Jeff Pelline: City clerk to battle Nevada City in court |

Jeff Pelline: City clerk to battle Nevada City in court

The other shoe dropped in the long-simmering dispute between Cathy Wilcox-Barnes and the City of Nevada City with her lawsuit being filed against the city (see our story on page A1).

The city clerk’s suit, which was expected, contains some intriguing details of her alleged treatment. Some of the charges, such as being “locked out of her office and escorted out of the building, with an armed police chief in attendance,” may sound disturbing.

I’m not defending this conduct. But to provide some perspective, it is not uncommon for people to be locked out of their office and escorted out of the building as a security precaution. The presence of an “armed police chief,” presumably Nevada City Police Chief Lou Trovato, wouldn’t be surprising, since he also works at City Hall.

The suit contained at least one inaccuracy: It said an editorial in The Union on March 7 referred to financial losses to the city in the amount of “$400,000.” In fact, this editorial made no mention of the figure.

It only said: “The question that interests me (and should interest any Grand Jury): Auditors reviewing city finances have accused former office supervisor Cathy Wilcox-Barnes of granting herself exemptions from water and sewer fees. Her lawyer has cited conflicts between state law and city ordinance regarding the fees. Let’s get to the bottom of this.”

We have yet to hear anything from the Grand Jury about the dispute between Wilcox-Barnes and City Hall in Nevada City. In the meantime, we’ll follow the court proceedings in this case closely.


To contact Editor Jeff Pelline, e-mail or call 477-4235.

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