Opinion - BRIGGS COURTHOUSE LAND NEGOTIATIONS
The county’s negotiation with John Briggs for a new courthouse site has run into a snag lately due to allegations of local corruption and conflicts of interest with his son, County Supervisor Ron Briggs. The Board of Supervisors has been putting board agenda items on its secret closed session portion of the agenda regarding the new county courthouse using the existing county’s jail address 300 Forni Road which is not the parcel of land being acquired from John Briggs for a new courthouse. Since there is no room for the county to put the courthouse on the jail parcel of land, why would the county be negotiating with the Briggs family for a parcel of land it already owns?
The County surreptitiously renewed its option to purchase the neighboring parcel from John V. Briggs for the proposed new court house late last year. The property is known as the Ray Lawyer Commercial Subdivision, but consists of approximately 7 parcels. With the Briggs option rapidly expiring at the end of this year and the conflict of interest and collusion issues stemming around Supervisor Ron Briggs presently sitting on the board, one has to wonder if there won’t be some last minute shenanigans in the coming months to exercise the option on behalf of his father, prior to termed out Ron Briggs exiting his board seat.
John Briggs recently showed up at a Board of Supervisors meeting involving the Sheriff’s proposed new head quarters on September 9th and told the Board of Supervisors that no one from the County was speaking to him about selling a parcel of land from his subdivision to the County for a sheriff’s headquarters. John Briggs then said he was going to market the land on the open market if the County wasn’t interested. Good luck with that John! Supervisor Ron Briggs claims to have no involvement in his father’s development project, even though he was caught speculating on several large parcels of land surrounding and abutting dad’s project. If no one from the County is speaking to John V. Briggs, it begs the question, who is negotiating for John Briggs in closed sessions on the parcel slated for the new courthouse? Is Ron Briggs doing the real negotiating behind the scenes for his father’s benefit in closed session? That would be very illegal. Is this land deal a bail out for Ron Briggs who has lost six properties to foreclosure and now is facing foreclosure on his own house? Both father and son now have their houses up for sale.
Diamond Springs, CA