Sun. May 19th, 2024

By Investigative Reporter, Linda Sutter – April 19, 2024

In a recent court appearance at Del Norte Superior Court, tensions flared as Crescent City Harbor District’s actions came under scrutiny. Tim Petrick, an employee of the Harbor District, had filed a temporary restraining order against Pat Leonard Franklin, sparking controversy and legal proceedings.

Representing Petrick was Harbor Counsel, Dylin Gunzel, who made a significant journey from Riverside County to stand in court. The genesis of this legal battle stems from a brief speech delivered by Franklin on March 6, 2024. In his address, Franklin referred to Petrick in derogatory terms, igniting a series of events that have now landed in court.

Allegations surfaced that Chair of the Harbor Commission, Harry Adams, had infringed upon Franklin’s Civil Liberties by repeatedly instructing him to cease is speech and vacate the premises. Franklin brought concerns to Adams regarding conversations he had overheard among fishermen and park residents. However, rather than addressing these concerns directly, Adams relayed the information to Petrick, who purportedly construed it as a threat to his personal safety.

Petrick‘s Declaration detailed his purported fear of Franklin, to the extent that it allegedly hindered his ability to fulfill his duties within the Harbor District.

During the Court room hearing, the Honorable Judge McElfresh intervened, removing the temporary restraining order and scheduling a new hearing on May 6, 2024, to fully contest the restraining order.

It is pertinent to note that Pat Leonard Franklin is a retired veteran grappling with a hearing disability and has no history of violent behavior. Meanwhile, Tim Petrick’s past legal entanglements have also come under scrutiny, notably a felony DUI charge that was ultimately resolved with a misdemeanor plea.

The unfolding events have sparked debate within the community, raising questions about the appropriate use of legal action in addressing grievances and the protection of free speech rights within public forums.  As the case unfolds, it remains to be seen how the Crescent City Harbor District will navigate these turbulent waters. 

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