By GLENDA ANDERSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
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.
“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.