MADERA — As Madera County District Attorney David Linn continues his efforts to find any malfeasance on the part of the five members of the Madera County Board of Supervisors, the Board is fighting back.
In a statement released today, Linn announced that he is turning over his investigation to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who “will take charge of all matters concerning his criminal investigation of members of the Madera County Board of Supervisors. This action is due to the potential conflict of interest between Linn and the supervisors.”
The Board then released a statement in response to that action, stating that “premature and embellished reports to the media have surfaced from Madera County District Attorney David Linn” about this latest move.
“District Attorney Linn continues to falsely claim that the investigation leading up to his public censure on Nov. 27, 2017 was politically motivated,” the statement continues. “He also continues to mischaracterize and minimize the fact that the investigation authorized by the Madera County Board of Supervisors sustained each and every allegation that he acted inappropriately in the workplace since taking office in 2015.”
Linn had previously announced that he was conducting a criminal investigation against all members of the Board of Supervisors for unethical and illegal conduct in “trading favors with developers for political contributions, entering into highly questionable contracts with county vendors, and the inappropriate spending of county funds.”
The Board alleges that Linn’s attempt to build criminal cases against them is a diversion and a “smoke screen” following documentation of his offensive behavior in his position as D.A.
District 1 Supervisor Brett Frazier says Linn conducted an investigation into whether or not he had received a discounted price on the house he recently purchased in one of the new developments along Highway 41.
Frazier said that investigators came to his home and went over the design and amenities of his house line by line, and it was determined that he paid fair market value for the property.
“I will look you dead in the eye and say that you came to me and told me there was nothing to this investigation, and told me to come to your office next week and we will close it out,” Frazier told Linn at the November hearing. “You knew you were under investigation, and you were trying to hold anything you could over everybody’s head.”
Linn claims that his censure by the Board for sexist, racist and unprofessional conduct in the workplace was in retaliation for his investigation, and called the Board’s actions “a clear cut example of obstruction of justice.”
“The allegations of misconduct brought against me by one member of my staff, including my making derogatory and sexist comments, were and are untrue,” said Linn in today’s statement. “The Board used this complaint from one troubled employee as retaliation toward me after the supervisors became aware that I was investigating them for improprieties.”
According to the work product document prepared by the law firm Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, investigators interviewed not one, but nearly a dozen witnesses between July 24 and Aug. 29, 2017, and compiled a list of the comments attributed to Mr. Linn by those witnesses. The investigation found that Linn had created a hostile workplace environment, and often used sexually and racially offensive language.
(The entire document can be viewed by clicking this link and then clicking on “Liebert Cassidy Whitmore Report.”)
Though Linn promised in January to reveal within a few weeks whether criminal charges would be filed against any of the Board members – Max Rodriguez, Tom Wheeler, Robert Poythress, David Rogers and Brett Frazier – there has been no announcement of such to date.
“I’m not saying anyone on the Board is guilty of any crime, however, I do believe that the inquisition meeting about me in late November by the supervisors in an attempt to force me to resign was in fact criminal obstruction of justice,” said Linn in today’s statement. “The Board denied my due process rights and simultaneously ignored long standing civil service rules for Madera County. “
As Linn moves forward with his efforts to show that the supervisors acted in a criminal manner, the Board says they stand ready to defend themselves.
“The deliberately deceptive efforts of the District Attorney to initiate investigations into Members of the Madera County Board of Supervisors will only prove to be a smoke screen for his own misconduct that threatened the psychological and emotional well-being of the employees within his office,” says the Board statement.
“If necessary, the County, as well as each Member of the Board, will openly and willingly cooperate with the Attorney General.”