Ray Nutting continues to fight against what he calls “political motives” that have put him under public scrutiny and subject to a number of legal charges, both felony and misdemeanor. He specifically identifies El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson and El Dorado County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn as being part of, if not leading an effort to “bring him down.”
A prepared statement last week from Nutting’s Supervisorial District 2 office to the Mountain Democrat describes his continued involvement in county business and constituent affairs. Written in the third person, the statement notes:
“He continues to review all agendas to stay on top of issues he will be involved with after he is exonerated. He continues to stay in touch with the community, attending community meetings. He is currently reviewing noise ordinances due to various complaints within our county. He is reviewing vacant lot recreational vehicle issues and how it relates to personal property rights. He spends approximately six hours daily on county issues and continues to attend community events in the evenings, during the week and on the weekends.”
It further states that Nutting is working closely with the Cameron Park Community Vision project and he sponsored a presentation of that at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting. He was very active on the recent Wagon Train and County Fair projects, the statement points out.
On the advice of County Counsel Ed Knapp, Nutting has voluntarily chosen not to participate in any discussions or official actions the county may have that relate to federal funding. He also has voluntarily opted not to take part in matters related to budgetary or financial issues. The Chief Administrative Office and county counsel have segmented board agendas into those parts on which he can participate and those on which he does not.
The statement says the supervisor is keeping up with issues regarding the homeless and concerns of constituents who reside near the landfill, the upcoming Travel Demand Model and Rails to Trails issues.
In a separate e-mail to the Mountain Democrat, Nutting provides his rationale for the “bad blood” between Harn and him that led to what he calls the “political motives” of the Auditor-Controller.
“I talked to Joe Harn about six months ago and I told him that he is making too much money,” Nutting wrote. “I said that $47,000 in benefits with a base salary of over $200,000 per year is outrageous. When I first found out I was shocked. Every time he gets elected he makes almost a million dollars from the taxpayers of El Dorado County. He is the third highest paid Auditor-Controller in the state. And out of the 58 California counties El Dorado County is among the smallest in California’s population. Joe Harn makes more than our California State Controller that has over a thousand employees. Harn has less than 30 employees.”
Harn’s actual salary is $196,000,which includes longevity pay and a CPA certificate differential.
ERSNutting attributes the genesis of his sour relationship with DA Vern Pierson to a disagreement over endorsing a candidate for El Dorado County sheriff in the 2010 election.
“Over two years ago Auditor-Controller Joe Harn and District Attorney Vern Pierson tried to get me to support Craig Therkildsen for Sheriff. I told them both absolutely ‘no!’ I am supporting John D’Agostini for El Dorado County sheriff. He is honest and very conservative and is a perfect fit for our county. He believes in the constitution of our country and treating people with respect and dignity. When John D’Agostini first started to run for sheriff Vern Pierson told me he would be supporting John D’Agostini for sheriff. Then for whatever reason he went back on his word and supported Craig Therkildsen. I believe big money influenced his decision. I have very little trust with (sic) District Attorney Vern Pierson and he knows it. I really wonder if our citizens are being fairly treated by our elected District Attorney Vern Pierson (sic) He has a lot of power and can ruin a person’s life with very little evidence. This could be a very dangerous situation for the public. I have had many calls in my office (from people saying that they) don’t trust District Attorney Vern Pierson.”
Nutting’s e-mail states that he will no longer support Pierson or Harn for reelection and continues the attack saying, “People are tired of elected officials there to get rich and tell others to cut back. Stand up Joe and tell the public the truth of how you make all this money and how you pick on and bully the employees that make very little money. Tell the truth for the first time in your public life.”
Next, he writes:
“Vern Pierson and Joe Harn are doing everything they can to control this county and I am in their way. As the weeks go by and they throw more charges against me the public is catching on. At times it has been hard to stay in the fight. But rest assured, I have never walked away from a fight in my entire life. They started this fight and I look forward to finishing the fight. I look forward to trial ASAP and letting the public know what is really going on!”
Friends and supporters of Nutting have set up a legal defense fund, and his email invites the public to contribute. He says that throughout the county he hears people urging him to stand and “fight,” against corruption to which he writes “Together we can beat these guys and keep our county of the people by the people.”
In addition to soliciting for a defense fund, Nutting also asks the public to contact attorney David Weiner’s office with any examples of “further corruption by Joe Harn or Vern Pierson.”
Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or [email protected] Follow @CDaleyMtDemo.