Former Grand Jury Member calls B.S. on the system

We just love when people go all buck-wild and call their former colleagues out on their bullshit. Alfred Parodi, a former Humbolt County Grand Jury member, is no stranger to doing so. In a few colorful opinion pieces published in the area over the last couple years, he’s bashed members of the Grand Jury for the sometimes baffling decisions that they’ve made.

But this year, Mr. Parodi turned his scathing commentary up to 11 and took it straight to the Grand Jury itself. And while we did enjoy the mud-slinging of his past remarks, it wasn’t until this particular editorial that we really took notice. When you read an op-ed that makes you go “F*** YEAH! GET ‘EM!”, you know you’re on to something hot.

Mr. Parodi takes issue with the fact that the Grand Jury investigates things that, while important to the community, perhaps are not of the highest priority or of the most serious concern when it comes to the shady and stupid stuff the County is doing behind our backs. For example, read the excerpt below:

“It is mainly about funds and numbers. In the past three years, outside of a few items, the main items were not addressed, which are, the departmental budgets, the expenditures from those budgets, The annual audit. One of the main expenditures is personnel and pensions. This is administered by the County Union contract, that they call Memorandum of Understanding and is 108 pages and covers everything to do with personnel.

The union contract has never been investigated by the grand Jury to verify the validity and honesty of the contract. It appears to be off limits. Self investigation has never worked to the benefit of the people. Nothing, that has to do with the workings of the County, should be off limits to investigate.”

We can’t agree more with Mr. Parodi regarding the absolute bullshit that is the County union negotiation process. And the last, sweet sentence of that paragraph is something we feel should be reiterated, so: “NOTHING, THAT HAS TO DO WITH THE WORKINGS OF THE COUNTY, SHOULD BE OFF LIMITS TO INVESTIGATE.”

There is much and more of Mr. Parodi’s letter that deserves reading, and we encourage you to do so, either at the Times-Standard (here) or at the Mad River Union (here.)

But a last tidbit we’ll highlight is in response to the fact that Grand Jury members, who are “volunteers,” get paid for the time they “donate” out of the goodness of their hearts. Granted, it’s not a lot of cash. But it’s still something. In Mr. Parodi’s words:

“The one thing I object to personally is people volunteer for this position. It is not a job. As such there should be no compensation for the time or travel to and from the position. If compensation is accepted then you become a government employee. This again is self-investigation.”

To you, Mr. Parodi, we say: right on, good sir. To you, THC readers, we say: What can we do to force the County, and by extension, the Grand Jury, to be held to answer for the issues  that Mr. Parodi feels are not being addressed?

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6 Responses to Former Grand Jury Member calls B.S. on the system

  1. Rick Curtis says:

    As a member of a jury on jury duty, I question when I get nothing for the first day of service, and only one-way mileage. Those of us on limited fixed incomes be it Grand or other jury, are not compromised for being given a pittance of expense for our time and travel. Perhaps we would be treated less like pawns if it cost the county for the first day of jury duty and round trip mileage.

    I have never seen a more stellar job in my 63+ years than the Grand Jury reports from last year. And look out Public Works/Aviation; the woman from the Grand Jury that attends the monthly Humboldt County Aviation Advisory Committee meetings is still investigating you.

    If you want something investigated, put in a complaint to the Grand Jury.

    There is nothing mysterious about the MOU. It is the rulebook for employees and their supervisors.


  2. milldoin says:

    “I have never seen a more stellar job in my 63+ years than the Grand Jury reports from last year. ”
    You have got to be kidding. The State Lands Commission were so upset with the Harbor District, they wrote special legislation so they can keep an eye on them.
    The grand Jury report on the Harbor Commission gave them good marks
    Either they are incompetent or bought off..


    • Rick Curtis says:

      I thought they did a good job on the airports. I don’t believe the members of the last Grand Jury are incompetent nor bought off. If you have a beef with the Harbor District, like I said put in a complaint on their form to the Grand Jury. I agree that previous Grand Juries like Mr. Parodi’s (aptly named) reports were underwhelming. I hear there is an election coming up with a lot of questionable characters running. Perhaps you will get to vote for one. I for one am glad the pulp mill mess left by the Chinese was cleaned up before disaster stuck. I look forward to new airlines and cruise ships:-)


      • milldoin says:

        The Harbor District knew about the pending disaster at the pulp mill for years without asking the EPA to step in. Only after they cooked a deal for the cash cow did they decide to do Gods work, and have the EPA clean up they’re mess.


      • Sammy says:

        Right — cruise ships? Here? Why????? They’d only have 4 – 6 hours to do WHAT? there are no tour guides that could get them anywhere of mention AND back in that time, and there really isn’t much to do here in Homelessville unless you are into panhandler or tweeker watching.

        Airlines???? Are you going to whip out your checkbook and personally pay them to come here, Rick?

        Captain Reality to Enterprise, is there anyone on board??


  3. Sammy says:

    Good going Milldoin. My favorite grand jury story is a bit older; where Wendy Chatain did not like the results of the grand jury investigation of a county office (can’t recall if it was County Counsel or CAO’s office) and did not allow that portion of the report to be released. Probably because there was an actual issue within it or some such nonsense. Hmmmm. The local expert on Grand Jury in and of themselves is Dan Taranto – a genius on the subject. We are all praying for his recovery from a stroke and hope to see him back at the microphone at the BOS meetings soon.


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