The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office has received many requests from the media for comments concerning the scandal involving police officers and sheriff’s deputies from throughout the Bay Area. At the center of these allegations is a young woman who alleges she had had sexual encounters with up to 30 local law enforcement officers, and that some of these encounters occurred when she was 17 years of age.
Recently, we’ve been made aware of additional allegations of possible criminal conduct here in Contra Costa County. We’ve been working collaboratively with our law enforcement partners, and we are reviewing that evidence and those allegations. However, we have not yet completed our own investigation into this matter.
District Attorney Peterson stated “It goes without saying that our office will always investigate any alleged sexual assault or human trafficking crimes that occur within our county, and we’re committed to holding anyone who committed such crimes in Contra Costa County accountable for their actions.”
Saturday morning, September 17, 2016 at about 4:32 a.m., Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to a shooting on the first block of Bay Drive in Bay Point.
Upon arrival Deputies found a 20-year-old Bay Point man in a vehicle. He was suffering from gunshot wounds. He was later pronounced deceased on scene by the fire department. The victim is not being identified at this time.
The investigation into this homicide is ongoing.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Office of the Sheriff at (925) 646-2441. For any tips, please email: email@example.com or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
Former Moraga Mayor and candidate for District 3 BART Director, Ken Chew – endorsed by over 50 public officials, community leaders and business owners – has added two more leaders to his endorsement list.
With the addition of Candace Andersen, Contra Costa County Supervisor, District 2, and Federal Glover, Contra Costa County Supervisor, District 5, four out of the five Contra Costa County Supervisors have endorsed Ken Chew for District 3 BART Board.
“Ken will be a great representative on the BART Board for District 3 to begin the necessary reform,” said Supervisor Anderson. “He is a fiscal conservative and a champion for transparency and accountability in government. He has the expertise as a transportation professional and public policy leadership experience to be our BART Director.”
Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson, has also endorsed Chew.
“As an elected official, Ken has served with honesty and integrity,” Peterson said. “I respect his independence in making tough decisions to protect the tax payers and the community he represents. A fine example of a true leader.”
In response, Ken Chew said, “I am honored and humbled by their endorsements. Now I have an important mission to complete, that is, to help bring real improvements to our beloved BART system. By holding ourselves, the BART Board and Management fiscally responsible and accountable, we will make BART safe, clean and have trains that run on-time.”
Chew was elected to the Moraga Town Council in November 2006, and re-elected to a second term in November 2010. He also served as Mayor in 2010 and 2014. During his terms, he insisted on and achieved a balanced budget for Moraga from 2006 to 2014. As a member of the Board of Directors representing Moraga, he negotiated and awarded a new 10 year, $500 million contract in 2014 for the Joint Powers Authority of RecycleSmart (Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority). In 2012, with the help of many community leaders, he jointly initiated a successful Moraga Measure K, the 1% sales tax in Moraga for infrastructure (street and storm drains) maintenance and renewal.
District 3 includes the following BART Stations: Bay Fair, Downtown Berkeley, El Cerrito del Norte, El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, Orinda, Rockridge, San Leandro; and all or portions of the following cities and communities: Albany, Ashland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Cherryland, El Cerrito, Kensington, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakland, Orinda, Piedmont, San Lorenzo See map of District 3, here: www.bart.gov/sites/default/files/docs/bart_3.pdf
For more information about Chew’s campaign visit www.electkenchew.com.Read More
Sacramento, CA – On Wednesday, September 14, Governor Brown signed into law AB 326 by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley), which sets a 30-day deadline that the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) must reimburse a collateral deposit by an employer in a Division of Labor Standards Enforcement prevailing wage dispute.
“I applaud the Governor for signing AB 326 to bring fairness to the prevailing wage dispute process,” said Frazier. “As a former general contractor, I know first-hand that tying up cash can place innocent employers in jeopardy of losing their business or creating financial hardship.”
Current law requires that in cases where a contractor has been accused of prevailing wage violations, the contractor must post a cash deposit with the DIR equivalent to the full amount of the assessment plus penalties. AB 326 would ensure that the contractor is reimbursed in a timely manner.
“We cannot thank Assemblymember Frazier enough for stepping up on this issue,” said Tom Holsman, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of California. “There have been instances when contractors have not received their cash deposits back for months, even though a settlement had been arrived at, or the contractor had been fully exonerated.”
AB 326 had the support of the Associated General Contractors of California and San Diego, Associated Builders & Contractors of California, Construction Employers’ Association, Southern California Contractors Association, and California Association of Specialty Contractors. This bill passed through the Legislature with widespread bipartisan support and will become effective on January 1, 2017.
Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.
Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Detectives are continuing to investigate Monday’s shooting of two men on the 600 block of El Centro in El Sobrante. The victims, ages 37 and 19, are still in the hospital in stable condition. Detectives on Monday arrested 32-year-old Jason Ellis of El Sobrante in connection with this shooting. He was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on two counts of assault with a firearm. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the 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.Read More
Contra Costa College (CCC) held a Presidential Investiture, Tuesday for its 12th permanent president, Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, and celebrated the completion of its new College Center, the largest bond-funded project in the history of Contra Costa Community College District (District).
“We are happy and so proud to have Mojdeh Mehdizadeh in this leadership role,” says Governing Board president Vicki Gordon. “One of the District’s initiatives is to ensure we provide professional opportunities so we can grow our own leaders. Mojdeh’s 25 years of experience in the District is a shining success story of that commitment and provides proof that each employee has opportunities in our District to realize his or her full potential.”
Following the investiture formalities, President Mehdizadeh commented on her vision for the college.
“Contra Costa College is a beacon of hope for West County,” says president Mehdizadeh. “We are delighted about the completion of this project which changes the face of our entire campus. We have created facilities that provide an inviting and engaging physical learning environment for our students.”
Over $72 million was invested in the College Center project that includes a new General Education Building, Fireside Hall and Student and Administration Building. The quad area was completely redone, making it an inviting place for students to take part in meaningful activities that contribute to their success. Funding for this project came from the passage of Measure A Bond 2006, and Contra Costa County voters deserve the credit.
“This day could not be possible without the passage of our bond measures,” says chancellor Helen Benjamin. “We appreciate the support of our community and as we celebrate the opening of the new facilities, we celebrate the community as well for the investment they are making in improving the wellbeing of the residents. We invite the community to stop by and see what we have done for our students.”
The building of the College Center project included the demolition of the oldest building on the CCC campus, the Humanities building and the Student Activities building, constructed in 1954 and 1957, respectively.
“These new facilities are beautiful, and were completed on time and under budget,” says Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee chair Dr. Bill van Dyk. “The District continues to demonstrate they are good stewards of the public’s funds.”
Contra Costa College, located in San Pablo, is one of three colleges in the Contra Costa Community College District and currently serves almost 11,000 students (unduplicated head county) annually. Since 1948, CCC has provided exemplary educational services to hundreds of thousands of residents from the greater West County area, and is proud of its diverse student body and commitment to individual student success. Excellent programs such as the Center for Science Excellence, The Advocate newspaper, the green Automotive Services program, Middle College High School, the Nursing program, and the Culinary Arts program are known through the state and the nation. A model of excellence, Contra Costa College prides itself on being one of the finest community colleges in the country. For more information on the college, click here.
The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,019,640 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon. The District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez.Read More
This summer, John Muir Health Hospitals engaged in a dynamic partnership with local high schools to offer work-based learning programs designed to make students aware of health care careers and their own potential – exposing students to an experience they can’t get in a classroom.
The goal is to align classwork with real-world job opportunities, and to awaken local high school students to opportunities for education and careers in the medical field.
On Friday, August 5, nine local students graduated from the summer intern program at John Muir Health, Walnut Creek Hospital: Saadhana Deshpande, Kaanan Goradia, Justin Chang, Eeshan Sharma, Andrew Cho, Harini Rajan, Kaileigh Yang, Christina Alejandrino and Marina Fernandez.
To view a video on the Medical & Biotechnology Academy overview, click here.Read More
As incumbent District 1 BART Board Director Gail Murray officially announced her campaign for re-election on Wednesday, her challenger Debora Allen announced the endorsement of 30 current and former East Bay elected leaders.
The endorsements are:
Steve Glazer State Senator, California
Catharine Baker State Assemblywoman, California
Candace Andersen Supervisor, Contra Costa County
Ben Johnson Mayor, City of Pittsburg
Bill Clarkson Mayor, City of San Ramon
Dan Walden Former Board Member, Walnut Creek School Board
Ed Duarte Director, Dublin-San Ramon Services District
Eve Phillips Vice‐Mayor, City of Orinda
Greg Marvel President, Board of Education, San Ramon Valley Unified School District
H. Abram Wilson Former Mayor, City of San Ramon
Howard Geller Mayor, City of Clayton
Jack Weir Former City Council Member, City of Pleasant Hill
Jim Diaz Vice Mayor, Clayton
John Phillips Chairman, Contra Costa County Pension Board
Julie Pierce Council Member, City of Clayton
Justin Wedel Council Member, City of Walnut Creek
Lynne Leach Former CA State Assemblywoman AD15 (1996‐2002)
Mark Peterson District Attorney, Contra Costa County
Merle Hall Former Mayor, Walnut Creek
Mike McGill Board Member, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
Pete Laurence Former Mayor, City of Clayton
Richard Rainey Former CA State Senator, Assemblyman, and Contra Costa County Sheriff
Robert Storer Council Member, Danville Town Council
Russell Watts Treasurer‐Tax Collector, Contra Costa County
Sal Evola Council Member, City of Pittsburg
Scott Gordon Secretary, Contra Costa County Pension Board
Scott Perkins Vice Mayor, City of San Ramon
Steve Barr Council Member, City of Brentwood
Steve Mick Alamo Municipal Advisory Council
Vicki Gordon Board President, Contra Costa Community College District
In the 12 years Murray has served as a BART Director, the system has seen the largest decline in quality of service in its 40+ year history, accord to Allen.
“Over the last decade, the BART experience has deteriorated with increased crime, system delays, labor strikes, equipment malfunctions, fake security cameras, high fares, budget shortfalls and overall public dissatisfaction,” she said. “BART is so antiquated, their control system is from 1972 and they buy replacement parts on eBay.”
Following are what some of her supporters have to say:
Senator Steve Glazer: “Debora Allen will bring an important voice and fiscally responsible vote into the BART boardroom. She’s smart, she’s tough, and she’s a problem solver. She will stand up to special interests and management incompetence and fight to improve BART while protecting the interest of taxpayers.”
Assemblywoman Catharine Baker: “Debora Allen brings a refreshing new energy and approach to getting BART’s fiscal house in order. She will be a champion for the transit rider and taxpayer!”
City Council Member of Clayton Julie Pierce: “Our BART system is incredibly important to the residents of Contra Costa County. I am confident that Debora Allen will be strong leadership on the Board of Directors and a loud voice for transparency and financial accountability to the stakeholders as we rebuild BART into a world class transportation system of which we can all be proud.”
Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen: “Debora Allen brings the business experience and financial acumen we need to lead BART in the right direction.”
Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson: “I trust Debora Allen to protect the taxpayers’ investment in BART, for the riders, the workers, and for the future of Bay Area living.”
Former CA State Assemblywoman Lynne Leach: “Debora Allen is a talented, trusted and experienced businesswoman. Her background of working to stem the ever increasing growth of public pension costs prepares her well to serve on the BART Board.”
Former Mayor of Walnut Creek Merle Hall: “Debora will help get BART off welfare, and run it like a proper railroad in a business-like manner.”
Allen is Murray’s only challenger in the November election. BART District 1 includes the BART stations in Concord, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre and Walnut Creek and all or portions of the Contra Costa County cities and communities of Alamo, Alhambra Valley, Blackhawk, Camino Tassajara, Clayton, Concord, Danville, Diablo, Lafayette, Martinez, Pacheco, Pleasant Hill, Port Costa, San Ramon and Walnut Creek.Read More
This year, Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) continued her efforts to help college students fight mounting higher education costs by authoring Assembly Bill 1914, which was signed into law, last Friday by Governor Brown. AB 1914 ensures that college students are not paying for unnecessary and underutilized academic materials during coursework.
“Each year students pay approximately $1,300 for required textbooks,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla. “Couple this with rising tuition, room and board, and the fact that textbooks are increasingly linked to digital content which require access codes costing an additional fifty to one hundred dollars, college is becoming more and more unaffordable. The problem is not only the extra costs, but the fact that many of the tasks managed by digital content can be completed by platforms already available to professors and universities.”
Faculty members are already encouraged to consider free or inexpensive options when they select materials for their students to purchase. However, in many cases, professors do not realize the cost of the materials they assign or know that less expensive, quality resources are available. AB 1914 addresses this issue by requiring a policy specifically considering the benefits and drawbacks of academic materials, in addition to raising awareness of platforms already available on campus. Overall, this bill will make the process of selecting, requiring, and purchasing textbooks more transparent for both faculty and their students.
“This bill is part of our continued commitment to ensuring students have access to affordable course materials,” said David Lopez, California State Student Association President. “For far too long the cost of textbooks have been rising at levels that put students in undesirable financial situations. With the help of Assemblywoman Bonilla and her dedicated staff, we have been able to alleviate some of that financial burden by continuing to improve access to free or low-cost educational resources. CSSA believes every student should have access to an affordable education, and this bill is yet another positive step toward that goal.”
Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was elected in November 2010 and represents California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County.Read More