Judge denies restraining order against Fikstad
BARSTOW • A judge denied a petition for a restraining order against Desert Manna President and CEO Darrin Fikstad on Wednesday.
Former Desert Manna employee Alida Burhan and Fikstad appeared before Judge Margaret Powers in a Barstow courtroom, court records show.
In a previous report, Fikstad said the petition for a restraining order against him was just a matter of a disgruntled employee.
On Wednesday, Burhan disputed that statement and said Fikstad did not have the authority to fire her on Dec. 12.
“He was not allowed to hire or fire anybody because he was under suspension,” Burhan said. “I was not a disgruntled employee. ... The board of directors have told me I’m still employed by Desert Manna, Fikstad is the only person saying I’m no longer an employee. I went to Desert Manna with a police escort today to pick up all of my stuff. I’ve been very sick since this has all started. I’m just done.”
According to minutes from a Nov. 19 closed session Desert Manna Board of Directors meeting, Fikstad’s board powers were limited after five members of Desert Manna staff and volunteers addressed their complaints and concerns of his behavior and treatment of employees.
The board of directors voted that Vice President Kris Okamuro would handle any and all board president duties until the issue was resolved, according to the minutes.
But Fikstad said that decision was overturned at a Dec. 10 meeting. According to Fikstad, all of the actions from the Nov. 19 meeting and other meetings in the month, including motions and debates, were rendered void due to nonadherence to the Desert Manna bylaws, the Brown Act and Robert’s Rules of Order.
Fikstad said the actions were rescinded with a 3-2 vote. Fikstad and two others voted to overturn the previous actions, with Joey Perez and Robin Lard opposed and Okamuro absent.
Fikstad said he was able to vote without a conflict of interest because “the bylaws are very specific about what my authority is.”
Burhan said it is not fair for Fikstad to “be doing all of this fraudulent stuff and just be able to get away with all of it.”