NewsCovering Kern County


Cal City Grand Jury report reveals scathing details

Posted at 4:49 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 23:07:58-04

The Kern County Grand Jury put out a new grand jury report on California City and government officials there with some scathing details. The report also comes during a time when the city could be facing brutal cuts for their police and fire departments.

At least 50 interviews were conducted to better understand the problems brought up about the city.

The report says the Mayor and council members met with the previous City Manager Tom Weil on a weekly basis to inquire into city business, which would be a violation of the Brown Act.

The fire department told the Grand Jury that the city has over 500 commercial buildings, most of which need inspections.

The report also says city employees were harassed by supervisors at work and were written up for what appear to be "minor details."

The report says eight out of 21 employees said they have filed a complaint about the working conditions there.

Other report details include the city lacking transparency with the Mayor and council members' city contact information not being readily available, the website not being up-to-date with photos or contact information and city council meeting minutes not being approved in a timely manner.

It was also verified that a number of emails from city employees to other employees have disappeared from the server. 

It's unclear how many funds have been receipted for the cannabis businesses. Close to 185 applications have been submitted with applicants paying some fees.

The Grand Jury report states that "the city government is in need of guided directions. It appears that many employees and council members believe they are in full control of the city business. But actually personal bias appears to be in charge of the city."

The report recommends that the Mayor and council members stop meeting outside of scheduled city council meetings, should approve minutes in a timely manner, should archive all emails, should hire an outside firm to audit financial reports of the past two years and should receive a training on how to be better leaders.

At Tuesday's city council meeting, councilman Eugene Stump said City Manager Bob Stockwell has 90 days to review the report. He said the city plans on refuting the report, and that there are "errors and inaccuracies."