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Former employee's restraining order against Fikstad denied

BARSTOW • A former employee of Desert Manna filed a petition earlier this month claiming she was harassed and threatened, but President and CEO Darrin Fikstad says its just a matter of a disgruntled employee.

According to the request for a restraining order filed Dec. 12, Alida Burhan claimed Fikstad threatened her several times and after she complained to the Desert Manna Board of Directors, he was suspended.

On Thursday, Fikstad addressed the allegations and confirmed he was not suspended by the board of directors.

“I’m in my current position, very active, I have full support from majority of the board and there is no truth to (the suspension),” Fikstad said. “(Desert Manna) treats everybody professionally. This is just a case of a disgruntled employee. It’s really just a shame that people are saying and trying to do things that are malicious.”

Fikstad said Burhan, who was in a management position with Desert Manna for nearly six months, was relieved Dec. 12, the same day the request was filed.

According to the civil harassment prevention form, Burhan stated, “I am (in) fear of (Fikstad). I cannot work or function. I am so stressed and have done all asked of me. I can’t quit and hide, as I am the bread winner for my children. He has threatened my husband (and) broken my property.”

Fikstad claims he has never threatened Burhan, nor her husband.

Burhan went on to claim Fikstad has taken money from the nonprofit organization and has fired “all employees.”

“We received a bogus email from a guy claiming to be a businessman and he was donating all this money, but there is no record of his name,” Fikstad said. “I’m going to meet up with the chief of police — we will be pursuing that to see where it came from and trace it. We just haven’t been able to find anything about it. Claims of me stealing over $60,000 is absurd. Our books are very transparent. We have every receipt; we are very tight with checks and balances of everything we do here.”

Fikstad said he hasn’t fired all of the Desert Manna employees. Fikstad said Desert Manna’s former Executive Director Sheri Randolph’s contract was not renewed in July and the nonprofit organization eliminated that position.

The request for a restraining order was denied Dec. 17 and there is an order to show cause set for Jan. 8, according to court records.

Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-256-4122 or

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