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Michael Keitz Lacks Leadership

Dear Editor,

The Madera County District Attorney’s Department is one of the most problem-ridden departments in our County. Our current DA, Michael Keitz, has cost the taxpayers more than $1.5 million. Let me explain:

1) Madera County has been sued in two separate lawsuits by three Madera County employees. The cost to settle these lawsuits, including attorney’s fees, was more than $1.4 million.
2) Madera County Counsel authorized an investigation on the District Attorney’s operations (known as the Rowley Report) in response to hostile work environment and discrimination complaints. The report cost the County $27,000.
3) Mr. Keitz sued the County and our Board to prevent the release of the results of the investigation, costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
4) Following the judge’s ruling not to release the report due to attorney-client privilege, Mr. Keitz then sued the County and our Board for his legal fees, costing the taxpayers an additional $40,000.
5) Combined, Mr. Keitz’s lack of leadership has cost the taxpayers more than $1.5 million.

In my opinion, Mr. Keitz lacks in leadership abilities as well the management skills necessary to foster loyalty, and effective communication with his staff. His absence in the courtroom is maddening, especially considering his regular presence at ribbon cuttings.

Madera County needs leadership, integrity, and honesty in our District Attorney’s Office. We need Dave Linn.

Vote for Dave Linn on Nov. 4.

Tom Wheeler, Madera County District 5 Supervisor, North Fork.


  1. District Attorney Michael Keitz had made privacy commitments to witnesses in this case in exchange for their testimony. Our district attorney was forced, by actions of the board of supervisors, to sue in order to keep these privacy commitments to the witnesses.

  2. You either don’t know or have chosen to ignore what actually happened from the very start of the Madera Tribune’s request for a copy of the Rowley report.

    On 11/20/2012 the Madera County Board of Supervisors stated in a minute order that “UPON CONSENSUS OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS IT WAS ORDERED NOT TO OPPOSE THE PUBLIC RECORD REQUEST FROM THE MADERA TRIBUNE ON THE CONDITION THAT THE REPORT BE REDACTED.” You can see County Counsel’s statement at about the 02:31:20 mark of the meeting.

    The “report” being referenced was the Rowley report. Redacted means the names of the employees would have been blacked out and as a result they would not have been identified in the release.

    So why does Mr. Keitz say that he had to sue the County to not release a report which was not going to identify the employees who were “witnesses”? There are not any “privacy commitments” if the employees’ names would not have been made known. Your statement flies in the face of reality and facts. And is simply illogical.

    What is logical is to sue the County to stop a report about a person who was treating his employees inappropriately. If a person doesn’t have anything to hide they would have released it. Even Keitz’s own attorney said releasing the report would cause Keitz “irreparable harm” which was the real reason why the lawsuit was brought.

    The Keitz lawsuit was based on attorney-client privilege as Mr. Wheeler stated. In the 05/18/2013 issue of the Madera Tribune the story stated “Oakley (Judge) ruled that the Rowley Report is a “privileged and confidential attorney-client communication and work product” and that both the county and Keitz hold the privilege. No where does it say that the Judge rule that employees held the privilege. The county waived their privilege, Keitz did not. What does that say?

    Instead of believing someone’s version of what they want people to believe, you would do well to be informed of the facts which are on record. Look up the newspaper articles in the Madera Tribune or the Sierra Star for the timeline of what happened and get informed.

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