Leahy attorney attempts to serve Martin with updated papers

Martin family denies legitimacy of case, allegedly threatens process servers

By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Last week, the News Review learned that Scott Leahy is seeking legal recourse through the California Attorney General to have Councilmember Wallace Martin removed from office for allegedly lying about living in city limits (see related story: "Papers served challenging Martin’s residency" http://www.news-ridgecrest.com/news/story.pl?id=0000009204).

But the case has been delayed as Martin is reportedly avoiding being served with updated papers, while calling the process servers “thugs” and “trespassers.” Beginning Monday, Oct. 29, process servers began their unsuccessful attempts to serve Martin new papers with several corrections and additional exhibits from the investigator’s report.

The first process server arrived Monday, according to Leahy’s attorney Bill Bruce, and was reportedly unable to gain access to the locked gate of Martin’s Felspar Avenue residence in the county and returned to her parked car on the street. Martin’s wife, Margaret, reportedly pulled up behind the server, took pictures of her car and license plate, told her she was trespassing and said she was going to call the police.

According to Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin, he was contacted with photos of the car and plates. After running them, he learned that she was a legitimate process server.

Bruce said none of the process servers sent were trespassing or acting outside the scope of their responsibilities. California code 602.8 defines trespassing as willfully entering “any lands under cultivation or enclosed by fence.”

A second process server arrived on Wednesday, when he took pictures of Wallace’s truck in the driveway according to Bruce. Margaret then came outside and took pictures of the second process server while telling him to leave or she would call the police. He captured pictures of Margaret during the exchange.

Margaret recounted her side of the story in an email. She said that during the exchange, she called a friend for help and put him on speaker phone. The friend “hollered out threats hoping to thwart the thug,” said Margaret.

According to Bruce, the process server said he heard the person on the phone saying he was going to “destroy” and “take down” the server while calling him a “motherf*****.” The server also alleged that he clearly heard the person on the phone say “Go back into the house. Get the .357, you know what to do.”

But the process server also said that it wasn’t a friend on the phone. According to Bruce, the server said that Margaret showed him the phone where he could see Wallace’s name on the phone screen. He reportedly left after the alleged gun threat.

“The thug could not read my phone, this is yet another lie,” said Margaret in her email. “He did however reach over the gate and tried to grab my phone out of my hand … then he had the audacity to lie and scream out ‘is that your husband on the phone?’ I said ‘no, it’s not my husband,’ and he continued his harassment by saying ‘oh, now we know you aren’t even married.’”

Margaret said she returned inside the house to talk to Wallace, but "he was racing out to the fourplex because he was getting emails and calls from tenants around his unit because a stranger was knocking at their doors, harassing them [and] asking intimidating questions.”

“Margaret couldn’t even hold a .357,” said Wallace in a later phone interview. “The guy she called was just screaming profanities trying to get the thug to leave.”

Wallace also alleged that Leahy’s lawsuit is being funded by casino interests, possibly casino developer Nigel White. He added that the last-minute mailers in support of Council Candidates Reese Hogg and Mike Mower are paid for by a Sacramento-based political action committee are from “the casino developers, no doubt.”

“He can allege all he wants,” said White. “Ask all the people of Ridgecrest where he really lives. The legal system will judge him.”

White declined to comment further on whether or not he is involved with Leahy’s lawsuit or the political mailers circulating Ridgecrest that endorse Hogg and Mower while slamming Martin and candidate Scott Hayman (see related story: "Mystery PAC weighs in on local race" http://www.news-ridgecrest.com/news/story.pl?id=0000009203).

“In short, they are trying to discredit me any way they can and get me out so they can put a casino guy in to control our city,” said Wallace. “My residency issue was settled legally by my attorney two years ago and sent to the city attorney. Case closed.

“This Scott Leahy and Nigel White melodrama has nothing to do with ‘residency’ and everything to do with their attempt to take control of our local government, our water, and our independence.”

Bruce said that Martin has 15 days to respond to the Attorney General after he is served. After Martin responds to the AG with his own case, Leahy has 10 days for another reply to Martin’s evidence.

“This has been an issue for two years,” said Bruce. “The Attorney General is going to put an end to this one way or another. [Martin would] be doing himself a favor if he would take the papers so he can present his own evidence.”

Story First Published: 2018-11-09