County Commissioner Removed After Destroying Traffic Monitors Worth Tens of Thousands of Dollars

A member of the El Dorado County Veterans Affairs Commission has been ousted after reportedly removing over $20,000 in traffic flow meters because he believed they were some sort of privately-installed surveillance device.

Chris Cockrell first shared his concerns about the devices on his Facebook page in May. In the comments section, one writer said they believed the devices were placed there illegally and contained cameras. Cockrell appeared persuaded and said he would personally remove them.

As it turns out, the devices were legitimate traffic monitoring systems which do not contain any cameras. They were placed there by a company that contracts with the county. Each one of the devices Cockrell allegedly removed cost between $6,000 and $8,000.

Cockrell was appointed to the commission last year for a four-year term by Supervisor George Turnboo. The appointment was controversial because of photos Cockrell took with the Proud Boys during a Christmas event. In the photos, Cockrell made a gesture commonly associated with the white supremacy movement. 

Supervisor Sue Novasel made a motion to block Cockrell’s appointment but only Supervisor Wendy Thomas supported her motion.The rest is very expensive history.


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