continued On April 11, Brown received a visit from fish and game environmental specialist Christine Fritz and two colleagues. She sent a report, dated May 30, 2001, to Brown. In it, she states, "Although both Warden Pirtle and a biologist from the Forest Service led you to believe that your activities adjacent to the creek were not harmful to sensitive biological resources, [my colleagues] and I disagree."
Fritz went on to say Brown's wildlife pond was a threat to "sensitive herpetofauna inhabiting the creek, such as the California newt." She also "recommend[ed] that the pond be removed and the original wetland habitat be restored. The wetland restoration needs to be designed, engineered, and monitored by professional restoration/biological experts."
Still smarting from that news from the state, Brown received a citation from the County Department of Planning and Land Use on June 4, 2001. The violation listed on the citation was grading without proper permits.
"I was not doing illegal things," Brown insists. "What happened as far as the grading was concerned, I sent my wife down to the county and they said, 'If you have an agricultural permit, you don't have to get a grading permit.' We got that agricultural permit. I put one new road in, and I did clear some areas, and I put my pond in. That's what I did. [Dorman] started screaming and I stopped it all, and I've been in the process with the county ever since. But we were told that we didn't need a permit. And that was the case at the time. But they subsequently changed that."
Brown grows fruit trees and Christmas trees on his land, hence the agricultural permit. Before his July 2, 2001, court date, "The charge was dismissed by the district attorney's office in El Cajon."
The corrective action demanded by fish and game and the Water Quality Control Board was not dismissed, and Brown set about the restoration process which, he says, isn't cheap. Refilling the pond and replanting vegetation cost some money. But the big money, Brown explains, is spent on the people involved in the process. "I had to spend $9400 to have my biologist tell the government there are no endangered butterflies on my property. Ninety-four hundred dollars! These environmentalists, they..." he pauses, as if searching for the right words, "their exuberance is unfettered on this stuff."
Brown has spent another $20,000 on an engineer to straighten out the grading mess, "and before him, I had hired an engineer for another bunch of money, and he didn't do what he said he was going to do, and I got in trouble [with the county] for that. And I had to hire an archaeologist because she alleges that I've dug up Indian burial sites."
Another big cost for Brown has been lawyers to represent him in two lawsuits he has filed against Dorman. The suits stem from an incident that took place in March of 2001. Dorman's version: "They were doing what sounded like grading. And they had done it so much that I finally decided to go over to see if the workers had been told that they couldn't do this...and that they knew they were trespassing on our mineral rights. I got to the fence line, I yelled, and I knew that they had seen me, but they didn't react. So, like a dumb bunny, I crawled through the fence and called to them. And the guy who was doing the grading got out of his bulldozer and ran at me and came within two feet, just about to get to my neck. And out of fear, I pulled out a gun that I had in my waistband. We need to have a gun out there because there are mountain lions. As a matter of fact, our dog was just attacked about three months ago, and she still has big open wounds.... So when I crawled through the fence and he attacked me, I pulled out my gun. But I didn't point it at him; I held it across my chest and I told him, 'Stop! Don't do this!' And I very quickly backpedaled and then ran."
Brown's version: "She had to duck through some barbed wire and ignore a No Trespassing sign -- all after me telling her half a dozen times to stay off my property. Then she marched 150 yards onto my property and approached three men who were using the bulldozer to move big concrete pipes. She approached these three men knowing that Bill Overman [the bulldozer driver] had a heart condition. She knew that because he lives just down the road, and she admitted it on the record. Now, if you believe what Joaquin Partida [my caretaker] and Bill Overman say, Bill got down off the bulldozer and walked up to within six to eight feet of her and said, 'Get out of here! You're trespassing, and you know you're trespassing.' She says, 'You have no business running that bulldozer.' He said, 'We're not doing anything illegal. Get out of here!' She says, 'I'm not leaving,' and she started taking pictures. He says, 'Get the fuck out of here!' Whereupon she turned and she started to walk away, then she pulled a .38 out of her pocket and pointed it at him."
As to Dorman's contention that Overman was reaching for her throat, Brown says, "Baloney! That's a brand-new story. The last version I heard was that he was chasing her with a bulldozer."
"When I learned about it," Brown says, "I called the sheriff immediately, and they went out there and took the gun away from her."
In August 2002, Dorman was convicted of trespassing and carrying a concealed weapon and given three years' probation and a $3000 fine. As part of the probation, she can't come within 100 feet of Brown or his property. Because Boulder Creek runs through Brown's property, Dorman can't drive to her property from the direction of Descanso but instead must come in from Julian, which adds an hour to the trip from her mother's La Jolla Shores home, where she lives.