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Yesterday, the County of Nevada filed three petitions for Temporary and Permanent Workplace Restraining Orders against three Nevada County residents who allegedly forced their way into the Elections Office on January 20, 2022. The petitions request restraining orders against Teine Rebane Kenney, Chip Mattoon and Jacquelyn Mattoon and the protected parties are Assistant Clerk-Recorder Natalie Adona and Suzanne Hardin, an Administrative Assistant in the Clerk-Recorders Office.
Nevada County released video footage from the security camera closest to the Elections Office. The footage is below.
The footage does not show the recall proponents push in the door or enter the Elections Office.
The county’s IT department offered the following explanation: “County Security Camera systems are configured with the best understanding of the system to balance the ability to capture important information with State retention requirements and cost to the organization. Each camera was configured to capture areas of interest when the system was installed. Each camera requires configuration to define a motion-detection ‘region.’ Each ‘region’ has adjustment for Sensitivity and Threshold. The activity outside the Elections office did not continue to meet the current settings for ‘Sensitivity’ and/or ‘Threshold’ to meet the requirements to continuously record the event. The configuration of this camera will be reviewed and optimized in an effort to prevent future gaps in recording of key events.“
The three people, whose faces were redacted by Nevada County, can be seen leaving the Elections Office in this video snippet, also provided by Nevada County.
According to an affidavit submitted in support of the restraining order:
On January 20, 2022, Respondents came back to the Rood Center. They again refused to wear masks and came inside the Rood Center and up to the Office. They knocked on the locked door of the Office. They did not have an appointment. An employee in the Office cracked the door open to tell them that they would have to put on masks to enter the Office. My understanding is that Teine Rebane Kenney said, “I am coming in,” and began pushing the door into the employee. The employee, being pushed backward, instinctually attempted to push the door closed, but Ms. Rebane had inserted her arm and foot through the door and was continuing to push. Respondents then pushed open the door and came inside. Ms. Rebane allegedly stated that she was injured and threatened the employee with legal action.
Once Respondents had pushed open the door and entered the Office, I came over to speak with them. Most of my staff present at that time retreated to the back of the Office, where there is a door that can be locked to the lobby area. For the safety of myself and my staff, I again did my best to assist them so that they would leave without further incident.”
[source: declaration by Natalie Adona]
The declaration also describes the alleged behavior of a group of recall proponents the next day when the office was closed to the public. It concludes as follows:
Over the past week, multiple employees in the Office have reported to me that they feel intimidated, harassed, and have a genuine fear for their own safety from the Respondents and from the Recall Proponents more generally. Employees reported feeling trapped when the Respondents and other Recall Proponents are outside the Office door. Employees have reported that they are scared to leave to go the bathroom, to conduct personal errands on their breaks, or leave the Office for any reason. They fear for their own safety and, specifically, that the Respondents will again physically force their way into the Office. Multiple employees also expressed concern for themselves and family members who are at increased risk of complications due to COVID-19.
Respondents’ threatening and escalating behavior, which has already turned physically violent once, have caused me to fear that they will act out violently against me or my employees.
If Respondents are restrained by the Court from coming near me and the Office, the Office will ensure that Respondents will be able to conduct any business they have with the Office, including the recall, through remote means such as the tel6phone, email, and physical drop boxes. This Office does not want to interfere with Respondents’ legitimate activities. It only seeks to protect its employees from intimidation and the threat of physical violence they currently feel.
[source: declaration by Natalie Adona]
Another affidavit, submitted by the county’s Risk Manager Nick Poole in support of the restraining order petitions, reads, in part:
I am aware that a group of Nevada County citizens (“Recall Proponents”) are currently seeking to recall members of the Board of Supervisors, and that Respondents are part of that larger group. I am familiar Respondents and can identify them by sight.
I have reviewed security footage from the Rood Center for January 19, 20, and 21, 2022.
Respondents were the only Recall Proponents who forced their way through a locked door and into the Clerk-Recorder’s Office on January 20, 2022.
Respondents were part of a larger group of Recall Proponents who came to the Rood Center, and then up to the Clerk-Recorder’s Office, on January 21, 2022. Respondents and other Recall Supporters were in the hallway near the Clerk Recorder’s Office, knocking on the Clerk Recorder’s Office door and other nearby doors, for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
At publication time no action other than the filing of the petition had been recorded in the Nevada County Superior Court case system. The case numbers are: