Friday, June 24, 2011

Clendenen cleared of conflict of interest complaint

UPDATE:Clendenen cleared of conflict of interest complaint; FPPC said there is 'insufficient evidence'
The Fair Political Practices Commission has cleared 2nd District Supervisor Clif Clendenen on allegations of a potential conflict of interest with his seat on the railroad authority.

The commission sent a letter, dated June 15, to Fortuna resident John Pelletier, who filed the complaint earlier this month. The letter stated, “after review by staff, it was determined that this complaint does not contain sufficient evidence to allege a violation of the Political Reform Act's conflict of interest provisions.”

According to a copy of the original complaint, Pelletier argued that Clendenen is violating the act by being a partner in his family business, Clendenen's Cider Works, which is located within 500 feet of the rail line the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) makes decisions on.

”It seems a victory for Mr. Clendenen for now,” Pelletier said Thursday. He did not elaborate on his concerns.

Clendenen has served on the NCRA since 2009. The orchard property, which is owned by Clendenen's mother, is adjacent to the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority route.

”It seemed without merit, and I'm glad the FPPC concurs,” Clendenen said on Thursday.


  1. Gosh. What a shocker.

  2. Seems Clif and Eric are confused. It was dismissed on lack of evidence, not merit. A brush up on reading comp skill are needed by both.

  3. Clif's mom owns the property.

    California law states that, absent an exception, a public official may not make, participate in making or in any way attempt to use his or her official position to influence a governmental decision in which he or she knows or has reason to know he or she has a financial interest. The following official attempted to use his official position to influence a governmental decision in which he had a financial interest:

    Dendra Dengler, a member of the Board of Directors for the Manila Community Services District, made a governmental decision in which she had a financial interest. $4,000 fine.

    Cases are strangely similar.

  4. In the vote of TAM to give SMART money last night. One of the board members sat out because of their land might be affected by the use of the NWP railroad by SMART. Same railroad, different ideas of conflict of interest.

  5. Seems Clif and Eric are confused. It was dismissed on lack of evidence, not merit. A brush up on reading comp skill are needed by both.

    I don't know how to say this without seeming condescending. All claims, whether criminal, civil, or administrative, have their merits based upon evidence. Without evidence of wrongdoing or cause, there is no merit.

    The Commission did have evidence. The evidence was that the apple orchard is near the railroad tracks. That was not deemed evidence which gave the claim merit.

    It was a BS attempt at political intimidation, and it failed.

  6. That implies that there is some value to somebody for Clif to stay on (or off) there, Eric... does it not? So, is there? Or isn't there? Does Clif believe in the railroad? Or not?

    Seems to me, if everyone is so gung-ho to destroy it - it ought to be disbanded, and forfeit the right of way.

    But - I just don't get the "progressive" mindset. Since you all profess to care about too many cars on the road, you'd think rail would be an obvious "green" choice, but, no.

    One would think that we would want people on that commission/committee who CARE about getting the rail line back up. It was a community asset.

  7. What "somebody" wanted was a guarantee vote against rail-banking on the fear that it would permanently remove any option for the railroad at any time in the future because the trail option would become politically vested. Clif, like most sensible people, supports a railroad if it is ever practical. But given the extreme amount of money it would take to maintain the railroad through the Eel River Valley, it appears that there are some local interests who would benefit from a railroad who want the rest of the country to subsidize them.

    Nobody is "gung-ho" to destroy anything. I'd support rails all over the country in lieu of freeways for my part. But I also don't want land to remain idle which might be put to other productive uses while we wait for the pipe dream to arrive.

    The bottom line is that there is an element which hates the trail proposals because of the cultural shift they represent, and the opposition to the rail banking on that basis is simply irrational. Hence irrational petty tactics such as the bogus complaint.


Comments are open, but moderated, for the time-being. Good luck.