Shootings were result of rival gangs
By Daniel Borsuk
More arrests are expected to be made in connection with the Orinda Airbnb case where five people were shot and killed on Halloween night, Contra Costa County Sheriff David O. Livingston said at a press conference Friday afternoon.
Unable to provide further details, the sheriff said that five suspects had been arrested on Friday in connection with the Orinda shootings on Friday that had ties with two Bay Area gangs – the Page Street Gang of San Francisco and the Marin City Jungle Gang of Marin City.
Sheriff Livingston said he expects any additional persons arrested in the Orinda Airbnb case will likely have gang affiliations. He would not elaborate.
The five suspects under arrest are identified as:
- Shamron Mitchell, 30, of Antioch. Mitchell was arrested on the charges of murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
- Lebraun Wallace, 28, of San Mateo. Wallace was arrested on the charges of murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
- Jaquez Deshawn Sweeney, 20, of Marin City. Sweeney was arrested on the charges of murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
- Jason Iles, 20, of Marin City. Iles was arrested on the charges of murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
- Devin Williamson, 21, of Vallejo. Williamson was arrested on the the charges of being an accessory. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
“Extraordinary cooperation among multiple law enforcement agencies led to these arrests and a small measure of justice for the true victims,” said Sheriff Livingston.
“We have video showing a number of people at the party had carried firearms and secreted their firearms in their pants once the shooting spree in the house had subsided,” the sheriff said.
Four firearms were recovered by law enforcement authorities at the crime scene, Sheriff Livingston said.
“We believe people at the party had intent to do harm at this party,” the sheriff said in reference to potential connections with other gangs in the Bay Area. “Additionally, evidence shows two of the deceased persons inside the house were themselves armed, which may have played a role in this tragedy,”
Those victims, who had possessed weapons, were Ramon Hill Jr., 24, of San Francisco/Oakland and Javin County, 29, of Sausalito/Richmond.
Other murder victims were Tiyon Farley, 22, of Antioch; Omar Taylor, 24, of Pittsburg; and Oshiana Tompkins, 19, of Vallejo/Hercules, according to the sheriff’s office. Five additional victims suffered gunshot wounds. One person jumped 30 feet over a balcony to escape the gunfire, said deputies.
“The blame rests specifically on the people who brought guns into the party, pulled the trigger and murdered someone. That’s who should have the blame in this case,” said the sheriff.
The sheriff said neither the Orinda police, the homeowner, nor Airbnb deserve blame in this case.
In the aftermath of the crime, Orinda Mayor Inga Miller said the city council is expected to consider tougher home rental ordinance proposals that would apply to Airb&b at Tuesday’s council meeting. “I want to thank the Contra Costa County Sheriffs Office and other local law enforcement agencies for the resources they have deployed into resolving this heinous crime,” said Miller
The Antioch Police Department, San Mateo Police Department, Vallejo Police Department, Marin County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshalls Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted in the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff in this case.
Persons with any information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email: email@example.com or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
Place half-cent transportation sales tax measure on March 2020 ballot
By Daniel Borsuk
County supervisors are hopping aboard the bandwagon in banning the sale of any e-liquid or electronic smoking device in unincorporated Contra Costa County.
Supervisors voted 5-0 voted on Tuesday to set the stage to formally adopt an ordinance next week that will outlaw the retail sale of e-liquid flavored smoking devices within 1,000 feet from a school, park or library at the supervisors’ upcoming November 19 meeting.
The ordinance also inserts limitations on the delivery of cannabis-related e-devices in unincorporated Contra Costa County.
The supervisors’ action means Contra Costa County will join an expanding number of California counties including Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Mateo that have already adopted laws banning the sale of e-cigarettes that have killed three Californians while some 151 related medical cases have been reported around the Golden State, Dr. Chris Fonataano of the Contra Costa Health Services reported. More than 800 cases and 12 deaths across 46 states have been reported by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
Since 2019, the City Councils of San Pablo, Lafayette, Richmond and Oakley have passed laws banning the sales of e-cigarettes within city limits.
The rising health concerns about e-cigarettes at the national level has financially hit the e-cigarette industry. Major e-cigarette maker Juul Labs on Monday announced it is cutting about 650 jobs, or about 16 percent of its total workforce because of the national pullback on its products, especially its most popular flavors mint and mango flavored pods, in the U.S.
During the public hearing, where Board Chair John Gioia discretionarily decided to cut speaker time fifty percent to one minute per speaker in order to accommodate the supervisors’ annual Veterans Day ceremony scheduled at 11 a.m., 45 speakers, many from middle and high schools, shared stories about how fellow students have become hooked to e-devices in restrooms or anywhere they can sneak in a smoke.
Mt. Diablo High School student Dominique Vine complained that vaping is a serious problem at his school. “The air is contaminated,” he complained.
“It is my understanding that this proposed ordinance would help improve public health and continue the positive work the county has historically done to combat youth tobacco usage,” said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier in a written statement read by District Director Shanelle Scales-Preston.
Lafayette City Councilwoman Susan Kendall encouraged supervisors to pass the ordinance. Adopt this ordinance. You are the right body to do this. Lafayette is an island that none of its neighboring cities have addressed.”
The new ordinance will also impose new retail delivery standards on cannabis products from about 84 retail locations in unincorporated Contra Costa County, which is a priority issue of Vice Chair Candace Andersen of Danville, who has previously overseen tough protections on cannabis deliveries in the county.
“We are providing an additional layer of protection to residents wanting this kind of service,” Supervisor Andersen told the Contra Costa Herald.
The new ordinance states:
A – The delivery of more than eight hundred milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol in the form of edible cannabis products to a single cannabis customer in a single day is prohibited.
B – The delivery of any cannabis product listed in Title 17, California Code of Regulations, section
40300, is prohibited.
C – The delivery of any flavored cannabis product for which the primary use is human inhalation of the gases, particles, vapors, or byproducts released as a result of combustion, electrical ignition, or vaporization of the flavored cannabis product, is prohibited.”
Support Half-Cent Sales Tax for Transportation Ballot Measure
Supervisors voted to place a half-cent sales tax measure on the March 2020 ballot for transportation. Contra Costa County voters will get a chance to vote up or down on a half-cent sales tax measure to raise $103 million a year for local transportation annually for 35 years. The tax measure will be placed on the March 3, 2020 ballot and will be spent for only county road or transit projects. The state cannot take the funds. See how the funds will be spent, here – Draft 2020 Transportation Expenditure Plan
The purpose of the half cent sales tax is to reduce congestion and fix bottlenecks on highways and major roads, make commutes faster and more predictable, improve the frequency, reliability, accessibility, cleanliness and safety of buses, ferries, and BART; improve air quality and repave roads.
Animal Service Fees Hiked
Starting in 2020, Contra Costa residents wanting to adopt cats or dogs or other veterinary services from the county’s Animal Services Department will have to dig deeper into their wallets.
Supervisors unanimously approved new Animal Services Department fees that have not been increased since 2008.
No one spoke either against or in favor of the fee increases that vary all over the map from a 2% rise to spaying a dog over 100 pounds from $195 to $199 to spaying a dog less than 20 pounds to $121, a 29% increase of $27.
“The average cost to care for an animal made available for adoption for the Animal Services Department is $908.21,” stated the report prepared by Animal Services Director Beth Ward. “These costs are based on an average length of stay of 30 days and includes the cost of daily care, basic medical care and spay/neuter to prepare an animal for adoption.
New adoption fees for a dog are $155 (age of dog), $135 (puppies under six months), $85 dogs over six years), $5 (senior citizens over 65 years of age or dogs over six years old). New adoption fees for cats are $120 (age of cat), $100 (kittens under four months), $55, (cats over six years), senior citizens (over 65 years of age) adopting cats over 6 years old $5.
2018 Agriculture Production Down 10 Percent
Agricultural crop production in the county declined 10% last year, according to a report submitted by Agricultural Commissioner Director of Weights and Measures Matt Slattengren. Supervisors approved the report as a consent item.
“The total gross value of agricultural crops in 2018 was $208,556,338, a decline of $11,884,662 or 10% from 2017. In general, demand and prices have remained strong from agricultural crops in Contra Costa County,” wrote Slattengren in his report submitted to California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Contra Costa Count Board of Supervisors.
Slattengren cited a decrease of 27 percent of vegetable and seed crop values because of rainy weather and market conditions for the decline.
Rodeo’s Lefty Gomez Community Center Fee Increase
Supervisors will consider an increase in rental rates for the use of the Lefty Gomez Community Center facilities in Rodeo at their meeting on Dec. 19. Fees have not been increased in 16 years. The fees for rental use of the center, restrooms, and security guard have not kept up with current maintenance and energy costs.
The Public Works Department requested that renters of the facility obtain insurance with coverage of $1 million of liability coverage. The department also has imposed a specific prohibition against the use of inflatable jumpers.Read More
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
Law enforcement agencies served Ramey arrest warrants and search warrants in several Bay Area counties this morning and arrested five suspects in connection with the Orinda shooting on October 31, 2019. (See related article)
The arrest warrants were served in the cities of San Mateo, Marin City, Vallejo and Antioch.
The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff was assisted by the San Mateo Police Department, Antioch Police Department, Vallejo Police Department, Marin County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sheriff’s Office Detectives, assisted by multiple law enforcement agencies, have worked continuously on the investigation into the shooting that claimed five lives at a Halloween party.
The five suspects are identified as:
-30-year-old Shamron Joshua Mitchell of Antioch. Mitchell was arrested on the following charges: murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
-28-year-old Lebraun Tyree Wallace of the city of San Mateo. Wallace was arrested on the following charges: murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
-20-year-old Jaquez Deshawn Sweeney of Marin City. Sweeney was arrested on the following charges: murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
-20-year-old Jason D. Iles of Marin City. Iles was arrested on the following charges: murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
-21-year-old Devin Isiah Williamson of Vallejo. He was arrested on the following charge: being an accessory. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
“Extraordinary cooperation among multiple law enforcement agencies led to these arrests and a small measure of justice for the true victims,” said Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston. “Additionally, evidence shows two of the deceased persons inside the house were themselves armed, which may have played a role in this tragedy. We look forward to providing more information in the coming days.”
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
Initiative emphasizes enforcing gun prohibitions based on domestic violence convictions and mental health denials
On Wednesday, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the launch of Project Guardian, a new initiative designed to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws across the country. Specifically, Project Guardian focuses on investigating, prosecuting, and preventing gun crimes.
Reducing gun violence and enforcing federal firearms laws have always been among the Department’s highest priorities. In order to develop a new and robust effort to promote and ensure public safety, the Department reviewed and adapted some of the successes of past strategies to curb gun violence. Project Guardian draws on the Department’s earlier achievements, such as the “Triggerlock” program, and it serves as a complementary effort to the success of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In addition, the initiative emphasizes the importance of using all modern technologies available to law enforcement to promote gun crime intelligence.
“Gun crime remains a pervasive problem in too many communities across America. Today, the Department of Justice is redoubling its commitment to tackling this issue through the launch of Project Guardian,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Building on the success of past programs like Triggerlock, Project Guardian will strengthen our efforts to reduce gun violence by allowing the federal government and our state and local partners to better target offenders who use guns in crimes and those who try to buy guns illegally.”
“I have long believed that the first duty of government is to protect the safety of our citizens,” he continued. “When I was last Attorney General in 1991, the country had experienced an explosion of violent crime. Crime rates had tripled over the previous decades. Violent crime was at its peak.
“At that time, the federal government dramatically increased its focus on combatting violent crime. We launched a series of initiatives focused on drug organizations, gangs, and gun offenders.
“We also expanded our close collaboration and joint operations with our state and local partners.
“A key initiative that was launched was Project Triggerlock, which targeted for federal prosecution violent felons who illegally possessed guns. It used our very strong federal gun laws to put those people away for a long period of time, a resolution that we couldn’t get from many of the state systems. Working cooperatively with district attorneys’ offices and the police in various cities, we were able to have these cases referred to us and able to use our strong federal laws to address them.
“When I left office, we were charging approximately 1,000 offenders a month for gun violations.
“Over the next 25 years, violent crime was cut in half.
“Unfortunately, during the last two years of the Obama Administration, it started increasing again.
“But this Administration put a stop to that and reversed that trend.
“Once again, working with our state and local partners, we pushed crime rates down in 2017 and 2018.
“In 2018, violent crime went down nearly 4% nationwide. Unfortunately, crime remains too high in many of our cities and rural areas,” Barr added.
“Neighborhoods throughout the United States are becoming increasingly aware of the deep scars being left upon victims of gun violence,” said David L. Anderson has served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. “The Northern District of California is no exception. Project Guardian, announced today by Attorney General Barr, provides critical tools that this office will use to keep guns out of the hands of those who are not entitled to them and to coordinate with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners prosecutions of those who violate our gun laws.”
“ATF has a long history of strong partnerships in the law enforcement community,” said Acting Director Regina Lombardo. “Make no mistake, the women and men of ATF remain steadfast to our core mission of getting crime guns off of our streets. ATF and U.S. Attorneys nationwide will leverage these partnerships even further through enhanced community outreach initiatives and coordination with local, state, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors to cut the pipeline of crime guns from those violent individuals who seek to terrorize our communities. Project Guardian will enhance ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence, to include identifying, investigating and prosecuting those involved in the straw purchases of firearms, lying on federal firearms transaction forms, and those subject to the mental health prohibition of possessing firearms.”
Project Guardian’s implementation is based on five principles:
- Coordinated Prosecution. Federal prosecutors and law enforcement will coordinate with state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors to consider potential federal prosecution for new cases involving a defendant who: a) was arrested in possession of a firearm; b) is believed to have used a firearm in committing a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime prosecutable in federal court; or c) is suspected of actively committing violent crime(s) in the community on behalf of a criminal organization.
- Enforcing the Background Check System. United States Attorneys, in consultation with the Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in their district, will create new, or review existing, guidelines for intake and prosecution of federal cases involving false statements (including lie-and-try, lie-and-buy, and straw purchasers) made during the acquisition or attempted acquisition of firearms from Federal Firearms Licensees. Particular emphasis is placed on individuals convicted of violent felonies or misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, individuals subject to protective orders, and individuals who are fugitives where the underlying offense is a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; individuals suspected of involvement in criminal organizations or of providing firearms to criminal organizations; and individuals involved in repeat denials.
- Improved Information Sharing. On a regular basis, and as often as practicable given current technical limitations, ATF will provide to state law enforcement fusion centers a report listing individuals for whom the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has issued denials, including the basis for the denial, so that state and local law enforcement can take appropriate steps under their laws.
- Coordinated Response to Mental Health Denials. Each United States Attorney will ensure that whenever there is federal case information regarding individuals who are prohibited from possessing a firearm under the mental health prohibition, such information continues to be entered timely and accurately into the United States Attorneys’ Offices’ case-management system for prompt submission to NICS. ATF should engage in additional outreach to state and local law enforcement on how to use this denial information to better assure public safety. Additionally, United States Attorneys will consult with relevant district stakeholders to assess feasibility of adopting disruption of early engagement programs to address mental-health-prohibited individuals who attempt to acquire a firearm. United States Attorneys should consider, when appropriate, recommending court-ordered mental health treatment for any sentences issued to individuals prohibited based on mental health.
- Crime Gun Intelligence Coordination. Federal, state, local, and tribal prosecutors and law enforcement will work together to ensure effective use of the ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGICs), and all related resources, to maximize the use of modern intelligence tools and technology. These tools can greatly enhance the speed and effectiveness in identifying trigger-pullers and finding their guns, but the success depends in large part on state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners sharing ballistic evidence and firearm recovery data with the ATF.
Federal law enforcement represents only about 15% of all law enforcement resources nationwide. Therefore, partnerships with state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the communities they serve are critical to addressing gun crime. The Department recognizes that sharing information with our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners at every level will enhance public safety and provide a greater depth of resources available to address gun crime on a national level.
For more information on Project Guardian, see the Attorney General’s memorandum at: https://www.justice.gov/ag/project-guardian-memo-2019/download.
(Read Barr’s complete remarks, here).Read More
OAKLAND – Saul Espinoza was sentenced on Tuesday to seven years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Jeffrey S. White, U.S. District Judge.
Espinoza, 32, of Richmond, pleaded guilty to the charge on August 20, 2019. According to his plea agreement, Espinoza admitted he was driving a Toyota 4Runner in Richmond, Calif., on October 4, 2018, when he turned at a high rate of speed and flipped his vehicle on its driver’s side. Espinoza’s car came to a rest after colliding with an unoccupied van parked along the curb. He remained in the car while officers approached and found him in possession of a Springfield XD-40 0.40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, with a fully loaded 16 round magazine. Espinoza admitted that at the time of these events he was a convicted felon and therefore was not eligible to possess a firearm.
A federal grand jury indicted Espinoza on February 28, 2019, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
In addition to the prison term, Judge White sentenced the defendant to a three-year term of supervised release. The defendant will begin serving the sentence immediately.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan U. Lee is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Rodriguez and Kathleen Turner. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Richmond Police Department.Read More
Claim Director Li encourages public to violate the law
OAKLAND, CA (Nov. 11, 2019) The head of the BART police officers’ association and leaders of the BART police management team are demanding an apology from BART director Janice Li for participating in an anti-police protest on a train platform and encouraging the public to violate the law.
Li was among a group of people who participated in an eat-in protest on the Embarcadero platform Saturday that questioned the authority of BART police to enforce state law and the BART code of conduct — both of which make clear that it is illegal to have food or drink in the paid areas of BART.
Li participated in the staged event even though the BART code of conduct she was protesting was approved by her own board of directors and calls for police to intervene in the event a person refuses to cooperate.
“Li is undermining the authority of BART police by advocating lawlessness and making our job as law enforcement officers that much harder,” said Keith Garcia, president of the BART Police Officers Association. Garcia was joined in his demand for an apology by BART Police Managers Association President Jason Ledford. “BART directors approved a list of infractions and misdemeanors, now Li is ridiculing police for enforcing those very rules. Our officers deserve greater respect.”
The protest was staged in response to a video of a man on the BART Pleasant Hill platform who became belligerent and combative when approached by a BART officer who requested that he not eat inside the pay gates.
“We talk to people 100 times a day about not eating on the platform or the train and the vast majority of the time they’re understanding and simply stop what they’re doing,” Garcia said. “This person apparently had an ax to grind with police.”
Garcia noted that the video widely distributed on social media does not show many important details of the incident, including how it began.
“Our officer was at the station on a separate call when he ran into the suspect in this case, who was on the platform eating a sandwich,” Garcia said. “Our officer said to him, ‘Just a reminder there is no eating on BART,’ and the subject responded, ‘I’m not on BART, I can eat wherever the f— I want.’
“Our officer then tells him that eating is not allowed anywhere in the paid areas, including the platform. And the subject responds, ’F— you, I ain’t doing nothing wrong,’ and continues to eat the sandwich directly in the officer’s face.”
When the officer asked the suspect for identification in order to write a citation for violating state law, the man refused to comply and continued to curse at the officer. The officer then requested back up.
Refusing to provide ID and being uncooperative with law enforcement is a misdemeanor. Nonetheless, the man was released after a brief detention and given only a citation.
“Our officer should be applauded for his professionalism and restraint, and for enforcing the rules that have been approved by the directors,” Ledford said. “The public has told us time and again that they’re concerned about the lawlessness on BART. Director Li should apologize to the department for not allowing our officers to do the job the public deserves.”
BART General Manager Bob Powers issued the following statement on Monday, Nov. 11:
“Moving 415,000 riders each day comes with complexities and there are laws in place to keep our system safe, welcoming, and clean.
I’ve seen the video of the incident involving a man eating on our platform and our police response. Eating in the paid area is banned and there are multiple signs inside every station saying as much. As a transportation system our concern with eating is related to the cleanliness of our stations and system. This was not the case in the incident at Pleasant Hill station on Monday. (See video on KRON4 news report)
The officer asked the rider not to eat while he was on the platform responding to another call. It should have ended there, but it didn’t. Mr. Foster did not stop eating and the officer moved forward with the process of issuing him a citation.* The individual refused to provide identification, cursed at and made homophobic slurs at the officer who remained calm through out the entire engagement.
The officer was doing his job but context is key. Enforcement of infractions such as eating and drinking inside our paid area should not be used to prevent us from delivering on our mission to provide safe, reliable, and clean transportation. We have to read each situation and allow people to get where they are going on time and safely.
I’m disappointed how the situation unfolded. I apologize to Mr. Foster, our riders, employees, and the public who have had an emotional reaction to the video.
I’ve spoken to our interim Police Chief about my feelings related to this incident and our Independent Police Auditor is conducting an independent investigation. He will report his findings to our Citizen Review Board.”
*This statement was amended at 4pm on November 11 to remove the part about the officer passing by and walking by again. The officer involved clarified to staff he didn’t walk by because the platform was too crowded. The statement originally stated: “The officer asked the rider not to eat while passing by on another call. It should have ended there, but it didn’t. When the officer walked by again and still saw him eating, he moved forward with the process of issuing him a citation.” The statement was updated to read: The officer asked the rider not to eat while he was on the platform responding to another call. It should have ended there, but it didn’t. Mr. Foster did not stop eating and the officer moved forward with the process of issuing him a citation.Read More
Sacramento – The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has announced it will recommend fines for serious violations for former Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla at its next meeting on November 21st. (See related article).
“Mr, Canciamilla has resigned his position as County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters, so as to not bring undue hardship to the office while this matter
is being resolved,” said Canciamilla attorney Andy Rockas, of the Law Offices of Andreas C. Rockas.
“Mr. Canciamilla has cooperated with the FPPC, has paid back all disputed amounts, and all fines listed in the proposed stipulation have been paid in full,” said
Rockas, adding that none of the violations involved the use of taxpayer funds, and were limited to campaign funds contributed by private sources.
Rockas added that Canciamilla has taken full responsibility for this situation, is humbled and embarrassed, and hopes the FPPC fines won’t severely overshadow his 46 years of public service to the residents of Contra Costa County.
Some of Canciamilla’s accomplishments throughout his years of service include: Helping to create Contra Costa County’s first Urban Limit Line to control growth; preserving 2,700 acres of park and open space at Cowell Ranch in East County; expanding the County’s Industrial Safety Ordinance to ensure the public’s safety around area oil refineries; and, helping to create Pittsburg Power, making Pittsburg one of the first cities to pursue an independent path to controlling local power and energy.
At its next meeting scheduled for November 21st, the FPPC will take up the violations and proposed fines for Canciamilla and his campaign committee.Read More
By Allen Payton
According to family members on Friday night and confirmed by the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, Saturday afternoon, the body found by a hiker in John Henry Johnson Park in Pittsburg on Thursday, Nov. 7 is that of Kyle Beard of Brentwood, who has been missing since October 8. (See related article)
Family members and friends distributed flyers in English and Spanish on Facebook and through local media about Beard, also known as Kyle Young, who was last seen near Railroad Avenue and Buchanan in Pittsburg, not far from the park.
On Saturday morning, a family member informed the Herald that a “detective went to his mom’s house last night”.
No other information was provided by the Sheriff’s Office. Please check back later for any updates to this report.Read More
By Daniel Borsuk
Former Contra Costa County Recorder-Clerk Joseph Canciamilla, who resigned abruptly on Thursday, Oct. 31st, has agreed to pay the California Fair Political Practices Commission fines totaling $150,000 for the misuse of political campaign funds for County Record-Clerk and as a candidate for Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge, the Contra Costa Herald has learned.
CFPPC spokesman Jay Wierenga informed the Herald on Friday afternoon that Canciamilla has paid the penalties, but the commission will have to approve the payment at the commission’s November 21 meeting in Sacramento.
“He has paid the penalties,” confirmed Wierenga. Attempts to reach Canciamilla at his Pittsburg Funeral Chapel and home were unsuccessful.
The four-person FPPC commission, currently with one vacancy, will consider at a 10:00 a.m. hearing on Thursday, November 21 the following:
“In the Matter of Joseph Canciamilla for Contra Costa County Clerk/Recorder in 2014/2018, Friends of Joe Canciamilla for Judge 2012/2014, and Joseph Canciamilla; FPPC No. 17/146. Staff: Neal Bucknell, Senior Commission Counsel and Bob Perna, Program Specialist II. The Respondents were represented by the Law Office of Andreas Rockas and the Law Offices of Wayne Ordos. This matter arose from an audit performed by the Franchise Tax Board’s Political Reform Audit Program. Joseph Canciamilla is the former Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, as well as a former candidate for Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge. Joe Canciamilla for Contra Costa County Clerk/Recorder 2014/2018 and Joe Canciamilla for Judge 2012/2014 are his candidate-controlled committees. In 2011, 2014, and 2015 Canciamilla used campaign funds for personal purposes which were unrelated to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose, in violation of Government Code Sections 89510, subdivision (b), 89512, and 89513, subdivision (a) (15 counts). From 2011 through 2019 this activity was concealed on campaign statements by other reporting violations including non-reporting and overstatement of available cash on hand, in violation of Government Code Section 84211 (14 counts). Also, in 2011 Canciamilla and his judge committee commingled campaign funds with personal funds, in violation of Government Code Section 84307 (1 count). Total Proposed Penalty: $150,000 — $75,000 (Canciamilla personally) and $75,000 (Canciamilla and his committees).”
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted at Tuesday’s meeting to begin its selection process of a new County Clerk Recorder beginning, today, Nov. 8 with the acceptance of applications and to appoint a new Clerk-Recorder on Feb. 4.
Canciamilla was unavailable to comment for this report.Read More