For County Commissioner Bill Canda, firing the newly promoted County Manager Braden Wilson publicly on August 23, to the cheers of his supporters, seems not to have been enough. Two days later, on Friday, August 25, Canda presented himself to a United Business Bank teller and convinced her that he had authority on the Treasurer’s (publicly elected Virginia Trujillo) bank account and requested paperwork to stop a severance check to Braden Wilson that had been written the day before. Canda thought he had successfully stopped the payment and proceeded to leave a message on Wilson’s phone that he had stopped his severance check and that he would not be receiving the money.
The problem is that Canda had no authority to access the Treasurer’s account, and after wrongly convincing the bank teller he had authority on the account, he proceeded to alter the stop payment form by ignoring that he was not listed on the account, scratching out Trujillo’s name and inserting his own. (pictured to the right)
The following Monday, the bank contacted Trujillo’s office and confirmed that Canda had no authority on the account and proceeded to allow the severance check to Wilson to go through. During the next BOCC meeting, Chairman Kevin Day chastised Canda. “You had no authority, Bill. You should have called a meeting, and we could have voted on it, but instead, you went over everybody’s head, including an elected representative of the county.” Canda claimed he had done nothing wrong and was concerned that the contract with Wilson was invalid, so the county had no obligation to pay Wilson. Day reiterated that if that had really been his concern, he could have called a meeting so it could be discussed and voted on.
It would seem that Canda wanted the ability to not only terminate Braden Wilson’s employment but to financially harm Braden Wilson by denying him his legal severance payment. County Attorney Dan Slater has stated in meetings that there is nothing invalid about the contract the Custer government signed with Wilson.
Still, Canda and his group of followers, who are calling themselves “The Investigative Citizens” committee, have not given up hope that they can find a way to claim the contract with Wilson was invalid, claw back the money, and continue to ignore that Canda had altered documents on the bank account of the Treasurer’s Office.
The Tribune obtained a copy of the Stop Payment Form through a CORA request.
– Jordan Hedberg