“Because of Our Close Relationship with the City”
Rick Daniels and Peter Chryss at Neighborhood Revitalization Program Kick Off Event
DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CA - City Manager Rick Daniels was aware in January of this year of the special and unusual business relationship tying together (now former) Councilman Karl Baker and Peter Chryss of Chryss Home Automation according to a source who has stepped forward to tell us what he knows first hand.
The homeowner was a recipient of home improvement funding from the Neighborhood Renewal Program receiving city supplied funding to repair and fix up his home.
The homeowner, who asked us to not publish his name, voluntarily shared the information with us after reading reports in this newspaper. He had received a letter in January 2011 from a contractor selling a security system with the letter mentioning the homeowner was a recipient of city funding.
Suspiciously, the solicitation letter has a sloppy and amateurish look – without any notation of the contractor’s license number as required by California law.
Pete Chryss and Karl Baker’s Address
“I asked Rick Daniels – who is this?” And he said, “that’s Karl Baker’s address,” which Daniels said in a manner to convey that everything was OK, according to the source. Although the homeowner said this happened January 2011, Daniels has publicly denied knowing of the Karl Baker-Pete Chryss connection prior to October 2011.
Rick Daniels Knew
The Desert Star Weekly first broke the story about city contract payments being made to the Karl Baker’s home in our October 13, 2011 issue and subsequently was broadcast on radio and television, then later getting ink with The Desert Sun.
Peter Chryss and Karl Baker
Rick Daniels has said in public comments he was not previously aware of the relationship Karl Baker had with Chryss Home Automation, characterizing the situation as an oversight of staff bungling forms and payments for city security contracts paid to Karl Baker’s home which he shared with his partner Peter Chryss, who did not have the proper contractors license and was a convicted felon.
The names and the street addresses of the program participants are a matter of public record. The Desert Star Weekly made a public records request to discover if Peter Chryss obtained this information with their own public document request. If Peter Chryss made no such request and it was obtained by sources inside city hall – that could be a violation.
Yvonne Parks, Karl Baker and Rick Daniels
If Peter Chryss was provided the list, bypassing the document request process, it would indicate city officials were steering contracts to him. This would give him an unfair advantage over other contractors and would be a violation of the city purchasing policy.
The solicitation letter from Peter Chryss makes claims of a special relationship with the city…
“We are the city of Desert Hot Springs’ security provider for the NSP program and for the redevelopment agency. Because of our close relationship with the city and your willingness to take advantage of the city’s Neighborhood Renewal Program, we are prepared to offer you a FREE home security system to help protect the investment that is YOUR HOME.”
Indio Cancels Chryss
In a related matter, the city of Indio canceled their security system contracts with Chryss Home Automation Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2011 notifying Chryss that their contract would be terminated Nov.14, 2011.
As a result of the problems in Desert Hot Springs, Indio reviewed all their contractors working on city contracts. They discovered that in addition to Chryss Home Automation there were three unlicensed contractors working city contracts.
The city of Desert Hot Springs as of this date has not provided all documents requested , playing games with the media making lawful public document requests.
It’s of interest to our readers to note that Chryss Home Automation owner Peter Chryss has been having a hard time keeping his facts straight. The solicitation letter sent to the homeowner was dated January 3, 2010 but was sent early January of 2011. We thought we might point that out to our eagle eye readers.
photos by Bruce Montgomery
first published on Cactus Thorns and copyright
all rights reserved by author
For over 40 years Dean has been published in a variety of small newspapers and magazines. As publisher he founded an alternative city weekly newspaper in 2008 and published over 200 uninterrupted issues over 4 years to over 20,000 readers via 800 locations (and online) before selling the business.
Dean is a Master Carpenter and the author of the biography of Hilda M Gray, desert homesteader.
In 2014 he was appointed Planning Commissioner for the city of Desert Hot Springs, California.
Dean M Gray is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors and lives in Desert Hot Springs, California.