Opinion

By Bill McEwen

Madera County District Attorney David Linn can’t huff and bluff his way out of this toxic mess.

But that’s exactly what he’s trying to do amid damning allegations that he has been harassing, abusing and discriminating against the very people who work for him.

I won’t go into detail about the allegations made against the first-term DA. You can read the redacted report conducted by a major law firm with significant experience and expertise in employment law at this link.

What’s important is found in a footnote below that part of the report documenting Linn’s answers to the investigator’s questions.

“I did not find Linn to be credible in his responses,” wrote veteran attorney Kimberly Ann Horiuchi. “He was not forthcoming in his responses and made offensive comments when defending allegations he engaged in racist or sexist conduct in the workplace.”

In other words, Linn is so unmindful of his uncivilized behavior that he couldn’t rein it in for a few hours. Not even with his political future on the line.

Unable to hold himself accountable, Linn is now pointing fingers and talking about a conspiracy to run him out of office.

The allegations are “political,” he says. There’s big corruption going on, and he’s paying the price for his heroic efforts to clean up Madera County.

FBI Best Equipped to Investigate Corruption

Thus far, Linn hasn’t introduced a shred of evidence to back up his claims. Nor has anyone else in the DA’s Office stepped forward to buttress Linn’s accusations that two Madera County supervisors, Brett Frazier and David Rogers, are in the pockets of developers.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Linn’s allegations lack substance. But if his claims are true, you have to wonder why he didn’t forward the incriminating information to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for investigation by the FBI.

The DA’s Office, with its small number of attorneys and investigators, is ill-equipped to do a major corruption probe. The federal government, however, has the resources and the professionals with the skills to investigate and successfully prosecute politicians on the take.

The irony is that voters elected Linn in 2014 on a platform of cleaning up the DA’s Office. He defeated incumbent Michael Keitz, who cost taxpayers nearly $1.4 million in legal bills while settling civil lawsuits filed by two former prosecutors and a secretary during his term.

“Restore The Public Trust!” was his campaign motto. “Business As Usual!” would have been more truthful.

The investigation of Linn conducted by Horiuchi sustained three allegations about his behavior:

  • The DA made racist or culturally inappropriate comments at work.
  • He made sexist, crude or sexually explicit comments about employees and crime victims at work.
  • He engaged in threatening or abusive behavior toward employees at work.

Show Us the Evidence

The Madera County Board of Supervisors voted to censure Linn on Monday. They also asked him to resign, but he said he won’t quit.

Linn may survive until the 2018 election, where he already faces a challenger, Fresno County prosecutor Sally Orme Moreno. Even at this early stage, she has the backing of the Madera County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Moreno also can cite a professional investigation that judged Linn short on credibility and long in the racist, sexist boss category.

Linn best have the goods on Frazier and Rogers. Without that, he’s done.

Here is an ABC30 interview with Linn.

 

 

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