Petition update

CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR WILL PERFORM FULL INVESTIGATIVE AUDIT OF BCDC

Friends of Westpoint Harbor

Aug 18, 2018 — 

Friends of Westpoint Harbor (Friends) has received word that the California State Auditor’s Office has officially opened an audit of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), meeting the primary goal of the petition that Friends launched in January and that received over 5,000 signatures.  We want to thank you for the support that you have provided, and to let you know that this is a big step forward in dealing with injustice!

Your petition was presented to BCDC by Friends -- and some of your comments were read into the public record to make sure you were heard -- as well as sent to the California State Auditor as a request for investigation, to governor Brown and to the local legislators requesting their attention to progress the matter beyond an investigation to a discretionary audit of the BCDC’s enforcement activities.  Some of the legislators visited the harbor while investigating matters.

While we do not know if the State Auditor has undertaken an investigation based upon our petition as such investigations are held confidential, a discretionary audit was approved during an August 8, 2018 hearing in Sacramento by the California Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC).  Bolstered by reports of overzealous enforcement actions against Westpoint Harbor LLC and other Bay area entities that operate under permits from BCDC, the audit request was sponsored by a bipartisan team of four legislators: Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco), State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and Assembly Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron (R-Escondido). It should be noted that thousands of requests for audits are made to JLAC every year, but only a handful are actually approved. Speaker Pro Tempore Mullin issued a press release and the San Mateo Daily Journal reported on the story.

It is expected that the audit will commence shortly and may take up to eight months to complete.  The California State Auditor is an independent agency that operates in a confidential environment as staff members gather information and interview witnesses.  You may confidentially contact the State Auditor’s office about this or other matters via telephone or their website.

Several egregious BCDC cases against businesses around the Bay highlight the need for a full investigation and audit of BCDC enforcement activities.  In addition to  Westpoint Harbor, high-profile cases include Scott’s Seafood restaurant in Oakland and Point Buckler Duck Club in Solano County.  Late last year Point Buckler won a lawsuit in which a Superior Court judge called BCDC’s actions “vindictive” and dismissed all enforcement actions against the owner of the club.

We believe the petition that you most generously signed with calls for action to the State Auditor, the Governor, and local legislators was important in assuring that a full investigation of BCDC enforcement activities take place.   Thank you again for your help. The Friends of Westpoint Harbor will keep you posted on updates.  Visit our website https://friendsofwestpointharbor.org for links to news articles and updates.


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