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SUSD candidate locked in legal battle with Cal Fire


A candidate for the Saugus Union School District governing board is being prosecuted on four felony counts related to the alleged theft of $82,000 from the State Compensation Insurance Fund and Cal Fire. 

Christian Gadbois is running for Trustee Area No. 3, hoping to replace former board President Julie Olsen, who recently moved out of the district and stepped down from her post. Area No. 3 includes Helmers, Highlands and Santa Clarita elementary schools.

Gadbois brought Cal Fire to court in a countersuit, suing it for allegedly putting pressure on a company to terminate its contract with Gadbois. Both Gadbois and his attorney declined multiple requests for comment as of this story’s publication. 

The current charges against Gadbois allege theft and insurance fraud that reportedly occurred between Aug. 30, 2010, and Oct. 5, 2012, in the county of Sacramento, against the state’s insurance fund and Cal Fire. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment except to note the case was active.

Gadbois, on his campaign website, says he works as an air rescue and firefighting helicopter pilot.

In his lawsuit against Cal Fire, Gadbois alleges the government agency had contracted out a company known as South Coast Helicopters in Fullerton to assist in firefighting and suppression of wildfires in California during the fire season, which ran from May 14 through Dec. 10 in 2018. 

The lawsuit alleges that Cal Fire, once learning of Gadbois’ contract with the private company, informed South Coast Helicopters that their government contract would end unless Gadbois was terminated from their employment.

A day later, the lawsuit alleges, Gadbois was “abruptly terminated,” giving him cause to sue Cal Fire for intentionally interfering with contractual relations between the pilot and a third party, thereby damaging his “economic relations.”

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