Supervisor Ray Nutting is Going to Court
For several months the District Attorney of El Dorado county has been investigating Supervisor Ray Nutting on his involvement in grant program offered be Cal Fire. The Supervisor took advantage of the program and Cal Fire officials said the use was appropriate.
But the District Attorney, a political opponent of the Supervisor, saw it differently. He has called Nutting in for questioning several times. In response, Nutting has been open about the program and published several papers directly related to his use of the program.
He strongly maintains that he has done nothing wrong and that DA Vern Pierson has turned a couple of missunderstood issues in paperwork to his political advantage. He said he "was surprised it turned political."
During the course of the investigation several people have accused the DA of using his office for political purposes, that justice in El Dorado County is corrupt, and that this is an attempt to discredit an independent-minded man-of-the-people in favor of someone more aligned to the power elite of the county.
As to the actual charges, Mr. Nutting has responded.
The complaint alleges four felony counts: two counts of filing false documents, perjury relating to failure to disclose income, and having a financial interest in a vote taken by the Board of Supervisors.
Count 1 alleges that Nutting knowingly filed a false economic interest statement in 2010. Count 2 is related to the same form, but to an amended copy.
Nutting responds that it relates to a mandatory conflict of interest disclosure form known as Form 700. Nutting maintains that the disclosure was not required. He states that he never voted on any aspect of the grant program and never had a conflict of interest. To be a conflict of interest, an elected official had to have direct influence on the vote that would lead to financial gain. To support this conclusion he has provided an opinion by a leading California law firm.
Count 3 addresses paperwork Nutting submitted related to 2009 Prop. 40 brush clearing projects. The complaint alleges the documents contain false information and lack supporting material.
As to the two false documents he has published a response stating that they invoices that are incorrectly being read by the DA as company names when they are "project" names. He has also provided documents to support this claim.
Count 4 lists several contracts Nutting supported as a voting member of the Board of Supervisors that directly affected the agencies he worked with on his personal Prop. 40 projects.
Nutting maintains that he never voted on any elements of the program, the qualifications for the program, the agency that administer the program, the amount of the program, the disbursement of the program. That he never voted an anything to do with the grant program that he participated in. That the fact that he did vote on other programs related to fire fuel abatement in the county, they were not related to he program in question and that he never voted on issues related to the agency that administered the program.
Nutting has made his response available for anyone to read at www.RayNutting.com