Ex-Del Rey Oaks City Manager Facing Corruption Charges
The former city manager of Del Rey Oaks could face up to three and half years in prison for what prosecutors allege was a convoluted scheme to transfer water credits for a city-owned property to a lot he owns.
In September of 2015 Daniel Dawson purchased the lot at 815 Portola Road for $50,000. It was “the last buildable lot located within the city," the District Attorney's Office explains. Dawson didn’t report the transaction on his statement of economic interest forms -- his first indiscretion. Then prosecutors say he used his power as city attorney to reap a financial benefit.
"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. On January 27, 2017, three weeks after he no longer had authority to act as City Manager, Dawson simultaneously filed applications with the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to have the water credits from the Garden Center transferred to the City of Del Rey Oaks’ water allocation and for the issuance of a water permit for his lot at 815 Portola Drive. On the application to have the water credits transferred to the City’s water allotment, Dawson continued to use City Hall’s address and his City Manager email address."
A felony conflict-of-interest charge and a misdemeanor charge for violating the California Political Reform Act were filed against Dawson on Sept. 21 in Monterey County Superior Court. Together, the charges carry a maximum sentence of three years and six months in state prison.
Dawson held the city manager position in Del Rey Oaks from August of 2008 to January 3, 2017 when he was placed on administrative leave and resigned.