Grand jury investigations are lawsuits. Grand jury reports are the adjudicated results. When a respondent loses a grand jury lawsuit they have specific accountable and actionable obligations under the Penal Code. Not implementing these mandates is not only an insult to the grand jury but a slam to the supervising judge. Idyllwild Fire Protection District lost its lawsuit against the 2013-14 grand jury who stated that Chief Reitz and Mark Lamont must be investigated for termination proceedings.

The 2014-15 grand jury under Judge Cope has determined that IFPD has failed to comply with its mandates under California Penal Code 933.05 and given a deadline of last week to comply. IFPD responded with a letter refusing to again comply asking the jury to advise them how they have violated PC 933.05.

The grand jury and Judge Cope are not legal counsel to IFPD.  When you lose a civil or criminal complaint where the Penal Code governs what happens next, perhaps you shouldn’t insult the gatekeeper, Judge Mark Cope, and his jury.

When asked what the penalties were for refusing to comply with PC 933.05 they said they didn’t know.  If you violate the Penal Code perhaps you should have your attorney tell you the consequences. This district has been aggressive, careless and abusive in all responses. Now to claim ignorance is a bit disingenuous.

Perhaps Judge Cope will direct his clerk or the grand jury to prepare subpoenas for IFPD commissioners’ and employees’ appearances before his court where he might explain that another refusal to comply with PC 933.05 will mandate a civil or even perhaps criminal contempt of court charge, an offense punishable by admonishment, fine or imprisonment.

Perhaps the 2014-15 grand jury will attempt to remove IFPD officers under Government Code 3060 for willful violation of Penal Code 933.05.

Some people think this is far-fetched. But this board has now been accused of violating PC 933.05 by the new grand jury, an action almost never used. Hmm. This board deserves the obvious writing on the wall if just for their ignorance. Unfortunately, it’s far more than that — misconduct under the Penal Code.

I have to wonder what other IFPD indiscretions/misconduct will creep to the top of the mud hole this year. Save Idyllwild taxpayers and voters from what will likely happen next. Resign, all of you.

Jeff Smith
Pine Cove