Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Water theft leads to arrest of two in Antioch following discovery of large scale indentify theft ring

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

According to the Antioch Police calls for service summary in City Manager Steve Duran’s Weekly Report, dated August 19, 2016 – On Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 8:23 am officers were dispatched to 510 W. 10th Street because a neighbor was reporting that someone from 510 W. 10th Street was stealing water. It was determined that 510 W. 10th Street was a vacant building that 25 year old Jesse Perry and a 17 year old male were squatting in. Perry was found to have three warrants for his arrest.

The 17 year old originally used his cousin’s name but was identified through fingerprints and was found to have a warrant for his arrest. The building was searched and over 70 debit/credit cards, multiple stolen checks, driver licenses, multiple laptops, cell phones, tablets, a credit card reader were located. They also located a filing cabinet stolen during a burglary in Brentwood from DDS Jeffery Haug.

It was determined that Bingham and the 17 year old were involved in a large scale identity theft ring. They were both arrested on numerous fraud charges and for the warrants. Perry was sent to county jail and the 17 year old was sent to juvenile hall.

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Save The Yard supporters file papers for second try at initiative

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

By Allen Payton

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, as the old saying goes. The proponents of what has become known as the Save The Yard effort, to create a park and event center on the former Antioch Lumber Company site in downtown, are following that advice.

According to Antioch City Manager’s Weekly Report, dated August 19th: On Monday, August 15th Joy Motts, the representative for the proponent, Jim Lanter, submitted a revised request for a “Title and Summary” for a revised Initiative Ordinance based on inconsistencies found by the City Attorney on Friday, August 12th. The proponent had been given the opportunity by the City Attorney and City Clerk/Elections Official to leave the initiative Ordinance as submitted on August 12th or to resubmit with corrections and that the City Clerk/Elections Official would waive a new Filing Fee. It was immediately sent to the City Attorney who has up to 15 days to prepare a “Title and Summary” and present it to the City Clerk/Elections Official for delivery to the proponent.

According to Motts, the proponents have 180 days to gather signatures from at least 10% of the registered voters in Antioch during the latest election. That figure is 46,677 as of June 25, 2016. If so, the initiative will be placed on the November, 2017 ballot. However, if they gather signatures of at last 15% of the registered voters, a special election can be called, which would occur sometime, next spring.

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City of Tracy says Harper resigned, didn’t retire as police lieutenant, as he claims; Harper disagrees

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Ballot designation challenge must be filed by Monday, August 22

By Allen Payton

After he was elected Mayor of Antioch in 2012, Wade Harper stated that he had retired as a lieutenant with the Tracy Police Department to serve as mayor full time. However, he was only age 48 at the time and his retirement payments wouldn’t begin until after he turned 50. With 24 years as a police officer in El Cerrito and then Tracy, his retirement at 3% times the number of years he worked is equal to 72% of his final year’s salary.

The pay for his part-time position as mayor, is only $942 per month in the form of a stipend, plus $450 transportation allowance, a $100 per month communication allowance, plus medical benefits, which is far less than his monthly pension.

So the question arose of why would a police officer retire almost two years before being eligible to collect on his retirement?

It was confirmed this week, that Harper did not actually retire in 2013 from the City of Tracy Police Department, as he has claimed. Instead, he resigned, according to City of Tracy staff.

“Mr. Harper did in fact resign in 2013,” said Kim Dunaway with the City of Tracy Human Resources Department.

When asked again, “so, he didn’t retire?” she replied, “No. He resigned.”

Allegations about the reasons for Harper’s resignation have not yet been verified.

But, Harper has continued the misrepresentation about the end of his law enforcement career. In his ballot statement during his campaign for County Supervisor in this year’s June primary election, he wrote “24-year law enforcement veteran police manager (retired).” His ballot designation was “Mayor/Retired Policeman.” His ballot designation for his re-election campaign is also “Mayor/Retired Policeman.” 2016 Harper Supervisor Ballot Statement  Harper 2016 Mayor Ballot Designation Worksheet

The only way to force a candidate to change their ballot designation once it has been accepted by either the County Clerk or City Clerk is in court. A challenge must occur within 10 calendar days after filing closed and anyone can challenge it. Filing closed on Friday, August 12, so a challenge in court must occur by Monday, August 22.

When reached for comment about the issue and why Harper was allowed to use the term “Retired Policeman” in his ballot designation for the County Supervisor’s race in June, County Clerk and Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla responded by email.

“For city council races the city clerks are the elections officials and would be the ones to decide on ballot designations,” he said. “For us we rely on what the candidates provide on their ballot worksheets. We have no authority to investigate.”

“The code allows for ten days for someone to challenge a statement or designation from the date filing closes,” Canciamilla added. “They have to go to court for a writ of mandate.”

City Clerk Arne Simonsen confirmed the 10 day challenge period and what he did to verify Harper’s information.

While Harper is receiving his retirement pay through the California Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and used that on his “Justification for use of proposed ballot designation,” according to Antioch City Clerk Arne Simonsen.

“I had based my approval on his use of Retired Policeman in the Supervisor’s race,” he said. “I called PERS to verify he is receiving his retirement pay.”

Asked if he called the City of Tracy to verify, Simonsen responded, “I did not call the City of Tracy.”

He then showed a copy of Harper’s Ballot Designation Worksheet, which is a public document and can be seen, here:

Harper wrote “I am currently a PERS retiree after serving in law enforcement 24 years.” However, he did not provide any contact names, phone numbers or email addresses for Simonsen’s office to verify the information.

When asked if another candidate could not use the term “retired” in his ballot designation because he was laid off, why could Harper use the term if he resigned from police work before he had reached retirement age, and is now employed as a teacher at Antioch High School, Simonsen replied, “Obviously both the County Elections Office and I believed that he was a retired police officer.”

Two of Harper’s three challengers responded to the news. All three were asked if they planned to challenge his ballot designation in court, but none were willing to commit to doing so, yet.

“It’s unfortunate that Wade has lied to the community, once again,” said Gil Murrillo.

When asked when else he believed Harper had lied to the community Murrillo replied, “Not fulfilling his zero tolerance for crime commitment and his promise of 22 more police officers.”

Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock also responded.

“I’m in awe, actually,” she said. “I don’t know that I personally want to challenge it. He has to live with himself. I’m totally shocked. I’m befuddled to be honest. I don’t know what the reasoning is. I’m just sad. I don’t know why anyone would not tell the truth.”

Wright had no comment, at this time.

Harper responded by email with the following statement:

“Thanks for making me aware of the rumblings.  This is the answer to your question.  During a speed dating type meet and greet sponsored by the chamber of commerce in 2012 I was asked if I were to get an emergency call from the City of Antioch and the Tracy Police Department, which would I respond to.  I was a full-time lieutenant at the time.  While running for mayor at that time I could not say the City of Antioch would be the priority.  Once elected to the mayor’s position I decided to take an early retirement and focus on being mayor.  I was able to utilize my retirement savings from ICMA and my CALPERS retirement the following year.  I left the city of Tracy, in good standing, to serve the citizens of Antioch.  I was celebrated with a luncheon and was honored.  I am an ICMA & CALPERS retiree.  I welcome any challenge to my retirement status and designation by any of my opponents.  I served am happy to serve.  I have attached my service retirement 10-99R form.  Feel free to use it.  I redacted my social security number and payment amount, which is above $90,000 for my combined service at the Emeryville Police Department. The Tracy Police Department as a state employee.

Campaign season is in full effect.” Harper PERS 1099R form redacted

When asked additional questions regarding the allegations surrounding his resignation, Harper responded “You have my statement. I was not forced to resign.”

Please check back later for further details.

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Frazier proposes gas tax increase to fund new transportation plan

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

By Allen Payton

According to an article in the L.A. Times, State Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) and State Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) presented a $7.4-billion transportation plan late Wednesday, which includes an increase of 17 cents per gallon in the state gas tax, to help pay for it. The plan would also increase the tax on diesel by 30 cents per gallon and introduce a $165 annual fee on electric cars.

The Frazier-Beall plan also includes streamlining the environmental process for repairing existing transportation infrastructure and a new Office of Transportation inspector general to oversee spending.

The pair’s proposal is in response to a report about the condition of California’s roads, highways and bridges, also released on Wednesday. See the entire report, here – TRIP_Report_August_2016

Frazier issued the following statement on Thursday:

Yesterday, The Road Information Program (TRIP) released a report detailing the current status of California’s transportation system, confirming Assemblymember Frazier’s (D – Oakley) claims that road conditions will continue to worsen without passing a transportation funding plan.

“The information released in yesterday’s report further demonstrates the desperate need to repair California’s transportation system,” stated Frazier. “This cannot be accomplished without fixing the current, outdated funding structure.”

The report details the existing condition of California’s transportation infrastructure and examines future mobility needs with an increase in population and goods movement. Included in the study is the vital role our roads, highways and bridges have on economic growth and overall quality of life. The report uncovered that deteriorating roads cost Californians $56.6 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

“I’ve spent the past year calling for a comprehensive funding fix. If we fail to act on this now, the condition of our roads will continue on this downward trajectory,” stated Frazier. “Our residents deserve a transportation system that works for all Californians. It’s time that the Legislature comes together to pass a thoughtful, sustainable plan. To that end, I’ve worked with Senator Beall to put forth a plan that will address these concerns.”

The report concluded that addressing these significant transportation issues is essential for California to remain competitive and accommodate the demands of a modern society.

Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

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County school board member Belle denied diversion program, continues to fight DA prosecution for ballot statement lie

Thursday, August 18th, 2016
Jeff Belle, source Contra Costa County Board of Education

Jeff Belle, source Contra Costa County Board of Education

By Allen Payton

County School Board Member Jeff Belle, who has been charged and is being prosecuted for lying on his ballot statement during his 2014 campaign, was denied a request for participation in a diversion program in July.

In his 2014 campaign ballot statement, Belle claimed to have a college degree, but he didn’t at the time.

In July, he filed a motion to compel diversion. Belled wanted to enter a new Contra Costa District Attorney program designed to divert people from the criminal justice system. However, the DA’s office filed a response and turned him down.

Belle then requested the court to demand that the DA comply with his request, but it was also declined.

A pre-trial conference to discuss a resolution of the case was scheduled, but Belle’s attorney was unable to attend. So, it was postponed eight weeks at Belle’s request, until sometime in late September or early October.

He continues to fight the charge over which he has plead not guilty and faces trial. The maximum penalty Belle faces is a $1,000 fine and no jail time. It’s a fine only misdemeanor.

Attempts to reach Belle for this article were unsuccessful.

For more information about this case, please see the articles here and here.

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Antioch man arrested, Wednesday for two armed robberies

Thursday, August 18th, 2016
Raymond Greene

Raymond Greene

By Acting Sergeant McManus, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 11:51 PM, APD Officers responded to a “Hold-Up” alarm at the 7-Eleven store at 3701 Sunset Lane, Antioch. Upon arrival, Officers contacted the clerk, an 18-year-old Brentwood man, who had just been robbed at gunpoint. The responsible stole money from the cash register and cigarettes. The responsible came behind the counter and searched the clerk, taking personal items from his pockets as well.

During the investigation, Officers identified a name and address of a possible responsible as 21 year old Raymond Greene of Antioch. Greene was later positively identified as the person who robbed the 7/11.

Then, on Wednesday, August 17, an APD Officer was dispatched to a reported armed robbery that had occurred on 8/16/16 at 8:30 PM. The victim was walking on Bellflower Drive when he was approached by Greene. Greene pointed a handgun at the victim and robbed him of his money. The victim, a 43-year-old Antioch man, knew Greene from prior contacts and positively identified him as the person who robbed him.

Greene was taken into custody without incident at his scheduled meeting with his probation officer. Greene is currently on probation for a prior robbery conviction. A search warrant was executed at Greene’s residence on Baywood Circle and evidence was recovered linking Greene to the robberies. Greene was booked into the County Jail on Robbery Charges.

No other information will be released at this time. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Ted Chang with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6876. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Tri Delta Transit bus schedule to change, effective September 4, 2016

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

TriDelta9599

Their TV commercial jingle states they “go everywhere, man.” But, to respond to changing traffic patterns associated with the completion of the Highway 4 widening project, Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority (Tri Delta Transit) is making changes to their current bus schedule. Changes will take effect Sunday, September 4, 2016. All current routes will be in operation with the new schedule; select times only have been changed on seven routes: Route 200, Route 300, Route 380, Route 385, Route 386 Route 391, and Route 392.

“A minimum of three notices were placed on every bus one month in advance to inform our customers about this upcoming change,” said Mike Furnary, Director of Marketing. Notices have also been placed at several bus stops, online, on our mobile app, as well as social media and traditional media channels.

“To assist our customers to prepare for the changes, a preview of the revised schedule is currently available on Tri Delta Transit’s web site at www.TriDeltaTransit.com,” he said.

Tri Delta Transit was named small bus operator of the year in 2014 by the American Public Transportation Association, the national representative for public transportation in Washington DC. They provide over 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of over 250,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They operate 13 local bus routes Monday – Friday, 4 local bus routes on weekends, door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and shuttle services to community events.

For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.

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80-year-old Antioch man injured in serious traffic collision, Tuesday morning

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

By Sergeant Rick Martin #3343, Antioch Police Department

On August 16, 2016, at approximately 9:56 a.m., Antioch Police Officers responded to the intersection of A Street and W. 17th Street on a report of a vehicle collision with injuries. Upon arrival, officers located a truck and an SUV with major damage to both.

The driver of the truck, an 80-year-old male from Antioch, and sole occupant of the vehicle, had sustained major injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The other driver was treated and released at the scene.

Speed was a factor in this collision. Alcohol and/or drugs were ruled out. The collision is still under investigation by our Traffic Division.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Antioch Police at (925) 778-2441 or Traffic Officer Robert Solaricat (925) 779-6900 ext. 82372. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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