Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2013 — Former Lassen County Administrative Officer Martin Nichols said he was sorry his employment with the county ended the way it did, but he accepts the Lassen County Board of Supervisors' decision because that's the way the system works.
The board reported its decision to terminate Nichols after a closed session meeting Dec. 10, 2013 and then formalized that action at its Dec. 17 meeting.
The vote to terminate Nichols was 4-1 with District 1 Supervisor Bob Pyle, District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman, District 3 Supervisor Larry Wosick and District 5 Supervisor Tom Hammond voting aye. District 4 Supervisor Aaron Albaugh cast the lone dissenting vote.
"I'm obviously sorry about how things turned out," Nichols said during a telephone interview last week. "I enjoyed my time in Lassen County. We really have a good department head team. We really have committed employees, and I think the people of Lassen County should be real happy and proud about that."
While the board of supervisors has not given a reason for its decision to end its relationship with Nichols, he said he believes the board made it's decision due to the sale of the One-Stop building in Herlong — a building the county had intended to retain when the former Lassen Reuse Authority properties in Herlong were sold to local accountant Steve Pezzullo and a group of investors last year for $31,900.
"I'm pretty convinced it's over the Herlong thing," Nichols said when asked if he had any idea why the board decided to end its relationship with him. "That's the way it is when you're the top guy and the organization makes a mistake. Football coaches lose their jobs all the time. That's just kind of how it works."
But Nichols said the sale of the One-Stop building in Herlong may turn out to be a good thing for the county.
"It's just one of those things, and it happens," Nichols said. "It happened over an issue I don't think has a long-term consequence (for the county). It was a building it turns out we didn't want, and it turns out the whole thing is probably going to save the county some money in the end."
But Nichols acknowledged he worked for the county as an at-will employee who served at the pleasure of the board of supervisors, and he accepts their decision.
"The board members made their choice, and that's the nature of this job," Nichols said. "You have to live with it."