Archive for the ‘Sheriff-Coroner’ Category

Contra Costa voters re-elect Sheriff Livingston, DA Becton, Assessor Kramer

Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Results for the Contra Costa DA and Sheriff’s races as of early Wednesday, June 8, 2022, showing Becton and Livingston winning. Source: CoCoVote.us

One billionaire Soros-backed progressive DA wins, two other progressive DA’s lose in the state Tuesday night; in County Clerk’s race it’s Connelly vs. Gordon; Pleasant Hill Councilman Carlson, BART Director Allen leading in 4th Supe District race; only 18% turnout; ballots mailed by election day can still be received until next Tuesday

Sheriff Livingston checks the voting results at the DSA Election Night Watch Party Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo: Allen D. Payton

By Allen D. Payton

Following an election season filled with attacks, accusations and over $1 million spent in the Contra Costa District Attorney’s race, the incumbents, Sheriff David Livingston and DA Diana Becton, along with County Assessor Gus Kramer were each re-elected by wide margins, Tuesday night. They were the only countywide incumbents facing challengers, this year in an election that only saw a 17.95% voter turnout, so far. Incumbent county Treasurer-Tax Collector Russell Watts, Auditor-Controller Robert Campbell and County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey were re-elected without facing opposition.

In the only other contested countywide race, for County Clerk-Recorder, Kristin Connelly will face former Community College Board Trustee Vicki Gordon in a November run-off. In the races for county supervisor, District 1 incumbent, John Gioia was re-elected easily beating his opponent, Hulan Barnett, Jr. 15,018 votes to 2,800, and in District 4, Pleasant Hill Councilman Ken Carlson who and BART Board Director Debora Allen are leading. Allen was trailing Concord Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer by 211 votes until late in the evening, when she pulled into second place by 389 votes. Carlson is leading Allen by 569 votes. The top two candidates will face off in the November run-off.

Sheriff Livingston and Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox with former Martinez Councilman Mike Menesini and another supporter at the DSA Election Night Watch Party, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo: Allen D. Payton

When reached for comment Allen said, “I’m not declaring victory at this point because there are still ballots to count.”

In the biggest battle in the county, Becton was re-elected to her second, full, four-year term beating Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox, a 37-year prosecutor, by 56% to 44% with 63,147 votes against 49,599 for Knox. Becton was the beneficiary of $1 million spent by an independent expenditure committee campaign supporting her and opposing Knox, with the majority of funds contributed by out-of-state billionaire George Soros. (See related articles here and here)

The same night a Soros-backed, progressive district attorney was re-elected in Contra Costa, another progressive D.A. in San Francisco, Chesa Boudin was recalled by voters in that city and county who had enough with his policies. Becton and Boudin have been part of the Prosecutors Alliance of California, along with L.A. County D.A. George Gascon who is also facing a possible recall, and San Joaquin County D.A. Tori Verber Salazar, who was losing for re-election according to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters website as of Wednesday.

In the other hard fought countywide race, Livingston was re-elected to his fourth term as sheriff beating Richmond Police Officer Ben Therriault by an even wider margin, 61.2% to 38.8% with 67,906 votes to 43,125 for the challenger.

Attempts to reach Livingston and Becton for comment about their victories were unsuccessful prior to publication time.

County Assessor Kramer eased to another victory for his eighth term, beating his only opponent Floy Andrews by 57.6% to 42.4% with 63,164 votes to 46,456 for the challenger.

When reached for comment Kramer said, “I am on bended knee thanking the voters for seeing through the garbage in the East Bay Times, having faith in me and re-electing me for another four years. The citizens have spoken, the people for whom I serve. This is not a victory for me but for the property owners in the county.”

Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer celebrates his re-election with supporters at the DSA Election Night Watch Party, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo: Allen D. Payton

Livingston, Knox and Kramer attended the Election Night Watch Party at the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association Hall in Martinez, waiting for the updates and speaking with their supporters.

In the Clerk-Recorder’s race, Connelly is in first place with 34,049 votes, Gordon is in second with 24,152 votes and is ahead of Pinole Councilman Devin Murphy by 3,781 votes.

Asked for a comment on the election results Gordon said, “The first thing I want to say is to thank all my supporters, people who donated and walked. I want to thank everyone for their support, it was grassroots effort. My husband and family were also amazing.”

“I am honored to move on to November,” she added.

The countywide Measure G which continues the $2 per car fee to pay for picking up abandoned vehicles and required a two-thirds vote is passing with 68.7% of the vote, with 79,126 in favor to 35,978 opposed.

The only other measure on the ballot was in Martinez. Measure F, also requiring a two-thirds vote to pass, is barely failing with 65.9%. If passed, the measure would add a $79 annual parcel tax for the next 30 years to preserve open space and a ridgeline, allowing the City of Martinez to purchase the 297-acre Alhambra Highlands.

The Contra Costa Elections Division can still receive ballots that were mailed by Tuesday for up to seven days after the election, according to executive secretary, Melissa Hickok, who said she read it straight from the Secretary of State’s website. They have up to 28 days to certify the election.

This year, voters who went to the polls didn’t put their own ballots into the counting machines, as has been done in the past.

“Contra Costa County has returned to a central count, instead of having hundreds of counters at all the polling places, we bring all the ballots back and run them through the high-speed scanners at the Elections Office,” Hickok explained.

That resulted in updates of the results on election night to take longer than in the past.

The next update is expected this Friday, June 10 at 5:00 p.m. For more information visit CoCoVote.us.

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Body of yet unidentified man recovered from river along Antioch waterfront Monday

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Multiple Antioch Police officers and vehicles were in the Marina boat launch parking lot to investigate a man’s body found in the river on Memorial Day afternoon, Monday, May 30, 2021. In the distance can be seen Monica’s Riverview restaurant near where Sheriff’s Deputies recovered the body. Photo by Ronn Carter

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff & Allen D. Payton

View of boat launch from I Street near where the body was recovered on Monday, May 30, 2022. By Ronn Carter

On Monday, May 30, 2022, at about 3:53 PM, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol was dispatched to a report of a body that was floating on the water on the San Joaquin River near the Antioch marina boat ramp. Marine patrol deputy sheriffs arrived and recovered the body, an adult male. He was pronounced deceased on scene. The Coroner’s Division took custody of the body.

An autopsy was conducted today, Tuesday, May 31. The cause of death is listed as asphyxia due to drowning. The Coroner’s Division is still trying to identify the man.

Antioch resident Ronn Carter who was out for a bike ride on Memorial Day afternoon said Antioch Police were investigating a body found in the water near the boat ramp at the Marina and part of the boat ramp was taped off. As of 5:00 p.m. the body had not been recovered, according to Antioch Police Officer Kendall.

Antioch Police Officers on Monica’s Riverview pier on Monday, May 30, 2022. By Ronn Carter

Another Antioch resident, Michael Mello said he saw three police cars at the Amtrak station, two on the west side of Monica’s Riverview as he was driving into the restaurant’s parking lot and three or four more cars in the boat ramp parking lot.

Carter later said he saw law enforcement personnel in a boat remove the body from near Monica’s Riverview. But the boat carrying the body – which wasn’t visible – didn’t use the boat ramp near the marina because there were too many people nearby. Instead, it turned and headed east.

The Sheriff’s Marine Patrol boat went to another location to meet the coroner.

Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division at (925) 313-2850. For any tips, email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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Coroner’s Inquest Jury finds April 2021 death of Antioch man was suicide

Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Police and emergency responders at the scene of the suicide on Green Hill Way Thursday night, April 1, 2021. Herald file photo

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston announced on Friday, that a coroner’s jury reached a finding in the April 1, 2021 death of 61-year-old Jonathan Lynn Richardson of Antioch. The finding of the jury is that the manner of death is suicide. (See related article)

The coroner’s jury reached the verdict in the inquest after hearing the testimony of witnesses called by hearing officer Laura Pagey.

As previously reported, on April 1, 2021, at approximately 7:52 PM, Antioch police officers were dispatched to a residence on Valley Way for a 9-1-1 call regarding a family disturbance. The caller reported a male resident was armed with a firearm and suffering from some type of mental health crisis.

The male resident left the house with the firearm and drove away. Several officers responded to the area and located the victim driving in the neighborhood. The officers turned around and fell in behind the victim’s vehicle. Afterwards, the 61-year-old victim pulled to the side of the road, exited his vehicle, and shot himself.

A coroner’s inquest, which Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston convenes in fatal incidents involving law enforcement personnel, 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.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Mental health treatment module opens at Martinez Detention Facility

Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

Photos: CCCSheriff

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

A new module for inmates who have mental illnesses has opened at the Martinez Detention Facility. This follows an 18-month remodel of a module which previously held 52 inmates. Now, it will house only 24 inmates who have mental illnesses. They will be supervised 24/7 by county health staff in addition to deputy sheriffs. The cells are all single-occupancy and include 5 cells for acute cases. There are also two private medical evaluation suites in the module.

“I am proud of this new module which is part of the jail modernization we planned many years ago,” said Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston. “Now, inmates who have mental illnesses will have a dedicated housing unit where they will receive mental health treatment, programming, and services, in addition to healthcare.

Photos: CCCSheriff

The new module has incorporated the latest technology and best practices for detention facilities. This includes state of the art software for managing the module, furnishings that will help prevent suicides and a design that allows for greater observation of the inmates. The new module also uses a biophilic design to create a calm environment, reduce stress, and is more conducive to therapy.

“This new module sets the standard for these types of detention facilities,” said Livingston. “This reflects the commitment of the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and Contra Costa County in serving the needs of inmates who are living with mental health issues.”

 

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Becton, 3 other DA’s ask for oversight, audit of Contra Costa Sheriff’s Dep’t after Livingston slams DA, judge for sentencing of former deputy

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

Contra Costa District Attorney Becton and Sheriff David Livingston. Official county website photos.

Send letter to County Supervisors claiming, “Sheriff’s unwavering support for deputy who killed two people raises serious questions about his commitment to safety and accountability”

Instead of six years in prison for Andrew Hall “official Probation Department report recommended probation.”

Contra Costa is not San Francisco or Los Angeles” – Sheriff Livingston

By Allen D. Payton

During campaign season, as both are facing re-election, an email was sent by Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston to his department staff on Friday, March 4, 2022, criticizing District Attorney Diana Becton and the judge for sentencing of former Deputy Andrew Hall to six years in prison for the shooting death of Laudemer Arboleda in 2018. (See related article)

In response, Becton and three other DA’s in the state who formed the Prosecutors Alliance of California are asking the County Supervisors “to increase external oversight of departmental misconduct” and for an audit of the sheriff’s department’s disciplinary practices. Formed in 2020, the Alliance is made up of four members, including the DA’s of San Francisco and L.A. Counties who are both currently facing possible recalls, and funded by Tides Advocacy, a social justice and welfare organization.

Sheriff Livingston’s email:

During his years of service, he served with honor and distinction.  He handled thousands of calls for service, as many of you have, and was well received by the citizens of our county.   After an extensive internal investigation, he was found to be within departmental policy when he was forced to use deadly force to protect himself and others on that fateful day.  I was proud to support him publicly and privately after the events of November 3, 2018, and I support him today.

For our district attorney to charge a deputy sheriff, or any peace officer, for a crime based on a split-second tactical decision is abhorrent.  It is even more abhorrent for that same district attorney to later repost photos on her reelection campaign social media that show her smiling and proclaiming that she “charged the officer.”

Despite these odd times, please remember I appreciate the work all of you do; I respect your sacrifice and commitment to the community we serve, and most importantly, I have your back.  I may not be able to impact the decisions of other elected officials, or the courts, but I definitely can impact what happens in our organization.  Do your job with honor, follow department policies, and obey the law.  If you do that, I will proudly stand with you – regardless of your job assignment, your rank, or your duties.  Never forget that and never doubt that.

I’m proud to be your Sheriff, and I thank you all.

David Livingston

Sheriff-Coroner

Prosecutors Alliance Chides Livingston, Asks Supervisors for Oversight, Audit

On Monday, March 14, in a letter to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, the Prosecutors Alliance of California asked for an audit of the disciplinary practices in Sheriff Livingston’s department and to increase external oversight of departmental misconduct. Recent remarks made by Sheriff David Livingston suggest he believes his deputies are above the law, raising serious concerns over the legitimacy of an Internal Affairs investigation into former Deputy Andrew Hall and how the Sheriff is disciplining officers who abuse their authority.

“Sheriff Livingston’s comments are abhorrent and indicate his belief that deputies who kill are above the law,” said Cristine Soto DeBerry, Founder and Executive Director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California. “Police have wide latitude to use force, but when they unnecessarily kill they must be held accountable just like anyone else in our community.  When we do not hold police accountable, people do not trust the legal system to protect them. That makes the job of policing more difficult and dangerous, and it makes it far less likely that crimes will be reported. That, in turn, poses a threat to everyone’s safety.

“District Attorney Diana Becton’s willingness to hold law enforcement accountable is the only check on an agency whose leader would otherwise grant his deputies unbridled power to kill with impunity. Sheriff Livingston took an oath to seek equal justice under the law and his remarks are an affront to that sworn commitment. These are not the words of a law enforcement leader, they’re the words of a man that believes accountability does not extend to police.”

Last week, a judge sentenced Deputy Andrew Hall to state prison after a jury convicted him for the 2018 shooting and killing of Laudemer Arboleda, an unarmed man having a mental health episode. This was not Hall’s only killing – he shot and killed Tyrell Wilson in 2021. Contra Costa County has paid $9.4 million to settle claims regarding former Sheriff’s deputy Andrew Hall. The County agreed to a $4.9 million settlement with Arboleda’s family last October in addition to a $4.5 million settlement with Tryell Wilson’s family.

In response to the verdict, Sheriff Livinston sent a department wide letter saying former Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Hall served with “honor and distinction,” that Hall “was forced to use deadly force to protect himself that day,” and noted that an internal affairs investigation had cleared Hall. Livingston called DA Becton’s decision to charge former Deputy Hall “abhorrent,” and told his deputies, “I have your back.”

In an email to the Board of Supervisors today, Cristine DeBerry sounded the alarm, noting that, “the fact that [Internal Affairs] cleared former Deputy Hall is concerning.  If Department policy allows Sheriff’s Deputies to use force in contravention of the law, that would set up a situation wherein Deputies are being trained to use force in a manner that conflicts with criminal law. That presents serious issues for law enforcement officers, public safety, and county liability.  Alternatively, if the Sheriff is clearing deputies in cases where their use of force was criminal, that too raises serious questions about the Sheriff’s commitment to public safety and accountability.”

The Board of Supervisors can help restore trust by increasing oversight over the Sheriff’s Department, and by auditing the department’s disciplinary policies. These are critical steps to help the public understand the scope of law enforcement misconduct and to develop policies to increase accountability.

“DA Becton courageously charged Officer Hall with the death of Mr. Arboleda, a jury convicted him, and a judge sentenced him to prison,” said Cristine DeBerry. “Sheriff Livingston should accept the jury’s verdict and look at ways to reduce the use of unnecessary force by his deputies rather than question the prosecutor’s decision to bring charges and defiantly proclaim to ‘have the back’ of officers where a jury has determined the force to be criminal.”

A question was sent Thursday evening to the Alliance’s media contact asking if they had received any response, yet from the Board of Supervisors.

Livingston Responds to Alliance Letter

“The so-called ‘Prosecutors Alliance’ committee is made up of only four of the 58 DAs in the state,” Livingston responded.Contra Costa is not San Francisco or Los Angeles where two of their far-leftwing founding members serve. Instead of playing politics here, they should do their job and prosecute offenders and start caring about crime victims for once.”

Both Livingston is facing one opponent in the June Primary Election, while Becton is facing two. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, then the top two candidates will face off in the November General Election.

Please check back for any updates to this report.

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Candidate filing period for June 7 Primary Election begins Monday

Saturday, February 12th, 2022

For county DA, sheriff, supervisor, Superior Court judges and other offices, U.S. Senate, Congress, governor and other statewide offices, and State Assembly

By Dawn Kruger, Civic Outreach/Engagement Specialist, Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department

On Monday, February 14, the June 7, 2022, Candidate Filing Period will begin, and nomination papers will be available for candidates running for Statewide Constitutional offices, County offices, Superior Court judges, United States Senator, United States Representative in Congress and Member of the State Assembly. The nomination period runs through 5:00 pm Friday, March 11, 2022.  A list of offices currently up for election can be found here: https://www.cocovote.us/wp-content/uploads/22Jun07_PositionsUpForElection-1.pdf

Papers for offices that are up for election will be available at the Contra Costa Elections Office, 555 Escobar Street, Martinez.

For further information on the primary election and key dates, visit www.cocovote.us.

With COVID-19 still in play, the Contra Costa Elections Division is asking interested candidates to schedule an appointment through email at candidate.services@vote.cccounty.us or by calling 925-335-7800. Walk-ins are accepted, but subject to the availability of staff. Appointments are available on weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Filing documents and information will be provided to interested constituents at their appointment. The process takes 20 minutes.

All visitors will be asked to check-in at the Elections lobby and will be required to wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines.

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Grieving Burgis hands over Contra Costa Board of Supervisors’ gavel to Mitchoff

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

Supervisors approve Grand Jury report on animal shelter consolidation with Antioch, countywide sidewalk obstruction ordinance, two years’ worth of ammunition for Sheriff’s Office

Contra Costa County District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis

By Daniel Borsuk

A grieving, yet stoic Contra Costa County District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis conducted on Tuesday her final meeting as Board Chair a month to the day that her husband, Richard Clayton, took his own life. Showing remarkable resilience, Burgis thanked her family, fellow board members, her staff, county employees and constituents for their support.

“We accomplished so much in 2021,” said Burgis, who wore a black dress.  “The annexation of the Contra Costa County Fire District with the East Contra Costa County Fire District will make Contra Costa County so much safer.”

Burgis, whose served on the Board’s Airports’ Committee, praised how the County has developed both the Byron and Buchanan airports, especially Byron with the startup of innovative aeronautical enterprises near the airport.

“I am so proud of our health workers,” Burgis said. “The county public health services have become a model of the state.”

Contra Costa County District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff. Official photo.

For her work, fellow board members presented Burgis with a picture of Marsh Creek, one of Burgis’ favorite environmental cleanup sites.

“That was really hard for you to do,” District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond said of Burgis after handing over the gavel to newly sworn in Chair Karen Mitchoff of Ditrict 4 in Pleasant Hill. “We’re all behind you.”

Mitchoff, who will not seek re-election to the supervisorial post that she has held since January 2011, said, “In my final year as an elected official for Contra Costa County, I am excited about what lies ahead and ready to work together to keep improving the quality of life in our county.”

An avid reader, Mitchoff noted that last year she read 60 books, mostly audiobooks.  As a gift for her fellow board members, Mitchoff gave each supervisor a copy of the historical book, “The 1619 Project,” written by Nikole Hannah-Jones.

District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, who has served on the Board since 2000, will serve as Board Vice Chair.  Glover, who was in line to become chair this year passed on accepting the post to allow Mitchoff to take on the leadership duties in recognition of her more than 40 years of public service.

Third Grand Jury Report on Consolidating County, Antioch Animal Shelters Approved

Without hearing any public comment, Supervisors approved a third Grand Jury report, this one recommending that the County hire a consultant to study the potential consolidation of the County run animal facility in Martinez and the City of Antioch animal shelter run by the Antioch Police Department.

“Public and private animal shelters are experiencing pressure from the explosive growth in the homeless animal and abandoned pet populations,” the new Grand Jury Report states. “Community outreach and education are high priorities for both Contra Costa and Antioch Animal Services, the two public animal shelters within the county.”

The grand jury report went on to state, “The Grand Jury recommends that Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) engage a consulting firm for guidance on the possible redistribution of animal services that could be achieved by a gradual process of cost-sharing and shelter coordination. A comparable consolidation currently underway between Monterey County and the City of Salinas Animal Shelters provides a possible model for the integration of Contra Costa and Antioch Animal Shelter services.”

The grand jury also recommends that the two public animal shelters improve their emphasis on community outreach to comfort homeless animal overpopulation.

In addition, the report calls on both the County and City of Antioch to resolve the ongoing problem of abandoned animals left at the Antioch shelter by residents outside the City of Antioch. “Although there is an informal working relationship between CCAS and AAS personnel on this issue, a more formal agreement between AAS and CCAS would facilitate abandoned pet retrieval at both shelters.”

Animal Services Home to Home Contract Approved

In a related animal shelter issue, Supervisors passed a Home-to-Home contract that will not cost the County any funds.  Maddie’s Fund will pick up the tab to re-home pets.  The Home-to-Home Network will lessen boarding of homeless dogs and cats in County Shelter.  Home-To-Home adoptions are free.

Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance Revised

Without hearing any public comment, Supervisors amended the County Sidewalk ordinance.  The revision permits the County Director of Public Works to “abate any sidewalk obstruction.”

“An adjacent owner shall keep the sidewalk abutting the adjacent owner’s property free and clear of all weeds, rubbish, dirt, rocks, debris, or any other obstruction that interferes with the free passage of pedestrians,” the new ordinance states

Approve Two-Year Ammo Contract for Sheriff’s Office

Supervisors approved a $450,000 contract with Dooley Enterprises, Inc. to deliver Winchester ammunition for the Sheriff-Coroner from Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31 2023. The Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has used Winchester ammunitions for training and duty ammunition purposes for more than 20 years.

 

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Contra Costa Supervisors put Health Services Chief on hot seat over 13 COVID rule violating restaurants

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

“The time has come to shut down those establishments that don’t obey the code.” – District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff

“There are no Omicron variant cases yet in our county.” – CC Health Services Director Anna Roth

Approve East County Groundwater Plan; approve $95.5 million for new West County Reentry Treatment & Housing Facility

By Daniel Borsuk

A defensive Contra Costa Health Services Director Anna Roth faced criticism from county Supervisors, especially emanating from District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff on why 13 restaurants remain open in defiance of county COVID-19 health orders. As of Sept. 22, by order of the county’s Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other entertainment venues must require patrons show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test in order to enter. (See related article)

“There is no change in enforcement,” Roth said at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting. As of November, 99 percent of restaurants in the county are compliant. We have 13 outstanding cases.”

But Roth’s statement did not satisfy Mitchoff, the supervisor who initially unveiled the code enforcement issue with the county health services.

“The time has come to shut down those establishments that don’t obey the code,” Mitchoff said. “We have done the education. We’ve done the warning.”

None of the owners of the 13 restaurants spoke at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting. Lumpy’s Diner in Antioch, and MJ’s Downtown Café are among eating establishments that the county has tagged as out of compliance of COVID-19 health code.

One of the 13 restaurants on the county’s red tag list, the In-n-Out in Pleasant Hill has been closed for indoor dining health code violations.

District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg came to the defense of Roth and her department’s code enforcement division commenting, “I think you’re doing an outstanding job out there. The volume of people out there who are out of compliance is small. I enjoy eating inside a restaurant. I understand the stress,”

In the meantime, Roth reported that while 75.6 percent of Contra Costa County residents are fully vaccinated, twenty-seven persons are hospitalized in county hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms One patient dies daily on average from COVID-19 symptoms, she noted.

“There are no Omicron variant cases yet in our county,” said Roth.

In an interview for a KRON4 news report, County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said, “We don’t just jump right in there with a fine at the get go. We give the businesses the opportunity. Because our goal is to get to compliance for people to follow the order. Our goal isn’t to issue a bunch of fines.” The report also shared that Farnitano said only four restaurants in the county have been fined.

East County Groundwater Sustainability Plan Approved

Supervisors also approved the East Contra Costa Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan on a 5-0 vote. The $1.4 million groundwater study applies to the cities of Antioch and Brentwood, Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, Diablo Water District, Discovery Bay Community Services and East Contra Costa Irrigation District.

Even under drought like conditions, the plan found, “Groundwater conditions in the ECC Subbasin are favorable and reflect stability over the past 30 years or more. Using various analogies, the Subbasin can be described as generally full through various water-year types, including drought and is in good “health.” The favorable conditions are in part due to surface water availability that represents the largest sources of supply for municipal and agricultural uses in the Subbasin.”

Ryan Hernandez of the Department of Conservation and Planning said if the board of supervisors did not adopt the ECC-GSP, the county would be in violation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which would result in the State Water Resources Board intervening in local groundwater management.

Rendering of the entrance of the West County Re-entry Treatment and Housing Facility. Source: Contra Costa County

$95.5 Million West County Detention Facility Expansion Plan Approved

Supervisors unanimously approved a $95.5 million design-build contract with Montana-based contractor Sletten Construction Company to design and build five secure housing units, a medical treatment center, reentry program space and building, and visitation facilities at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond. It will be known as the West County Re-entry Treatment and Housing Facility. WRTH presentation CCCBOS120721

One of the objectives of the project is to reduce overcrowding by 128 inmate beds to 288 high-security inmate beds in five housing units. Ninety-six beds will still be mental health treatment beds.

Possible Relocation of Marsh Creek Shooting Range

In a related matter, supervisors approved as a consent item a report on the future use and potential relocation of the shooting range at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility possibly to the Concord Naval Weapon Station. At the low-security detention facility inmates learn wood making skills and other basic education skills.

Used also as a training facility for the Office of the Sheriff and law enforcement agencies from Contra Costa County and surrounding counties, the Marsh Creek Range Facility generates revenue for the county. The range will bring about $113,000 for fiscal year 2021-2022, wrote County Administrator Monica Nino in her report to the supervisors.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

 

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