WatchSonoma Watch

Lawsuit alleges Hamburg cheated marijuana grower

Dan Hamburg


A man who tended medical marijuana plants on Mendocino County supervisor candidate Dan Hamburg’s property is suing him in small claims court, saying Hamburg cheated him out of his fair share of the pot.

“The voters should realize Dan Hamburg is not to be trusted,” Calvin Lee Walker said in a written statement. He declined to comment in person because he hopes to reach a settlement agreement with Hamburg.

Hamburg, a former North Coast congressman, said the allegations by Walker are untrue and politically motivated.

Physicians’ statements that allow people to legally grow marijuana for medical use hang behind marijuana growing on land belonging to Dan Hamburg, a former congressman and candidate for Mendocino County supervisor on the November ballot. The recommendations are for him, his wife, a daughter and Calvin Lee Walker, who has filed a lawsuit alleging he was cheated out of his share of the pot. Source: Calvin Lee Walker, via court documents

“He’s a disturbed individual who is being used by my political opponents in an attempt to go after me,” Hamburg said Friday.

An anonymous benefactor is paying Ukiah attorney Erik Petersen to assist Walker with his lawsuit, Hamburg said.

Petersen declined to provide the name of the benefactor or comment on the case. The lawsuit was filed in Mendocino County Superior Court in late July but Hamburg said he did not receive a copy until Monday.

Hamburg said has known Walker for 10 years and was trying to help him by letting Walker live on his property for free while tending the marijuana garden. He said he gave Walker enough marijuana for his personal use and helped him with medical and legal bills.

Walker has a troubled legal past. He has been arrested multiple times in the last 10 years, including arrests on suspicion of marijuana cultivation and sales, other drug-related crimes, driving under the influence and driving without a license, according to Mendocino County Court records. Most of the drug charges were reduced. One was dismissed in exchange for Walker attending a drug diversion program, records show. He currently is on probation for carrying a loaded firearm, according to court records.

Walker admitted Hamburg had helped him sufficiently in 2008 to offset the work he’d done on that year’s marijuana crop. But he expected additional compensation or his allotted six plants from the 2009 harvest.

His small claims lawsuit seeks $7,500 but Walker said he grew marijuana valued at nearly $500,000 for Hamburg in 2008 and 2009.

“He’s totally in fantasy land,” Hamburg said. He said he does not illegally profit from growing medical marijuana.

The marijuana gardens both years contained the county’s legal limit: 24 plants, six for each of the four people with medical marijuana recommendations, including Hamburg, his wife, a daughter and Walker.

Hamburg declined to divulge the reason he has a medical marijuana recommendation.

“It’s kind of between me and the doctor,” he said.

Hamburg said he’s not surprised the allegations have surfaced as he heads into a November runoff election for supervisor.

“Every time I run for office, there’s always a marijuana attack,” he said.

32 Responses to “Lawsuit alleges Hamburg cheated marijuana grower”

  1. john says:

    Dan “Papa Bear” Hamburg settles.

    No surprise! Hamburg did not want this case to see the light of day!

    A $500,000 grow. And no taxes paid. Only in Mendocino County.

    COMET? CAMP? Anyone out there?

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  2. Jane Doe says:

    Heads up!

    Both Calvin Waker and Dan Hamburg have letters to the edotor in the current editon of the Anderson Valley Advertiser. The AVA is Bruce Anderson’s weekly.

    In his letter, Calvin Walker is crystal clear in asserting that Dan “Papa Bear” Hamburg’s marijuana operation was valued of upwards of $500,000…wholesale, not retail.

    Meanwhile, Hamburg, in his letter, is patronizing towards Walker. He generally characterizes Walker as a homeless, disabled, pathetic, confused unfortunate, who Hamburg took in out of the kindness of his heart.

    Hamburg also assets that his political “enemies” are behind Walker’s lawsuit…this, despite the fact that Walker’s attorney, Eric Peterson, said in his recent interview on KZYX that he was working pro bono.

    Again, I as I stated in my previous post, I am not signing my name to this blog, because I fear Hamburg and his allies, some of whom are devoutees of the violent cult, Adi Da, and others of whom are eco-terrorists, and still others, who are commerical marijuana growers, like Hamburg.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  3. Ukiah Local says:

    It sounds like Mr. Hamburg by any measure was Calvin’s employer (He said he gave Walker enough marijuana for his personal use and helped him with medical and legal bills). I wonder if Mr. Hamburg provided Worker’s Compensation, paid into State Unemployment Insurance, paid into Social Security, withheld Federal and State income tax, all as required by law. Not to mention did Mr. Hamburg provide medical insurance and did he put money into a 401 k for Calvin?
    It’s funny how some folks are socialists with everyone else’s money but capitalists with their own.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  4. john says:

    Yeah, I, too, am trying to get a copy of that KZYX interview with Walker’s attorney, Eric Peterson.

    And I agree…it would be disturbing if Hamburg misled the Press Democrat.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  5. Kitty C. says:

    Wow. Hamburg caught in another lie.

    I’ll try to get a copy of that KZYX broadcast.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  6. bob says:

    I heard that there was an interview by Calvin’s attorney Erik Petersen on KZYX radio yesterday. Apparently Petersen made it very clear that he was helping Calvin pro-bono not as Hamburg claimed in the article. Did anyone hear this and know how to obtain a copy or rebroadcast?
    Thanks in advance,

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  7. Kitty C. says:

    True, John, I also question reporter Glenda Anderson’s attack on the plaintiff, Calvin Walker.

    Dan “Papa Bear” Hamburg has an arrest record, too. Does that qualify him as having a “troubled past”.

    It is a very common strategy among politicians to try to discredit, or impeach the credibility of, a whistleblower…rather than answer the allegations raised by the whistleblower.

    Easier to attack one person than to deal with a burgeoning scandal.

    And that’s exactly what Papa Bear is doing here in this lawsuit story. No surprise. Papa Bear is a professional politician…and very, very slick.

    Meanwhile, let’s all give the Press Democrat some credit. I don’t think KC Meadows, editor, at the Ukiah Daily Journal, has reported this story yet. And it’s been…what? A week?

    KC Meadows must be a Papa Bear fan! Maybe she buys her pot from him.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  8. john says:

    I have to question Glenda Anderson (who wrote the article) and her bias in quoting Dan Hamburg stating, “Walker has a troubled legal past” and “on probation”
    Are there facts to back up Hamburg’s claim? And if it is true, why would Hamburg hire him? Either way, its a lose/lose for Hamburg. I really hope the truth comes out!

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  9. Arianna Rose says:

    Hi Kitty. Mendocino County’s two big drug task forces are COMET (county) and CAMP (state).

    I’m thinking this lawsuit will trigger an investigation by either CAMP or COMET.

    Because “Papa Bear” Hamburg is also a former Congressman, the lawsuit might also trigger an DEA investigation.

    Finally, renewed law enforcement interest in Hamburg might also trigger interest in the freaky cult — Adi Da, in Lake County, CA — of which Hamburg is a member. The Adi Da cultists abuse women as a form of “therapy” or “theater”…take your pick.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  10. Kitty C. says:

    Is the Mendocino Sheriff, Tom Allman, starting to investigate Dan \Papa Bear\ Hamburg?

    This lawsuit will make clear Dan Hamburg was at the head of a family-grow operation, involving at least his two daughters, Laura and Elizabeth, and multiple marijuana grow sites.

    Plaintiff Calvin Walker’s claim that this was a $500,000-a year business is entirely plausible.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  11. NOTUTOO says:

    Medical Marijuana? It just sounds so silly. Granted, there are those that benefit from marijuana, but usually in conjunction with tradition medicines. Thats even how it was offered in all of the advertisements for prop 215, a cancer victim undergoing chemo and using marijuana to get an appetite. Now you can get a card for ANYTHING…Its the only “medicine” used for absolutely any illness.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  12. Arianna Rose says:

    In re-reading “Jane Doe” comments below, I tend to agree that Dan Hamburg’s grow operation was much bigger than the 25 plants that Hamburg claims, and more like the $500,000-a-yeat-operation that plaintiff, Calvin Walker, claims in his lawsuit.

    Why do I say that?

    Because when Dan Hamburg’s daughter was arrested in 2007, she had 50 pounds of marijuana in her possession…50 pounds over and above what her own modest grow operation would have produced.

    Clearly, marijuana is the Hamburg family business…and “Papa Bear” Hamburg is the boss in this business.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  13. johnjjohson says:

    I too Bob, don’t want a supervisor going to meetings and making critical decisions for Mendocino County stoned? How did this guy get thru the primary?

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

  14. Bob says:

    My thoughts exactly Bradley. Why would all 4 members of his household need grow cards? Do they all have the same health issues? If so, do you want a supervisor going to meetings and making critical decisions stoned?

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 6

  15. Vanessa says:

    I’ll be there.

    Dan “the Relic” Hamburg’s hearing — September 3, at 8:30 AM, in Courtroom G, at the Mendocino County Courthouse at the corner of State Street and Perkins Street.


    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  16. Bradley Miller says:

    Why would someone running for supervisor grow pot? Medicinal marijauna users can just buy it at one of many outlets. It’s unlikely that everyone in his family is ill. Do they look sick? Like most people that grow, he was probably making money. It’s looks bad and I wouldn’t vote for someone who doesn’t have enough sense to not grow pot while running for office.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 7

  17. Bob says:

    Karen, your charges are outrageous and erroneous. There is not one shred of evidence linking Calvin Walker to anything related to Dan’s political opponent. That is a slanderous statement for which you would be held liable if you couldn’t be anonymous.

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  18. Dan says:

    What I find so offensive is that he and his family are not only making a mockery of the medical marijuana laws. I also can’t help but wonder how his political clout may have affected the outcome of his daughters arrest.
    The following is a quote from an article about the arrest. “But sheriff’s deputies who raided Hamburg’s marijuana garden last fall claimed they found an excessive number of plants and about 50 pounds of processed pot. Although all criminal charges against Hamburg were later dropped, her case fueled community concerns that local pot production is out of control.”
    Imagine where “we” would be if arrested with 50 pounds of processed pot.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  19. Karen Hinkle Van Atta says:

    This charge and representation of Hamburg, one of the most decent, honest, generous of men I have ever known, is truly a low point in Mendocino County politics. Too bad that free speech in our society has allowed such slander to taint a person engaged in a winning political campaign by those whose motives are suspect and who have to stoop to use as their tool a troubled, defective man in an attempt to discredit and destroy Hamburg.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 25

  20. Bob says:

    Jane Doe, the Hamburg daughter in this case is Elizabeth, I think, because the photo is of her medical mj card. So that means Dan, the wife, and two daughters need medical mj.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  21. Peter Phillips says:

    Looking at “Jane Doe’s” math in the comment below, I wonder if Dan Hamburg paid taxes on all that million dollars worth of pot he grew?

    Add tax evasion to the felony cultivation, trafficiking, and conspiracy chargees.

    Is Mendocino County serious? They want this guy on the Board of Supervisors?

    He even tried to rip off his “gardener”. Wow.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  22. bob says:

    This behavior is unfitting or anyone, let alone a county supervisor! Who voted for Hamburg in the primary anyway?

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

  23. john says:

    If this old hippie crook Hamburg is somehow reelected, Mendocino is in for some scary times. Think about it. Marijuana will be legalized in California in November. Mendocino is a mecca for the product. And Dan Hamburg would be a supervisor who isn’t even able to supervise his own garden. He can’t even work honestly with ONE employee, let alone all the county employees. Who would actually vote for this guy?

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 6

  24. truth in news says:

    Gee, I wonder what disease the Hamberg family has that THE WHOLE FAMILY NEEDS MEDICAL MARIJUANA? I’m thinking bad genitics!

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 5

  25. Jay says:

    This Hamburg is a sleaze bag–cheating an old man out of his share of the crop. And we’re expected to believe someone who has lived with Dan for 10 years was put up to this lawsuit by Dan’s political opponents? And that a benefactor is paying the attorney? It’s a small claims case! They don’t even allow attorneys.

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 4

  26. Jane Doe says:

    The plaintiff, Calvin Walker, alleges that Dan Hamburg, Carrie Hanburg (Hamburg’s wife), one adult daughter (probably Laura; she’s been previously busted for marijuana culivation), and Walker, each had a medical marijuana recommendation, or “215 Card”.

    Each recommendation authorizes its holder to cultivate 25 plants.

    Now, here’s the math in four easy steps:

    I. 4 card holders X 25 plants = 100 plants.

    II. Indoor growers can easily do three grows a year.

    4 grows a years X 100 plants = 300 plants

    III. A conservative yield on an indoor plant is one pound.

    300 plants X 1 pound = 300 pounds

    IV. Pounds of premium grade, indoor marijuana sold for $3,500 in 2008 and 2009, the time Walker made his allegation.

    300 pounds X $3,500 = $1,050,000 in both years, 2008 and 2009. Th

    That’s a total of $2, 100,000 for the two years.

    Conclusion: That’s felony cultivation.

    More questions: Now ask, “Where did all that marijuana go? How was it sold? To whom?”

    Conclusion: Add conspiracy, trafficking, transport, etc. to the cultivation charges.

    Final questions: My questions, “Where is law enforcement? My is COMET and CAMP?”

    Proviso: I would sign my name to this blog, but I anm truly afraid of Dan Hamburg and his many supports, some of whom I would characterize as eco-terrorists.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 8

  27. john says:

    This has-been is a relic in Mendocino County. He will and deserves to lose in Nov.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4

  28. Jay says:

    This Hamburg is a sleaze bag–cheating an already lost soul just because Dan figured the guy couldn’t do anything about it. I doubt if there is any benefactor behind the guy, small claims courts don’t allow it and it is very cheap to file. And what a cheap shot for Dan to blame this on his political opponent. Where is the evidence for that? Mendocino County can do a lot better for itself.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 4

  29. Bob says:

    This guy has a lot more skeletons in his closet than just the pot case.

    Adi-Da Cult connection
    DDR Measure A connection
    Collected unemployment while working
    Daughter’s Marijauna busts

    Google any of these with Hamburg’s name and see what you get!

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 5

  30. Maverick says:

    Gtanted Marijuana has it’s medicinal benefits, but in reality, prop 215 gave a license to get high. Should Marijuana be decriinalized in California, you can bet there will be a sharp decline in new “patients” and card renewals. Maybe Hamburg ought to reevaluate his motives for growing and quit playing the victim.
    Funny, this is the first time I’ve hearfd of any “marijuana attack.”

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  31. Steve says:

    What a lazy butt, can’t even grow his own pot.

    Thumb up 30 Thumb down 4

Leave a Reply