Shasta County Grand Jury Receives Statewide Excellence in Reporting Award

Sacramento, Calif., November 3, 2019. The California Grand Jurors’ Association has granted one of two Grand Jury Reporting Awards to the 2015-16 Shasta County Grand Jury for its report “The Quarter Million Dollar Typo: Words Matter.” The report is contained in the 2015-16 Shasta County Grand Jury Consolidated Report. Click on it to access. The report is the fifth report, starting on page 29. 

A 2008 resolution with a typo, approved by the Shasta County Board of Supervisors, burdened county taxpayers with more than $260,000 from 2009 through 2023. The resolution omitted the word “appointed” from the staff recommendation making appointed department heads eligible for a longevity stipend after completing twenty years of service. In early 2015 when the omission was discovered, a legal interpretation of the resolution extended the eligibility for longevity stipends to elected department heads, retroactive to 2009. The Board of Supervisors left the 2008 resolution in place. The longevity stipend for two current and three future eligible elected department heads is projected to be $263,089 by 2023. The Shasta County Grand Jury found that awarding longevity stipends to elected officials is inconsistent with the purpose of the stipends and is an inappropriate use of public funds. 

As a result of the grand jury's report, the Board of Supervisors passed a new ordinance correcting the 2008 mistake, although not retrieving all of the disputed funds. Elected officials will continue receiving the 5 percent bonus until the end of their current terms in office and keep whatever bonuses they have already received. A member of the Board of Supervisors, the media and some citizens have suggested that a larger savings may result if the elected officials receiving the longevity stipend decline receipt of the stipend in the years remaining in their elected terms.

The annual Grand Jury Reporting Award recognizes a grand jury report that is of high quality, has a positive impact on the community and increases awareness of the California grand jury system. The award was presented on November 2 at the association’s 38th annual conference held in Sacramento. Craig Perry (president) and Susan Bakke (member) of the Shasta County chapter of the California Grand Jurors’ Association accepted the award on behalf of the Shasta County Grand Jury.

The California Grand Jurors’ Association is a statewide nonprofit organization of former grand jurors with the mission “to promote, preserve and support the grand jury system through training, education and outreach.”

Craig Perry and Susan Bakke flanking Barbara Sommers, chair, CGJA Excellence in Reporting Subcommittee

 

CGJA Press Release

Contact:

Jim Ragan, public relations director, California Grand Jurors’ Association

(805) 927-2723, jimragan@charter.net

County: