Balancing the County’s Budget Deficits
on the Backs of Children
By Ray A. March
Commission: “No Irregularities”
At this special meeting, Nov. 7, 2001, Tracey D. Cochran, a paralegal in the county counsel’s office headed by Vickie Cochran, Rosemary Nelson, representing the private sector; and Rusty DuVall, a private business owner, join the commission’s governing board.
They were to be formally sworn in as commission members on Nov. 28.
Minutes show that Carol Callaghan is now Carol Harbaugh’s alternate and present at this meeting.
In less than three months on the commission, at a special meeting on Jan. 30, 2002 -- the same afternoon Michelson was abruptly fired -- Cochran was elevated to the chair on the motion of Nelson.
Nov. 28, 2001
This meeting at which the commission was scheduled to “review ledgers, audit and reports” prepared by CPA Kristin Domenichelli was cancelled without explanation.
Dec. 5, 2001
A letter was apparently sent this date to Lynn Talbott, CPA, in effect declaring that there were no irregularities in any financial information provided by the commission.
In other words, Donna Michelson refused to sign the letter.
Dec. 18, 2001
Less than two weeks later Donna Michelson wrote Lynn Talbott a three-page single-spaced letter explaining why she would not sign the “trust me” letter of Dec. 5.
She explained that signing the letter would put her in a position of committing perjury, that she had no control over the Prop. 10 Trust Fund and audit issues concerning the fund should be addressed to Auditor Judi Stevens.
“My suggestion is that you send this letter (Dec. 5, 2001) for sign off to our interim fiscal agent, Modoc County Auditor Judi Stevens, who has since the inception of the commission operated as its fiscal agent without any authorization from the executive director or the acting chair of the commission Dr. Edward P. Richert, who has the authority to bind the commission in fiscal matters, or to whomever on the commission you have obtained your information,” Michelson sternly advised Talbott.
Next: Part 16
Unknown to Michelson time was running out as a new year was about to begin, but Kristin Domenichelli unloads six consecutive bombshells on the Children and Families Commission.