation case. Earlier this year, Detectives arrested 26-year-old JB Yancy following a three-month long investigation.

Alleged acts of molestation against a minor victim in North Richmond were brought to the attention of the Office of the Sheriff in late 2016. Detectives launched an investigation and confirmed the allegations. An arrest warrant was issued for Yancy.

Yancy was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on multiple counts of child molestation. He is currently being held in lieu of $1,000,000 bail.

Detectives believe there may be additional victims and would like to talk to anyone with any information. Yancy has resided in Vallejo, Richmond, and Fairfield. He approached his victim in a public place.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Sexual Assault Unit of the Investigation Division at (925) 313-2625. For any tips, please email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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Embezzlement, DUI, trespassing among Antioch Police calls for March 30 – April 5, 2017

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Following are the Antioch Police Department calls for service highlights as published in City Manager Ron Bernal’s Weekly Report dated April, 2017 and provided by Interim Chief of Police Tammany Brooks.

Calls for Service Summary

Time Period:  03/30/17 00:00:00 – 04/05/17 23:59:59

Number of Calls for Service: 1,735

Number of Case Reports: 260

Number of Arrests: 77

Felony: 26

Misdemeanor: 51

Arrests with DUI charge: 3

The data is based upon unaudited CAD/RMS data at time of report generation.

  • 4/5/17 at 4:56 pm, Wal-Mart loss prevention called APD dispatch and advised they had an employee, 19-year-old Kamya Gray in custody for embezzling $1200 from the store. An officer was dispatched to the store and learned that Gray was a cashier at the Wal-Mart and had stole $1200 from her register over a 4-day period. Gray also admitted to the officer that she stole the money. Gray was arrested for embezzlement and later booked into the County Jail.
  • 04/05/2017 at 7:27am, citizens in the area of Park Middle School called 911 regarding a possible student in the neighborhood with a mask over his face and holding an air soft gun in his hand. Officers responded to the area and located a 14-year-old student with a BB gun in his hand. He also had a bandana around his neck. The juvenile was detained without incident and eventually charged with an Antioch Municipal Code violation. He was released to school staff after our investigation was complete.
  • 4/2/17 at 10:30 pm, officers responded to the 7-Eleven at 3701 Sunset Lane for a report of an intoxicated subject passed out in the back seat of a vehicle. Officers contacted 19-year-old Osna Sharifi. Sharifi displayed objective symptoms of being under the influence of alcohol and was intoxicated to the point she could not care for herself.  In plain view on the front driver seat was a loaded handgun.  Sharifi was arrested for public intoxication and possession of a loaded firearm in public. Sharifi was booked into County Jail.
  • 4/1/17 at 11:03 am, officers were dispatched to Cortez Ct. and Buchanan Rd. for a vehicle collision. Upon arrival officers contacted 39-year-old Lionel White standing next to his vehicle. It was discovered White had collided into a parked car.  White displayed signs of alcohol intoxication.  After a series of field sobriety tests, White was arrested for DUI.  White was booked at the Antioch Jail and submitted to a breath test and then transported to County Jail.
  • 3/31/17 at 7:54 pm, officers were dispatched to a report of a non-injury traffic collision on A St. Upon arrival they contacted 30-year-old Luis Martinez who had collided into three parked cars. Martinez’s steering wheel separated from the vehicle and he hit a fourth car.  Martinez displayed signs of alcohol intoxication and admitted he had been drinking.  After administering field sobriety tests Martinez was arrested for DUI and sent to County Jail.
  • 03/31/2017 at 12:17 pm, a Chase Bank employee from the Delta Fair Blvd. branch called dispatch reporting a subject in the bank attempting to pass a fraudulent check. Officers arrived within a few minutes and contacted 46-year-old Regina Stokes who was waiting at the teller window. Officers spoke with the owner of Uncle Wang’s Chinese Restaurant in Pittsburg who advised the business was burglarized last night and company checks were stolen. Stokes was arrested for passing a fraudulent check and booked in the County Jail.
  • 3/30/17 at 5:40 pm, officers were dispatched to Tailgaters Sports Bar for the report of a male being verbally abusive towards the staff. Upon arrival, they located, 28-year-old Jon Bella inside the establishment at the pool tables. Bella was initially calm and willingly complied with officer’s request to go outside. Once outside Bella became upset that he was being asked to leave the bar, stating that this is where he hangs out and that nobody can tell him he has to leave. Officers advised Bella that he was no longer welcome at the bar tonight. Bella attempted to re-gain access to the bar on three different occasions. Bella was advised he would be placed under arrest if he attempted to re-enter the bar which he did. The manager of Tailgaters signed a Citizen’s Arrest form, and Bella was placed under arrest for trespassing. Bella booked into County Jail for likely to continue.

 

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Public input requested for new Countywide Bike and Pedestrian Plan

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s (CCTA) Countywide Bike and Pedestrian Plan outlines strategies that support pedestrian-friendly developments and encourages a connected, coordinated network of bicycle facilities. To help implement these strategies, CCTA adopted a Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan in 2003.  We updated the Plan in 2009, and are reaching out to the public to provide comments and ideas for the latest Plan update, which is currently underway.
Now the Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is being updated for 2017 to help make walking and biking safer, more convenient, and more attractive in Contra Costa. The Plan will help harmonize local plans for bicycle and pedestrian networks in Contra Costa and help us better understand where and how often people walk and bicycle in the county.

We encourage you to visit the project website, KeepContraCostaMoving.net, today to take a short survey and use the interactive map to provide your comments and suggestions about the Countywide Bike and Pedestrian Plan. You can also learn more about upcoming events, the planning timeline, and opportunities to provide your ideas to the planning team. We will be hosting pop-up stations at community events and other popular locations throughout the County to gather input from residents and visitors.

The planning process will take place in phases over the course of the next year, with a final plan and environmental report scheduled for completion in the summer of 2018. We hope that you’ll stay tuned and check back on the website often to keep up to date on the planning process, explore draft documents, and provide your feedback and comments.

Let’s work together to make our community a safer and friendlier place to walk and bike. Visit KeepContraCostaMoving.net now.

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County Supervisors eye $3 billion budget

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Uncertainty, as it relies on 48% of funds from federal government

By Daniel Borsuk

Contra Costa County supervisors took a peek at a proposed $3 billion budget on Tuesday that includes $250,000 to expand a popular health care program for low income citizens, $220,000 to reopen the shuttered Knightsen fire station in the East Contra Costa Fire District, and spend $500,000 for the Northern Waterfront Study Intiative.

Supervisors are scheduled to adopt the new spending plan at its May 9 meeting to replace the current $2.6 billion budget.

During the seven-hour hearing, some supervisors seemed to play the conservative card due to fiscal events that have developed in Washington, D.C. and how federal cuts in health care, education and housing might have a ripple effect at the state and county level.

County Administrator David Twa said the county receives 48 percent of its funds from the federal government so there is concern that funding cuts from Washington will impact county operations if not in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, it could occur in the 2018-2019 fiscal year when the county needs to renegotiate labor contracts with doctors, nurses. and fire fighters.

“This is one of the most difficult budgets to assemble,” Twa told supervisors, “because there is so much uncertainty at the state and federal levels.”

The fiscal uncertainty also affected the supervisors.

Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill said she would not approve the proposal for an additional $250,000 to expand the Contra Costa Cares health care program for low income residents.  The county allotment would be matched by the nonprofit organization to help access the health care program to 1,000 residents.   This current fiscal year the county spent $1 million and has proposed $1.25 million for the upcoming 2017-2018 fiscal year.

“There’s a large part of the community that doesn’t understand why we see a part of the undocumented community the way we do, but in this case, I cannot support spending an extra $250,000 for the Contra Costa Cares program,” Mitchoff said.

Mitchoff also raised doubts that Contra Costa Cares has the fundraising capabilities to collect $250,000 to expand the program.  “The hospital is not committed to contributing the $250,000,” she said.

“We’re seeing the rise of people awareness to their right to health care,” said Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood.  She favors the extra funding for the health care program that drew about eight speakers in support of the health care program.  “I’m in support of expanding it,” she said.

Initially supervisors were reluctant in setting aside $220,000 to reopen the Knightsen fire station for fiscal years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, but eventually caved in to reality that the station needed to opened.  Supervisors are frustrated over the way the ECCFD has managed its financial and business affairs.  The fire district had shuttered the fire station in order to open a new station in Brentwood..

Supervisors also voted 4-0, with Supervisor Candace Andersen absent, to designate $500,000 for the Northern Water Front Study Initiative, a project of Board Chair Federal Glover.  The funding would be spent on data development, parcel identification, engineering, and public outreach.

New Airport Safety Classifications Approved

Supervisors also approved the creation for four Airport Safety Office Classifications at the Byron Airport and Buchanan Field to replace three outdated classifications that should help the county improve the retention rate among safety personnel.  The county has a 60 percent retention rate among 17 personnel assigned to aircraft rescue and firefighting duties.

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Antioch police seek help in locating suspect in Monday afternoon armed robbery of bank

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Suspect wanted in robbery of Umpqua Bank in Antioch, Monday afternoon. Photos courtesy of APD

By Sergeant John Fortner #3264, Antioch Police Investigations Division, Violent Crimes Unit

On Monday, April 17, 2017, at approximately 4:36 PM Antioch Police Officers were dispatched to the Umpqua Bank located at 3700 Lone Tree Way on the report of a robbery. The suspect fled the scene on foot prior to the arrival of officers. Nobody was injured during the robbery and the take was cash.

The suspect was described by witnesses as being an older, white male adult wearing a baseball hat and glasses. The suspect is pictured in the two photographs above. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Gonzalez with the Antioch Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit at (925) 779-6942 or the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925)778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Antioch man and teen arrested for possession of marijuana for sale, guns early Tuesday morning

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Shotgun

By Sergeant Dimitri Barakos #2176, Antioch Police Community Policing Bureau

On Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at approximately 4:52 AM the Antioch Police Department received a call of two subjects in a car in the drive through of the Jack-In-The Box restaurant, located at 2505 ‘A’ Street, armed with a rifle. Officers arrived on scene and attempted to make contact with the occupants of the car, Michael Ferreira, 19-years-old, and Carlos Cabezas, 32-years-old, both Antioch residents, but they received no response.

The officers were unable to see clearly into the car due to heavy tinting on the car windows. Eventually officers approached the car and made contact with the occupants who were passed out in the car. A loaded short barreled shotgun and a military style rifle were located in the car along with a large amount of marijuana. Ferreira and Cabezas were arrested without incident and sent to the Martinez Detention Facility.

Rifle in trunk

Charges for Ferreira: HS11359 Possession of marijuana for sale.

PC29800(A)(1) Felon in possession of a firearm.

PC30305(A)(1) Felon in possession of ammunition.

PC33210 Possession of a short barreled firearm.

PC1203.2 Probation violation.

PC30605(A) Illegal possession of an assault weapon.

Marijuana

Charges for Cabezas: HS11359 Possession of marijuana for sale.

PC33210 Possession of a short barreled firearm.

PC30605(A) Illegal possession of an assault weapon.

You may text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Former Roddy Ranch Golf Course manager, solar company owner wanted fugitives for fraud charges

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Both are expected to turn themselves in, today

Wanted poster from www.northerncaliforniamostwanted.org.

By Allen Payton

The former general manager and PGA golf pro at the now closed Roddy Ranch Golf Club in Antioch, Kevin Fitzgerald, is a wanted fugitive according to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office. According to the website www.northerncaliforniamostwanted.org, the 46-year-old is “Wanted by the Contra Costa County District Attorney” and that he “conspired to commit loan fraud, file a false police report, commit insurance fraud, divert construction funds and defraud an elder.”

Also wanted for the same charges is Mark Ellis Mattson.

Mark Mattson

The same website states, “Mark Mattson a solar contractor while working at the former Roddy Ranch Golf Course LLC conspired to commit loan fraud, commit insurance fraud, divert construction funds and defraud an elder. Mark Mattson lives in San Diego and may work at San Diego State University as an instructor.”

The “elder” referred to in the charges is Jack Roddy, the owner of the golf course.

When reached for comment, Roddy stated, “Kevin and the other guy are supposed to be turning themselves in, today.”

That other guy is “Mark Mattson, the owner of a solar company,” Roddy said, “He’s under a $750,000 bail, who colluded with Kevin on this. They both have multiple felonies they’re wanted for.”

“They were supposed to turn themselves in, last week, but didn’t do it,” he continued. “They hurt a lot of people. Hurt Donna (Jack’s wife) and me, bad. Hurt a lot of golfers. Just did a lot of damage. But they’re going to pay the price.”

Asked about Roddy’s plans for the 235-acre golf course land, after he shut down the operations last summer, he responded with a laugh, “There are a lot of cattle getting fat up there. It wasn’t working, so we shut it done. We decided to put it back to the way it was.”

Asked if he had anything else to say, Roddy said “I’m going to let the law do my talking. I’ll let the cops and the legal system do their work.”

In 2014, Fitzgerald’s company, Roddy Ranch Golf Management leased the golf course from Roddy’s company Roddy Ranch, LLC. In July, Roddy took back control of the course and brought in Touchstone Golf as the operator. They discovered the course was financially unable to continue operations.

An email message to golf club members on August 6, 2016 stated, “we have discovered that the golf course is not financially viable as a going concern. This is due to outstanding debts of the previous operator and the high cost of irrigation water for the golf course.” The course was closed on August 11th. (See related article)

Fitzgerald and his family rented a house on Roddy’s personal property, and was a driver of one of the race cars owned by Roddy Ranch Racing, LLC, which competed at the Antioch Speedway inside the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds.

2:13 PM UPDATE – FELONY WARRANTS ISSUED FOR THE ARRESTS OF KEVIN FITZGERALD AND MARK MATTSON (RODDY RANCH FRAUD)

Earlier today, Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark A. Peterson announced that felony arrest warrants have been issued for Kevin Fitzgerald, age 45, of Brentwood, the   former general manager of Roddy Ranch Golf Course, LLC, in Antioch; and for Mark Mattson, age 56, a general contractor residing in Escondido, California.

Both Fitzgerald and Mattson are charged with felony counts of Grand Theft by Embezzlement, Attempted Grand Theft, Diversion of Construction Funds, Insurance Fraud, and Elder Financial Theft. Fitzgerald is also charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor. The victims are the Roddy Ranch Golf Course, LLC, and Mr. Jack Roddy, a long-time resident of the county. The charges stem from the abrupt closure of the Roddy Ranch Golf Course in 2016 after it was learned that Fitzgerald had allegedly diverted $200,000 of an $800,000 loan the Roddys had obtained to build a solar project on the golf course property.

Both Fitzgerald and Mattson, the solar contractor, submitted false construction documents to the loan company claiming that solar panels had been purchased and installed on the Golf Course property. This was done so the loan proceeds totaling $699,000 would be released to Mattson. Mattson did purchase and install some solar panels, but, not the 344 panels claimed in the construction documents. Mattson then gave $200,000 to Fitzgerald who used some of the proceeds for the golf course and to continue making the monthly lease payments to the Roddys. Fitzgerald embezzled the rest of the money through large cash withdrawals and transfers to his personal accounts.

In December 2015, Fitzgerald and Mattson attempted to get the remaining $93,000 of the loan money from the lender.  The lender made inquiries with PGE, the City and Antioch, and then with Mrs. Donna Roddy who told them the project wasn’t complete and, in fact, had barely been started.

When the lender refused to pay the remaining $93,000, Fitzgerald damaged the 12 solar panels that had been installed and then filed a false police report claiming the theft of 344 solar panels that were allegedly on the property awaiting installation. These panels had never been purchased.

Fitzgerald filed an insurance claim for the purported vandalism and theft. In April 2016, he received $267,000 as an insurance settlement from Liberty Mutual. Fitzgerald gave Mattson $40,000 of this money, transferred $55,000 to his (Fitzgerald’s) personal checking account. The remainder was used for golf course expenses and to pay “dividends” to five private investors. None of the insurance money was used towards the solar project.

Ultimately, after these series of crimes, the Roddys brought in a professional golf course management company to try to salvage the golf course operation. These attempts proved unsuccessful and the golf course closed in August of 2016.

Arrest Warrants have been issued with a bail set at $775,000 each for Fitzgerald and Mattson. Local law enforcement and the United States Marshal’s Service are attempting to locate and arrest both individuals.

Inquiries concerning this prosecution should be addressed to Deputy District Attorney Dodie Katague of the District Attorney’s Special Operations Unit. He can be reached at (925) 957-2208.

Note: For the purpose of full disclosure, Fitzgerald and Roddy have been personal friends of the writer of this article

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