Dr. Parmod Kumar has claimed, through an attorney, that the Tulare Local Healthcare District violated the Brown Act in swearing in Senovia Gutierrez on Tuesday.
Because a majority of the board — Linda Wilbourn, Kevin Northcraft, and Mike Jamaica — were in attendance, Kumar’s attorney claims that her swearing in ceremony was a violation of the state’s open meeting law.
Though the letter was dated July 26, Wilbourn did not mention it as the rationale for delaying Gutierrez’ seating on the board.
A letter from his attorney, addressed to TLHCD Board Chairman Linda Wilbourn, makes the claims.
“On 25 July 2017, with a majority of the board’s members in attendance, including you, Director Michael Jamaica, and Director Kevin Northcraft, action by the Board appeared to be taken to allow Senovia Gutierrez to assume a position as a Board Member of Tulare Local Health Care District 3, inter alia by having Honorable Walter Gorelick, Judge Superior Court Tulare County administer the official oath of office to Ms. Gutierrez,” the letter reads.
Although the Tulare County Registrar of Voters has stated that the recount effort does not invalidate the July 11 recall election’s certification, Kumar’s lawyer notes that the recount may have an effect on Senovia Gutierrez’ position on the board.
“The action taken appears to demonstrate by consensus of the Board that Senovia Gutierrez has assumed office as representative for District 3, despite there having been no publication of a Notice of any planned declaration by the Board, and despite the earlier filing of a timely request for recount with the Registrar of Voters of Tulare County,” it continues.
Kumar’s demands, expressed through his lawyer, include:
- Cease and desist the declaration of the 11 July 2017 election for District 3 until such time as
administrative remedies have been exhausted;
- If [Wilbourn] contend[s] that Ms. Gutierrez is a Member of the Board at this time, then cease and
desist the taking of any and all official action by Senovia Gutierrez, acting in a capacity as
Director of the Tulare Local Health Care District 3, including those actions which may result in
the selling or issuing notes, bonds or other indebtedness, or any related contracts or agreements
or decisions creating a contractual obligation, including a contract awarded by competitive bid
for other than compensation for professional services upon which a party has in good faith relied
to its detriment;
- Properly notice and provide to the public the awareness and opportunity to comment of
which it was deprived, i.e. the formal administration of the oath of office to Senovia Gutierrez,
and explicit withdrawal from commitments made at that meeting, coupled with a disclosure at a
subsequent meeting as to why individual members of the Board took the position that they did,
accompanied by the full opportunity for informed comment by members of the public at the
same meeting, notice of which is properly included on the posted agenda, i.e. discussion of the
Board matters made by Directors Northcraft and Jamaica.
This story will be updated as it develops. The full letter is available below.