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Yet another Grand Jury report about Sac County Covid failure

It's no secret that Sacramento County failed miserably at using federal Covid-19 relief funds for the designated purpose. Consider parks: the Governor issued a Covid Executive Order for people to stay home. But he added that people should exercise in their local parks. And that's just what people did. All across our region, local parks were busy with walkers, joggers, playground users and dog-walkers. Local park maintenance crews were stressed by loss of program revenues (no public gatherings, remember?), extra trash pick-ups, sanitation tasks and Covid impacts on staffs. The feds, recognizing the problems, gave CARES Act money to states to distribute to local governments - primarily to cities and counties (eventually with a small share for special districts) for public health staff, first responders and essential workers like park maintenance people.

Cities (like Citrus Heights) tended to spread the money around through their various departments that had risen to the occasion to keep things rolling during the pandemic - like, say, their rec and park departments. Counties in California did a variety of things - usually for purposes for which the money was intended (Kern County was the only county in the state that passed funds through to local park districts.) - but not always. Among the leaders in deceitful use of covid-relief money was our own Board of Supervisors. Earlier this year the Grand Jury issued a scathing report about the County's failure, noting that the County undermined faith in government by shovelling most of its $181M covid-relief money to the Sheriff. The County was given an opportunity to respond.

May contain: person, human, furniture, table, flag, symbol, and indoors
According to the Grand Jury and the Superior Court Judge, these people dropped the ball

Naturally, the County said it wasn't to blame. In return, as reported in the Bee (Michael McGough, "Sacramento County's COVID spending blasted again by Grand Jury", Sacramento Bee, o6/o8/2022), the Grand Jury issued ANOTHER report, a Status Review that called baloney on the County. The County could have responded with, "We admit we made a mistake. We're sorry. What can we do to make it up to you?" But, no, that's not how they roll.

The Board’s apparent refusal to acknowledge any deficiencies will leave the
County ill-prepared and vulnerable to the next inevitable public emergency.
Sacramento County Superior Court Press release, 06/07/2022 {}

Presiding Judge Michael Bowman agreed with the Grand Jury's Status Review about the Board of Supervisors opting to dodge and deflect. The County isn't required to respond to the Grand Jury's status report. But, wait, you say, shouldn't the County act ethically and transparently in the interest of the public it serves? Hahaha! Or, as texters say, ROTFLMAO. In the interest of fairness, though, we would be happy to have Board of Supervisor Chairman Nottoli tell his side of the story in the Opinions section of our blog.

Somewhat related to this story, the primary beneficiary of the County's mis-use of CARES Act funding, retiring Sheriff Scott Jones, had his aspirations for higher office dashed in yesterday's election. And his hand-picked successor appears to be losing his bid to take over the reins. Karma?


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