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Harn, Pierson respond to Nutting’s allegations

By From page A1 | June 28, 2013

El Dorado County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn and District Attorney Vern Pierson have responded to requests from the Mountain Democrat for comments regarding District 2 Supervisor Ray Nutting’s statements that their charges and allegations against him are “politically motivated.”

In a phone call last week, Harn recited a list of occasions when he supported Nutting’s several campaigns for county supervisor. He said he hosted campaign fundraisers, helped Nutting put up campaign signs and contributed money to his candidacies for many years. He also forwarded a copy of a thank you note he received from Nutting after an election event last year.

“Joe, Thanks for coming to my event. Sincerely, you work hard and care about OUR county. Ray.”

Harn also offered to go to the county’s Elections Department and obtain records that show he has been a regular financial contributor to Nutting’s political campaigns.

“Ray’s statement that I am politically motivated to personally and financially harm him is wrong and without any factual basis,” Harn wrote. “I have supported most of his political campaigns financially for the last two decades. I helped Ray put up campaign signs for his reelection in Cameron Park in 2012.”

Harn’s email continues with a brief history of his analysis of  some of  the documents Nutting submitted to the Sierra Coordinated Resource Management Council in Auburn that were required for Proposition 40 Forest Improvement Grants. He noted that a member of the media approached him four months ago requesting that he look into the documents.

“I was shocked at what I reviewed. Ray Nutting submitted bogus documents that were obviously in error to obtain grant money, taxpayers’ money. I have consistently said the same thing to the media. Even Ray’s attorney has acknowledged in the media that Ray has made a number of ‘paper work errors,’” Harn wrote.

Harn called Nutting’s assertions that criminal charges against him are politically motivated, “ludicrous” and added, “Ray has been indicted by a criminal grand jury on felony charges.”

“Vern Pierson and the California attorney general believe that there is adequate evidence to try Ray before a jury for these felony counts. Ray has no one to blame for the situation that he is in but himself.”

Harn said that over his years as county Auditor-Controller, he has been a “focus of anger” from individuals who he said were “inappropriately getting taxpayers’ money.” When he has brought that to the public’s attention, “people get angry and call you names. It just comes with being district attorney and county auditor-controller,” he wrote.

District Attorney Vern Pierson wrote more succinctly but in a similar vein.

“Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Supervisor Nutting,” Pierson said. “My reponse would be as follows: For more than 22 years I have held criminals accountable for their actions. I have found that rarely do they like it.  Often times, they attack the people charged with this responsibility. In the end, they are held to account.  Sometimes it is with a verdict from a jury and others the product of a long look in the mirror.”

Chris Daley

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