Thursday, November 2, 2006
COPS HIRE RENT-A-COPS… Far be it from Squid to tell anyone how to run an institution, but the SALINAS COURTHOUSE hasn’t exactly been a model for how to do it right. First there was the diva drama of a clerk outing a commissioner and some judges. “It’s like a frat house over there,” one insider complained. Then the asbestos debacle came and closed courtrooms: the Attorney General’s prosecuting folks over it, and JUDGE ALBERT MALDONADO and two other staffers are suing.
And now, Squid learns that FIRST ALARM SECURITY has taken over the job of courthouse security.
Squid’s no expert, but isn’t that a job for actual cops? A SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT spokesman told Squid that unarmed guards are simply a cost-effective supplement to deputies who will still sleep in—er, man the courtrooms.
Squid can sympathize with tight budgets, and the new guards are a step up from the unmanned, unplugged metal detectors.
“Sure, something’s better than nothing,” one legal beagle told Squid. “But what authority do they have? They don’t have powers of arrest. It’s a public building. So what if I walked in, didn’t stop, and then told the guard to go [partake in self-gratification]?”
Squid’s going to have to ponder that one. The Sheriff’s spokesman didn’t have the answer either. “We’re looking into what to do for the long-term. I just don’t know. There’s probably some laws and stuff we have to abide by.”
Yes. Now there’s the spirit.
WRITERS IN THE SKY… It’s Halloween as Squid sits down to write this, which may explain why Squid’s got ghosts—and ghostwriters—on the brain. Squid’s not the only one. On Oct. 27, the OPEN MONTEREY PROJECT and attorney MICHAEL STAMP submitted to the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission a public records request seeking all documents related to the Carmel Valley incorporation. In particular, the watchdog group wants all communications and meetings between LAFCO and the Salinas law firm of LOMBARDO AND GILLES. (This comes a week after the commission sided with attorney TONY LOMBARDO, who represents the anti-incorporation crowd, to deny Carmel Valley residents a vote on incorporation—or at least to stall them for another three years and $365,000).
In 2000, the same citizens brought a case against the county, which found that documents supposedly prepared by county staff had in fact been ghostwritten by Lombardo and Gillis attorneys. Oh, and they were ghostwritten for SEPTEMBER RANCH, a controversial planned development in, yup, you guessed it, Carmel Valley. Or was it another dimension—a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a ghostly dimension of mind. Squid’s not so sure anymore…