Plumas County HR Director Faces Three Felonies in Pay Raise Scandal

Plumas County HR Director Faces Three Felonies in Pay Raise Scandal
Above: Stock Image
Originally Published By Plumas County Sheriff’s Facebook

“On November 16, 2023, Plumas County District Attorney David Hollister filed a three- count criminal complaint against Plumas County Human Resources Director Nancy Louise Selvage, age 68, of Quincy, California. The criminal investigation has occurred over many months, drawing additional focus after the Plumas County Civil Grand Jury published its 2022-23 report.

During the investigation more than fifteen current and former employees as well as members of the public were interviewed and/or contacted. Additionally, hundreds of pages of documents and hours of Board of Supervisors meetings have been reviewed. The charges stem from pay raises approved on May 24, 2022 – specifically a 43% raise Ms. Selvage negotiated and recommended as the HR Director and personally received as an employee of Plumas County. The complaint alleges Ms. Selvage violated three felony statutes: Count 1 – Section 1090 of the Government Code (Conflict of Interest); Count 2 – Section 532(a) of the Penal Code (Obtaining Money by False Pretenses); and Count 3 – Section 134 of the Penal Code (Preparing False Documentary Evidence). If convicted, Ms. Selvage faces potential consequences of incarceration ranging from no time to up to four years and four months in state prison, disqualification from holding any office in California, restitution and the forfeiture of retirement rights and benefits from the time of the alleged crime.

The filed criminal complaint, including the probable cause statement of alleged facts, is attached to this release.
Background – California’s Conflict of Interest Laws
The common law prohibition against public employee “self dealing” has been established in California law since 1851 and codified, in part, in Section 1090 of the Government Code.
Information concerning California’s conflict of interest laws is widely available on the internet from many counties, cities and special districts. All appointed and elected California officials are required by law (Assembly Bill 1234) to take ethics training every two years which covers, among other things, laws relating to personal financial gain by public officials (including bribery and conflict of interest laws). The California Attorney General publishes a manual noting Section 1090 essentially prohibits a public official from being financially interested in a contract in both the official’s public and private capacities. As the California Supreme Court has stated, the purpose of section 1090 is to make certain “every public officer be guided solely by the public interest, rather than by personal interest, when dealing with contracts in an official capacity.” Eliminating temptation for public officials, avoiding the perception of impropriety, and obtaining their undivided loyalty have been deemed as extremely important public policy goals in California.
California law has long held conflict of interest statutes are based upon the truism a person cannot serve two masters simultaneously. The duties of public office demand the absolute
loyalty and undivided, uncompromised allegiance of the individual holding office to the public he/she serves.
Under California law, virtually all public board members, officers, and employees are public officials within the meaning of section 1090 of the Government Code. While 1090 refers only to contracts, appellate courts have defined contracts very broadly to include modifying, extending or renegotiating contracts among many situations. Section 1090 reaches beyond officials who actually execute a contract and includes any official or employee who participates in any way in their official capacity in making the contract, including engaging in negotiations, reasoning and planning.

On November 16, 2023, the Plumas County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint, as outlined above and attached, against Ms. Selvage. That same day, the Honorable Janet Hilde, issued a bench warrant for Ms. Selvage. Ms. Selvage has been scheduled to surrender on the warrant on November 17, 2023 whereupon it is expected she will be booked and cited to appear in court on December 1, 2023 to be arraigned on the pending criminal complaint.”

Plumas County HR Director Faces Three Felonies in Pay Raise Scandal was last modified: November 30th, 2023 by admin
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