At Tuesday's meeting of the Hesperia City Council, Councilman Tad Honeycutt gave up the seat he's held for eight years to the newly elected Paul Bosacki. The third member of his family elected to represent Hesperians, Honeycutt's departure likely marks the end of an era in the city's political life.
"There's been a Honeycutt on the council for 15 of the city's 20 years," Honeycutt said in his final remarks as a councilman.
Honeycutt's father, Theron, was a councilman from 1991 to 1995. Tad's mother Kathleen represented the 34th Assembly District in the California State Legislature from 1993 to 1994. Tad was a councilman from 2000 through 2008.
"For the most part, politics disgusts me. One thing I do appreciate are the relationships," said Tad Honeycutt.
Despite their political differences, Honeycutt said he enjoyed working with the others over the years. Honeycutt has traditionally been more pro-development than most of the current council members and has had a strongly libertarian bent that has put him at odds with the rest of the council in many of its decisions.
He praised outgoing Mayor Mike Leonard as "one of the best mayors we've ever had."
"Thank you for the opportunity to serve," said Honeycutt.
Honeycutt did not run for a third term in office and would likely have faced an uphill battle if he had: Honeycutt and co-defendant C. Steven Cox face 117 felony charges between them relating to alleged illegal transactions between the California Charter Academy headed by Cox and a for-profit subsidiary run by Honeycutt.
The charges include misappropriation of public funds, grand theft, failure to file a state tax return and filing a false tax return. Honeycutt faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The charges filed against Cox and Honeycutt last year specifically address 37 transactions in which a total of $5.5 million was transferred from the non-profit CCA to its for-profit subsidiaries. The funds were allegedly transferred without the legally required oversight from the governing board.
Honeycutt is next scheduled to appear in Victorville Superior Court, in a pre-trial hearing, on February 26.
Honeycutt's indictment wasn't the first strike against one of the city's most prominent political families: In September 2006, Theron Honeycutt was convicted Vancouver, Washington of child rape in the first degree and assault in the third degree. Sentenced to 180 days in jail, his sentence was reduced by 27 days due to good behavior. He is now a registered sex offender.
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at email@example.com.