Jackson, CA — Alleged wrongdoings related to the formation of a non-profit designed to compete with ATCAA were the focus of a special investigation conducted by the Amador County Grand Jury.
Nearly half of the newly released 83 page Grand Jury Report looks into allegations that there was potential collusion between the non-profit group Nexus Youth and Family Services and Amador County’s Health and Human Services Director and General Services Administration Director. The report notes that Nexus was created by now former ATCAA employees while they were still employed by the agency, and having access to the agency’s information. No specific names were identified in the report. The Grand Jury was first notified of the allegations of collusion in October of 2014, after Amador County had changed contractors for nine of the HHS functions that had been previously provided by ATCAA. The fact that there was competition for the services came as a surprise to ATCAA officials, and there was a feeling by the agency that Amador County leaders were giving preferential treatment to Nexus.
The Grand Jury report noted that at one point the HHS Director recused himself from the evaluation committee, related to the contracts, due to “rumors of a romantic relationship” with a leader of Nexus.
Tuolumne County was involved in the Grand Jury investigation, as ATCAA is a joint powers agency that was created in 1981 between it and Amador County. It was formed in order to help provide state required services that small rural counties cannot afford on their own. The Grand Jury Report noted that the county was “responsive and cooperative” in providing requested information, such as email correspondences.
Tuolumne County Supervisors Randy Hanvelt and Karl Rodefer both serve on the ATCAA Board of Directors. At this week’s supervisors meeting, Hanvelt addressed the investigation, saying, “Both Supervisor Rodefer and I felt that there was something going on there, and it smelled really bad, and when you read the Grand Jury Report, it appears to be really bad in terms of unethical and perhaps illegal behavior.”
Hanvelt also added, “I think it’s an interesting report to read, and our county ought to take it to heart and make sure those types of things do not happen in our county.”
You can read the entire Amador County Grand Jury report by clicking here. The details regarding the investigation start on page 46.