SACRAMENTO (CN) – The County of Sacramento and eight officials in its Municipal Service Agency took $500,000 in de facto bribes, disguised as “charitable donations” to the defendants’ “Red Tag Breakfast Club,” from whose account the money disappeared, a former building inspector claims in Superior Court. He claims the officials gave the “donors” special treatment in inspections, and intimidated witnesses to the corruption.
Plaintiff Jack Nichols says he was a supervising building inspector for the country from 1999 to 2006. In that time, he says, he became aware that “building inspectors employed by the defendant County and their Building Inspection Division were providing favorable treatment of the subjects of building inspections in consideration of a donation paid by the inspection subjects to a ‘charity’ allegedly operated by the inspectors known as the Red Tag Breakfast Club; that building inspectors employed by the defendant County received hundreds of thousands of dollars of ‘donations’ in cash and other valuable property in exchange for favorable treatment during building inspections conducted by the inspectors; that large amounts of the cash and other property collected by building inspectors in exchange for favorable treatment during building inspections conducted by them, constituting a total value of approximately five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) went missing and unaccounted for”.
Nichols claims the defendants spent the money on themselves and that “persons employed by the county were used to intimidate witnesses and to frustrate a public reporting of the illegal activities”.
Nichols claims public money intended to be used in the Very Low Income Housing Fund administered by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency was misused to help develop commercial real estate, through a condemnation process that cheated the property owners.
And Nichols says he was fired for objecting to the corruption and reporting it.
Defendants include the County, its Municipal Services Agency (MSA) Administrator Cheryl Creson, former Director of County Engineering Steven Pedretti, former Deputy County Counsel Keith Floyd, former MSA personnel director Georgia Cochran, former MSA engineering director Carl Mosher, former MSA Building Department chief Thor Lude, former MSA Chief Building Official Harold Bixler, and former MSA Building Permit manager John Hallimore.