To the Board of Supervisors:
In response to my remarks, made during Public Comment, yesterday, 12/5/2023, during the Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, Supervisor Mulheren stated on the record that, and I'm paraphrasing, "My private finances are none of Mr. Sakowicz's business."
Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a member of the public, and Mulheren is a publicly elected constitutional officer in California, and, as such, all of her finances are a matter of public record. This includes government grants and loans.
Every elected official and public employee who makes or influences governmental decisions in California is required to submit a Statement of Economic Interest, also known as the Form 700. The Form 700 provides transparency and ensures accountability in two ways:
It provides necessary information to the public about an official’s personal financial interests to ensure that officials are making decisions in the best interest of the public and not enhancing their personal finances.
It serves as a reminder to the public official of potential conflicts of interest so the official can abstain from making or participating in governmental decisions that are deemed conflicts of interest.
Also, under the Act and Commission regulations, Form 700s may require Additional Schedules:
1. Schedule A-1 for Stocks, Bonds, and in Business Entities (Ownership Interest Is Less than 10%)
2. Schedule A-2 for Investments, Income, and Assets of Business Entities/Trusts (Ownership Interest Is 10% or Greater)
3. Schedule B for Interests in Real Property (Including Rentals)
4. Schedule C for Income, Loans and Business Positions (Exempting Only Credit Card and Other Revolving Debt)
5. Schedule D for Income -- Gifts
6. Schedule E for Travel Payments, Advances, Reimbursements.
Persons who fail to timely file their complete and accurate Form 700 may be referred to the FPPC’s Enforcement Division (and, in some cases, to the Attorney General or district attorney) for investigation and possible prosecution. In addition to the late filing penalties, a fine of up to $5,000 per violation may be imposed.
A PUBLIC DOCUMENT
Form 700 is a public document. Public access must be provided.
Statements of Economic Interests are public documents. The filing officer must permit any member of the public to inspect and receive a copy of any statement.
Statements must be available as soon as possible during the agency's regular business hours, but in any event not later than the second business day after the statement is received. Access to the Form 700 is not subject to the Public Records Act procedures.
No conditions may be placed on persons seeking access to the forms.
No information or identification may be required from persons seeking access.
Reproduction fees of no more than 10 cents per page may be charged.
THE VICTIM CARD
In her outburst before the BOS meeting -- an outburst that was heard by the public and videotaped by at least one person -- Mulheren further alleged that, and I'm paraphrasing, "Why pick on me? I'm a single mom just trying to support my family."
In truth, Mulheren is a not a needy single mother. The $20,100 in COVID Prime Grants and COVID SBA Loan that Mulheren received were all received by Mulheren after she was sworn in in January 2020. Mulheren makes an annual salary of $97,000 plus a generous benefits package.
In truth, Mulheren recently bought a house in Ukiah.
In truth, Mulheren plays the "victim card" when confronted with her behaviors.
Also, in her outbursts before the BOS meeting that was heard by the public and videotaped by at least one person, Mulheren kept asking me, and I'm paraphrasing, "Why are you doing this to me? What is your endgame?" She repeated herself three times.
When I insisted that I was simply a concerned citizen concerned about integrity in government, Mulheren only repeated herself in a louder voice.
Finally, I urged Mulheren to be honest with investigators from the GAO, California's FPPC, and Mendocino County's County Counsel, Elections Commissioner, and District Attorney, and I ended the conversation.
FRAUD AND FALSE CLAIMS
Along with the requirement to file accurate and complete Form 700s, Mulheren may now be required to explain how Mulheren Marketing was able to secure $20,100 in COVID Prime Grants and a COVID SBA Loan through a shell company that has no assets, no revenues, no employees, and no clients.
By her own admission, Mulheren is a social influencer who "markets" her self-avowed authority, knowledge, position, and relationship with her digital audience. She shares "tips" for small businesses in the Ukiah Valley.
Apparently, Mulheren only cuts and pastes these tips from other sources and posts it to her own social media. In other words, there Mulheren Marketing is not a viable business. It is a shell organized to apply for government grants and loans.
Mulheren's only real "client" may her own daughter, Kasie Gray, who received a COVID Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) Grant in the amount of $11,468 on 6/29/2020 under the guise of being an "independent contractor".
Again, I urge the Board to undertake its own investigation into Supervisor Mulheren's ethical lapses.