Dawson’s Correct Misinformation Provided by Media and Recall Petitioners

Since August of 2011, Discovery Bay have been bombarded  with news articles, letters to the editors, many rumors, and a recall petition which have all been aimed at Brian Dawson and his family which have all negatively portrayed Brian Dawson.

What is going on in Discovery Bay is nothing short of a witch-hunt with facts being distorted for political gain. This all could have been figured out rather quickly if someone would have spoken with Jessica Dawson, Brian’s wife. In four months, she was never quoted in a news story—just a simple letter to the editor she submitted was published.

If I was with the CC Times or Press, Jessica Dawson would be the first person I’d want to speak with to get my story.  It would put an end to the rabble-rousers’ claims of spousal abuse and child endangerment being used in the recall movement.

While I do not condone what may or may not have happened the night of August 27, as an outsider looking in, it appears to me that some residents in Discovery Bay are not interested in finding out the facts.  Rather are out to replace a seat on the CSD Board at any cost with — the media playing along in order to sell newspapers.

Luckily, I don’t have to sell any papers and am more interested in getting facts out while letting others decide for themselves what make of the situation in Discovery Bay. Currently, the message is being controlled by bullies, and I don’t like that. The least I can do is allow both Brian and Jessica Dawson an opportunity to tell their side of the story which the media has not done since they apparently have chosen a side to support.

Upon reaching out to Brian Dawson, I was curious as to why he is adamant about keeping his seat instead of simply resigning and walking away.  He admitted that would have been easy, but taking the easy road is sometimes not the best choice.

“It would have been so much easier (to resign). But I was taught that what matters most is how well you walk through the fire. I don’t want my children to be the type of people who always take the easy way out when things get tough. I know I made a mistake, a serious, personal mistake for which I am facing the consequences in other parts of my life, but I also know it has nothing to do with the good work I’ve done and continue to do on the CSD Board,” said Brian Dawson.

Off the top of his head, Mr. Dawson provided 14-items the CSD Board achieved since the incident that includes the reorganization and upgraded Financial Services Division, hired a Finance Manager, updated and revised the Board Bylaws and Board Policy, and the continuing work on many other projects around Discovery Bay.

“There are people who have tried hard to make me a distraction, but my board hasn’t missed a step. We keep plugging away, working hard to maintain and improve life in Discovery Bay,” said Dawson. “My fellow board members Kevin Graves and Chris Steele have been really supportive, while still being hard on me. They are both like big brothers to me. The other members of the board are in an election year and will do just about anything to win votes and support. I have no clue if they support the recall but I wouldn’t doubt it – the chance of being able to appoint someone who agrees with their politics all of the time is probably pretty appealing.”

There are those who claim Brian Dawson is using his condition as a crutch in order to allow him to continue to serve on the board. Partial blame could be tied to the media’s reporting.

“I think that the angles used in the first stories after the incident, whether accidental or not, created that theory. But at this point, I would question the sincerity and the agenda of anyone still touting it. I’ve stated many times that my condition is no excuse for what happened, but to deny it played a part in my behavior is also without merit,” said Brian Dawson.

The constant in many of the news articles is a single line which states, “Charges filed against Dawson for spousal battery and child endangerment”.  It’s a dangerous line that leads people to create their own visual of what happened and that is how rumors start.

Still, none of the reporters went to the source—Jessica Dawson who was ignored.

Technically no one knows what transpired except for the Dawson’s, the police, and lawyers. No details have been shared with the public—which begs the question: if these details have not been shared, how can claims of spousal abuse and child endangerment continue to be printed? Aren’t these only allegations at this point?

I thought I’d ask Jessica Dawson a couple questions. Although she could not go into details about the night in question, she was able to provide some facts that contradict those that the media has assumed or gotten wrong.

Jessica Dawson admits to calling the police because she saw her husband act in a way that he hadn’t in all their years together (7 years). She explained that it was a two-sided argument that escalated into a screaming match which is out of character for her husband to get into.

“I tend to be a yeller, but Brian much prefers the clever argument-closer (like a sarcastic lawyer) over a fight. I was a little scared and I felt like it would be best to get help with the situation. If Brian’s family lived nearer by, I would have called them instead of the police, but in the moment I really didn’t know what else to do,” explained Jessica Dawson.

In my conversations with both Brian and Jessica, it appears the media is blowing the whole “injury” claim out of proportion as well. The term has been used broadly without any facts to back up this claim. For the media to claim she was “injured” they first need to define how they are using the term “injury”.

By definition, a paper-cut or a sprained ankle from playing basketball with one’s kids is classified as an injury while being very different from an injury sustained in a fist fight or car accident—they are not on the same level. Without due diligence and by not gathering the facts it needed to thoroughly define the injury or how it happened, the media allowed its readers to come to their own conclusion about what Brian Dawson could have done to his wife.

Jessica Dawson explained that while she believes it is police procedure to attempt to get alleged victims to seek immediate medical attention for both their safety as well as for documentation for future prosecution, and in many situations both are necessary and wise. She said that it was unneeded in her situation.

“I absolutely did not require medical attention. The police asked several times if I needed it, I was sure, and I refused because it was completely unnecessary,” said Jessica Dawson.

I asked Jessica flat out if her husband deserves to go to jail based on his actions on Aug. 27.

“Absolutely not, if I don’t feel victimized, if he has never committed anything close to a crime before this, if he’s addressed his underlying medical condition, what is the reason? Who are they helping? I feel like the District Attorney is making an example of him, and they are punishing me and my family in the process, the very people they are supposed to be protecting. If he went to jail, it would be an incredible hardship for me. I’d lose his income, and then I would lose my job. Who would get the kids off in the morning when I have to leave to 5:30? No, he doesn’t deserve to go to jail, and if he does I don’t know what I would do,” she stated.

Another rumor flying around based on the media reporting is what, if anything, is entailed in the allegation of “child endangerment”, which both Brian and Jessica dispute, stating their children were never in any danger.

“I believe it was sad and damaging to my children to see us argue like that, which is one of the things we are working through after the fact. But they were never themselves in danger. We met with Child Protective Services (CPS) at their request. Both we and the children were interviewed, and they closed the case via a letter stating that while the exposure was not healthy, they are satisfied that we have taken the necessary steps to assure that there will be no future incidents,” said Jessica Dawson.

It’s safe to say that the media is to blame for the many rumors now affecting the Dawson’s which have portrayed them unfairly.

“No reporter has spoken to me to verify anything, ask any questions, or even just to ask my opinion,” said Jessica Dawson.

She explained that Brian had spent several long conversations with Ruth Roberts of the Press while discussing the incident, his condition, yet that is not the story they told. Instead, she claims they printed inflammatory one-liner quotes that made her husband sound arrogant as though he were excusing his behavior with his condition, the tone of the stories hinting that he might even be making it up.

Another example of poor reporting was in a recent Contra Costa Times article by Paul Burgarino which wrote about Brian Dawson’s recent court hearing on Dec. 14 which stated unnecessarily that “his wife was in the audience” but failed to mention in what capacity she attended.

By stating why she was there, it actually would provide some context to Discovery Bay on whether or not this is being blown out of proportion—it’s almost as if the newspapers want this story to drag on so they have a topic to write about later.

Don’t worry Paul, I asked Jessica for you.

“I was there to support him; and as the victim of record, I have the right to speak in court to make my wishes known. Although the judge does not have to consider them when making decisions, and the DA certainly doesn’t have to when pressing charges. The bottom line is that people make mistakes, and one mistake doesn’t define a person or a life together. If our marriage had been peppered with abuse and misery, this would have been a very safe way to get away from it, and the legal system is set up to protect women who need that. I don’t,” said Jessica Dawson.

If the situation was truly serious, Jessica admits she would leave her husband in a heartbeat and without reservations.

“I think that is one of the things about this whole situation that makes me the angriest. When Brian is called a wife beater, the assumption is that I not only accept that as my own life, but that I would expose my children to violence and allow them to think its okay for a man to treat a woman that way,” she said.

What concerns her is the damage the media has done to create a reputation with the “wife beater husband and delicate wife” stigma.

“It’s sad, and no one hit or beat anyone. I get a little heated when those words are used, and I have corrected more than a few people already. I don’t know that our family will ever, in this town, be able to heal from the damage done by the media and the local group of people intent on turning what was a sad, personal situation into the destruction of my husband’s reputation,” explained Jessica Dawson.

Mrs. Dawson also rejects the claim that spousal abuse occurred or has ever occurred in her seven years with Brian.

“I do not consider one incident of an escalated argument in our seven years together to be spousal abuse. I don’t want to speak for other people, but for me to call this spousal abuse it would need to be indicative of a trend of abuse, whether emotional, psychological or physical. I don’t feel like all of a sudden the man I married became an abuser because one situation got out of control,” she said.

She proclaims Brian is a supportive husband and a great dad, and one blip on the radar of our lives is not going to change that. He’s been a stay at home father or only worked part time so I could pursue my career, which is why he’s been able to be active in the community.

“We’re a great team,” she added.

Brian Dawson is greatly bothered by the assumption people think he is a “wife beater” and wants his name cleared.

“Currently the proponents of the recall effort against me are telling people who refuse to sign the Recall petition that I beat my wife in front of my kids.  It’s desperate and disgusting behavior, and it is not factually correct. My wife has written a letter to the paper and emails to several of the Recall proponents, asking them to leave our private matter to us, but her opinion in this has been disregarded. She won’t even go to our local grocery store anymore,” said Brian Dawson.

The recall and rumors flying around have had an effect on the Dawson family, but they are not going to let that keep them down or change their lifestyle.  In fact, it’s helped them be more open with Brian’s condition while bringing the family closer together.

“We’ve become closer as a result, but life in Discovery Bay, watching what Brian goes through in the newspapers and hearing all of the terrible lies people are spreading to advance the recall petition, even just going to the grocery store, is much more difficult,” explained Jessica Dawson.

Still, life is difficult around town. After the incident Brian grew a beard just to be able to go to the store and travel around town.

“There are sympathetic looks followed, and cancelled out, by whispering at the school, the grocery store, the coffee shop. There’s uncomfortable hemming and hawing. After the first few weeks, I just stopped going to those places if I could avoid them. It’s a thousand times worse for Brian than for me, I’m just uncomfortable because of the lies and assumptions and rumors going around. I will say though that recently, in spite of (and perhaps because of) the obvious smear campaigns, we’ve both been approached by people wanting to tell us how they didn’t sign the petition and they think the media coverage is disgusting. It really makes me hopeful, not just about this situation, but about human beings as a whole,” Jessica Dawson explained.

It got to a point where she couldn’t keep quite anymore with all the rumors and lies flying around she felt obligated to write a letter to the editor about the situation.

“Brian spoke to reporters from the Press & the CC Times. I heard those conversations, and yet what was published was a twisted and sensationalized version of what he actually said. Following that, for over a month the Press proceeded to tear Brian to pieces with no thought to how it would affect me or my children, half of the time getting their facts wrong. I needed everyone to know that what happened was unfortunate, but private. I really feel like people should be ashamed of what they are doing,” she said.

According to Jessica, their oldest child (in middle school) is aware of what’s going on and is disgusted. She feels bad about everything that has transpired in the media and around the town in relationship to how her dad has been treated.

“She’s very empathetic by nature, and she has a hard time seeing anyone get picked on,” she added.

Brian Dawson believes his children have handled all the added stress better than he thought they would.

“My children are amazing. It would be a lie to say this hasn’t affected them, but my wife and I have done a great job raising them and they are very strong girls. When the Discovery Bay Press published a sticker that violated campaign law, my oldest wrote a letter to the editor expressing her disgust. While we wouldn’t let her send it, it hangs proudly on our fridge, “said Brian Dawson.

Proponents have also taken to using his condition as a way to show he is an angry and unstable Director. I asked Brian about his condition and his history with it. He was very open about both.

Although there was suspicions of bipolar behavior from a young age, Brian Dawson was never diagnosed until 2007 when the doctors diagnosed him as a Level II (functioning) bipolar. He is a random-cycler which means his mood swings can quickly go from low to high and visa-versa; however, this can be managed with medication and regular appointments with a doctor.

“I didn’t address it until I had a child of my own. I was afraid to hear the truth. There is a lot of shame attached to having a mental illness, but when you have children you begin to think about how not taking care of your health can affect them,” said Brian Dawson.

Other than this past summer, when he was without health insurance, he has consistently taken his medication and regularly seen a doctor to manage the symptoms. He has even had a couple of minor cycles, but they have been controlled.

“At the time of the incident, I had been without my medication for 97-days, due to the loss of our health insurance and the prohibitive costs of medication which is roughly $600 per month which we (my family) couldn’t afford at the time”, explained Brian Dawson.

Since serving on the CSD Board, the night of August 27 was the only serious incident he has had while never missing a meeting due to a cycle. After his diagnosis in 2007, and especially since August, he has changed his lifestyle to help manage his symptoms.

“I was never much of a drinker, but now I don’t drink alcohol at all. I have to make sure I eat enough real food (limited junk food) throughout the day, stick to a pretty consistent sleep schedule, and keep an eye on my sugar and caffeine intake. That may all sound pretty normal, but lack of sleep or too much junk food affect my happiness levels more than the average person,” he explained.

With all the attention Brian has received, he plans to turn this negative into a positive in the community. He participates with the National Alliance on Mental Illness which has provided him with information and guidance while meeting others to talk about each other’s struggles.

“One of the reasons I came out publically with my diagnosis was because you don’t hear about openly Bipolar elected officials, although 5% of the population suffers from mental illness. I believe it’s time we talk about it and the issues surrounding it,” said Dawson.

Dawson admits he would like to help more people in the community who were like him who may have waited too long as a child to get diagnosed. He understands the stigma and shame associated with mental illness which causes so many people to go undiagnosed or untreated.

For now, however, the Dawson’s are focused on the upcoming court hearing. Brian and Jessica both believe jail time is unwarranted; the prospects of a year in jail scare Mr. Dawson as a judge will decide his fate in the coming months.

“It does scare me, very much so. I can’t imagine being away from my girls for any lengthy period of time, and frankly it would be an extreme hardship to my wife, who the law is supposed to be trying to protect.  And no, I don’t feel that I should serve time in jail… but that is not for me to decide. Hopefully, with the support of my family, we’ll get through whatever happens,” said Brian Dawson.

Although things are still negative with the recall proponents, Jessica will continue to remain positive.

“It has opened doors of discussion between us and our children not only about Brian’s condition, but also about respecting oneself within a relationship, dishonesty in the media, and the rarity and importance of human kindness. This incident, the court case, the smear campaign, these things are now woven into the fabric of who we are; we are a couple who fights the good fight, together. I think all of those things are pretty darn positive,” Jessica Dawson said.

And a little support goes a long with the Dawson’s. They both are appreciative and amazed with those who have come up to them offering their support and disgust with how the media and petitioners have treated them.

“I was actually surprised by the friends I didn’t realize we had, people we knew more or less casually, or other parents from my daughter’s school. I’ve heard about several different out-and-out scolding’s given to the recall petitioners by these folks, and it really just makes me tear up thinking about their kindness and decency,” said Jessica Dawson.

Please Note: I only agreed to discuss the incident with Brian Dawson under the condition that Jessica also participate for the obvious reason she is being portrayed as the victim. I also did not want to know what exactly happened because I do not want a subpoena to their next court date so I stayed away from specifics. This interview involved multiple conversations over a period of weeks.


About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
This entry was posted in Contra Costa County, Discovery Bay, East County. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Dawson’s Correct Misinformation Provided by Media and Recall Petitioners

  1. voter says:

    Burk, you are way off seeing it. Authorities do not go to the scene of a domestic call and arrest someone because it was a misunderstanding. Who cares what his wife thinks or her so called story. There was an incident, there were children, and there were signs of violence. The real victims are the children being raised in that type of environment. This alone makes it the duty of the District Attorney to act on behalf of the minors. No person should hold a public office that expresses signs of violence multiple times. There have been other altercations initiated by Mr. Dawson. Not only between his own board members but with members of the public. Sadly , you know this Burk. Who got to you Burk ?

    Putting the other news media down and accusing them of fabricated news only shows you have no credibility. You have been scammed Burk. Why didn’t you interview the Deputy ? What about the neighbors ?

    Will you apologize to everyone if or when there is a conviction or plea bargain ?

    This is not journalism, It’s a PR plug for certain people. Brian should step down and take care of his personal issues. His ego will cost Discovery Bay in many ways. He can always support and carry his good deeds through another person if he really cares about his Town.

    This is how I see it, and I call it as I see it. Let’s see if Burk will allow this comment to remain

    • DB por vida says:

      “voter” is posting all over the internet and is non other than Don Flint, chief proponent of the recall. Talk about no credibility!

    • I love how you sit there and accuse me of “someone getting to me” when I decided to simply write an angle which you obviously do not approve of. I wrote it about their family and the reaction to what the media has portrayed them as and how its affected them.

      Based off your second sentence, your comment should be dismissed because his wife is key to the entire situation—I care 100% about what she thinks because she is portrayed as the victim, along with their children. Who are you to decide for her what violence and abuse is? She said in my interview with her that if he was violent and abusive, she would leave in a second, what else do you want?

      I would like your definition of what you mean as “type of environment” for the children. Please explain what you are referring to? Should CPS remove the children? Please explain. What makes you the expert on what an appropriate type of environment is?

      Expressing signs of violence and actually being violent is two different things–considering he was never arrested for those other incidents. Yes, there are rumblings of other incidents and I am aware of them; however, I refuse to insert them into this piece because those do not apply to this article—again, this was about their family.

      You accuse me of no credibility, but you fail to even use your name? So I didn’t talk to the deputy or neighbor, so what? That was not the angle; the angle was about their family. Come on now, don’t be a hypocrite.

      Whether there is a plea or conviction, I offer no apology for this piece. If this was a PR piece, I wouldn’t have asked the Dawson’s many difficult questions.

      • voter says:

        Mr. Burk , I too call them as I see them. I also research them before I call them.
        I will answer your question with information you posted in your very own story.

        The type of environment I am referring to is easily found in your blog. With the CPS interview, according to your Blog;

        Child Protective Services (CPS)….closed the case via a letter stating that …
        the exposure was not healthy…..

        Now back to your feel sorry for the Dawson’s blog. Mr. Burk you said above that you are aware of previous violent incidents, At what point does an incident become less than violent ? After injury, before injury, or on the way to injury ? How do all the associated incidents of violence not part of your hit piece on this re-call ?

        According to the real Don Flint in the open letter I just read above, He states three examples Mr. Dawson’s violent behavior.
        IF these incidents are true, there should be serious concern for both Jessica and her children. More concern for the children than Jessica for obvious reasons.

        I would like to ask you to ask Mr. or Mrs. Dawson if last year another violent episode occurred that resulted in an injured/broke/sprained hand on Mr. Dawson. Also ask if it involved a striking a wall with this hand or fist. This would be four incidents. If I respond again there may me more examples.

        Mr. Burk,
        I still think you have been fooled just like others. I pray that no harm comes to Mrs. Dawson or the children. I am glad that Child Protective Services have made themselves involved. I think the re-call is not the perfect way to go. But I also support the re-call based on the facts, history, and that Mr. Dawson is forcing it by not stepping down.
        If there is a $50,000 cost for a vote, it is at the control and hands of Mr. Brian Dawson.

        I just call it the way I see it.

  2. Don Flint says:

    It is interesting that other people’s comments are sometimes attributed to me. I rarely take the time to correct those ‘errors’, but in this case I will correct the earlier anonymous post from ‘DB por vida’ that credits me with the post from ‘voter’. While I am “a” voter, I am not “the” voter who posted that note. Anonymous notes should be treated as “anonymous” and the temptation to guess the identity of the writer be avoided.

    I realize that the blog editor has just said that his story is about the Dawson family rather than the recall effort. However, if I may indulge the editor, I would like to submit the following open letter to Mr. Dawson:
    Mr. Dawson,

    The grounds stated in the recall petition include the following specific items:
    ==> Brian Dawson has had multiple angry confrontations following board meetings which nearly led to blows, broken up by bystanders;
    ==> Brian Dawson passed a note to the President during a meeting threatening to “kick your ass”;
    ==> Brian Dawson was arrested on charges of child endangerment and spousal abuse.

    You responded to the petition by saying you believe the voters of Discovery Bay deserve an honest explanation for recent events in light of the numerous false accusations. We are still waiting; Here is your chance to refute these three specific allegations that form the basis for the recall petition.

    You admit that you “made a mistake” but claim the (single?) mistake had no bearing on the work you do for the DBCSD Board. Given the entirety of the issues that have been raised, I don’t understand your response. Don’t you think that your angry confrontations with members of the publicin the parking lot that nearly led to blows and were broken up by bystanders following meeting were mistakes on your part? Don’t you think threatening to kick a fellow board member’s ass was a mistake on your part? Don’t you think those incidents have a bearing on your work on the board and your role as an elected representative of the DB-CSD board?

    Our representative democracy depends on the People’s ability to attend and speak at meetings without threats of violence from elected officials. It also depends on board members’ ability to conduct business without threats of violence from their fellow board members. Like it or not, your actions do have consequences. Isn’t that why you have stepped away from representing the district with the School Board and relinquished your title of Vice President?

    You have stated that your family has had to deal with your pending criminal charges and the recall effort. I wish that were not the case, but unfortunately it is. Both, of course, are a direct result of your actions and for that you have full responsibility. It is interesting that you have agreed with the editor of this website to submit to an interview process for a story about your family rather than the basis for the recall effort.

    Resigning from the DBCSD board is not the “easy” thing, as you have said; it is courageous and appropriate thing.

    Thank you,
    Don Flint

    Ps. You are well aware of the email blast sent on your behalf that included personal attacks against some of the recall proponents along with photos produced by David Piepho. To date you have refused to condemn this email or apologize to those people who were singled out. Would you like to comment on that now?

    • Grace says:

      May God bless you Mr Flint……..you need his grace or you may end up in hell.
      You are the true definition of evil, you and your little gang.
      God is in control on this one and Good will prevail over evil every time!!!!!
      So give it up already You are boring us all with your evilness.

    • Bob says:

      Reality is beginning to set in for Don Flint & Co and they are starting to understand they WILL NOT reach the necessary number of signatures for a recall effort, because frankly, this is a tasteless witch hunt.

      If you think Mr. Flint or his cohorts are simply looking for an explanation and/or apology and will call it a day, then I’ve got a bridge to sell and I’m throwing in the water in a two-fer deal just for you.

      This is, as Mike has pinned it, simply a tool in a power grab. Don Flint could care less about the welfare of Brian’s children or he wouldn’t be writing the things he does in the Press and pursing it in the manner that he has where the children have to be exposed to the repeated negativity. It’s only kept alive and in the forefront through the efforts of Flint and his buddies. That feigned concern for the children is just another shameful ruse in his campaign.

      This was a very unfortunate incident, which I also do not condone. It occurred in a private setting and has nothing to do with Brian’s performance within the CSD. As for the incidents Mr. Flint wants to hang his hat on, what he’s not telling you about is the constant and elevating antagonistic behavior from his camp which is basically taunting Mr. Dawson into reacting. This is by my estimation a pretty clear example of harassment.

      Brian’s diagnosed bipolar condition is a disability, protected under the American Disabilities Act. I brought this to the attention of one of the recall petition proponents prior to their collection of signatures and I was summarily dismissed. They continued to march forward with a petition that actually mentions the condition as partial reasoning for their recall effort. This is a group of individuals begging to have a civil rights attorney come in here and clean their clocks for the continued harassment and attempted exploitation of that disability. It’s quite clear to me that the goal here is to prompt another incident through this continued harassment, both online and in private. One only needs attend a CSD meeting or two to witness for themselves the continued taunting from Flint and his gang.

      For the record, I too have reached out to some of these individuals in private, to include Mr. Flint, in attempt to appeal for more reasonable behavior. But I was ignored, just as Jessica appears to have been. Because clearly Flint is only interested in his trial in the court of public opinion.

      Now if Mr. Flint wants to continue this discussion about perceived physical threats, we can launch into discussion of my personal experience with this group in December of 2010. I had one of his cohorts actually lay their hands on me during an emotional outburst and 5 minutes later I had to hear another explain to me they were unhappy with a joke I had made. They were offended to the point that they felt a need to deal with it “mono-a-mono” and that was preceded by the person pointing out he possessed certain martial arts skills. Now I don’t know how to read that in any way other than this person was physically threatening me.

      Quite the eventful evening.

      I’m inclined to engage “voter” who posted with many falsehoods, but I suspect this is the same individual who threatened me at that December meeting. I have had to recently deliver a cease and desist request to this same individual in the audience of local law enforcement and State DOJ officials because the tone of his emails was getting bizarre. Coupled with the earlier incident, it’s too far outside my comfort zone.

      I wanted to stay away from this issue and refrain from public comment, but it’s clear Flint intends to elevate this. My prediction is his desperation and antics will only expand between now and the signature deadline a month from now.

      Recall efforts have requirements for specific percentages of registered voters for a reason. The rules on that are the same for everyone. But this will likely be another instance, and there have been many in the past, where Don Flint will act like those rules are for someone else and dismiss the fact that his campaign is not adequately supported by this community.

      The dialog over this has extended well beyond dysfunctional and is now flirting with criminal. You have to ask yourself why this small group of malcontents, who don’t possess the backbone to run for public office themselves, would go to these extreme lengths in attempt to control and intimidate local and county officials from the cheap seats. I’ve watched this group over a few years go from casual complaints during meetings, to long running smear campaigns, to most recently telling Legal Counsel they are incompetent. Lately even going so far as DICTATING to the Contra Costa District Attorney how they expect him to respond to the Discovery Bay CSD over a procedural disagreement.

      It’s beyond strange. If you read even a portion of the correspondence these people distribute in the shadows you too would be alarmed.

      I hope this isn’t a 6 o’clock lead news story looking for a place to happen when one of them finally snaps big time.

      • John Locke says:

        Bob you are missing the entire point of the recall, it is not about his arrest for spousal abuse and child endangerment. The recall is about democracy and the way our government works, as citizens we should be allowed to disagree with and question our elected officials without fear of reprisal. Mr. Suggs disagreed with Mr. Dawson and Mr. Dawson threatened him in the parking lot, a confrontation that needed to be broken up by others. Furthermore, many of the outspoken leaders of the recall movement have been slandered by an email blast created by Mr. Dawson’s people. The American government system is not supposed to work like this, and Mr. Dawson is the cause. He causes me to be fearful of questioning government because of the lingering threats of violence and character assassination perpetrated by Mr. Dawson and his political allies, this is way he needs to be recalled.

      • Bob says:

        Johnny, the CSD board meetings primary purpose is for the elected body to conduct business of the people(the collective). The public is ALLOWED to attend and participate through public comment. But the public participation is not the primary focus.

        You and your group seem to think it’s all about you at these meetings. You harass and belittle the people who are trying to conduct the peoples’ business before, during and after the proceedings. But when someone calls you on this behavior, you whine about it like a bunch of spoiled brats pretending to be adults. You clearly don’t understand how representative democracy works any better than Flint.

        A little story told to me during the night I was physically threatened. In addition to Mr. Doran feeling a need to note to me his martial arts skills, he also felt a need to point out that Scruggs was an even more lethal threat. I don’t even know Scruggs, but what is a person doing pointing out irrelevant self-defense skills at a public meeting? You tell me what the intent was. Assuming the description was true, does that skill set sound like an individual who is going to feel threatened by a smaller man?

        From my earlier explanation of the events, did you not understand who initiated aggressive behavior? Hint; it wasn’t Dawson

        Again you seem to have some real problems with your stories passing smell tests. You taunt people and if any of them push back, you start crying. Are you sure these are public meetings you want to attend or are you having flashbacks to the 3rd grade playground bullying attempts from your childhood?

        As for the email blast, I personally wouldn’t have used that language. But if you’re interested in pushing the issue I have personal experience and supporting docs to back the statements made toward 3 of those people. I do not know the fourth. Put in lingo your group will understand; if you think you’ve got a slander case(technically a libel claim, but consider the source) then put up or pipe down. You guys swing around threatening to sue people every third email these days. Let a judge make the call. Your arm waving and empty threats are getting old.

        Nobody is preventing you from exercising your rights in a recall effort, save for preservation of private property rights and acceptable etiquette. Don Flint’s own sister complained online and in personal conversation with the store manager she indicated to me she had multiple complaints. Now you’re going to insist my own eyes and ears did not read and hear that? It’s noteworthy that you changed the point away from whether you had permission to be there in the first place.

        On that subject, I had lunch today with a Safeway Corporate type, among others. I was lied to by Mr. Doran and Mr. Richardson on Sunday, as was apparently the on-duty Manager. They had no permission from the property owners to be there and that will be made crystal clear to local staff. I got the impression a recurrence will result in a legal action against your group.

        So how long do you anticipate this absurd defense of yours will last? Shouldn’t you be out in support of the signatures you claimed you had weeks ago?

        Finally, I’ve appreciated the series Lost when it was on TV, but I don’t believe your real name to be John Locke. You fellas aren’t helping your credibility with this continued cat and mouse game with the aliases. Just further evidence of the cowardice of this group.

        Another forum and another trainwreck of a topic from the gang who can’t defend their behaviors, but instead play little word games and constantly change the subject.

  3. Pingback: Open Letter to Brian Dawson | BurkforOakley

  4. Grace says:

    Thank You BurkforOakley for FINALLY telling the whole story here!!
    Shame on all the CC Times and DB Press. Tacky reporting when there are wars and starving people etc etc etc. Did you all flunk real journalism so you decided to write smut instead of an actual TRUE story.

  5. Caren says:

    I find it very noble that Mr. Burk takes offense to the opinion of many in the Discovery Bay Community regarding Mr. Dawson’s personal anger issues. As Mr. Flint above indicates, it is not just this issue. I for one have been involved in many domestic violence incidents being in law enforcement. Believe me it is not always just one incident. The situations esculate as time goes on. From the descriptions of Mr. Dawson’s threats, ie. Board Members and other people attending the meetings, previously breaking his wrist hitting a wall? These are all judgement calls by the individual party committing the act. The only question is if it continues will it end up in someone eventually being injured if Dawson cannot contain his anger? It does not matter how many times the Mrs. denies the incident, it still occurred and that is part of the bad decision making process by Mr. Dawson. It is difficult to maintain respect for someone who resorts to violence, not matter what excuse they come up with. It is unfortunate for Mr. Dawson, his family and the community.

    • Bob says:

      Caren, I hope your experience in law enforcement is limited to street level as your comments are a bit disturbing. “It does not matter how many times the Mrs. denies the incident…”.

      Really? So your idea is to march to some “justice” but skip that time consuming fact collection and analysis part? That whole innocent until proven guilty thing a bit too inconvenient?

      You appear to be on the same page as “Voter” and the newspaper reporters who summarily dismisses Jessica’s statements. The lot of you have effectively made her a victim of character assassination in this very thread. Did you completely miss that point that Mr. Burkholder was trying to make? If that is representative of the quality of opinion of your “many”, then I’m unimpressed. Looks to be more mob rule based than rule of law based.

      Then there is the fact that you completely dismiss or perhaps intentionally overlook; the bipolar condition here in the cause and effect? Surely if you’re in law enforcement as you state you have received some level of training on incidents where mental health is at issue. But in this forum you just ignore it to go along with the crowd, or the mob, as the case may be?

      I’d also like to point out that there are 13-14k residents in this community and 6500 registered voters. The recall petition effort seems to be struggling to get to 1,000 signatures even with Don Flint foaming at the mouth in various forums and media trying to capture signatures through all manner of unethical means. There is the Safeway parking lot campaign where they hounded people going to their cars and did so without permission of the property owner. Hell, even Don’s own sister was approached and subsequently complained online about the stalking incident.

      That was followed by neighborhood walking and use of unsubstantiated and slanderous statements being used by signature collectors. This is documented by people who experienced it.

      In light of that Don wants to lecture on ethics? How does that saying go again, people in glass houses?

      But I did find some comedic value in Don’s open letter here where he claims he’s preserving his right to “representative democracy”. Once again Mr. Flint tries to comment when he doesn’t have a clue.

      Ballot measures and recall efforts are examples of DIRECT democracy, not representative democracy, and are actions which our founding fathers very much feared and with good reason. Because they are actions which can trample the rights of an individual, as is the case with Mr. Flint & Company’s recall effort here.

      But in my experience Mr. Flint and his gang have never been very good at understanding government or process, which is a root cause of their growing irrational behavior, so this latest guffaw comes as little surprise.

      Mr. Dawson’s incident is subject to our legal system where it will be scrutinized under the existing laws and civil rights afforded to him. We can put our faith in that system or we can engage in this kangaroo court affair that Flint & Co are attempting to foist upon us.

      The choice is as simple as that.

  6. voter says:

    Mr. Burk,
    I am still waiting for your response comment on the four incidents of violent behavior you have been made aware and continue to defend. I have worked in the public sector closely with these type situations. All of them have a unique difference but most of them have a common result and eventual sad ending. It appears the above poster has also witnessed this. Mr. Dawson and his family may survive these displays of violence. I would not be willing to accept him as a model citizen to represent my community.

    He should step down or people should sign the re-call until he steps down.

    I just can’t understand how you can defend these violent situations that have been exposed. I can’t understand how you can dismiss the entire situation as a fluke occurrence. Who got to you Burk ?
    Mr. Burk, Your credibility is truly in question on this one.

  7. Merda taurorum animas conturbit says:

    Posting the same nonsense on numerous blogs and websites….This is getting really pathetic and it shows a visible level of desperation.

    If there was anything to any of your accusations there would not only be police reports (anyone can file a police report, what matters here is if something is done about the report), but investigations and charges pressed. If the board member Mr. Dawson passed a note to (I believe it was supposedly Kevin Graves) was scared I’m sure he would have done something about it, but from what I’m told he didn’t and again, I’m pretty sure that board member and Mr. Dawson are not only in agreement on policy issues facing the Town of Discovery Bay, but as Mr. Dawson stated above Mr. Graves is like a big brother to him. Mr. Graves seems really scared! I have asked around and I have not heard about any arguments “almost coming to blows” that had to be broken up by “Bystanders”. Can you please inform all of us of who the bystanders where who “stepped in” and what the arguments were about? People in Discovery Bay need to use common sense!

    As to Mr. Burk’s credibility and the comments touching upon it. I have really enjoyed reading this blog of late and think what Mr. Burk is doing is great. He is sharing information and ideas while helping keep East County residents informed of the issues in their community. I have a hard time believing that a person who won’t stand by their opinion with their name is in any position to comment on the integrity or credibility of someone who does. (Hell no, I’m not using my name. I don’t need these people coming after me!) Though I can’t stand Mr. Flint or his agenda or tactics, I do applaud him using his name when committing libel, defamation, and infringing on another American’s civil rights!

    Before I believe anything I read or hear about my community (Discovery Bay) I go to the sources, not the coterie of Discovery Bay Gadflies.

  8. Caren says:

    It sounds like Bob has some serious anger issues he also needs to deal with also. As for your comments about street level I doubt if you would understand clinical findings regarding this subject. You make yourself sound like you need to see someone about your issues. This whole incident puts a cloud over the entire community is the only point I wanted to make not jack up your ugly side Bob!

  9. Bob says:

    Caren, jack up my ugly side? Seriously?? LOL!

    Sorry, it’s the right side of my face and it’s a result of a birth defect. Unlucky sperm club, I guess.

    Do you have any comments on the facts stated? Any explanation as to why you dismissed Jessica’s repeated attempts to set the record straight? Any comments on why it would be appropriate or in any way acceptable to attack and exploit a person’s disability? Or do you, like a previous petitioner, not believe this is a protected disability?

    I’ll be happy to point to you the appropriate ADA references and include some case law if you’re not sure.

    Merely responding with innuendo about clinical doesn’t further the discussion. It’s unfortunate that you instead chose a very familiar MO for this group and that is to deny and then deflect.

    It was you who pointed out your law enforcement experience, then proceeded to make statements that showed a lack of situational awareness and objectivity. Unless you were the responding Deputy or somehow have the inside baseball on this incident through associates, I’m curious how you are leaping to the conclusions you express here.

  10. voter says:

    To Bob,
    I do not know where your logic comes to play by this comment you typed;
    “Brian’s diagnosed bipolar condition is a disability, protected under the American Disabilities Act”.

    So are you saying we should give Brian a HC Plague to wear so everybody can be notified of a possible outbreak of a disability ? Are saying this so called disability is justification for violent actions ? I don’t buy that at all. If it does, Brian must step down or be removed. The voters need to take action on this because the problem will not correct itself. People must send a message that this type of behavior will not be acceptable for representatives in public office.
    For some reason the defense of the Dawson’s come with nothing tangible but the words of pity parties such as yourself and Burk. The defenders still can’t or will not provide a realistic defense on the three other violent occasions. This must be because they want to hush other incidents. Mr. Burk who criticizes other journalists for not explaining the situation properly is aware of the other incidents but refuses to provide journalism and justification on them.There is your hypocrisy Mr. Burk.
    The recall people will be ridiculed by the pity people for many years whether Brian Dawson is recalled or not. It would be so much easier for the entire Town if Brian stood up like a man and stepped down while he repairs his personal issues. If not, the recall should be supported and completed.

  11. Bob says:

    “Voter”, even after having it explained to your group weeks ago you still don’t get it?

    An improper treatment program or lapse in treatment(as was previously stated)can explain past behavior, but it does not excuse future incidents. This was made quite clear. You just don’t want to hear it.

    A primer on bipolar disorder:


    If you’re still questioning whether the condition is protected under ADA, you might want to read what one of the sharks who could be hunting you down has to say on the matter. I had forgotten that it’s also protected by state laws.


    Finally, the legalese which provides for reasonable accommodation of the condition:


    So what happens Mr. “Voter” when the community doesn’t sign onto your smear campaign of lies and falsehoods? Do they get bullied as you did here with Mr. Burkholder? As you have with me and other residents? As you have done with numerous CSD officials, staff, County officials and staff, town’s Legal Counsel and even the District Attorney himself. When none of them would agree with your take on this and other issues you have turned on them with all manner of vicious attacks.

    Is that what lies in store for the voters who will not agree to signing your petition? Based on my brief and unplanned encounter with you yesterday it would appear to be the case. Seems the Safeway store manager had received multiple complaints about your signature table and customers being offended by your efforts. Not sure what excuse you offered her, perhaps the same “we signed all the documents” line you gave me. Problem is, weeks ago I inquired and Safeway Corporate said they would no way approve a ballot measure of this type on their property.

    So either they lied to me then or you lied to both me and the store manager yesterday. We’ll find out later today. Might want to get the old fella to warm up the typewriter now to explain yourselves. A deliberate act of trespassing when you had been asked previously to leave the parking lot is not going to look too good.

    It will likely be just another in a long line of unethical and illegal acts from your group of control freaks. The “recall people”, as you put it, will be ridiculed for those reasons. So that comes by your own hand.

    But your post makes it clear you don’t have the signatures and you will not ever get them. I told you success was highly unlikely before you started. For several reasons previously stated. Common sense should have told you that. But this shows what blind rage will make a person stoop to. Exploiting a person’s disability for political gain.

    • John Locke says:

      Bob it is important to note that Safeway has video cameras pointed outside of both entrances and any harassment of customers would have been recorded. Repeating the same lies over and over again do not make them true.

  12. Caren says:

    Mr. Bob,
    What the heck does your face have to do with Dawson’s actions? You seem to be good at readily getting off the subject matter of what is being discussed and bringing up something about your face and sperm has nothing to do with it. I was addressing your your ugly view from inside and what you say. No sure what point your trying to get across with the ordeal about your face and sperm but you are sounding pretty dumb. It is apparently your eyes and ears that have serious issues , as you are looking into something that does not exist and you are only hearing what you want to hear on this blog or bring up issues that make no sense and have nothing to do with what is being discussed.

  13. voter says:

    @ Bob,
    I do not know what voter your talking to. Your spouting off accusations as such to me is a waste of time. I could really care less. It does speak a lot about you Bob. I’m only interested in fact and logical opinion on a subject. Have you always been on edge like this ? Do you take anything for that paranoia ? I have been speaking my opinion as that is what I thought this comment section of the article was for. Don’t have a tizzy fit. I have no campaign to smear. I have no group. I do have an opinion. Just like your good buddy Mr. Burk who obviously has set this entire forum as his personal political promotion agenda. If it wasn’t, he would remain more neutral in his articles. He would also stick with our community of Oakley and leave the Chicago Politics of Discovery Bay to the District Attorney. Insulting the Times and the Grand Jury, what a puck. I also want to know Bob what’s going on with this sperm thing ? How could this blog go from Mr. Dawson spousel abuse arrest to sperm ? What also is going on in your dreams that I had any conversation with you or Safeway ? I do not even know you or met you. I have read an extensive amount of character assassination comments from a poster Bob Mankin. I do think you are him. If you are Bob Mankin, it all comes together and makes sense. I suggest to you, your good buddy Mr. Burk, and your girlfriend Mixon to try to keep your petty emotions at bay. Try to debate with facts and opinion not character assassination, it only makes you little “Piepho Puppets” who can’t think for yourself.

  14. Caren says:

    Very common statements here that may be indicative of a very sad and dangerous situation…
    Complaining about the printing? There’s a huge priority for the victim being battered?

    Brian Dawson says:
    “My wife has written a letter to the paper and emails to several of the Recall proponents, asking them to leave our private matter to us, but her opinion in this has been disregarded.”

    Mrs. Dawson says:
    “I needed everyone to know that what happened was unfortunate, but private. I really feel like people should be ashamed of what they are doing,” she said.

    We can be confident that law enforcement agencies will provide tough and aggressive enforcement should the arresting officer’s findings prove accurate.

    It is troubling, however, that the felony charge for ripping a phone line from the wall was dropped. It is hard to believe that the arresting officer would have included this charge without evidence that it took place. If evidence existed then the DA should have followed through with it. Think how dangerous it is for a potentially abusive man to rip the phone from the wall as the victim is calling 911! That can’t be tolerated and/or swept under the carpet.

    Most importantly, both the alleged batterer and the alleged victim need to be educated and understand that domestic violence is NOT a private matter.

    Again…for emphasis…


    It is a critical national problem that affects us all — in every community, in every work place and in every school.

    The most common response to battering is “Why doesn’t she just leave?” That ignores economic and social realities facing many women and clearly delineated by Mrs. Dawson in this profile.

    Shelters are often full, and family, friends, and the workplace are frequently less than fully supportive. Faced with rent and utility deposits, day care, health insurance, and other basic expenses, the woman may feel that she cannot support herself and her children. Moreover, in some instances, the woman may be increasing the chance of physical harm or even death if she leaves an abusive spouse.

    These aren’t my words, they come from the specialists in the field of Domestic Violence: http://www.dm.usda.gov/shmd/aware.htm

  15. Bob says:

    Caren, thanks for the “one size fits all” approach to the very real and serious problem of domestic violence, but some of us are a little more independent thinkers.

    Your ignorance of the parties involved is illustrated by your comment, “That ignores economic and social realities facing many women and clearly delineated by Mrs. Dawson in this profile.”

    You obviously don’t know Ms. Dawson. But then any appearance of genuine concern for her welfare was dismissed in your first post in this thread when you dissed her comments outright.

    Since you’re in the mood for statistics citations, did you know that law enforcement households experience domestic violence at a 4 in 10 rate, whereas in the general population it’s only 1 in 10? I recall that you opened saying you’re in law enforcement, so perhaps this puts some context to why you’re getting after it so hard on this one.


    Growing up with exposure to a law enforcement household, would you like it if I start stereotyping with you based on published data and my personal experience?

    With all due respect to Mr. Burkholder’s fine blog, I’ll go out on a limb and suggest the DA probably doesn’t read it. If you are keen on telling him how to do his job with respect to the charges he pursues you’ll probably have better luck with a direct email or letter.

    Good luck to you.

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