By Donna Westfall – March 1, 2020
Hands down, no contest, incumbent Supervisor of the 5th District, Bob Berkowitz, has our endorsement.
His opponent, Kevin Hendricks, has a cloud over his head from his days as Executive Director at the Del Norte County Solid Waste Authority (DNSWMA, aka transfer station aka the dump). In July 2013, Hendricks took early retirement with a 3 month severance package. At issue was $29,000 of missing funds. No one was ever charged or found guilty of the missing money, however, Hendricks as Executive Director, was ultimately responsible.
According to local resident Wes Nunn, there were some major discrepancies in the finances at the DNSWMA while Kevin Hendrick was the Director. Mr. Nunn was on the Del Norte Solid Waste Task Force for years, as well as serving on an ad hoc committee appointed by Mike Sullivan to review certain items.
Prior to that, Mr. Nunn was employed by Macy’s Stores for ten years as a loss prevention agent. Mr. Nunn says, “At Macy’s we did numerous audits that help detect shortages and embezzlement. I applied my background knowledge and training to the DNSWMA and found major discrepancies between the readings at the local transfer station scale and the scale at White City, Oregon where our trash is disposed of. The key is in the arbitrary amounts that are claimed as being taken out for recycling, which are wholly unaccounted for.”
Mr. Nunn went on to report that, “I was on the Task Force a few more years after Kevin Hendrick was pushed into leaving the DNSWMA. When I ran the more recent numbers, there was a drastic increase in revenue, approximately $90,000 a year increase when Hendrick left. This sharp discrepancy was consistent over a five year period. It gives the appearance of good ol’ fashioned embezzlement”
Mr. Nunn made it clear that the secretary/bookkeeper at the time may have had some culpability for the discrepancies, but that the ultimate responsibility for such discrepancies was the Director, Kevin Hendrick.
Mr. Nunn added, “I kept this information to help defend the County just in case Hendrick might sue the County. I never dreamed he would have the audacity to run for supervisor. At this point I’m going to turn all the information over to our local Grand Jury for their consideration, whether Hendrick wins the supervisor race or not. We can’t afford not to know more about the discrepancies concerning someone who might become one of our next supervisors.”
Finally, Mr. Nunn added that, “This would have been reported on the KFUG news except that Hendrick threatened to sue KFUG for defamation. Hendrick is more than welcome to try to threaten me with a law suit, if he’s that foolish. I’m not intimidated by threats. The truth provides a full defense against suits for defamation. I would look forward to airing this out in a public forum on permanent court record.