What is the El Dorado County Grand Jury? What purpose does it serve? How can citizens be involved? At the El Dorado County Home and Garden Show former jurors will be available to answer all of these questions and more.
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“The primary role of a county’s grand jury is to act as a government watchdog,” said Chuck MacLean, president of the El Dorado County Grand Jurors Association. “This group can investigate items and take complaints from citizens about almost anything — be it inefficiencies or wrongdoings or whatever else — regarding local government. It is essentially a double check on elected officials and government bodies.”
The El Dorado County Grand Jury is made up of 19 jurors, one of which is designated as a foreperson to lead and represent the group. The jury is free standing; the county judge oversees the group but does not get involved with its proceedings unless necessary. All jurors are volunteers who reside within the county, are at least 18 and are not a felon.
MacLean himself has served twice on the jury — first as a regular juror and then as foreperson. He enjoyed the experience so much that, after he had finished his second term, he became president of the El Dorado County Grand Jurors Association. The Grand Jurors Association is a group designed to promote public awareness of and funding and education for all 58 county grand juries throughout the state.
“Serving on the jury is really rewarding because you’re taking a look at things that are important to many people,” said MacLean. “It’s satisfying to see the process through from start to finish, and to see the difference you’re making in residents’ lives.”
“It’s a pretty big time commitment,” admitted MacLean. “Often jurors are people who have retired because it’s just too hard to fit all of the meetings around a regular job. But it really is enjoyable work.”
Please visit the El Dorado County Grand Jury booth at the El Dorado County Home and Garden Show, May 3-5, 2013. For more information, please visit www.edcgov.us/grandjury/ or call (530) 621-7477.