Recuse Thyself Bob Stadum!
Hi-Desert Water Director Conflicted….again!
Yucca Valley, Ca.-At the December 8th joint meeting of the Hi-Desert Water District and the Town of Yucca Valley Town Council, HDWD CFO/YV Mayor Pro-tem Luckino was seated with Staff and HDWD Director Bob Stadum was not sitting on the dais. I did not hear any statement given for his absence but the reason may be this meeting was to discuss the Wastewater Treatment plant, outreach and updates. Items that would have required Director Stadum to recuse himself, leave the dais and wait outside in the hallway since he has several real estate interests and owns properties as a Builder/Developer presenting a conflict of interest.
Earlier in the year, at a March 17, 2010 meeting, Director Stadum sat during the entire presentation on the dais, in defiance to my reminder during public comments, he is required to recuse himself during the Wastewater presentation of the Step-Steg alternative to the gravity flow system because he had a conflict of interest.
At that March meeting, President Sarann Graham stated Stadum could remain seated because John Brown, HDWD attorney from Best Best & Krieger, was not in attendance to reconfirm to the Board that Stadum’s known conflict of interest required him to leave the dais.
As I see it, it certainly was not President Sarann Graham’s decision to determine a director’s conflict of interest, unless she is practicing law on the side having recently passed her bar exam. HDWD President Graham gave Stadum some wrong advice on this situation having full knowledge of his ownership in properties as a developer.
During a recent conversation with CFO/Mayor Pro-tem Frank Luckino, he informed me John Brown’s advice to Director Stadum was to recuse himself from any and all Wastewater agenda items including presentations, discussions and voting.
I guess Director Bob Stadum is not going to let a little thing like “Conflict of Interest” dictate to him, having been recently fined $3,000.00 by the Fair Political Practice Commission for his conflict of interest and ignoring a previous FPPC warning letter.
Here are the links to previous stories on this matter:
At the past Board of Directors’ regular meeting of December 15, 2010, Director Stadum recused himself from voting on item # B, the Wastewater Demand list, as per Attorney John Brown’s advice.
When agenda item # 7 was announced to present the Assessment District Engineer’s Report detailing Sewer Assessment costs, Director Bob Stadum recused himself, left the dais after announcing he owned several lots. Very good. But wait! He then proceeded to sit in the audience?
I do not understand why he chose to stay in the audience during agenda item # 8 concerning the Wastewater Outreach and Stakeholder Involvement Plan instead of leaving the room and going out into the hall during these agenda items.
I sent an email to Doug Haubert, attorney for the Town of Yucca Valley earlier this year asking what is the law regarding where a recused public official should go after stepping down from the dais. He replied:
“There is no specific state law on where to go if you are disqualified. If anyone does need to recuse himself or herself, any place out of the room should be fine.”
Here it is, plain and simple for our elected officials:
1. Recuse Thyself
2. State the reason(s)
3. Leave the dais
4. Leave the room
5. Wait outside the room
I hereby certify under penalty of perjury the above stated facts are true to the best of my recollection. Additionally, DVD’s are available for your review from Pro-Video to confirm these facts.