WHINE AND CHEESE… Among other annoying habits, Squid’s former bestie Flapjack the Octopus moaned ad nauseum about what others should or should not be doing. Squid’s PTSD from being subjected to the repeated whining was triggered when Squid saw the lawsuit filed on May 14 in Monterey County Superior Court by the Monterey History and Art Association against the Monterey County Board of SupervisorsTax Assessor and Tax Collector.

MHAA attorney Gary Varga failed last year in his attempt to win back the property tax exemption previously held by nonprofit MHAA for its building in Monterey. In 2017, the county revoked the exemption when the place changed from a maritime museum to the Dali 17 Exhibition. Varga’s now throwing a hail Mary pass by suing. As he did unsuccessfully before the county’s Assessment Appeals Board in hearings that spanned from 2019-2021, Varga whin… er, argues that various county officials ignored his repeated attempts at meeting with him to resolve the issue. He made a final attempt to meet with Supervisor Mary Adams in March of this year only to be told she does not meet with attorneys working on issues in her district (code for, might be gearing up to sue the county).

Varga’s claim to the court? That by refusing to meet with him Adams denied MHAA “the right to effective assistance of counsel pursuant to” the 5th and 6th amendments to the Constitution. That’s some high-priced whine.

PUFF PUFF PASS… Speaking of high-priced grievances in court, another one recently caught Squid’s eye. On May 13, Moss Landing-based company High Quality Products sued its former attorney, Los Angeles-based Steven O’Rourke, for allegedly misleading them. Not about his own credentials – O’Rourke advertises himself as an “expert in corporate law and financial structures,” with 40 years of experience, all true. HQP claims O’Rourke was negligent in advising the company on corporate structure and valuation of stock, ultimately costing them $345,000. More specifically, they blame him “for failing to implement any internal monitoring system and/or failing to utilize such a system to safeguard against corporate wrongdoing.”

Wait, did HQP just admit to the corporate wrongdoing part? Squid’s not sure who is to blame.

The company claims to be headquartered in Monterey’s “famous ‘cannabis row,’” a place Squid has never heard of, where they envision a growing business of consolidating existing cannabis cultivators and processors across multiple states. In 2019, they announced an offering of up to 4,880,000 shares of common stock at $3.10 per share – for an aggregate offering amount of $14.9 million.

Seems to Squid like that should be more than enough to get decent legal advice, but the stock offering never went forward. And it is a hazy business.

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