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Grand jury investigates building services department

If your building department is investigated by the grand jury, you have big problems.  Oakland, California’s building services department was the subject of a a grand jury report that blasted it for deficiencies in the areas of the abatement process; policies, procedures and training; information, communication and data management; due process (notices, liens, fees and fines); contracting; and appeals. Mercury News reported that:

The final report included several examples in which liens were recorded before issuing an abatement notice and before the property owner had a chance to respond or appeal the blight abatement order. The liens ranged from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars and often had no relation to the actual costs of unpaid fines or abatement work.

The Mayor said that the department is undertrained and understaffed.

This is why continuing education is so important.   If people aren’t properly trained, they will eventually violate someone’s constitutional rights thereby subjecting themselves and the municipality to civil rights lawsuits and other charges.

  1. Jerry
    July 28th, 2011 at 13:23 | #1

    Linda, I thought that a case was brought before a grand jury to make sure it had enough merit to proceed to a legal trial. This article makes it seem that the grand jury proceedings were the end of the matter. Did I interpret the article incorrectly or does California do things different than Illinois?

  2. July 28th, 2011 at 19:03 | #2

    Some grand juries also do investigations and write reports which are then made public in addition to the ones that indict people. I think this is what happened in this case.

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