By Dr. Lawrence A. Rasheed
In observance of Black Mental Health Awareness Month, we are continuing our series of symposiums, “Tackling the Taboo.” In this series, we touch on issues that often go ignored within the Black community, especially issues related to Black males.
Young Black men in America are the most despised, most stereotyped, most disregarded, most policed and most feared people in this country; more likely to be poor, more likely to be undereducated, more likely to be unemployed, more likely to be discriminated against, more likely to live without their fathers, more likely to suffer from mental health issues, more likely to be locked up in prisons, and more likely to be murdered than any others in America.
Usual and easy responses to the plight of Black males in America always include historic indignation, protest and demands that raise public awareness – the stuff “moments” and not “movements” are made of. However, what is lacking is a comprehensive, well-conceived, sustained response, which requires massive community building efforts, direct-actions with and on behalf of young Black men and boys, and redirecting dollars from incarcerating Black men to educating and developing Black youth. Together, these actions will develop and support Black men and boys to become strong, positive, powerful, contributing, compassionate and courageous citizens.
Finally, there is a proper response. G.R.I.O.T. (Greatness Rediscovered In Our Time) and P.O.W.E.R. (Providing Optimal [W]holistic Educational Resources) are the much-needed, missing and best response to the issues of Black men and boys in East Contra Costa County and America.
On Saturday, July 15th, 2017 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Delta Bay Church of Christ, located at 913 Sunset Drive in Antioch, we will be discussing Black Mental Health issues facing our Black Male Community. This free event is being moderated by Dr. Richard Hanzy, who will be joined by several black male thought leaders such as Dr. Lamont Francies, former SF Police Captain Cornelius Johnson, and Author LeRon Barton.
Please register by clicking here, or call Dr. Lawrence Rasheed at (925) 726-6162. The best way to improve the conditions of young Black men and boys in America is not simply to protest them, but to invest in them – https://gofund.me/tacklingthetaboo.Read More
Contra Costa’s annual survey to document people experiencing homelessness showed a 7 percent drop overall in 2017 compared to last year, but a substantial rise in Central County, according to a report released by Contra Costa Health Services’ Division of Health, Housing and Homeless Services (H3).
H3 and its community partners, including many volunteers, surveyed county residents living in emergency shelters or outdoors on Jan. 25 and released detailed findings this week in the 2017 Point in Time Count report, available at ccheath.org/h3
The report shows that 1,607 people without housing during that 24-hour period were counted, including 911 who were living outside. About 1,100 were documented living outside in 2016.
“We are glad that we found fewer people experiencing homelessness. But there is a great deal more work to be done, and the housing market makes it more difficult,” H3 Director Lavonna Martin said. “It’s not surprising that 80 percent of those we surveyed lost their housing right here in Contra Costa County.”
Substantially more people were counted this year in central Contra Costa – 331 living outdoors without shelter – after an atypically low count in 2016. Numbers did decline elsewhere, including East County, which had experienced a 30 percent increase from 2015 to 2016.
Since the count, H3 and the Contra Costa Council on Homelessness have launched Coordinated Entry, a new initiative to streamline service delivery and enhance collaboration among the county’s network of nonprofit, faith-based and government providers of homeless services.
Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek all joined the effort this spring. Martinez and Pleasant Hill split the cost of a full-time, county-operated outreach team to connect homeless residents within their borders with shelter and services. Concord and Walnut Creek are splitting the cost of a second team, and Contra Costa’s Public Works Department also funds a team for the county’s creeks and waterways.
Those city-specific Coordinated Outreach, Referral and Engagement (CORE) teams join three other CORE teams that operate elsewhere in the county. Other elements of Coordinated Entry include:
• Regional service centers connecting clients to shelter, medical and mental health care, case managers, substance use disorder treatment and services, benefit counselors, and long-term housing;
• Overnight warming centers that supplement existing emergency shelters;
• A universal, web-based information management system used by all providers of homeless services in the county to maximize use of their collective resources;
• A standardized intake and assessment system that streamlines delivery of housing and other services to the most vulnerable clients.
Coordinated Entry is funded in part through $1.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Contra Costa’s point-in-time count also fulfills a HUD requirement to document the extent of homelessness within jurisdictions receiving its funding.
Visit cchealth.org/h3 to read the 2017 Point-in-Time Count report.Read More
Accept Grand Jury report on overcrowded Antioch Animal Shelter
By Daniel Borsuk
Up to 94 retailers of tobacco products located in unincorporated parts of Contra Costa County will need to comply with a new ordinance designed to protect youth from using tobacco products, a leading cause of heart and lung disease related deaths in the United States.
County supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday in approving a Tobacco Retailer Ordinance, a law that took two years in the development process at the Planning Commission level until earlier this month when the commission passed a resolution recommending that supervisors reject the proposed law.
The Planning Commission’s resolution stated denial is based on “the proposed Tobacco Retail Business Ordinance is not necessary and places an undue burden on existing tobacco retailer businesses.”
But county supervisors did not accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation to reject the ordinance.
When supervisors initially received the Tobacco Retailer Ordinance it included a 10-year non-conforming use provision, but supervisors decided to eject that clause on grounds it would be too much of an economic burden on store owners that was lobbied by retail groups like the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO).
Even then Jaimie Rojas of NATO criticized the ordinance saying it is an example of “government overreach.” Rojas said the ordinance will also spark economic impacts by forcing retail owners to lay off employees and will “ignite consumer confusion.”
The Tobacco Retailer Ordinance imposes distance limits on existing and new tobacco retailers and operators of hookah lounges and vapor lounges even though there are no hookah and vapor lounges in operation in the unincorporated areas of the county.
The county ordinance prohibits new tobacco retailers from being located within 500 feet of any other existing tobacco retailer, hookah lounge or vapor lounge. The new law that goes into effect next month, also prohibits these new businesses from being located 1,000 feet of a public or private school, playground, park or library.
Existing businesses can be within 500 feet of another existing tobacco retailer or within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground or library, but the retailer, hookah lounge or vapor lounge owner but will not be permitted to expand its tobacco retail use.
District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond hailed the ordinance commenting “There will be no new ones (i.e. tobacco retailers) in unincorporated Contra Costa County.”
Next week supervisors are expected to adopt an ordinance with similar distance requirements to be applied to tobacco retailers selling flavored tobacco products marketed heavily to youth under the legal smoking age of 21.
The supervisors’ action is expected to trigger action from city councils around the county to pass similar ordinances designed to clamp down on the 636 tobacco retail, hookah lounge and vapor lounge businesses in incorporated areas.
“I think I have been a leader on this issue,” proclaimed board chair Federal Glover whose District 5 includes Bay Point that has one of the highest concentrations of tobacco retailers, 16, located nearby schools, parks, playgrounds or libraries. “I am also pleased with the ordinance’s grandfathering provision,” he said.
District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood said she was concerned about how the ordinance’s 500-foot limit might have a major economic impact on retailers in a small tourist town like Bethel Island.
“I don’t want it to punish these businesses,” Burgis said.
District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville branded the ordinance as being “reasonable” based on how the new law will stymy new tobacco retail businesses from opening within close proximity of existing businesses or from being located within 1,000 feet from a school, playground, park, or and library.
The supervisor said it is mainly because of the easy availability or accessibility of tobacco products that “It’s shocking to see 12, 13, and 14-year-old little league baseball players chomping on chewing tobacco during games.”
Grand Jury Report on Antioch Animal Shelter
Supervisors accepted a Civil Grand Jury report on the over-populated Antioch Animal Shelter.
The City operated shelter has been regularly over-populated with dogs and cats, of which many of the animals are dropped off by out-of-town Antioch residents. In 2016, the average daily animal count at the shelter was 196, when the recommended daily animal count based by the American Humane Society should be 101 at 2017 daily standards.
To help remedy the animal overpopulation problem at the shelter, the grand jury asked the Board of Supervisors to respond to two recommendations.
One recommendation calls on county supervisors to consider funding a study to “examine the feasibility of establishing a county shelter in east county.”
The second recommendation suggests that the City of Antioch and county negotiate a memorandum of understanding whereby the Antioch shelter accepts all animals, but animals identified as non-city of Antioch animals should be regularly picked up by County Animal Control Officers and transported to the county shelter.Read More
By Don Martin, II
Bobby Hogge IV scored the victory in the 25 lap Jerry Hetrick Memorial for the All Star Series A Modified division Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. Bobby joined elite company as this was his 70th career win at Antioch. Only J.D. Willis and Scott Busby have more Antioch wins as both have 72.
Hogge won his heat race earlier in the evening and shared the second row with previous winner Nick DeCarlo for the special race. Incoming point leader Bobby Motts Jr. had mechanical problems early in the race and finished last in the 19-car field.
Later, Eric Berendsen rolled his car. DeCarlo offered Hogge his biggest challenge, but not even he could stop Hogge by the time the checkered flag flew. Multi time Petaluma Speedway champion Michael Paul Jr. finished third ahead of Busby and Trent Wentworth.
Rookie Robert Floyd scored a thrilling victory in the 20 lap Wingless Spec Sprint Main Event. Floyd also won his heat race. Bryan Grier led eight laps before spinning from the lead. Alan Miranda had the lead from there in search of his first career victory. Floyd began pressuring Miranda during the final few laps before charging by on the back stretch on lap 19 to take the lead. Floyd scored the popular win in the car of the late Jimmy Lavell. Miranda settled for second. Grier charged back through the pack and made a late pass on Rick Panfili to finish third. Heat race winner James East finished fifth.
Matt While grabbed the victory in the 20 lap Limited Late Model Main Event. While is the reigning champion at Petaluma Speedway, and this was his first visit to Antioch. While outran new point leader Kimo Oreta for his win. Jim Freethy continued his streak of all Top 3 finishes so far this season as he held off Mark Garner and heat race winner Mike Gustafson for a third place finish.
Melissa Myers won the 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. The two-time division champion was making her first appearance of the season, and she won her heat race before battling Brent Curran for the impressive win. Curran gained some ground on point leader Chris Long in the championship battle. Long was black flagged for his bumper. After getting that fixed, Long returned and lost a driveline on the track. He was still scored ninth. Robert Niven finished third in the 18-car field. Chris Bennett came back from an early spin to beat Randy Metzler for fourth.
Danny Wagner picked up the win in the 20 lap Dwarf Car feature. The two-time champion managed to hold off David Michael Rosa, who settled for second for the second straight week. Wagner’s heat race produced two of the rollovers the track had for the night. Point leader Mike Corsaro was the first victim, and Chris Becker rolled at the end of the race. Both drivers were done for the night, which will impact the championship battle. Brandon Anderson finished third, followed by Toby Brown and two-time Street Stock champion David Rosa. Dave Mackey won the 12 lap Bay Area Hardtop Main Event. Mackey won the battle with heat race winner Kimo Oreta for the victory. Ron Ruiz held off recent Chico winner Jason Armstrong to finish third.
All Star Series racing continues this Saturday as Wingless Spec Sprints return along with DIRTcar Late Models, B Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Dwarf Cars. For further information, go to www.antiochspeedway.com.
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Michael Paul Jr., Shawn DeForest, Bobby Hogge IV. Main Event (25 Laps)-Bobby Hogge IV, Nick DeCarlo, Michael Paul Jr., Scott Busby, Trent Wentworth, Jake Dewsburuy, Sean O’Gara, Trevor Clymens, Mike Salazar, Gary Hetrick.
Limited Late Model
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Mike Gustafson, Terry DeCarlo Jr. Main Event (20 Laps)-Matt While, Kimo Oreta, Jim Freethy, Mark Garner, Mike Gustafson, Jon Haney, John Evans, Terry DeCarlo Jr., Buddy Kniss, Jeff Kendrick.
Wingless Spec Sprint
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Robert Floyd, James East. Main Event (20 Laps)-Robert Floyd, Alan Miranda, Bryan Grier, Rick Panfili, James East, Bob Newberry, Jeremy Newberry, Dusty Green, Abigail Gonderman, Shannon Newton.
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-David Rosa, David Michael Rosa. Main Event (20 Laps)-Danny Wagner, David Michael Rosa, Brandon Anderson, Toby Brown, David Rosa, Charlie Correia, Brian Gray, Jenna Frazier, Devan Kammermann, Mario Marquez
Heat Winners (8 Laps)-Chris Long, Brent Curran, Gene Haney. Main Event (20 Laps)-Melissa Myers, Brent Curran, Robert Niven, Christopher Bennett, Randy Metzler, Jordan Swank, Frank Furtado, Ken Rhoades, Chris Long, Gene Haney.
Bay Area Hardtops
Heat Winner (6 Laps)-Kimo Oreta. Main Event (12 Laps)-Dave Mackey, Oreta, Ron Ruiz, Jason Armstrong.Read More
Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Mark DeSaulnier’s (CA-11) bill to expand the historic site that celebrates the life of John Muir in Martinez, CA. The John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act (H.R. 1719) would add an additional 44 acres of donated land to the park to improve access and preserve the land for generations to come. The bill passed the House by a vote of 401-to-15 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
“John Muir, the father of our National Park Service, championed the revolutionary idea that America’s wild spaces ought to be preserved for all to enjoy. As a nature-lover and proud Californian, it is an honor to lead this effort as a tribute to John Muir. It is my hope that expanding the site where Muir drew inspiration will allow residents to further enjoy the beauty of the East Bay. I thank the John Muir Land Trust for its stewardship and protection of John Muir’s legacy,” said DeSaulnier.
“Our sincere thanks go out to Congressman DeSaulnier for such critical legislation. Muir often walked this land with his two daughters, to admire the coast live oak that grow there, as well as the annual wildflowers that punctuate its grassy hillsides. Expansion of the John Muir Historic Site will forever protect this beautiful property and allow future generations to share in the same delights as Muir’s daughters,” said Linus Eukel, Executive Director of John Muir Land Trust.
Currently, the John Muir National Historic Site spans 330 acres of Contra Costa County, and includes the home where Muir lived and wrote. The parcel of land being donated is located on the south side of Mount Wanda.
The John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act would authorize the National Park Service to acquire land that is being donated by the John Muir Land Trust. Since the parcel of land being donated by the trust exceeds the size the National Park Service is permitted to acquire administratively, Congressional approval is needed.
Senator Kamala Harris has introduced companion legislation in the Senate. DeSaulnier first introduced this bill last Congress, where it passed the House, but was not considered in the Senate. This effort was first spearheaded by former Congressman George Miller, who previously represented California’s 11th Congressional District.Read More
Sacramento, CA – Gov. Jerry Brown, Monday signed AB 341 by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), which gives local school districts the authority to use funds at their discretion for student participation in field trips or excursions to other states, the District of Columbia, or a foreign country.
“School districts have been explicitly prohibited from using funds to help students participate in field trips or educational excursions out of state,” Frazier said. “AB 341 changes this, allowing schools to use district funds to enhance educational opportunities by increasing access to student resources and improving the outcomes that students experience.”
The idea for AB 341 came locally from the Fairfield-Suisun School District, which is in the 11th Assembly District. In the spring of 2016, Armijo High School and Grange Middle School VEX robotics teams qualified to participate in the world competition in Kentucky. The students on these teams needed financial assistance to attend the competition. The school district was required to file for a waiver to the state Department of Education, in order to use district funds for this purpose. AB 341 will eliminate the need for a waiver, allowing school districts to use their own discretion on whether to use district funds for travel that enhances student educational experiences.
“This common-sense legislation grants local school districts the authority to use funds to help students whose families may not have the financial means to pay for these types of opportunities,” Frazier said. “I thank Fairfield-Suisun School District for bringing the need for this legislation to my attention and for the district’s strong support of AB 341 during the legislative process.”
Assemblymember Jim 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. To contact him please visit his website at www.asmdc.org/frazier or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-513-0411. Follow him on Facebook and “Like” him for updates on events and happenings in the 11th AD.Read More
Next show is Tuesday, July 11 in Concord, followed by another in Antioch on Saturday
By Jason Mueller, A-1 Auto Transport
Contra Costa County residents are invited to check out these great car shows happening in and around the area for 2017. Bring the entire family out for a good time. Check out the classics, enter your own, try out some activities or even grab a bite to eat. There is so much to do at the car shows, cruises and events that you can make the most of them all year long.
Cool Concord Cars
Come out and enjoy a little fun in the sun while checking out the coolest Concord cars from the area. Happening on July 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, this is a free car show for one and all. Come out and look or bring your vehicle to be shown off. There will be goodie bags, prizes and plaques being handed out. Come out to downtown Concord for a good time. For more info, visit http://www.ci.concord.ca.us/page.asp?pid=3000 or call (925) 671-2489.
Antioch: Summerfest Car Show
If you’re looking for something to do this summer, then make sure to come out to the Summerfest car show. With hot rods, classics, newer and other vehicles on display, there is something for everyone at this event. Happening on July 15 at 11 AM, you can come out to the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds at 1201 West 10th Street in Antioch. For more info about this exciting event, visit https://www.facebook.com/showstopcc/.
Come out not only for those classics and good times, but also food, live music and great people. You can share your love of classics with the others that are at the event. Come out a few different times for a good time – July 20, August 3, August 17, August 31 and September 7 from 6 to 8PM each time. Come out to Railroad Avenue between 3rd and 6th Streets in Pittsburg. For more info, call (925) 252-4842 or visit http://oldtownpittsburgca.com/2017/04/otp/car-show-2017-may-11-thru-sept-7-6pm-8pm/.
Antioch: 2nd Annual Knights of Columbus & East Bay Dukes Car Show
See hot rods, muscle cars, rat rods, low riders and motorcycles, Saturday, July 22 at Holy Rosary Church, 1313 A Street, Antioch. Entry Fees: Auto $25, Motorcycle $15, Lowrider Bikes $10. Vendors: $60. For more info call Mike at (925) 550-6265.
Soap Box Derby and Classic Car Show
If you want to bring the kids to show them a love of cars then this is the event you can make the most out of. Happening on September 2 from 9AM to 3PM, it is the event that welcomes one and all to come in and have a great time. Come out to Main Street Downtown Clayton to take part in the show and the derby. For more info, call (925) 673-9060 or visit http://ci.clayton.ca.us/about-clayton/community-events/.
Antioch: Billetproof Car Show
One of the largest car shows in the area, Billetproof is welcoming yet another for the Antioch area. $10 for spectators, kids under 13 and police or military personnel are free. Come out to check out the pin up contest, swap meet, live bands, racing and more. Happening on September 16 at the Antioch Fairgrounds 1201 West Tenth St. in Antioch for all day fun. For more info, visit http://billetproof.com/index.php/antioch-ca-sept-16-2017/.
Clayton: Wednesday Night Classic Car Show
Come out for the classics and the live DJ that is spinning all the greatest tunes. Bring the entire family out for a night of fun and excitement. Beginning on June 28 and reoccurring throughout the year, there is a lot of fun to be had from 6 to 8 PM. Come out to City Parking Lot, 6099 Main Street in Clayton. For more info, call (925)673-7316 or visit http://ci.clayton.ca.us/about-clayton/community-events/.
Brentwood: Hot Rods 4 Paws
Kings Car Club presents their annual Hot Rods 4 Paws car on October 21 from 10 AM to 4 PM, at Petco in Brentwood, 5481 Lone Tree Way. Come out and enjoy the cars and support a good cause – the non-profit Furry Friends Food Relief Program to keep pets out of the shelters and in the homes that love them. Sponsors are needed. Your company can be seen by over 1000 people at the event. Select any of the options listed HERE or contact the Kings for details and they’ll be glad to discuss creating a customized sponsorship package for you. For more info. call (925) 240-3178 or email HotRods4Paws@gmail.com.
You’ll never have to worry about having a dull day when there are car shows happening in Contra Costa. You can grab the family and head out for a day full of activities, fun and classics. Share your love of cars with everyone that you come across and if you own your own, be sure to bring your own vehicle to display for others to enjoy. If you’re looking for auto transport to the car show be sure to contact a local California company such as A-1 Auto Transport.
Contra Costa County Public Works Department will perform work on Marsh Creek Road from Deer Valley Road to the Clayton City limits from July 10 through July 20, 2017. The work will occur Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to shape slopes and shoulders along the road edge where mudslides occurred during the winter storms.
The work may be rescheduled based on weather conditions. Electronic message boards will alert drivers of the scheduled work. There will be traffic control through the work area and drivers can expect delays of 10-15 minutes.Read More
By Bryan Scott
Across our nation one essential service that government provides is responding to calls for help. Taxes are paid with the expectation that a reasonable response will be provided when members of the public need the police, the fire department, or emergency medical assistance.
Across our nation the first response to a 9-1-1 call is usually the police or fire department. The arrival of this first responder means that someone trained to handle a crisis is taking charge of the situation, be it a crime, a fire, or a medical emergency.
The time for this initial response is typically three-to-five minutes. The City of Brentwood specifies a response time goal of three-to-five minutes for all emergency calls in their General Plan. Service models everywhere include this goal.
In East County, it is intended that East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) provide the first response for medical emergencies. The May, 2017, ECCFPD 90% Response Time was 10 minutes 26 seconds for Brentwood West, and 9 minutes and 53 seconds for Brentwood East.
In cases where necessary follow-up assistance arrives later, once the first responders have assessed the situation, and perhaps stabilized it.
When the need is for emergency medical service this secondary response is an ambulance from a private business. Contra Costa County provides this ambulance service for most parts of the county, including the service area of ECCFPD.
By contract this business, American Medical Response (AMR), has agreed to response time goals. For the service area of ECCFPD (except Bethel Island) the contract states that an ambulance must be onsite for Priority 1 (Potentially Life-Threatening) Emergencies within 11 minutes and 45 seconds.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an international standards organization that has developed response time standards for fire and emergency medical response organizations.
In the NFPA 1710 standard describing a fire district’s response to a medical emergency it says that, at a minimum, the fire district must be able to “… arrive within a four-minute (240 seconds) response time to 90 percent of all emergency medical incidents.”
This applies to the fire district whether they provide a fundamental First Responder (AED) trained staff or Basic Life Support (BLS) trained staff.
The NFPA 1710 standard describes the same response time for fire calls, “the fire department shall establish a time objective of four minutes (240 seconds) or less for the arrival of the first arriving engine company at a fire suppression incident, …”.
This public safety response model works when there is a first response in the four-to-five minute range, and a secondary response at 11 minutes and 45 seconds.
The response model does not work when both first and secondary responses arrive at the same time, or within a minute of each other.
Last month Brentwood residents needed to call 9-1-1 for help 338 times.
In the Brentwood West area the response time was 1,190 minutes longer than the nationwide goal, using the 90% response time numbers. Collectively that’s nearly 20 hours late in one month.
For Brentwood East the response time was 900 minutes longer than the nationwide goal, using the same 90% response time numbers. In this aggregate case help arrived 15 hours late in a single month.
As with the financial investment disclaimers we see, these numbers are averages and may not reflect your individual performance, or the time it takes for you to get help, should you need it.
This public safety response model is plainly broken. Government needs to take action to fix it.
Bryan Scott is a Brentwood resident and Co-Chair of East County Voters for Equal Protection, a non-partisan citizens action committee whose aim is to improve funding for the ECCFPD. He can be reached at email@example.com, or 925-418-4428. The group’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyVoters/.Read More
Faced but was acquitted of charges in murder-for-hire plot against nine jurors while in jail
Martinez, CA – The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday that after an extensive four-year investigation, a long jury trial and a conviction by a jury of 37 separate counts relating to 19 separate incidents that occurred over a seven-year time span, Charles Waldo was finally sentenced on June 27, 2017 for his crimes. Waldo was the owner of a recycling business.
After being convicted of multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, embezzlement, grand theft, vandalism, perjury, elder abuse, illegal gun possession and arson, among other things, Judge Barry Baskin sentenced Waldo to 40 months in county jail followed by 21 years and 8 months in state prison, one of the longest sentences obtained for insurance fraud in the history of Contra Costa County. Mr. Waldo must register as a California convicted arson offender pursuant to Penal Code 457.1. He has also been ordered not to contact one of his victims and to pay $22,500 in fines.
According to a 2014 report by NBC Bay Area News, “the District Attorney’s investigation into Waldo began in the spring of 2012 when its office received information about a vehicle arson and a suspected fraudulent car insurance claim, Deputy District Attorney William Murphy said. The investigation revealed multiple fraudulent insurance claims of arson and vandalism on five cars over a five-year period beginning in July 2007 with losses from the vehicles exceeding $100,000, Peterson said. Further investigation revealed Waldo was suspected of embezzling over $100,000 from a former employer and stealing a $38,000 generator from his former employer’s business.
As the manager, Waldo reportedly ‘forced out’ other employees so he could hire his associates, and then directed the new employees to commit other crimes, including stealing recyclable metals and an electrical transformer, prosecutors said. At one point, Waldo was traveling with employees from the business when a police officer attempted to pull him over for speeding. Waldo escaped after traveling at speeds of over 100 miles per hour, Murphy said.
He also allegedly ordered the workers to help build a 2,000-square-foot addition to his Pittsburg home while they were supposed to be working for Waldo’s employer.”
Waldo was also accused by the “Investigators from the California Department of Insurance…that he committed worker’s compensation insurance fraud, along with tax code violations.”
“After his employer fired him, Waldo allegedly drove to his employer’s business, and to the homes of several employees, and punctured the tires of their cars. He also continued to claim unemployment benefits for a year even though he had found other employment.”
According to a CBS new story in 2014, Waldo was also “charged with plotting to kill nine witnesses set to testify against him.
Prosecutors say investigators found a hit list that included the witnesses’ names, in what order they were to be killed, and suggestions to kill them in car crashes, with drug overdoses and in robberies ‘gone bad.’”
However, he was later acquitted of those charges.
Multiple agencies assisted the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office with this investigation including: the CA Department of Insurance, the CA Highway Patrol, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Geico Insurance Company, Progressive Insurance Company, and Hertz Equipment Rental. Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More