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Probe: June 28, 2002

June 28, 2002

QUESTION: At the last Calipatria City Council meeting, Councilman Leonard Vasquez brought up the matter of missing city property. Has the property been found? Is the city starting an investigation? Is it doing anything to make sure no more city property goes astray? — Concerned, Calipatria

Once the city becomes convinced the property (four pallets of used bricks) is missing, it should be easy to find it. Just drive around and look for a wall or planter with bricks matching planters at city hall.

Vasquez said 10 pallets of bricks were purchased three years ago to build a planter around the city's 184 foot flagpole. It paid $100 a pallet for the bricks.

When the project was finished, four pallets were left over. Now, they're gone, claims Vasquez, who believes the brick caper was an inside job.

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According to Vasquez, a city employee said a city official picked up the bricks in his personal pickup.

"We have a city ordinance for the disposal of city surplus property. We put it up for bid. You can't just come in and haul it away for your personal use," said Vasquez.

City Clerk Catherine Hoss said it's possible there are no missing bricks. The bricks were moved several times. Breakage could account for the shortage, she said.

QUESTION: Recently my friend had a fight with her boyfriend. Her kids went to school and told their teachers because they feared the boyfriend would kill their mother.

The county Child Protective Services came out. My friend had a restraining order put on her boyfriend. He went to jail. When he got out, he moved back into the house.

I told her if Child Protective Services find out her boyfriend is back in the house, they might take her kids away. She got mad, threw me out of her house and won't talk to me anymore.

I am worried about my friend. The last incident was the second time they went to court for domestic violence. Can you live with somebody after you put a restraining order against them? — Worried, Brawley

People do it all the time. Your friend is not breaking the law but her boyfriend is violating a restraining order. If she is going to allow him to keep staying at the house, she should rescind the order.

Wendy Jensen, a Child Protective Services supervisor, said. "We may go out and look the situation over. Our concern is the safety of the children."

There's not much more you can do.

QUESTION: My mother died four years ago. I just received a letter from the County Counsel's Office. It says "final accounting" and "property and inventory — zero."

I called the county counsel but he wasn't in and nobody else on the staff would tell me anything. I asked one young woman her name and she said, "I don't have to tell you my name." Can you find out what this was about? — Curious, Beaver, Utah

Public Administrator Norma Saikhon said the letter originated in her office. Your mother was a conservatee of the office. The "final accounting" came so late because it was at the bottom of a large stack of files backlogged when Saikhon took office, she said.

The letter means that when your mother's account was settled, the result was zero, according to Saikhon.

The administrator's office did not manage your mother's estate after her death. The disposal of the estate was dictated in a will, said Saikhon.

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