[Hpn] Camp Paradise update

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Mon, 15 Oct 2001 10:44:26 -0700

Homeless leader's city deal uncertain

Published Thursday, Oct. 11, 2001, in the San Jose Mercury News

Mercury News 

Larry Templeton, founder and leader of the homeless Camp Paradise on the
banks of the San Lorenzo River, had a deal Wednesday for eight hours of
community service to wipe out the tickets he was given in an Aug. 3 raid by
Santa Cruz police.

Then he didn't. Or did he?

No, he didn't, said City Attorney John Barisone, insisting that the other
nine campers who still have tickets must also agree to the offer. ``It's an
all-or-nothing deal.'' About 11 others have already accepted a previous city
offer to drop their tickets if they left the camp.

Yes, he did, said Paul Sanford, attorney for the campers. ``I believe that
we have a deal in place'' for Templeton, he said, ``and I expect that the
city will honor it.''

Wednesday's round of miscommunications followed private city council
discussions Tuesday of pending litigation.

The campers have a court date Nov. 19, as well as earlier pretrial
conferences, and the city was eager to avoid legal fees, Barisone said.
There would be no point in cutting a deal with Templeton and still going to
court with the other nine.

But Sanford said Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Pousho told him Tuesday
the city would agree to a separate peace with Templeton. And she affirmed
that agreement in two later telephone conversations, he said.

Barisone said Sanford had ``jumped to conclusions,'' but added that his
``hasty'' talk with his assistant between council sessions probably led to
her misunderstanding of the council's intentions. But Barisone agreed that
it's Pousho's case and said he had not talked directly to Sanford.

In the end, Sanford said, the council's intentions matter less than Pousho's
promises on behalf of the city.

If it is a deal, it's a good one for Templeton. Two of his tickets were
issued by California Fish and Game officers and carry potential fines of up
to $25,000 each.

But it's no help at all for the other nine campers, either individually or
collectively. Eight hours of community service is the statutory alternative
to a $50 fine for the misdemeanor tickets, and they can cut that deal with
the court anytime, either by pleading guilty or by going to trial and
Contact David L. Beck at dbeck@sjmercury.com or at (831) 423-0960.
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