While most folks are focused on the fallout for slum lord Floyd Squires’ Blue Heron Hotel burnt down, THC’s interest got stirred up by the official statement from the City of Eureka a week later, issued by none other than Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks.
Long story short, the City of Eureka said that a woman burned the Blue Heron down because Squires had promised a woman an apartment in return for oral sex, but never provided her the apartment after giving her the money shot. (Visit LoCO for a more in-depth write-up.)
With the way the City of Eureka has been (justifiably) targeting Squires over the past several years, we honestly wouldn’t be too surprised to learn they are jumping for joy over such a great chance to rake him over the coals.
But City Manager Greg Sparks may have gotten a little over-excited at the prospect of really sticking it to ol’ Floyd. His statement, on behalf of the City of Eureka, that “allegedly over lack of payment for sexual services by Mr. Squires,” seems pretty out of place for an official government communication.
Now, THC certainly does not want to excuse Squires’ long history of exploiting low-income individuals and, in general, being an all-around scumbag. But the headline from the LoCO’s post about the event from this past Friday seems to suggest that Squires isn’t the only scummy person involved in the situation:The City of Eureka has made plenty of questionable decisions in the past. But the City Manager making an official statement detailing on how the arson suspect started the blaze in retaliation after not being compensated for oral sex is just plain bonkers. THC feels the need to point out that not only is that accusation based off uncorroborated statements from a witness on the scene, but that the same witness is also likely to be charged as an accomplice to the crime.
We haven’t received our degrees from online law school in the mail yet, but we’re pretty comfortable saying that Greg Sparks just opened the City of Eureka up to a nice, expensive legal battle with Floyd Squires for slander. This is especially true when you consider that Sparks’ statement was made with obvious malice arising from the City’s contentious past with the Squires.
Our advice to the City of Eureka is to lawyer up – and to lawyer up with someone other than City Counsel Cyndy Day-Wilson, who’s really good at walking Eureka into clearly losing lawsuits, and costing Eureka’s taxpayers a bundle in the process. Otherwise, Eureka might just challenge the County of Humboldt for top spot as the most legally inept government in Humboldt.
An update to the LoCO story covering Sparks’ statement later on the same day would suggest that others in the City of Eureka don’t have too high an opinion of Sparks’ antics, either. Chief of Police Steve Watson reached out to the LoCO to clarify that “the Eureka Police Department did not authorize the release of the arson investigation police report to the public. Any questions related to the report should be referred to the City Manager’s office. ”
In other words, Watson wants nothing to do with the hearsay-based accusation – and was willing to throw all responsibility for the report onto Greg Sparks.
Of course, Sparks probably doesn’t give two shits about how the repercussions will affect the City of Eureka – just like former Chief of Police Andy Mills, he’s positioning himself to head for greener pastures once Eureka has served the purpose of catapulting him to a more lucrative City Manager position in a different place.
In the meantime, we can all sit back and watch with glee as Squires gets publicly shamed by the City of Eureka – while also crossing our fingers that Sparks’ vindictive streak doesn’t come back to bite the rest of us in the ass.