Kaddis held responsible for
by Chris Wilson
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors denied an appeal by
William Kaddis Tuesday morning and upheld the Planning Commission's
April decision that the Los Angeles man is responsible for the
removal of 301 oak trees and illegal grading on a 44-acre property
that he owns adjacent to Rancho Matilija on Baldwin Road.
A representative from District 1 Supervisor Steve Bennett's office
said the supervisors will work in conjunction with the district
attorney's office to pursue action against Kaddis for the unpermitted
tree removal and illegal grading that allegedly took place sometime
between August and September of 2001.
Greg Brose, the supervising attorney with Ventura County's Consumer
and Protection Division, said his office is reviewing the case
to see if criminal or civil charges are in order. If a criminal
case is filed it could bring misdemeanor charges that carry maximum
$500 fines and six months incarcerations. If civil charges are
filed, Brose said, a court can find penalties with a higher dollar
amount and require restitution and restoration of the property.
Kaddis has previously said at the Planning Commission hearing
in mid-April that he will take the matter to court if he has
Kaddis told the supervisors Tuesday he was innocent and had nothing
to do with the removal of the oak trees on his property. Kaddis
entreated the supervisors to see the situation from his standpoint.
"Before you judge a man, put yourself in his shoes,"
Kaddis said, "I have been prosecuted unfairly and there
has been a total misrepresentation and total lies just to convict
County Planning official Scott Ellison presented a report, which
included before-and-after aerial photographs showing the destruction
to the property. It had changed little since the report he presented
to the Planning Commission in April.
The report showed before and after aerial photographs of the
Kaddis property which lies near the westerly entrance to Rancho
Matilija. As before, he noted that the oak trees had been piled
into valleys at the base of the property but that orange groves
had ironically been left untouched.
Kaddis's attorney Neil Evans told the supervisors that his client
was not responsible for the tree removal.
"Someone else did this," Evans said. "I feel we've
done a reasonable job showing that."
Kaddis raised his voice and fired accusations of misrepresentation
and unfair treatment at the supervisors. Several times Chairman
Flynn hammered his gavel and ordered Kaddis to lower his voice
and stick to the issues at hand.
"I find no values here," Kaddis hollered. "I find
only total hate and discrimination."
To which Flynn responded, "Mr. Kaddis, slow down and no
pointing fingers when you address the supervisors."
Kaddis, who has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Ventura County,
will also now have to face the county's Animal Control Department.
For several months, Kaddis has kept approximately 30 dogs on
the property in unpermitted kennels. Animal Control allows up
to four dogs to be kept on a property without a kennel permit.
Code enforcement actions for the unpermitted kennels will now
commence, Bennett's office said.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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