[Riverside County] After Grand Jury report, Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District board votes to expand

The Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District, an agency that has interred 17,000 people in Riverside County, voted unanimously on June 12 to expand from a three- to a five-member board, following a Grand Jury’s recommendation.

Joseph T. Ortiz, an attorney with law firm Best Best & Krieger advising the district, said after the meeting that expanding to a five-member board is considered a best practice to avoid violations of the Brown Act, the state law governing public meetings of city and county agencies.

[Riverside County] Banning receives another grand jury report due to ‘handshake’ agreements

Following a second incident in just a few years over “handshake agreements,” the city of Banning is preparing an official policy to address the use of public resources involving city labor and equipment when it comes to providing services to private parties.

The Riverside County Grand Jury’s April 30 report determined that a city council member verbally directed the city manager to assist a local auto dealership by trimming brush along Interstate 10 that was obscuring visual access to the property, a project that was completed in 2017.

[Riverside County] Grand jury panel wants probe of California park property

A grand jury is asking prosecutors to look into how Southern California land intended for a public park became a sports complex that hosts private events and has a sit-down restaurant and bar.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says a 2002 federal court order restricted use of the land in Norco that is now the SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Complex. The 122-acre parcel was intended for "recreational and open space purposes."

But the Riverside County grand jury report concludes, flatly, that the complex is "not a public park."

[Riverside County] Report illustrates conflict, disorganization at Coachella Valley Public Cemetery district 

The Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District has been suffering from a lack of leadership and its trustees need more training to perform their duties, a civil grand jury found.

The findings are among those in a report publicly released following months of interviews and investigation. It illustrates conflict, disorganization and potential Brown Act violations within a special district that serves 400 families per year and covers 3,444 square miles in Riverside County.