Wednesday, June 5, 2013

El Dorado County Supervisor Free On $55,000 Bail For Felony Charges Related To Brush Burning

Supervisor's troubles mount over wildfire work


El Dorado County Supervisor Ray Nutting is facing legal problems related to brush removal. He was arrested last week on felony charges for allegedly collecting more than $70,000 in state brush-clearing grants, failing to recuse himself from votes awarding contracts to agencies that distribute the funds and failing to list the income on conflict-of-interest disclosure forms.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/02/5464902/supervisors-troubles-mount-over.html#storylink=cpy

Ray Nutting faces felony charges over his reporting of state income.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/02/5464316/cal-fire-to-bill-el-dorado-supervisor.html#storylink=cpy



Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/02/5464902/supervisors-troubles-mount-over.html#storylink=cpy

California forestry officials plan to bill a four-term supervisor from El Dorado County for the cost of fighting a wildfire he allegedly caused while clearing brush on his family's timber ranch with state funds.
The Sacramento Bee reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/12XyfYm) that the Jan. 21 fire was the fourth blaze that state crews had responded to on Supervisor Ray Nutting's 340-acre property since 2001 and that three of them happened on days when brush burning was banned to prevent air pollution.
Nutting, 53, also is facing legal problems related to brush removal. He was arrested last week on felony charges for allegedly collecting more than $70,000 in state brush-clearing grants, failing to recuse himself from votes awarding contracts to agencies that distribute the funds and failing to list the income on conflict-of-interest disclosure forms.
District Attorney Vern Pierson said the grants constituted taking taxpayer funds for personal use.
Nutting, who is free on $55,000 bail, is expected to continue his duties on the Board of Supervisors.
His defense lawyer, David Weiner, said Nutting only made some innocent paperwork mistake.
"He's a farmer. He's not a paper guy," Weiner said. "Everything he did was approved by Cal Fire. They inspected the work, and they approved the payment. That's why I am saying this is horse puckey. He will never be convicted by a jury."
The Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention has not decided how much it plans to charge Nutting for the January fire, but The Bee says the five-acre blaze required 20 firefighters and 45 prison inmates to put out. No one was injured and no structures were damaged.
State fire officials have grown increasingly weary of fighting fires caused by burn piles on Nutting's ranch over the years," according to reports and emails obtained by the newspaper. After the last one, a battalion chief wrote an incident report describing the blazes as "an annual event" and the supervisor as "a pain in the rear."
Along with this year's fire, Cal Fire crews have dealt with fires caused by brush-burning at Nutting's property in 2001, 2002 and 2009. An investigation of the first two revealed that he did not have enough water available to perform the work safely.
Nutting has told the forestry department that his timber ranch had become a "money pit" and that being forced to reimburse the state for the cost of fighting the fire would "put my family's financial stability at risk."




Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/02/5464902/supervisors-troubles-mount-over.html#storylink=cpy
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