NOTE BY EDITOR, Donna Westfall: This goes hand-in-glove with my article, Grand Jury System Broken? published March 23, 2013.
Dated Friday, December 5, 2014
TO: Judge William Follett
Subject: The Grand Jury
I have waited a few days to collect my thoughts and have decided to contact you directly to express my extreme disappointment and utter dismay re: my recent visit to the Del Norte County Grand Jury. I was asked, not subpoenaed, to appear before the Grand Jury Tuesday, December 2 to answer questions with regard to the operations of the Del Norte County Solid Waste Management Authority where I currently serve as the Authority’s Chairman. I was not asked to take an oath which I presume the Jury would want to know, under oath, I was telling the truth. I was told by Jury Foreman Tod Roy no prior preparation was required. Also, I signed a confidentially agreement. I was prompt in showing up for scheduled 2 pm appointment.
When initially told by Dr. Roy I would be there for as long as three hours, I was a bit taken back as no such time frame was presented to me prior to the meeting. It became apparent to me within a short time questions asked of me were absent of question marks, and the Jury was promulgating an agenda defending the status quo and challenging my mission to improve the product and save consumers money. Much to my dismay, it became apparent the Jury was not a mission of truth but was on a mission of ideology. Grand Juror Paula was grossly inappropriate when I questioned one of her questions, and she retorted in a bully mentality, “we ask the questions, here.” I almost walked out at this juncture when confronted with her inappropriate behavior, but reconsidered. If the only criterion to sit on the Grand Jury is to be a citizen of Del Norte County, perhaps your office should re-examine its entire criteria protocol to sit on the Grand Jury. This Grand Juror in my opinion is ill-suited to sit on this prestigious Jury and bring dis-repute to the Jury. Similarly, Dr. Roy, as the foreman, is ill-suited to sit on the Jury. His questions were brought with editorial statement, reflecting an ideology which was neither objective or neutral. Unless, I am subpoenaed, accompanied by legal counsel, I will NEVER voluntarily appear before the Grand Jury as long as Dr. Tod Roy sits as its foreman.
Of the five grand jurors “interrogating” me, one woman never spoke. Jurors Waldvogel and Webb displayed at least the appearance of listening to my answers. The others gave me the impression they could care less about my responses.
With no regard to the theft of $29,000 of public funds, the Jury does not believe any theft occurred and marginalized the loss as only $9,000. When I asked where they heard this information, I was met with the inappropriate, “we ask the questions” comment from one grand Juror. At least two grand jurors made statement of fact comments that Auditor-Controller Clinton Shaad and DNSWMA treasurer, Richard Taylor, ultimately discovered $20,000 of the missing monies, mitigating the losses as only $9,000. I know the statements attributed to those individuals to be incorrect yet they were nonetheless stated as factual by Dr. Roy and Grand Juror Paula.
Judge Follett, you stated our government is of…for…and by the people. Sadly, I did not see the intent of your words taken with any degree of humility or understanding by Dr. Roy and the other four Jurors present,
Regretfully, I am
Supervisor District 1