Pubdate: Wed, 11 Jul 2012
Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)
Copyright: 2012 The Press Democrat
Author: Glenda Anderson


Mendocino County's top legal adviser has stepped down from his
temporary post, citing his highly publicized arrest for suspected
possession of a small amount of marijuana and having a concealed gun
in his car.

In a letter to county supervisors, Interim County Counsel Doug Losak
wrote: "I believe it is in the best interest of the county and this
office that I offer my resignation as interim county counsel, not
because I believe I cannot perform the job, but because, at this time,
I have become a distraction to getting the county's business done,"

Supervisors quicklly replaced Losak as the interim department head
with Terry Gross, a deputy county counsel in the department.

Losak was cited for having a concealed gun and issued an infraction
for marijuana possession last week during an early morning traffic
stop. A Sheriff's deputy reported he stopped Losak's car because he
was speeding and that the light on his license plate was

During the stop, the deputy said he smelled marijuana and conducted a
search. He found 3 grams of marijuana - enough to roll two marijuana
cigarettes - in the car. He also found a handgun, which Losak had
divulged was under the seat of his car. The gun was unloaded and had a
trigger lock preventing it from firing. A loaded clip for the gun was
in the glove compartment, Sheriff's officials said.

Losak faces two possible misdemeanor charges in connection with the
gun and the ammunition, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Losak was in the process of obtaining a permit to carry a concealed
weapon but had not yet completed the process, authorities said. He
told deputies he had the gun because he had been threatened by a
former county employee.

The case set off a debate about whether it's acceptable for Mendocino
County officials to use marijuana. Pot is widespread and widely
accepted in the county.

Two supervisors said such a small amount of marijuana was
insignificant and should not affect Losak's position. Many in the
county also believe it's a right to carry guns, concealed or otherwise.

But other county officials strongly disagreed. Sheriff Tom Allman said
there should be no tolerance for government officials using pot.

Losak had been the interim county counsel for just a few weeks. He was
appointed after his predecessor was appointed as a Superior Court judge.

Losak returns to his previous job as chief deputy county counsel. The
long-term status of his job with the county was unclear Tuesday.

In his letter of resignation Monday, Losak remained hopeful that the
board of supervisors will continue to consider him for the permanent
county counsel position.
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