After the Fact

Six years after his long-time accountant was sent to prison for fraud, one client looks for answers

Bill Murray (not that one) was at the top of his game, so to speak, until an epic fall from grace. In December 2009, the 54-year-old tax accountant was charged with defrauding more than 50 clients of his Sacramento firm, Murray & Young Accountancy, out of more than $13.3 million. He subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 19.5 years in federal prison. The saga played out like a reality TV crime drama, from beginning to end.

Jul 26, 2016 Stuart Greenbaum

Dilemma of the Month: New Overtime Laws

I’m a business owner in California and I’m worried about the impact of the new overtime wage rules in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. How can I best prepare my business for the changes caused by the regulations?

Jul 18, 2016 Suzanne Lucas
From left: Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, Derek Bluford and Velocity Capital General Partner Jack Crawford. Bluford’s business, Quicklegal, won the Sacramento Kings Capitalize competition in April. (Photography courtesy of John Jacobs)

Updated: Quicklegal

Need legal advice? Comprehensive app gives support with attorneys-on-demand

Update (2/2018): Quicklegal was named our Startup of the Month in June of 2016. Shortly after, we became aware of legal proceedings against Quicklegal. You can read more about the settlement judgement and the original complaint. In a statement to Comstock’s, CEO Derek Bluford said, “I had an employee who impersonated me. He defrauded me, our company and one of our clients.” In January of 2018, Derek Bluford was convicted of fraud.

Derek Bluford was in eighth grade when his single mom got into legal trouble. She had gotten injured at her prison job and couldn’t work full-time. Disability assistance wasn’t enough to cover utilities, food and rent, and they were about to get evicted from their duplex rental in Elk Grove.

Jun 6, 2016 Russell Nichols
Slow-growth advocates, like members of SaveOurCounty, urge residents to support Measure E and Measure G on the June ballot. / Kevin Nagle, co-partner for the El Dorado Hills Town Center (pictured), says he’ll push for affordable housing to generate a tax base to attract the employers and small businesses that will fund services in the growing county.

Two Sides to Every County

Business creation and job growth are usually positive things for a growing county, but some El Dorado County residents are vehemently opposed to building over the rural land they love

For the past 48 years, Mike Doran has watched El Dorado County evolve— slowly. He recalls the days when the county was a peaceful, low-density community — long before the Home Depot came to Placerville, before the Dollar General  got the greenlight for Georgetown, back when Highway 50 was nothing but a two-lane road.

Jun 2, 2016 Russell Nichols

Independent Contractors and the Threats They Pose

Know the risks before you hire

Knowing the difference between employees and independent contractors becomes imperative when an injured customer or client decides to sue. When it comes to making the decision of hiring an independent contractor, do yourself and your business a favor: Do your research and protect yourself. Or, even better, consult with your lawyer.

May 23, 2016 Frank  Radoslovich
Mayor Kevin Johnson is not seeking a third term as mayor of Sacramento. (Photo: Randy Miramontez, Shutterstock)

Life After KJ

Sacramento City Hall is about to get a lot less interesting

Soon, it will all be over. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will leave office, most likely leaving politics behind for good. For a city that has come to simultaneously love and loath his high-flying, face-planting tenure, the future is sure of only one thing: It’s going to be a lot calmer around City Hall the next few years.

May 11, 2016 Rich Ehisen
Sacramento District 6 City Councilman Eric Guerra

The Long Game

Councilman Eric Guerra on homelessness, the marijuana industry and Latino representation in city government

After a decade as a key staffer in the California Legislature, last year the 36-year-old Sacramento District 6 City Councilman Eric became the first Latino to be elected to the Sacramento City Council since former Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna died in 1999. We sat down with him recently to discuss some of the city’s major challenges and opportunities.

Apr 18, 2016 Rich Ehisen
(iStock)

Dilemma of the Month: When a Personal Matter Gets Professional

The less you trust your boss, the more honest you need to be

I am an exempt employee and have been working at my company for just under three years. I recently had a serious medical issue that required me to terminate a pregnancy for my own health. I’ve now had three doctor visits in comparatively short succession, and my supervisor is asking why. Since this is an incredibly personal matter, I’m wondering how much I am required to disclose?

Mar 3, 2016 Suzanne Lucas
California State Senator Mark Leno

Share & Share Alike

Senator Mark Leno says the ‘sharing economy’ is a misnomer for big business

California State Senator Mark Leno never intended to enter the political arena. A Wisconsin native who spent two years in rabbinical studies at the Hebrew Union College in New York, his focus was on running the small sign business he owns in San Francisco. But in 1998, then-Mayor Willie Brown appointed him to fill a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors, and a new career was born. Now approaching his final year in the Legislature, we sat down with him to discuss raising the minimum wage, regulating the sharing economy and LGBT rights.

Feb 29, 2016 Rich Ehisen
(Shutterstock)

Save the U.S. From the Harvard-Educated Oligarchy

The late Justice Antonin Scalia argued last year that there was something wrong with having a Supreme Court composed entirely of people who had studied at Harvard and Yale law schools.

Feb 23, 2016 Justin Fox
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Action Civics

Civic learning belongs at the forefront of preparing students for college, career and civic life

We hear a lot about the bad news: Fewer than 8.2 percent of eligible voters ages 18–24 turned out in the 2014 general election; most Americans cannot name the three branches of government; many young people do not think their civic involvement is worthwhile. But there are pockets of good news all around us. More schools are building on the old adage, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” We call this “action civics,” and we know it works.

Feb 12, 2016 David Gordon
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Jerry Brown Proposes Record $123 Billion California Budget

California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a $123 billion general-fund spending plan for the next fiscal year, a 6 percent increase over the current budget and the largest ever as state coffers overflow with surging tax revenue.

Jan 12, 2016 Alison Vekshin