Move Would Take Some Sting Out Of Being Fired From County Position

The severance package for Shasta County’s Public Health Officer may get twice as sweet Tuesday. It took 17 months and at least four candidates before Dr James Mu was hired as the new Health Officer. Dr Karen Ramstrom was fired without a stated cause, though the general belief is that it was due to her legally-bound adherence to state COVID guidelines. She made them as non-restrictive as possible and worked out exceptions with the state in many cases. The County Health Officer’s responsibilities include preventing the spread of contagious diseases and enforcing public health orders required by state and federal law. Dr Mu was lured away from private practice to take the post, and he had been a noted critic of the government’s COVID response. Tuesday’s proposal would increase the severance pay from the equivalent of 9 months salary to 18 months salary in the event that Dr Mu is fired without cause. The proposal is being introduced by Patrick Jones.