|Fire district chair resigns after guilty plea of making false report
The Rancho Adobe Fire District will possibly appoint a new member to its board of directors Wednesday, Dec. 9 to replace former chairman Ed Gee, who resigned last month after he pleaded guilty to falsely reporting a crime in February, said RAFD chief Frank Treanor.
“Ed was a very energetic director, and I think he was good for the district,” said Treanor.
Gee resigned Nov. 16 for “personal reasons,” according to the district. Charges were filed against him on July 21 by the Marin County District Attorney’s Office for making a false report.
The incident stemmed from an anonymous call to the Novato Police Department on Feb. 3 which said a man was masturbating in a car near Pleasant Valley Elementary School while students were out on the playground. The call detailed the vehicle and its license plate number.
The incident was investigated by the Novato Police Dept., who found the car was registered to a Sonoma County police officer. But that officer was found to have not been in the city at the time of the incident and cleared of the charge.
The focus shifted to the caller, who was identified as Gee. The Sonoma County officer has reportedly previously arrested Gee’s son, probably motivating him to make the false report.
Gee was sentenced to pay restitution and to one year of supervised probation for the misdemeanor.
The district accepted applications through Thursday and is holding the special meeting Dec. 9 to “determine how they want to proceed,” said Treanor. The board could make a decision on his replacement at that meeting or its regularly-scheduled Dec. 16 meeting. Two applications had been received as of Monday, said Treanor.
Gee, a former San Francisco firefighter, worked in the city the same time Treanor did before they both retired, though in a different area.
The board had the option of holding a special election to find a replacement for the rest of Gee’s term, which ends in 2010. But the $20,000 price tag was a bit steep for the financially-strapped district, said Treanor. The seat will be up for election on the 2010 regular ballot, and the appointee can choose to run for that seat at that time, if he or she chooses.
The appointment comes just over six weeks after Cotati mayor John Guardino resigned. The city council chose to go with an appointment to fill his position as well, nominating Mark Landman at a meeting last month.