An “Unbecoming” Star Chamber
By Ray A. March
"Drawing on my fine command of the language, I said nothing."
-- Robert Benchley
If only Supervisor Patricia Cantrall had such humility and humor as Robert Benchley.
Instead, she lets the gavel go to her head and flies forth with surely what must be “conduct unbecoming.”
But, we leave that judgment to Dave Allan, her fellow supervisor, who offered “conduct unbecoming“ as the reason for knocking Jeff Bullock off the chair of the Modoc County Board of Supervisors without even defining the meaning of such a damaging description.
So Dave, tell us, in your opinion are these following utterances from Cantrall considered “conduct unbecoming” a supervisor?
“You, sir, have called the CAO everything but a white man.” That racist accusation by Cantrall was aimed at an unidentified man in the audience after she took the chair vacated by Bullock.
How about this one?
"All I ever said to you was take a deeper inhale of my cigarette smoke and maybe you'll drop dead, and maybe that's not a bad idea." The object of this life-threatening remark was Ron Rutledge, a regular board attendee and thorn who relies on an oxygen tank for breathing.
Cantrall let loose with these notable quotes in the space of a Modoc minute. Just think what she might have achieved if she had had more time.
Of course, one might argue Cantrall’s quotes were among the very first words that slipped her lips after assuming the chair of the Modoc County Board of Supervisors and are only two examples.
Therefore, one could argue, they may not qualify as sufficient evidence to purge her from the chair a'la Bullock for “conduct unbecoming.”
Then, no one stood up and gave Bullock or the unbelieving audience at that infamous meeting on Feb. 14 the slightest suggestion of what he was guilty of beyond Allan’s “conduct unbecoming.”
We never thought we would come to Bullock’s defense, but in a round about way that’s what we are doing when we say the Board of Supervisors was star chamber all the way on this one.