Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux disputed the characterization of the actions taken by his department that was presented during a press conference on Monday dealing with issue of residents living on the Tule River.
Boudreaux said the Tulare County Sheriff's Office has acted properly as far as the issue is concerned. He added the issue concerns the fact that the land involved is private land and not public land.
He also said Monday's press conference was held on private land. “The land owner is none too happy,” Boudreaux said.
Boudreaux said if the land was public land the rulings referred to at Monday's press conference that those who don't have homes can't be displaced if there's no alternative place provided for them to go to would be in effect. “We know the rules,” he said.
But Boudreaux said the action taken concering those living on the river isn't an eviction. He added his office is on solid ground as far as any possible litigation is concerned.
“I welcome the lawsuit,” Boudreaux said. “I welcome the chance to get before the judge and say we did it right.”
Boudreaux also said the situation involving the St. John's River in Visalia also came on private land.
He said as far as this issue is concerned his department hasn't taken any enforcement action. He added as far as the situation with the Tulare River is concerned, no citations have been issued.
He said those who were living on the private land along the river were given a “trespass notice.” He said the deputies who approached those living on the private land were given three to four days to leave and they promised they would leave.
“ It was a very cordial and polite conversation,” said Boudreaux. He added the proof of how the interactions were conducted are on the Deputies' body cameras.
Boudreaux said he's working with Tulare County Health and Human Services and has formed a team to try to help the homeless. But he said the problem is there just aren't the resources to deal with the issue.
“I sympathize with them,” Boudreaux said. “They don't have anywhere to go.”