UPDATE: The victim has been identified by the County Coroner’s Office as 23-year-old Jacquelyn Grimaldo of Brentwood.
On Tuesday night, August 29, 2017 at about 10:23pm, Contra Costa CHP was advised of a two-vehicle traffic collision in the eastbound lanes of HWY 4 at Solano Way. Upon CHP and emergency personnel arrival, it was determined that a red Honda HR-V collided with the back of an unoccupied flatbed truck within the south shoulder. The female driver of the Honda tragically did not survive the collision and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
In the initial investigation, it appears that the solo female driver of the Honda (23-year-old female from Brentwood) was traveling eastbound on HWY 4, partially within the south shoulder, and collided into the back of the unoccupied International 4700 flatbed truck, which was stopped within the shoulder. The Honda sustained major frontend damage and unfortunately the driver of the Honda succumb to her injuries at the scene. HWY 4 eastbound was shut down for about one hour and 40 minutes for the investigation and removal of the vehicles.
An earlier report that it was a hit-and-run and the truck was located later was incorrect, according to Contra Costa CHP Public Information Officer Brandon Correia.
Alcohol or drugs do not appear to be a factor in this collision but it is still an ongoing investigation. If anyone witnessed it or the events leading up to it, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez, (925) 646-4980.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
Contra Costa County Public Works Department will perform work on Marsh Creek Road from Deer Valley Road to the Clayton City limits, from September 5 through October 5, 2017. The work will occur Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to shape slopes, repair shoulders and erosion along the road edge. 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.
Nearly all of the law enforcement associations announced their joint endorsement of Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves for the position of Interim D.A. They issued the following statement, this week:
“We have either met or are very familiar with all five finalists for the interim District Attorney position. We watched yesterday’s Board of Supervisors public forum and have read the applicants’ platforms and listened to input from our members.
“The work of fighting and prosecuting crime is ongoing. An interim District Attorney must be experienced and ready to step into the position and function effectively immediately. We believe there is one clear choice ready to lead the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office at this critical moment, and that choice is Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves.
“County Supervisors have also expressed their desire to appoint an interim District Attorney who can hit the ground running, and Paul Graves is uniquely ready as someone who already knows how to lead other prosecutors. He has supervised both the Homicide Unit and the Family Violence units with distinction – two of the toughest units in the DA’s office.
“Paul Graves’ extensive experience also makes him the best choice for improving public safety. As law enforcement officers, we know that our ability to protect and serve our communities is greatly strengthened by the experienced, seasoned judgement that Paul Graves will bring as a prosecutor with 22 years of experience right here in Contra Costa County. He has tried over 70 jury trials and prosecuted two capital cases, and over the course of that career he has worked extensively with our colleagues in law enforcement to build strong cases and fight for justice for the victims of crime.
“We have witnessed Paul Graves’ commitment to preventative justice that reduces incarceration rates. At each step in his career, Paul Graves has taken a proactive approach to crime prevention that emphasizes youth and community engagement and other preventative measures as evidenced by his support of the Children’s Interview Center and especially his leadership in the fight against human trafficking in Contra Costa.
“We encourage everyone who hasn’t had the benefit of our years of working with Paul Graves to read his application for interim District Attorney. There you will see the thoughtful, experienced, professional that we’ve come to know and respect.
“One last important point. The law enforcement officers we represent share a ’24-7’ full-time commitment to public safety. We know Paul Graves is a prosecutor who shares that dedication. We’ve been able to count on him over the years for counsel and advice on any case at any time, day or night. We believe that character and commitment is what the people of Contra Costa will value most in Paul Graves. He’s a ‘24/7’ leader who is fully committed to serving the people with dedication and integrity at all times.
“We stand ready to fully support Paul Graves as interim District Attorney. We hope the Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa will support him as well. The events of the last few months have led us to this critical moment, and Paul Graves is the experienced, trusted prosecutor who is ready to meet that moment and move all of us forward.”
Antioch POA, Brentwood POA, Clayton POA, Concord PA, Contra Costa Co DA Investigators Assn., Contra Costa Co Deputy Sheriffs Assn. (County Probation, Orinda, Lafayette, Danville Officers), El Cerrito PA, Hercules POA, Martinez POA, Moraga POA, Oakley POA, Pinole PEA, Pleasant Hill PA, Richmond POA, San Pablo PEA, San Ramon POA, and Walnut Creek PA.
Graves is one of five finalists who have applied for the appointment by the Board of Supervisors which is expected to make their choice at either their Sept. 12 or 19 meetings.
On August 22, 2017, at about 3:50 PM, Deputy Sheriffs responded to the area of 500 Camino Diablo Road in Byron, for a report of a dead body.
Avila, also known as Lilli, was discovered in the roadway. She was a resident of San Francisco and was last seen by friends in the evening hours of August 18, 2017. She told friends she planned to travel to Contra Costa County.
Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance, in particular with the path Avila may have taken as she traveled from San Francisco to Contra Costa County.
Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600 or call the anonymous tip lines at (925) 313-1166 or (866) 846-3592. Tips can also be emailed to:email@example.com.
Today, Wednesday, August 30, 2017, The Salvation Army will send Hayward Corps officer Capt. John Kelley and Antioch Corps officers Capt. Randy and Major Sheryl Clarke to assist the Hurricane Harvey scene in Texas. The officers will provide emotional and spiritual care in areas where Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services teams are located. They are scheduled to be in Texas through September 12.
The Salvation Army has had more than 50 canteens (mobile kitchens) deployed to the affected areas in Texas. As of Monday evening, 6,288 meals, 7,162 snacks, and 5,664 drinks have been provided to evacuees and first responders.
Both Kelley and the Clarkes are familiar working in emergency disaster scenes. The officers worked together at the Clayton Fire (2016) and Valley Fire (2015) in Lake County. They handled meal services, along with emotional and spiritual care.
Monetary donations are only needed at this time. The Salvation Army uses 100% of disaster donations in support of local disaster relief operations.
To give, visit www.helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donations by mail may be designated “Hurricane Harvey” and sent to:
The Salvation Army
P.O. BOX 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301
In-kind donations are not currently being accepted outside the disaster area. However, these gifts are vitally important to your local Salvation Army. To give items locally, visit www.SATruck.com or call 1-800-SA-TRUCK.
Moving to his ranch in Northern California; council expected to appoint replacement through 2018
By Allen Payton
The City of Brentwood announced on Monday that Vice Mayor Steve Barr will resign from the City Council effective September 8, 2017. Vice Mayor Barr submitted his letter of resignation dated August 28, 2017 to the City Clerk, identifying September 8th as his last day as Vice Mayor.
With this announcement, the City Council will begin discussion on how to fill this vacancy at the September 12, 2017 City Council meeting.
VBarr was elected as a City Council Member on November 2, 2010 and served as the Vice Mayor 2010-2012 and 2016-current. Additionally, he has most recently served on City Council Committees such as the Agriculture Enterprise, Land Use and Development, Fire and Medical Services ad hoc, Budget and Finance, and the Police Activities League.
His term expires November 2018 requiring the City Council to address filling the vacancy until the next regular election in November 2018.
In a letter to Mayor Bob Taylor and the other council members on Monday, Barr wrote the following:
“My wife and I have called Brentwood home for the last 37 years and as you may know we have recently sold our home and have been living with friends while we search for a new residence. Since the sale of our home we have taken a vacation for some much-needed time off and used that time to explore all our options moving into retirement, after careful consideration we have made the difficult decision to relocated to far northern California.”
“In the coming weeks, I will be permanently relocating and it is with heavy heart that I must resign my position as Vice Mayor,” he continued. “I take comfort in knowing that the leadership team of Mayor Taylor, Council Member Joel Bryant, Councilmember Claudette Staton and Councilmember Karen Rarey with the support by an incredible city staff will keep Brentwood moving forward with the best yet to come for our residents.”
When reached for comment Mayor Bob Taylor said, “I was a little taken aback. I wasn’t prepared for it.”
“There was no explanation other than to sell their home and move up north,” he continued. “It was kind of a jolt to me. But I wish him well.”
Asked if he expected to appoint someone to fill the council vacancy, Taylor responded, “We’ll do an appointment. Here’s what I’d like the process to be. Instead of spending $100,000 on an election see whoever is going to be appointed go through an appointment process.”
Barr served as a Trustee on the Liberty Union High School District first as an appointed member from 2005-06 and then was elected in 2006. He served on the school board until 2010 when he was elected to the City Council. Barr ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2012 against Taylor. He was re-elected to the council in 2014 and then jumped into the race for County Supervisor for District 3, last year. Barr made it into the run-off besting four other opponents in the June Primary, but lost in the November election to Diane Burgis.
Barr mentioned some of the changes during his time living in the community.
“We came to Brentwood following our dream to raise our family in a small town that’s [sic] residents committed to making their community a great place to live and valued the local heritage that makes Brentwood so special,” he wrote. “Much has changed from when we first moved to Brentwood, there are signalized intersections where there were only stop signs, Highway 4 is now on the west side of town and we have more than one grocery store to choose from to name a few. The one thing that has remain unchanged is the small town feel and the commitment to the community by our residents and leaders.”
Rarey offered her thoughts on Barr’s resignation, “He’s got a ranch. He’s been doing lots of work up there. Every time I see him he’s been coming back into town. I think they thought their home was going to take longer to sell.”
“It will go to the council on Sept 12 and the council will have to make a decision to go for a special election in June or appoint,” she stated regarding the council vacancy. “Hopefully, we’ll make a decision that night and be able to move forward.”
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) on Monday released the following statement after the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District revealed that an internal audit, overdue by three years, found $6.2 million in operating funds that Fire Board members apparently did not know existed.
“While East Contra Costa Fire Protection District’s discovery of an additional $6.2 million is positive news for residents, it also raises some very troubling questions. I am pleased that my East County constituents will be better protected in the short term with unexpected new funds to improve fire service. But I ask the following: How did the District not know it had $6.2 million in surplus funds – especially when it had repeatedly asked residents to increase their taxes to pay for improved fire service?
The discovery of these funds, while it does represent a sizable percentage of the District’s yearly operating budget, does nothing to solve ECCFPD’s long-term funding problem. All of us who call East County home have been and continue to be concerned about keeping families and property safe. As an East County resident and as your representative in the State Assembly, I authored AB 898 as one method of identifying funds to improve fire safety and emergency medical response – a solution that did not rely in any way on raising taxes. I can see that there is much more work to be done to get the District’s finances stabilized and on track. Given this revelation, I am placing a hold at this time on moving AB 898 forward.
I will remain open to helping ECCFPD any way I am able once we know more about what this audit found, and what future mandated audits may find, in order to evaluate and reassess the district’s financial situation.”
The District has corrected financial mistakes
At a special meeting on Monday, August 28, the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District’s Finance Committee received a proposed final budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 that includes an additional $6.2 million from the budget approved by the board on June 5.
The District identified the underreporting of the starting fund balance based on financial information contained in the recently completed external audit of the Fiscal Year 2014-15 budget. Ongoing discussions with Contra Costa County Auditor Robert Campbell and his staff further clarified the results, and the audit was accepted by the District Board of Directors on August 7, 2017.
Through further inquiry, the District has determined that the underreporting resulted from an incomplete transition of District funds and financial operations from Contra Costa County to the District, dating back to late 2014-early 2015. As a result, carry over funding was understated in each of the following years, compounding the problem.
“This is a frustrating situation for all involved, but it would be much worse if the District had lower-than-expected funds rather than higher,” said Board President and Brentwood Councilman Joel Bryant. “The Board and staff of the District have done the best they can to serve our community despite being dramatically underfunded and understaffed. I wish the newly discovered funds meant we could proceed with an expanded service model beyond the three stations we have now to protect nearly 249 square miles and 115,000 residents, but access to these ‘found’ monies is not a long-term solution for the District. I look forward to working with the Board and our constituents on a plan for how to put these one-time funds to their most worthy use in service to our community.”
Auditor Robert Campbell added, “My staff and I will continue to work with and assist the District to finalize its financial transition from the County.”
The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District is grateful for the assistance of its auditor at Maze & Associates, Contra Costa County Auditor-Controller Robert Campbell and his staff, and the finance staff from the City of Brentwood for their help in identifying, confirming, quantifying and correcting the error.
Fellow motorcyclists leave scene before CHP arrives
Saturday night, August 26, 2017 at about 8:28 pm, Contra Costa CHP was advised of a traffic collision on the southbound lanes of SR-160 at the Wilbur Avenue on-ramp. Upon CHP and emergency personnel arrival, the male rider of the motorcycle had been ejected into the lanes of traffic on SR-160 and hit by another vehicle. The male rider was pronounced deceased at the scene. The southbound lanes of SR-160 were closed for approximately two hours for the collision investigation while traffic was diverted to the Wilbur Avenue off-ramp.
In the initial investigation and with the help of several witnesses, it appears that the solo male driver of the motorcycle (a 54-year-old male from Brentwood) was traveling on the Wilbur Avenue on-ramp and entering southbound SR-160 with several other motorcyclists. It appears the male rider drove over the gore point on the on-ramp to enter SR-160 and collided with the curb, subsequently ejecting him from his motorcycle. He was catapulted into the lanes of southbound traffic where he was struck by another vehicle, while his motorcycle continued into the lanes of traffic as well and was also struck by another vehicle. The rider was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The other vehicles that were involved in this collision stopped and remained at the scene. But the reported other motorcyclists riding with the 54-year-old man left the scene prior to CHP and emergency personnel arrival and have not been located.
At this time, it is unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor in this collision but it’s still under investigation. If anyone witnessed this collision or the events leading up to it on Wilbur Avenue, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez, (925) 646-4980, and Investigating Officer T. Johnson.