Former county building inspector Patrick William McTigue, who bilked Southern Humboldt residents out of thousands of dollars in cash and goods, pleaded guilty today to felony counts of bribery and grand theft.

McTigue is eligible for probation but could be sentenced to up to one year in jail, District Attorney Maggie Fleming told Judge Kaleb Cockrum at the hearing this morning. McTigue’s jury trial had been set to begin next week.

Fleming said all victims were contacted, and all approved of this resolution.

McTigue, 50, admitted to one count of bribery and two counts of grand theft involving three of his six victims. His crimes against the other victims will be considered at sentencing on Oct. 5. Also at sentencing, all six victims will have a chance to say how much McTigue owes them.

As a building inspector, McTigue promised to expedite the planning process for would-be marijuana growers who were attempting to obtain a permit. Once McTigue got the money, he was never heard from again.

McTigue also made the rounds asking people to invest in an imaginary marijuana-delivery business he claimed to be setting up in Sacramento. One Weott couple gave him $50,000 in cash. A Fortuna business owner did the same. Another man who had known McTigue since childhood invested $27,000.

After receiving the cash, McTigue would ignore the hundreds of phone calls placed by his investors.

McTigue, a Fortuna resident, was arrested in May 2018. He posted bail and has remained out of custody.

McTigue is represented by Deputy Public Defender Casey Russo.




Also this morning, Judge Timothy Canning issued a no-bail ruling for McKinleyville resident Cory Michael Nelson, who managed to post bail on a case that could put him in prison for life.

Nelson has four criminal cases pending, including one alleging he shot a man in the groin, depriving him of one testicle. In that case he is charged with mayhem and assault with a firearm, along with a special allegation that he personally discharged a firearm and caused great bodily injury. That allegation can add up to a life sentence to any sentence imposed.

Back in February, when Nelson was arrested in the mayhem case, Canning set bail at $75,000. Nelson posted bail and has been out of custody all these months. And on Aug. 8, while out on bail, he allegedly kidnapped a woman at the Dean Creek Resort in Redway. The alleged assault was witnessed by the woman’s young son.

This morning Deputy District Attorney Trent Timm said the $75,000 bail was “drastically low” and should have been a minimum of $750,000. Being out of custody allowed Nelson to accost the woman, dragging her by the hair and forcing her into a small black Toyota.

When a bystander tried to stop him, Timm said, Nelson said, ‘I’m taking my wife. Shut the fuck up.’ ‘’

Nelson is a prison parolee “fresh out of prison,” Timm said, and he has a long history of violent crime.

Canning granted the prosecutor’s request that Nelson be held with no bail on the kidnapping case, the mayhem case and the alleged parole violation.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Nelson is represented by private attorney Russ Clanton.