|County of Mendocino, California|
|Mendocino County Counsel Doug Losak: Busted for marijuana possession and a concealed pistol|
Smoking marijuana and carrying firearms are such widely accepted behaviors in Mendocino County, California, it seems to have barely raised any eyebrows when the county’s top legal adviser was cited on Tuesday for possessing a small amount of cannabis and a concealed pistol in his Volvo.
Mendocino County Counsel Doug Losak faces a closed-door performance evaluation by the Board of Supervisors following his citation, reports Glenda Anderson at the Press Democrat, but meanwhile, he remains on the job.
Possessing three grams of marijuana is no big deal in Mendocino County, said Supervisor John Pinches. “It’d be like you stopped a woman and found a tube of lipstick in her purse,” he said.
Pinches said the allegations do not change his opinion that Losak is a fine interim county counsel who remains eligible to take on the job full time. Pinches discounted the allegation that Losak possessed a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor.
Losak had the unloaded, safety-locked pistol under his seat when he was stopped by a deputy at 2 a.m.; bullets were in the glove compartment. The gun would have been legal if it had been on the seat in plain view, according to sheriff’s deputies. It’s a distinction that makes little sense, Pinches said.
Losak said he was carrying the pistol because he had been threatened by a former county employee.
Fifty-two-year-old Losak was appointed interim county counsel just last month following his predecessor’s appointment as Mendocino County Superior Court Judge. He has 18 years of experience as an attorney and has worked in the Mendocino County Counsel’s Office for almost a decade.
The Office of the County Counsel serves as attorney for and provides legal advice and representation to the Board of Supervisors, county departments and other public offices and agencies.
“His work ethic and job performance is top notch,” Pinches said.
“I’m still going to look at Doug as a potential county counsel,” agreed Supervisor Dan Hamburg. “If you went after every respected person in this community who smoke spot, there wouldn’t be very many left standing.”
The case remains under review with the District Attorney’s Office.