Squid Fry 12.01.11
Thursday, December 1, 2011
HUSH MONEY… Squid’s watched enough mafia movies to know keeping people quiet don’t come cheap. The going rate in Salinas: $444,000. That’s what taxpayer money bought you this week in a settlement agreement between the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and a former forensic evidence technician, Georgine Scott-Codiga.
Scott-Codiga sued the county last year, alleging she’d been forced to take leave without pay for blowing the whistle on then-Sheriff Mike Kanalakis for running a shoddy crime lab and allowing fingerprint evidence to run amok. She got her job back under Sheriff Scott Miller, saying last March, “[I’m] optimistic that things will change and this will be a first-rate crime laboratory.” Now she’s out of a job, and under the settlement agreement can never work for Monterey County again. Despite her big hopes of running an audited crime lab, Scott-Codiga’s also stopped talking, which comes as no surprise. The agreement, which as of Nov. 29 had yet to be signed by County Board of Supervisor Chair Jane Parker, stipulates that parties may only comment, “The matter was resolved to my satisfaction.”
Squid’ll volunteer some advice: While a bare-bones staff is running the government on a shoe-string budget, a half million bucks could’ve given a few laid-off county workers their jobs back.
DAMN MEDIA… It’s easy to blanket-badmouth certain professions, like lawyers and landlords. But that’s doing a disservice to the good ones – like the public-interest lawyers who sue scumbag landlords, and the tender landlords who evict blood-sucking lawyers.
So Squid couldn’t help feeling a bit defensive when Bryan Flores, admin assistant to County Supervisor Dave Potter, shot off a Nov. 23 email to the Weekly, the Herald, the Pine Cone, the Californian and KION, voicing his disgust with Black Friday reporting.
“It seems that our local news stations and print publications have become pimps for the large corporate chains,” he wrote. “Shouldn’t the media be reporting on our local business owners and luring shoppers to downtowns around the county?”
He does, of course, have a point. KSBW and KION did lengthy segments on Black Friday’s big-box deals; the Herald gave it a front-page story. Small Business Saturday, highlighting local mom-and-pops, barely flickered on Squid’s TV before it was drowned out by Cyber Monday euphoria.
Squid’s a devout local shopper – and the Weekly’s Nov. 23-30 issue was dedicated to the localest gifts in the county. Flores picked it up, and sent a follow-up email: “The Weekly is the only one who got it right and I apologize for blasting them this morning.”
Well, shucks. Even a cephalopod can blush.