Elk Grove’s Dunce of the Decade

Like every other media outlet, EGN can’t let the decade that was just slip away without some sort of commemoration. To mark the passing o...




Like every other media outlet, EGN can’t let the decade that was just slip away without some sort of commemoration. To mark the passing of the decade we have given great thought on how to best to punctuate the last ten years in Elk Grove.

While our brethren at the long-established and highly respected Elk Grove Citizen annually bestow their Citizen of the Year award on a usually well-deserving person who has contributed something of substance to the community, for us to honor someone in a similar fashion would be un-original and just plain boring.

Besides, who wants to be a copy cat?

Hence we decided unveil our own award: Elk Grove’s Dunce Of The Decade. This award will be bestowed on some deserving person or institution that truly earned it.

As a refresher, let’s remind ourselves that while a dunce is defined as someone who is stupid, more importantly, a dunce is also unwilling to learn. Just to add some flavor to the award, our DOTD receiptient didn't need to be stupid, just unable or unwilling to learn from their past mistakes, which only makes the community of Elk Grove look stupid.

Looking back over the last 10 years there has been no shortage of nominees who qualified as Elk Grove’s DOTD. Let’s stroll down memory lane.

There was a certain clever former city manager who was anything but stupid. This fellow masterfully gamed a couple council members and the system and got fired with a golden parachute. To top it off, he made the people of Elk Grove look like a bunch of rubes who just fell off the turnip truck.

Then there is a certain council member who repeatedly seems to be confused and self-centered during council deliberations. We won’t say who this certain council member is other than that they have been there since the start. The word vanity comes to mind for this council member.

Of course the taxpayers of the Elk Grove Community Services District, now the Cosumnes Community Services District, are also worthy candidates too. Their act of stupidity? Paying two former fire chiefs pensions that exceed $150,000 a year for life!

Then there is our favorite local symbol of the last decade’s boom and bust – The Elk Grove Promenade. Placing exact blame on this debacle could become a regular parlor game.

There is of course the developer, Chicago-based General Growth Properties, the city council members, planning commissioners and city manager-types that were seemingly salivating at the thought of all the sales tax revenues the so-called regional fashion mall would generate. Just what were they collectively thinking?

What do we have? A half-baked overgrown strip center on steroids that is an eyesore which if we are lucky, will one day house another Target, or if we are really good little boys and girls, a Wal-Mart Super Center. So much for competing with the Roseville Galleria.

Although there are several other people and institutions, there is one person who was not only unwilling to learn from their past mistakes, but made the people of Elk Grove look inept.

And the winner is…
Although the field was crowded and the competition stiff, there is one person who stands head and shoulders above the rest and will be the recipient of Elk Grove’s Dunce of the The Decade Award.

The person is the currently criminally indicted and suspended Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff and former Elk Grove City Council member, Michael Patrick Leary.


While Leary is currently battling alleged real estate fraud charges leveled by his former alleged love interest, Leary has earned the award for the simple fact that he seemed to be unwilling to learn.

Without going into all the gory details, many will remember that Leary and current city council member Jim Cooper were subjects of a scathing report from the Sacramento County Grand Jury centering on the duo’s conflict of interest with regards to the City of Elk Grove’s then-contract with the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department for law enforcement services.

But for the grace of God and perhaps some high-placed friends in the DA’s office and the Sheriff’s Department, both could have faced criminal charges. Since then, Cooper seems to have atoned and his political career rebounded to the point that he could be the next sheriff of Sacramento County.

In the post-Grand Jury report era, Leary seemed to not only be unwilling to atone for his misdeeds, but he almost seemed to think he was somehow empowered to skirt the law.

This bully-like behavior finally came to the attention of Elk Grove voters during the 2008 election when Leary lost his seat in a landslide. One of Leary’s most outrageous lies during that campaign was his claim that he created 10,000 jobs in Elk Grove since city hood in 2000.



Once removed from office, Leary was off the radar until last fall when he was indicted for allegedly perpetrating a fraudulent real estate deal against his alleged former love interest. According to the indictments, Leary’s alleged fraud took place after the release of the grand jury report.

One would think after going through the scrutiny of the grand jury inquest, Leary would have thought twice about trying to perpetrate an alleged fraudulent real estate transaction. If the charges stick, it will clearly demonstrate that Leary didn’t learn one thing from his grand jury experience.

Leary will eventually get his deserved day in court and be able to plead his case. Who knows, he may even be acquitted.

Nonetheless, short of an imprisonment, Leary will likely walk away with a big fat pension compliments of us, the lowly taxpayer.

So when Leary eventually walks off and moves to Sand Point, Idaho to cozy-up with Mark Furman or some milquetoast in a gated subdivision to count all his money, there is one thing in our opinion he will never have again – respect.

Now that’s a dunce.

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1 comment

SacramentoCrash said...

This city turned out to be a big joke.

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