It's Saturday Night Live out here in Los Osos, with CSD Director Le Gros and Director Gustafson sitting in for Gilda Radner's delightfully goofy Emily Latella, that woefully confused crank who would rattle on about "violence" in the streets, before being informed that the word she was mishearing was "violins," not "violence." Blinking into the camera, she would sheepishly say, "Oh, . . well . . . nevermind."
So, CSD Director Le Gros and CSD Gustafson signed documents asking a judge for a restraining order against Los Osos businessman Richard Margetson, stating that they feared for their lives and their family's safety and please, please Your Honor, please keep that awful Mr. Margetson far, far away from us.
Then, when everyone trotted into court, lawyers in tow, sha-ZAM! Le Gros and Gustafson said to the judge, "Oh, nevermind," and then dropped the whole thing. As reported in a July 28th, New Times update, "Court documents indicate that their request for a restraining order was made for the explicit purpose of excluding Margetson from voicing his opinion during a critical decision-making period."
A "Let's Shut Margetson Up" ploy becomes especially interesting because Mr. Margetson was instrumental in bringing to the public's attention the price differences between simply accepting the CSD's proposal for a fire tax increase, versus waiting and getting a competing bid for the same services from the CDF. The public voted down the original proposal and voted for the new CDF bid. Without Margetson's sustained efforts to inform the public, the public would have been unaware that they had any choice in the matter. That's certainly the kind of guy you don't want hanging around public meetings asking dangerously serious questions or pointing out that the emperor is not only naked but will soon be so broke he won't be able to buy any clothes, even imaginary ones.
The New Times article further stated, "Through the declaration of his attorney, Karol Voght, "Le Gros even acknowledged that he was 'seeking the injunction for the critical time period during which he, as a director of the Los Osos CAD, would be voting on the controversial Los Osos sewer project."
In short, they wanted one of their critics silenced so he couldn't ask any, uh, really, really interesting questions during a critical time, and attempted to use the courts to do it.
Now, the puzzle: When you fill out papers asking for a judge to impose a restraining order, don't you have to swear, affirm, whatever -- under penalty of perjury -- that the basis for your complaint is true? And that if it turns out that you were just using the court to jerk somebody around, you could and should be held accountable -- for for perjury and for filing false statements & etc, if nothing else?
So, which court documents are the correct ones? Did these two directors actually fear for their lives? If so, why would they be the ones who asked to dismiss their own case? And, as the New Times reports, admit that "Margetson 'did not harass, attack, strike, threaten, assault, hit, follow, stalk' them?" Or did they finally truthfully acknowledge that they were simply using the court to silence a member of the public?
Which version was sworn to? They can't both be right.
Which begs a few questions: Did two CSD Directors commit perjury? Or is making stuff up all O.k. so long as you simply tell the judge somewhere along the line, "Oh, well, nevermind. . . heh-heh?"