Nutting Trial, at what cost?
NUTTING NOT GUILTY ON MAJORITY OF FELONY CHARGES,
HE WILL REMAIN A COUNTY SUPERVISOR
Main Court House
In trying to make sense of the recent Criminal Trial, “The People of California Vs. Raymond James Nutting”, I’ve been following the above events as they’ve unfolded since last year (2013). It started when El Dorado County Auditor-Controller “Joe Harn” implied on local television that County Supervisor “Ray Nutting” was using Public Monies to clean up his own back yard (personal ranch). Joe’s remarks eventually led to the above stated Trial. As described in today’s press, Ray was found NOT GUILTY of three (3) out of four (4) of the original Felony Charges brought against him, by the current District Attorney “Vern Pierson”. The fourth (4) charge, the Jury could not decide on (hung 5 to 7). However he was found guilty on six (6) misdemeanor charges. These lesser charges were added after his arrest and are unrelated to his official duties. It should be noted that these extra charges would not have occurred had Ray not tried to raise bail on the felony charges. Both Ray and the District Attorney’s Office cannot comment on the case results because of a gag order by the sitting Judge, “Timothy Buckley”, pending further action by District Attorney “Vern Pierson“.
I found the “D.A.’s case very weak. To say the least, if Assistant District Attorney, “Clinchard” and Defense Counsel “Weiner” were prize Fighters in a boxing match, “Clinchard was clearly out classed by “Weiner”. As a former California Peace Officer, it was painful to watch as the Defense Counsel repeatedly punched holes in the Prosecution’s Case.
As this Trial proceeded, I kept asking myself as to why the D.A. would push for a Trial on such a weak case? Although the prosecution brought countless documents (Maps, Witnesses, Invoices, Contracts) to try and convince the Jury of “Nutting’s” guilt, there was no discernible “Smoking Gun” produced by the D.A. that pointed to Guilt in our form of justice, a jury trial.
The Jury was comprised of five (5) men and seven (7) women. For the most part they came from different walks of life. Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, some single, some married, and some divorced. People who pay their Taxes, raise their children, go to church. Who basically try to make ends meet and get along in life as best they can. Twelve (12) separate individuals, with different problems, some healthy, some not so healthy, some retired, some blue collar and some not. Twelve (12) American citizens, and all residents of El Dorado County. In short, people just like you and me, who sat in Judgment of “Raymond James Nutting”.
I look at Ray the man: He has been a hard worker all his life; is married, loves his wife and kids; is Religious; pays his Debts; keeps his word; and helps his Neighbors. He’s been elected four (4) times as a Supervisor by the populace of District two (2) in El Dorado County and is well into his fourth (4th) term. His family is a long time cattle and timber ranchers in the County. He went to one of the local colleges; graduated with a degree in Criminal Science; and obtained a California Teaching Certificate. A very respected Citizen of the County, obviously very popular and well liked. Elected as one of the County’s Public Guardians, the man doesn’t fit the profile of a criminal. The only thing I can come up with is that he’s a threat to those that seek to control the County’s Political Picture. Some would say that Politics is a dangerous game, particularly for those who vote their conscious, and want to change things for the betterment of the people they represent. Others would say that the love of money and greed are the root of evil. In Ray’s case he certainly doesn’t display a great amount of wealth. He and his wife don’t drive fancy cars, unless you want to call his sub-compact and an old beat up truck as displays of wealth. I think his salary as a Supervisor is about $70,000 and his wife cuts and sets hair in her Beauty Salon in Pollock Pines.
As one of the Guardians of the County’s Finances, it’s been rumored that Ray has remarked on the amounts of Salary that the Auditor-Controller and the District Attorney receive. Combined they get in excess of $400,000 a year. The Attorney General of the California has a reported Salary of about $160,000. What does the District Attorney Vern Pierson and the Auditor-Controller Joe Harn do to warrant such large salaries as Public Servants? Could it be that Ray has raised a very pointed financial question? Could this be the real reason? Is this nothing more than a Political Witch Hunt to get rid of a perceived Political Enemy? How much of our Tax Payer Money did the District Attorney spend to put on this Dog and Pony show? If you’re curious as to the amount, then write this paper. Let’s find out, with a signed petition, by using the “FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT”. Then ask yourself, DO WE WANT THESE PEOPLE HAVING ACCESS TO OUR TAX DOLLARS?!?!
In closing I offer this quote,
“YOU CAN FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE TIME, SOME OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME, BUT YOU CAN’T FOOL ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME” (attributed to Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of The United States 09/02/1858)
Nom de Plume