◼ FPPC opens investigation into Leo Sears' allegations about the Harbor District, FPPC also rules that Greg Dale can use campaign funds for this civil lawsuit - John Chiv/Words Worth
◼ Harbor district seeks to dismiss conflict of interest lawsuit - Will Houston/Times-Standard 11/06/15,
◼ Suit alleges conflict of interest in Harbor District vote - Times-Standard
Eureka resident and longtime taxpayers advocate Leo Sears filed a civil lawsuit on Monday alleging the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District violated state law when its board of commissioners voted to accept a $1.25 million loan from Coast Seafoods Co. to clean up hazardous waste at the district’s former Samoa pulp mill site and to extend the company’s tideland lease of more than 1,400 acres.◼ Harbor Board President: Conflict of Interest Lawsuit ‘Has No Merit,’ Was Filed to ‘Slander’ Commissioner - Richard Marks, Harbor Commissioner/Lost Coast Outpost 10/8/15
The lawsuit names 2nd Division Commissioner Greg Dale — who is running for reelection — and alleges there was a conflict of interest with the Coast Seafoods manager serving on the board when the lease extension and loan provisions were made. Dale was absent from the meetings when the decisions took place. The four other commissioners and the district’s executive director are also named in the suit.
◼ LoCOLLOQUY: Leo Sears Writes LoCO About His Lawsuit’s Timing, and of His Alleged Train Non-Buffdom - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost
◼ On the Eve of Harbor District Election, Rail Buffs File Conflict of Interest Suit Against Sitting Commissioner - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost
The suit centers around several contracts between the district and Coast Seafoods, a large seafood company based in Washington. Those contracts include the lease of oyster bed space in Arcata Bay and a processing facility in the former pulp mill in Samoa, which the district acquired two years ago. They include, in addition, a $1.25 million loan that Coast Seafoods gave to the district to help finance the removal of mass quantities of hazardous materials left at the pulp mill site by its former owners.
Sears and Bertain accuse him – and the district generally – of having violated California Government Code Section 1090, which broadly states that local governments may not enter into contracts with the employers or businesses of those elected officials who serve on the local government’s board, if the board member in question can be said to have benefited financially from the contract.