Pot Bust in El Dorado County. DA Offers Immunity to Suspect Gino DiMatteo to Tape Tahoe City Council Member Angela Swanson in Bribery Case.
UPDATE: SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Information obtained exclusively by News 4’s Fact Finder team shows a South Lake Tahoe City Councilwoman who ran on renewed ethics is now part of a bribery investigation involving a local pot club.
Attorney Ted Long gave News 4 a letter from a deputy district attorney to the bribery suspect Gino DiMatteo which reads quote: “From evidence reviewed thus far, it appears that you have violated Penal Code Sections 67.5 for acts and events occurring in and around June and July 2012 related to the bribery of South Lake Tahoe City Council Member Angela Swanson.”
The letter goes on to offer DiMatteo immunity if he is willing to: “assist the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office and el Dorado County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation of Angela Swanson.”
Long says DiMatteo would have agreed to cooperate if the DA showed him their evidence of wrong doing - but two weeks went by with nothing turned over, and law enforcement ended up arresting DiMatteo before any recordings happened.
“I think it was all a rouse. It looked like a good set up. Medical marijuana guy bribes councilmember to keep door open. I don't think there's any truth to it,” Long said.
After several unreturned phone calls to the District Attorney's office, News 4 showed up in person where they remained just as tight-lipped. They would not confirm ..
From an earlier story: News 4's investigative reporter Ben Briscoe broke news of possible illegal activities months ago that lead to the collective being closed.
Gino and Irene DiMatteo of South Lake Tahoe remained in separate El Dorado County jails Monday after having been arrested Aug. 31. Gino, 43, was being housed in Placerville on $37,500 bail. He was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana for sale, and bribing a public official, according to the El Dorado County Jail.
His 36-year-old wife was being held in the South Lake Tahoe jail on $25,000 bail. She faces felony charges of possession of marijuana for sale, possession of concentrate cannabis, and conspiracy to commit a crime, according to the El Dorado County Jail.
Right now in a short news release, the district attorney's office is not saying who that public official is, but News 4 has confirmed the City Manager does not believe it was a staff member and all but one of the City Council members have told News 4 it was not them.
The other councilmember, Angela Swanson, has not returned multiple messages for comment.
News 4 has also confirmed that Narcotics Division officers where out at Swanson's house on Jackson Circle about the same time the pot club owner was arrested.
Swanson was not home when News 4 went by today, but someone answering the door said he didn't think she'd be in a position to comment on all of this.
Now a check of records shows Swanson was one of the people who voted to allow this place to stay open, but at this point, nothing is officially confirmed with investigators.
News 4 is told that, on Tuesday, there will be a closed door executive session of the City Council where they plan to discuss these charges.