Former Del Rey Oaks City Manager faces criminal charges

DEL REY OAKS, Calif. - Former Del Rey Oaks City Manager faces criminal charges for purchasing a lot and failing to report that he owned it as required by the Political Reform Act. 

According to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office, in September of 2015, 57-year-old Daniel Dawson purchased a property on Portola Road, the last buildable lot located within the city. He failed to report he owned it in the statement of economic interest forms that he filed in 2015 and 2016. 

Dawson purchased the lot for $50,000. The property does not have water credits. Water credits would have allowed the building of a residence on the lot. 

"In February of 2016, Dawson contracted with Maggiora Brothers Drilling Inc., using his authority as City Manager. The contract was to have a well drilled on the City owned property of 899 Rosita Road that was then being used as the Del Rey Oaks Garden Center. The project to permit and construct the well at the Garden Center has cost the City of Del Rey Oaks over $25,000 to date," said the DA's Office. 

Dawson was placed on administrative leave on January 3 of 2017. On Jan. 27, Dawson filed applications with the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to have water credits transferred from the Garden Center to Del Rey Oaks to issue a water permit for his lot at 815 Portola Drive. 

County officials said, Dawson used City Hall's address and his City Manager email on his application to have water credits transferred to the city's water allotment. 

Dawson was charged with a felony violation for contracting for the well in his capacity as City Manager while having a direct financial interest in obtaining water credits for his purchased lot. 

"It is alleged that once the Garden Center had access to well water, it was Dawson’s intention to have the water credits returned to the City of Del Rey Oaks and then applied to his lot at 815 Portola Road. Dawson is further charged with a misdemeanor for violating the Political Reform Act by failing to disclose his ownership of the lot at 819 Portola Road in a mandated form that he filed in 2016," said the District Attorney's Office. 

Dawson faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and his misdemeanor charge could get him up to six months in county jail. 



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