More DACHA Charges: Claims That City Attorney Omits DACHA Docs to AG

housingDavid Thompson of Neighborhood Partners and Twin Pines Cooperative, and one of the principals that have filed a lawsuit against the City of Davis, is alleging new improprieties this week.

In a statement sent late last night, Mr. Thompson alleges, “63% of the testimony provided to the City of Davis by Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation (TPCF), Neighborhood Partners (NP) and other parties for the DACHA Dissolution Hearing were omitted by the City Attorney from submission to the California Attorney General.”

The 57 documents containing 420 pages of testimony contain some of the most critical testimony relating to the DACHA board and membership and the role of city staff, Mr. Thompson alleged.  These missing pages allegedly include all the rent rolls, all the minutes of board and membership meetings and most of the evidences of wrongdoing and alleged illegal actions by DACHA and city staff.

Due to the late receipt of this statement by Mr. Thompson, the Vanguard was unable to talk to City Attorney Harriet Steiner directly.  However, The Davis Enterprise has run a story today and Ms. Steiner denies all charges.

She claims that the city did send all documents they had received.

“The city sent every single piece of paper to the attorney general,” Ms. Steiner told the Enterprise. “We sent everything that was part of that hearing transcript to the attorney general.”

“[We] put together everything that was involved in the hearing process, including all of the things that were submitted by David [Thompson],” she added.

David Thompson, on behalf of both Twin Pines Coopeartive and Neighborhood Partners, filed a public records request with the city asking for a copy of all documents that were sent to the Attorney General’s Office as part of the Dissolution Hearing.

“The City Clerk’s office provided us with a CD containing their official submission. We assume that the City Attorney supervised assembling this package,” Mr. Thompson said.

When they went through all of the documents and compared the lists of documents that the City Clerk provided, they noticed a discrepancy.

“There is, of course, slight room for error and we have no idea of what documents were sent to the City by others who did not copy us so it is more likely we have an undercount rather than an overcount,” Mr. Thompson said.

He added, “Nonetheless, at this time our records show that a total of 57 documents were omitted comprising 420 pages.”

Mr. Thompson told the Vanguard, “Without having these missing documents the Attorney General is completely prevented from having the evidence and proof of the eligibility and validity of: membership votes, board of director votes, legal quorums, improperly called meetings, self-dealing transactions, illegal loans, and numerous other acts which are at the heart of the two lawsuits against DACHA and the City.”

He adds, “The omission of these critical documents from the package required by state law to be sent to the Attorney General is a grave act that does a great injustice to the rights of Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation and Neighborhood Partners. It is a direct breaking of the requirements of state law (AB 1246).”

Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation and Neighborhood Partners LLC filed two formal protests with the Davis City Council in which they cited the “conflict of interest” of the City Attorney and City staff running the dissolution hearing when their acts are also part of the allegations in the two lawsuits.

“Clearly, our concerns about the improper role and conduct of City staff have once again been validated. Missing documents are a hallmark of the DACHA debacle,” David Thompson told the Vanguard.

Mr. Thompson has escalated matters, requesting that Harriet Steiner be removed from representing the city on these matters, arguing that she herself is a witness in these cases.

“We believe recusal is appropriate, given Harriet Steiner’s active involvement in the DACHA situation and the fact that she is a witness to those events at the city,” Mr. Thompson said, indicating that this has been confirmed during the course of their lawsuit.

He added, “Despite our request thus far, Ms. Steiner has been unwilling to recuse herself.”

According to the Davis Enterprise, Ms. Steiner has no plans to recuse herself.

“I’m not the lead litigation counsel for this,” she told the paper. “But I have no reason to disqualify myself in the case just because they demand it.

She added, “I know they would not like me to be in the litigation because that would help (Thompson) … because I’ve been the city’s attorney throughout this entire issue.”

Last month the City of Davis attempted to go on the record on their side of the DACHA mess.  However, ambiguity and confusion still plagues the city as they claim to have extended an offer. However, it seems that despite well-intentioned efforts of Stephen Souza to settle the matter back in 2010 and to create a framework that all parties could accept, Mr. Souza’s role was clouded in ambiguity, and by leaving Twin Pines out of a the settlement frame work, it was an agreement that the principals could not agree to.

Back in 2009, the Vanguard called for an independent investigation into DACHA to clarify what had occurred.  The problem of a lack of a clear and agreed-upon record remains to this day.

As we saw last month, every stakeholder in the process can point to a document that backs up their viewpoint – whether it is the Arbitrator’s Ruling, the Grand Jury report or the audit, among others.

Back in 2009, the council voted 3-2 against having an independent party look into DACHA.  Stephen Souza and Sue Greenwald were against it, as was Mayor Ruth Asmundson.  Councilmembers Lamar Heystek and Don Saylor voted in favor of the investigation.

That same dynamic seems to hold now as well, as Rochelle Swanson and Dan Wolk have come out in favor of some sort of independent investigation, while the rest of the council has been resistant.  Two of the challenging candidates have indicated some willingness to move forward with an investigation.

The Vanguard remains strongly behind the notion of an independent investigator.  At present, that proposal remains in doubt as the city is reluctant to open their records with pending litigation.

To that end, Mr. Thompson (along with the other principals) has a choice – he can continue to pursue a lawsuit against the city, or he can reach an agreement with the city that could include an independent investigation.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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33 Comments

  1. JustSaying

    [quote]“Last month the city of Davis attempted to go on the record on their side of the DACHA mess. However, ambiguity and confusion still plagues the city as they claim to have extended an officer, however, it seems that despite well-intentioned efforts of Stephen Souza to settle the matter back in 2010 and to create a framework that all parties could accept, Mr. Souza role was clouded in ambiguity and by leaving Twin Pines out of a the settlement frame work, it was an agreement that the principals could not agree to.”[/quote]One of the [quote]Vanguard[/quote]‘s most understated descriptions of a city council event. The “ambiguity” was a problem. However, the falsified documentation was the most shameful incident of the current city council.

    All members of the council signed an op-ed printed in the [u]Enterprise[/u] and the [u]Vanguard[/u], one which libeled the other parties in the lawsuit, apparently attempting to influence the potential jury pool Following that, at least three council members continued the attack in the [i]Vanguard[/i].

    Once the lies were exposed–within a day or so–these courageous op-ed’ers went completely quiet and refused to correct lies or to “clarify” the “ambiguity and confusion.” Interestingly, the name of Harriet Steiner was not shown as an author on any of the libelous documents.

  2. JustSaying

    [quote]“The Vanguard remains strongly behind the notion of an Independent Investigator. At present that proposal remains in doubt as the city is reluctant to open their records with pending litigation.

    To that end, Mr. Thompson (among the other principals) has a choice – he can continue to pursue a lawsuit against the city. Or he can reach an agreement with the city that could include an independent investigation.”[/quote] There has appeared no interest on the part of the city to entertain the [i]Vanguard[/i]’s excellent idea. The only independent evaluation conducted so far was the court-approved arbitration agreed to by the developers and DACHA members. It seriously questioned the way the city handled (or did not handle) its responsibilities with respect to this city-subsidized project.

    While the city had an audit conducted, it was paid for and influenced by the city errors and contained obvious oversights.

    The city’s offer a few weeks ago was a reduction of the of that the current council alleged was made earlier, and did not appear to offer to pay for the developers’ legal fees. The city and the developers should be in constant communication in attempts to settle this. The only winner in this case so far is Harriet Steiner’s legal firm.

    It is in the taxpayer’s interest to have an independent investigation, the sooner, the better. There is no need for David Thompson and the city to come to agreement in order for the city council to find out what happened here. Instead, we proceed willy-nilly with our decades-long, rife with scandal, affordable housing program.

  3. David Thompson

    Dear Vanguard Readers;

    I have at my office the CD that I received from the City Clerk’s office in response to my request to see all of the documents sent to the Attorney General. I have compared that against the documents sent by TPCF, NP and other organizations and people to the City to be included in the Dissolution process.

    There are through our analysis 63 documents composed of 420 pages of testimony that are not on the CD that the City Attorney sent to the Attorney General.

    I invite any Vanguard reader (and of course the Vanguard itself) to make an appointment with me over the next four days through Monday to 5pm. Come to my office and I will show you all the documents for you to see for yourself. It will take about 15 minutes to see the evidence.

    I cannot believe that the City Attorney would respond as she did because with what information we have here she is representing to the public on behalf of the City of Davis that they have provided everything and therefore have not broken state law.

    I will separately invite each of the Council members (and candidates if they wish) to come to my office and see for themselves that what the City Attorney said on their behalf is not correct.

    Call me at 757-2233 to make an appointment.

    David Thompson, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation

  4. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Mr. Thompson told the Vanguard, “Without having these missing documents the Attorney General is completely prevented from having the evidence and proof of the eligibility and validity of: membership votes, board of director votes, legal quorums, improperly called meetings, self-dealing transactions, illegal loans, and numerous other acts which are at the heart of the two lawsuits against DACHA and the City.”

    He adds, “The omission of these critical documents from the package required by state law to be sent to the Attorney General is a grave act that does a great injustice to the rights of Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation and Neighborhood Partners. It is a direct breaking of the requirements of state law (AB 1246).”[/quote]

    CA Civil Code Section 817.2 states very clearly “the city or county shall forward all of the information and written testimony [i][b]from the hearing[/b][/i] to the Office of the Attorney General to consider as part of his or her ruling on the dissolution.” In so far as I am aware, “membership votes, board of director votes, legal quorums, improperly called meetings, self-dealing transactions, illegal loans, and numerous other acts which are at the heart of the two lawsuits against DACHA and the city” were not part of the city hearing. But Mr. Thompson is certainly free to send his entire court file to the Attorney General if he feels so inclined…

  5. Michael Harrington

    David T, send a FOIA to the AG’s office for a copy of what they RECEIVED. Then compare.

    If the Office of the City Clerk had any involvement with what was compiled and submitted, I am sure that the Clerk would not make the mistake.

    If there are missing documents, they would have been omitted or lost between the time the Clerk was done with her notes and exhibits from the hearing, and when they were sent to the AG’s office. WHo touched the file in that time?

  6. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]All members of the council signed an op-ed printed in the Enterprise and the Vanguard, one which libeled the other parties in the lawsuit, apparently attempting to influence the potential jury pool Following that, at least three council members continued the attack in the Vanguard. [/quote]

    I find this a very curious statement. Apparently you feel David Thompson may freely criticize/villify/libel and slander the City and DACHA members to his heart’s content. But when the city or DACHA members try to so much as respond and defend themselves after being completely silent for literally years, somehow that is not fair. You may not agree with the city’s or DACHA’s position, which is fine and certainly your prerogative. But you seem to be implying the city had no right to publish an op-ed piece critical of David Thompson. Had Thompson allowed this mess to be played out in court, and not resorted to telling his own untruths/trying his case in the media, there would have been no need for the city or DACHA members to respond to his nonsense, no?

  7. Michael Harrington

    Just read the DE article about the alleged conflict. I have pointed this out for many years. She should have stood down years ago. I was shocked at the most recent DACHA hearing to see her sitting at staff table, giving the CC advice.

    But I was even more shocked at the CC for asking her for advice, and following it, rather than instructing her to go wait outside during the hearning.

  8. David Thompson

    Micheal: I have here at my office the offical package assembled by the City that was sent to the Attorney General. So what the Attorney General received is the same as what I have.

    Who knows who at the City put the package for the AG together. I have to assume that the City Attorney would have the responsibility for the official package submitted. Where the omissions occurred I do not know but they are clearly identifiable on the records we have. 63% of the submitted documents are missing.

    David Thompson, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation 757-2233

    Make an appointment to see the evidence.

  9. hpierce

    The DE makes no reference to “alleged conflict”, other than to re-iterate David Thompson’s statements. David Thompson clearly has a financial interest. The City Attorney does not. Who has the “conflict”?

  10. JustSaying

    “But you seem to be implying the city had no right to publish an op-ed piece critical of David Thompson.”

    Not at all, Elaine. Anyone has the right to say and write anything she or he wants. I have the right to judge the decision, the content and ask for the reasoning and for additional information. What the private parties say is subject to the same considerations.

    My concern is that our elected leaders somehow were convinced by one or two council members and/or city staff members–apparently with an ax to grind–to do this hit piece. Then, when the truth of it was challenged, one councilman promised to provide documentary proof, but failed to say anything since. David Thompson and others provided the proof that showed that claims in the op-ed were, in fact, not true.

    Two other council members also made quick appearances in the Vanguard shortly after the op-ed, then disappeared from public view as soon as the lies were apparent. It was not only stupid for our council members to challenge someone who is suing the city with this approach, it was wrong for them to fail the public in not even attempting to justify the statements.

    I presume David G. has a public records request in to find our who drafted up this horrendous op-ed.

  11. David Thompson

    Three people have now made appointments to look at the evidence. More are welcome.

    I will also set a time of noon on Monday for people to come to my office. It will take 15 minutes of your time.

    I have invited the City Council members and City Council Candidates to see the evidence.

    I am also inviting citizens to come.

    I have been encouraged to file a complaint with the Grand Jury which I will do.

    David Thompson, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation 757-2233

  12. David Thompson

    Covering up DACHA has cost the citizens of Davis a lot of money
    Part 1.

    Re: DACHA Legal Costs – City Attorney not sharing full story
    $848,000 Total Public funds expended on DACHA legal costs up to date
    $180,000 Legal expenses defending DACHA by attorneys asked by City to help
    $2,611,043 Total DACHA legal costs, other expenses, waste and lost income
    (identified at this time)

    This report continues to be updated when information is located. The City is refusing to provide information requested to NP so we have to obtain it from other sources and make professional estimates.

    The question should be what has DACHA cost the Citizens of Davis in legal costs paid from public funds in one form or another related to advice, strategy and efforts to achieve a cover up, an illegal board and membership and improper and illegal outcomes. The numbers provided by the City Attorney prove our point even without the detailed records.

    The core issue of illegal acts by DACHA with the help of City staff remains:

    In 2005 DACHA members asked the City staff to find a way for them to own their own homes. It is against state law for members of a limited equity housing cooperative to dissolve a co-op for personal gain. Each of the 20 members would have gained $200,000 over time by dissolving the co-op. $4 million of personal gain is worth pursuing if the City staff will help you and later forego $116,000 almost ($7,000 a month) in mortgage payments for 16 months to the City so DACHA can pay lawyers to defend itself against breaking legal contracts, its own bylaws and state law.

    Rather than tell the DACHA members that that it was illegal for them to get the homes for themselves City staff began to look for how to help DACHA’s perpetually delinquent members own the homes outright.

    Due to their personal delinquencies the board and membership of DACHA were ineligible to be seated, to take board action, to be part of a legal quorum and to vote. Then followed (2005-2012) an illegal board and illegal membership breaking various bylaws and state laws to achieve the illegal objective of owning the homes outright. City staff helped the DACHA board do many of these things.

    Why did City staff not just ignore but help DACHA break its own bylaws, state law, the loan agreement it had with the City and other legal documents? The Citizens of Davis are paying a heavy price for City staff neglecting to take action when bylaws and laws are being broken.

    David Thompson, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation

  13. David Thompson

    Part 2.

    We have suggested that the City Attorney and her law firm have the appearance of too many conflicts of interest and that the Council should recuse her and her law firm from continuing to handle the case.

    At the core of the cost to the citizens of Davis are the actions by the City Attorney and City staff in defending and covering up DACHA’s illegal acts. These expenditures of public funds by City staff are far higher than admitted to recently by the City Attorney.

    The City Attorney has spent, directed and requested 30 lawyers to spend about one million dollars towards defending DACHA and its illegal acts.

    The City Attorney defines expenses of $430,000 related to DACHA for the years 2007-2011. Those numbers and timeline are untrue and you will see how. But we are not allowed to see for what purpose. I am betting that many of the legal costs are not included in that amount. We have made a public records request (April 2012) for those expenditures.

    The City Attorney and City staff began spending extraordinary funds for the legal costs of DACHA in early 2005 so two years of legal costs are omitted from the record provided by the City. I have many but not all those billing records. About eighteen months of billing is missing for 2005-2006. Of the bills we have for six of those months it looks like at least $15,000 of what was billed for in 2005-2006 is not revealed but what is in the other eighteen months of missing bills? In addition, the City Attorney bills for the audit process appear omitted.

    However, the bills I have for 2007 omits costs of $3,000 for Judge Gilbert for the Mediation. Did the City pay DACHA’s $3,000 costs for mediation?

    Then what about the Council’s action in 2007 (Souza and Greenwald were there) when $116,000 in mortgage payments to repay the loan of public funds wereforborne from spring of 2007 to September 2008 to pay DACHA’s legal costs?

    Then there is the $25,000 paid out of DACHA’s funds borrowed from the City to acquire a new lawyer (Hefner) in fall of 2009. These borrowed public funds were not supposed to be used for legal expenses as per City Attorney Steiner and Mayor Asmundson (statements at Council meeting of Jan 5, 2010).

    And then $29,000 funneled to Hefner from the City to pay DACHA’s bills by Danielle Foster in 2010. Also not an approved use of funds borrowed from the City.

    If you look at the DACHA Dissolution Report you will see that DACHA owes Nossaman $93,000 and Hefner $37,000.

    Both firms were only ever paid by DACHA from borrowed public funds made available from the City’s loan proceeds or assignments from the City. Both law firms asked DACHA to ask the City to pay for their services. The requests by DACHA to use City funds to pay the two law firms were approved by the City. I think that both law firms went on working for DACHA believing that the City would find a way to pay their bills.

    David Thompson, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation

  14. David Thompson

    Part 3 DACHA costing citizens a lot of money

    $1,028,000 Legal Costs associated with DACHA paid directly by City or by
    DACHA and including legal costs incurred by DACHA with expectation
    by the two law firms that the City would make the payment.

    230,000 Upon Advice of City Attorney against legal opinion from Goldfarb and
    Lipman $230,000 of public funds illegally returned to DACHA members
    195,000 Staff served as para legals/document searches/document creation/meetings,
    conferring with Harriet and one of the other 28 lawyers paid by City at
    $30,000 per year for 6.5 years
    195,000 Other Staff time on DACHA activities $30,000 per year 6.5 years
    322,056 Lost income to City due to improper re-pricing by City Staff (42 months X
    $7,688 (Rent for all 20 units dropped from the price each household was
    eligible for down to a rent level of 30% of 80% of median income. A level for
    which none of the households had been qualified for. Is this not a gift of
    public funds?
    400,000 Lost income from DACHA homes empty since August of 2009
    100,000 Costs associated with managing empty homes since August of 2009
    (Insurance, Maintenance, Utility bills, Property Taxes, Administration, etc.)
    18,000 Cost of “financial audit” which ended up not being an audit
    ? Other costs not able to be itemized at this time
    75,956 Owed by DACHA to City of Davis (in DACHA Dissolution Report)
    47,000 Delinquencies of DACHA members June 30, 2010 outstanding
    $2,611,043 DACHA costs, expenses, waste and lost income (identified at this time)

    NP and TPCF legal efforts to stop DACHA’s use of public funds succeeded in having the City stop feeding DACHA’s lawyers. Due to our complaint to the Grand Jury we think that that also played a role in the City pulling back from its funding of DACHA’s lawyers.

    David Thompson, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation

  15. Michael Harrington

    I saw the city package to the AG and what David Et al submitted.

    The city package was missing many of what has submitted before the DACHA hearing in February

  16. eagle eye

    It’s unfortunate that David T. wrote, to explain DACHA to prospective residents: “DACHA was created in 2002 to provide a low cost entry into affordable home ownership in Davis.”
    “DACHA is modeled after ..Dos Pinos………the most successful permanently affordable home ownership program in Davis.”
    “Do I get the same tax advantages as other home owners? You certainly do!”
    Re closing costs: …..”qualifying for home ownership in a cooperative much easier to accomplish …..”
    Re preference to people working in Davis or at UCD: “DACHA’s cooperative
    home ownership program gives families who work in Davis the affordable
    opportunity to have a home here.”

  17. Ethan Ireland

    So someone says “DACHA [is] Costing Citizens a Lot of Money.” Really?

    I find these statements interesting. If that someone were not constantly bombarding DACHA, the DACHA residents & the City with lawsuits and other highly questionable forms of legal process (not to mention a relentless & one-sided PR war) nobody would have to spend dollar one on any legal defense whatsoever. If that same someone weren’t constantly filing/amending lawsuits, nobody would have to “feed lawyers” at all.

    I’m further curious about the seeming grave concern voiced over taxpayer money being spent in defense against baseless accusations, but simultaneously with no apparent concern over those same taxpayer dollars when it’s proposed they be used to pay out a massive settlement to the person voicing those concerns. I think any Vanguard readers should acknowledge the significant financial interest at play here in voicing these “concerns”.

    It seems someone is incapable of connecting action with consequence.

  18. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]My concern is that our elected leaders somehow were convinced by one or two council members and/or city staff members–apparently with an ax to grind–to do this hit piece.[/quote]

    And David Thompson et al haven’t been doing “hit pieces” w/o foundation?

  19. JustSaying

    I didn’t elect David Thompson to be dog catcher or anything. He’s obviously got a several selfish interests–money, good name, more money–and everything he puts out is weighed by everyone realizing that he’s in business, that he’s in a long term dispute with the city and DACHA board members and that everything he offers up should be carefully weighed.

    I didn’t elect Ethan Ireland or any of the DACHA board members. They’ve obviously got their own selfish interests in play since they lost something when the city decided to foreclose on them. With Ethan, Sue and you speaking up for their side in recent months, we’ve been able to weigh the arguments and evidence offered to support them.

    Something is very fishy in the DACHA mess, and it’s impossible for anyone to make decent judgements based on what gets provided by either side.

    I was swayed to the developers’ side by the specificity of the information they offered and by their willingness to answer specific questions specifically. I moved away from the city/DACHA side because nearly every question or charge was met with vague and unrelated comments that suggested we should support this side because the folks were both poor and ignorant about what they were doing (neither of which seems true) and because the developers are evil.

    David’s call years ago for some kind of independent review of the enterprise and the facts under dispute looks like a real missed opportunity. Coupled with agreement for binding arbitration, the whole thing would have been long behind us by now and we’d have a lost of lessons learned. Whatever the expense then, it couldn’t have come close to the millions that it will end up costing taxpayers going the route the city chose to take.

    The more-or-less-independent reviews so far (city-directed audit, agreed-to binding arbitration, city-appointed board attorney) came up with different conclusions. They should have given us good directions for a complete independent review. Instead, the parties just repeat the items that support its side and criicize the ones that don’t.

    Sue argues that “of course, we can’t have an independent review in the midst of a lawsuit.” That would be true only, of course, if you are worried about whether, or know that, the findings will come down in the other side’s favor. I guess that’s a reasonable consideration if winning a lawsuit by limiting the facts is more important than getting to the truth go the municipal matter.

    Instead of trying to find out what really happened, our current city council decided to try to fight fire with fire, to try to combat the developers’ public statements with their own public statement, the notorious op-ed.. That done, why haven’t we heard a peep from any of them since it was issued and immediately found to be untruthful and misleading?

  20. JustSaying

    So, now have Sue and Stephen knee-deep in the DACHA bad decisions and lousy oversight and management for years. They’re joined at the hip with city staff, some of whom still are here, who probably did some really stupid (maybe illegal) things, along with our conflicted (but getting DACHA-rich) city attorney, Harriet. Not one of these people is interested in allowing David’s independent investigation to proceed.

    On the other side, we have our three fresh-faced, untainted council members who somehow get talked into signing a statement that claims the city made an official offer it didn’t and offers fraudulent documents to “prove” facts in dispute, things that otherwise would have been simple disputes of opinion.

    Someone (guess who?) convinced the newbies to testify to the truth of this false document and to get it published in the local paper and our Vanguard. But, none of the three thought to look at any supporting materials or otherwise question the accuracy of the op-ed’s major contentions. Given the number go attorneys signing on, they must really be embarrassed that they accecpted Stephen’s and Sue’s memory, judgement and truthfulness as to the city/DACHA history involved.

    So, the mayor and two other new city council members find themselves red-faced and unable or unwilling to even try to justify their unwise choice to join in this “hit-piece exchange” with the developers. Having been caught in a council-wide lie–where was Harriet in the drafting and review of this false document?–are they just hoping people will forget what they’ve done if they stop talking at this point? Did they start out planning to publish then say nothing, anticipating that people would remember the untruths if they weren’t corrected or put into some context?

    Who knows what was in the minds of the city council members, Elaine, but I did elect them to behave in a better way. No tit-for-tat needed if the truth isn’t the most important consideration. We expect private parties might be leveling charges without foundation, and we weigh their comments accordingly and with some suspicion. We shouldn’t have to take such care with “signed and certified” statements from our city council.

    If they choose to try to influence the public about the merits of a lawsuit–because Ethan and David T. and other private citizens, including Sue as an individual, are doing it–fine. Just have the honor to continue the conversation when you’re caught in a lie–instead of deciding it’s time to shut up. In my mind, elected officials have a higher standard to maintain in the public conversation. After all, they’re not the ones being sued, WE are.

  21. David Thompson

    For the public full disclosure, Ethan Ireland should have identified himself as a DACHA resident and Elaine should be identifying herself as pro bono attorney for either DACHA or DACHA members. The public deserves to know that they both have a role on DACHA. Not revealing that relationship I consider to be improper.

    Ethan Ireland, signed under penalty of perjury the DACHA Dissolution request that he was the Acting President.

    Ethan never owned a share in DACHA as required by law, his share was never owned by DACHA, at a meeting that was likely an impropery called meeting for a self-dealing transaction Ireland and the only other board member (also not a share owner) voted to refund themselves $12,500 as they claimed at the time the money was not DACHA’s. So at the time Ireland’s request went to the Attorney General this February, Ireland was not a shareholder, did not have even have a share deposit and was therefore never a legal member of DACHA nor is. Yet he signed to the Attorney General that he was acting President.

    TPCF has protested this action to the Council who have done nothing.

    And on this illegal board the City has spent between $700,000 to $848,000 of funds on legal defense and spent wasted or lost now $2.6 million.

    And the City Council writes an editorial that is untrue and now the City Attorney intentionally or incompetently omits 420 pages of testimony.

    The City deserves better.

    Visit http://www.community.coop/davis click DACHA
    David Thompson, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation

  22. Ethan Ireland

    Just for the record, I categorically reject David Thompson’s virulent mischaracterization of both me and Melina Calcagno. I can and have refuted his claims — refuted with copious evidence, in fact. However, he refuses to acknowledge any other point of view but his own, and persists in continuing to slander the two of us whenever we have the audacity to speak a word in our defense.

    I will point out that it is an act of ultimate cowardice to bully those whom one *knows* do not have the resources to defend themselves.

    @JustSaying: We’ve already explained exhaustively why we can’t engage in a blow-by-blow refutation here on the blog. I’ll say it again: we have extremely limited legal resources and have to be very choosy in what we say, how we say it — and then, only in response to the most outrageous statements. You refuse to acknowledge our limitations here. But what am I saying? You’ve already stated your mind’s made up.

  23. JustSaying

    Ethan Ireland, please let us know where your “exhaustive explanations” are. I’ve acknowledged the plight of the DACHA members many times before; Elaine can verify this since most of my questions and comments have been directed to her and Sue.

    I made my current decision based on reading almost everything that appeared here and the [i]Enterprise[/i], and all of the references, reports and court findings to which links were provided, and to watching city council meetings. True, I have not seen “copious evidence” from you and am interested in reading it.

    I’m extremely sympathetic to the DACHA members. I’ve so far concluded that your anger is misdirected, and that you made a serious error in pursuing directions from city staff when they recommended you could end up with your homes by dissolving the coop.

    When you are involved in a suit, it doesn’t follow that you’re being bullied. Perhaps you’ve done something wrong and have damaged someone else. Unfortunately, there are processes that take time to play out. The judge and/or jury will decide.

    You are free to speak out, but I think it’s a mistake to limit your conversation to comments about how bad and cowardly David Thompson is. He has provided substantial information about the DACHA members failing to pay their bills to the coop, for example. There has been no response. Therefore, people assume that he is correct.

    This single point raises all kinds of questions about DACHA members roles and the lack of city oversight. If your concern is that any response could be used against you in a trial, that’s certainly understandable. In the meantime, you can say nothing until in the courtroom–where the truth will set you free….or not.

    The only one with unlimited funds to fiddle around with this dispute is the City of Davis. How the deep pockets player can screw up things at every turn is the biggest mystery of all to me. The op-ed is the most recent example, and may have done your cause more damage than anything David Thompson has done.

  24. David Thompson

    Ethan, in my mind you have never refuted the claims that both Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation and Neighborhood Partners, LLC have made.

    Unlike the other DACHA residents you and Melrina were not members whose shares DACHA held or owned.

    You like Melrina each placed $6,250 in a trust account.

    As the only two board members, you and Melrina called a meeting, attended by no one else and the two of you adopted a motion to return the $6,250 to yourselves on the basis that the money was not an asset of DACHA as you had never turned the money over to DACHA. Your attorney got approval from the Attorney General that as your $6,250 had never been DACHA’s money then it was still yours and could be returned to you.

    I cannot be a member of the Davis Food Co-op unless my investment becomes their equity. You seem to want to have it both ways, to not have your money at risk and yet act as a member and in particular a board member. And you refuse to turn over membership records.

    There does not appear to be any reference in the DACHA minutes to this transaction. So once again hidden from public view is that four households become members of a cooperative without actually putting up the membership share.

    Then three of the four (who do not own shares) get elected to the board. A breaking of the bylaws and state law.

    You can use big words and shout but you provide no evidence to refute my charges.

    You took actions as a board member that indeed have consequences. When asked under oath where did the money dome from to pay Hefenr to take on the bankruptcy case you had no idea. I believe you were treasurer at the time.

    You must have and should have known that DACHA owed Nossamum $93,000 and that you owed Hefner funds already. However, you still went ahead and voted to engage a lawyer for another suit. We now know the City was paying for that lawyer. How come we knew the City had paid for your lawyer while you as DACHA Treasurer had no idea where the money came from to pay the lawyer.

    The DACHA members owe DACHA by your own records $47,000 and yet you omit showing that as an asset on your request for dissolution. Do you think you can sneak that by the Attorney General?

    And what did DACHA do with the $106,000 forbearance of the entire mortgage repayment of public funds to the City for 16 months during 2007 and 2008.

    The lawyer whom you asked the City for the public funds to pay seems like he was not paid the full public funds that you got in DACHA’s pockets. He is still owed $93,000. In your description to the Attorney General you slandered him by saying he abandoned the case when he stuck by you to the very end. That was not true. However you said under penalty of perjury that what you claimed was true. Have you apologized to the professionals who worked for you and then got stiffed about $180,000 in payment for legal services.

    Provide the evidence that what I am saying is not true?

    David Thompson, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation

  25. eagle eye

    Is there a link to all the share loans David T. made to DACHA residents, including interest rates, repayment terms, balloon payments, and actual payments received on each share loan?
    Also the interest paid by DACHA to David on the various shares, year by year, loan by loan?

  26. E Roberts Musser

    Is it the policy of the Vanguard to continue to allow personal attacks against private citizens? It was my understanding the Vanguard did not allow such personal attacks.

    Secondly, the Vanguard can be sued for printing libelous material.

    Thirdly, just because David Thompson prints information on this blog, makes statements at CC meetings, etc, does not make them true.

    Fourthly, DACHA members are not free to speak their mind due to ongoing litigation. They have been threatened with lawsuits if they so much as open their mouths.

  27. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Is there a link to all the share loans David T. made to DACHA residents, including interest rates, repayment terms, balloon payments, and actual payments received on each share loan?
    Also the interest paid by DACHA to David on the various shares, year by year, loan by loan?[/quote]

    Seems to me I read in the auditor’s report such documents were missing…

  28. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]I find these statements interesting. If that someone were not constantly bombarding DACHA, the DACHA residents & the City with lawsuits and other highly questionable forms of legal process (not to mention a relentless & one-sided PR war) nobody would have to spend dollar one on any legal defense whatsoever. If that same someone weren’t constantly filing/amending lawsuits, nobody would have to “feed lawyers” at all. [/quote]

    Bingo!

  29. Ethan Ireland

    @David Thompson: If you honestly cannot recall any previous times I have challenged your assertions about me on this point, I cannot encourage you more strongly to book an appointment with a neurologist. I can assure you most definitely this is not the first time. I have already repeatedly addressed these charges, and I’m not going to do it again particularly on this blog.

    @JustSaying: The evidence I presented to refute David Thompson’s point has not been presented on this blog, as I no longer believe this (or any) blog is an appropriate forum to hash out the particulars of this case. I don’t know who you are or what your interest in this case is, but it’s clear that your bias is in favor of Thompson. As far as my perceptions of bullying and my supposed “selfish motives” go, I would love to explain to you in person my involvement and the motives that go with them– if I knew who in the hell you were to begin with. But again, since your mind is so made up, why should I even bother? You’ll just go right on shilling for Thompson.

  30. medwoman

    ” it couldn’t have come close to the millions that it will end up costing taxpayers going the route the city chose to take. “

    Please don’t forget that the lawsuits are “the route” that David Thompson chose to take. Like the city, he has had other options to deal with this mess but has chosen a very costly route for the citizens of Davis, while at the same time avowing a deep concern for the finances of the city

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