DRUG MONEY… Squid oozed down to a pot dispensary on 4/20, to see how long the line was. There was lots of green to be had, and not just in flower form. It looked to Squid like they were practically minting money, with a line of customers out the door.
But maybe the green rush is already ending. There’s been a drastic decline in the number of dispensaries statewide – 2,000 on Dec. 31 to 350 now, according to a May 1 report by Salinas City Councilman Steve McShane. There’s a probable lawsuit coming over the county’s tax system (see story, p. 18). And there’s a lawsuit between old friends.
On April 23 – presumably after any effects of 4/20 had worn off – Rick and Cheri Cava filed suit in Monterey County Superior Court against Mike and Sylvia Hackett and Riverview Farms, alleging breach of partnerships, unlawful business practices and unjust enrichment. The gist of their claim: The Cavas loaned Hackett more than $1 million to get his greenhouses into ship-shape to grow pot. There were allegedly repeated promises they would get ownership interest. Then, on July 1 last year, Hackett was arrested on charges of possession and intent to sell cocaine. On Jan. 23, he pleaded guilty to one felony count in San Benito County Superior Court. With a felony on his record, Hackett’s out of the biz. From there, the paperwork mayhem continues. He’s off the documents, and his daughter, Michelle Hackett, is now in charge – and meanwhile, the Cavas say, the Hacketts spent their money, then edged them out.
Squid longs for simpler times, when competition at neighboring lemonade stands was friendly.
POCKET CHANGE… Even when Squid feels like a fish out of water, Squid finds a way to feel comfortable in Squid’s surroundings. Squid’s colleague spied a less comfortable-looking fish atMonterey County Superior Court on April 27, where the lineup included two cases the Weeklyhas been tracking: the Big Red Barn flea market and the skirmish between Cantinetta Lucaowner David Fink and Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Among the dozens of flea market vendors in their work clothes and boots was Carmel City Attorney Glen Mozingo, dressed in a tailored three-piece suit. After sitting in the courtroom for awhile, Mozingo left; the case got pushed back. But the meter was running, because Mozingo gets $275 an hour when he represents the city in court, per his contract. That’s on top of $13,000 a month.
Speaking of running legal meters, Squid got a first look at the costs of an investigation into Mayor Steve Dallas. The city’s latest check register shows at least one bill, for nearly $24,000. And Squid has come full circle: Maybe Carmel attorneys should consider starting a lemonade stand. Depending on what happens at the Big Red Barn, there might be an opening.