Just a little bit of information
by Marty Carlson
Department: District Attorney
General Fund: $16,780,812
Special Revenue: $1,266,887
Just as a reminder the District Attorney’s Office 2016 – 2017 budget is allotted at total of $18,047,699.
Any cost overruns will be paid out of the county’s general fund.
The current estimation of the cost of the Frank Carson et al. preliminary hearing and investigation of the Korey Kaufman homicide is around $7 million and counting. Now the $7 million figure is only a guess summation because, as has been explained to me, the District Attorney’s Office does not have any type of accounting on what is spent on each individual case.
It amazes me that the Board of Supervisors or anybody else in that lives in this county is willing to accept that the top law enforcement agency in the county is not being held up to any type of accountability to the taxpayers, and it appears they are giving carte blanche in their activities as far as their spending is concerned. This will not appear well for them that there’s any type of audit done by an outside agency that ever comes in to see what is happened.
Remember that this preliminary hearing is now going to set a new state record for length and cost, as it is currently at 16 months and counting, with major expenses being paid for security, the judge, massive over time by the investigators constantly, and having to hold the hearing outside the regular courthouse and in department 26 the former bankruptcy court on 12 Street.
In addition, there has been a massive expense in so-called expert witnesses, namely a gentleman by the name of Jim Cook. Jim Cook had no specialty training in cell phone tower operations or signal propagation’s. Nor did he have any proprietary information as to the use of any of the cell phone services available. He just had 30 years’ experience selling cell phones and knows how to manipulate Power Point Presentations.
Prior to Jim Cook’s testimony that started in the first part of June he had billed Stanislaus County approximately $206,000 after given an initial estimate of $20,000. He also stated on the stand that he has never been asked to give an accounting of his billing by anyone. It’s also been very clear from the start he was hired by the Sheriff’s Department in this investigation, but the District Attorney’s Office took over responsibility in the billing after he started testifying at $350 an hour and he testified for approximately seven weeks. That comes out to an additional $100,000 giving a total of more than $300,000 that has been spent on the Jim Cook testimony and work alone.
There have been many more massively expenses expenditures in this case in addition there is been some un-tangibles that are unable to put a price on with criminals not being prosecuted, sentenced, or just straight out given a walk in their cases. This case is many admitted drug addicts, burglars, drug dealers, thieves, and many have received special compensations for their involvement.
Transparent California shows investigators and Deputy DAs involved in this case making large sum of money which includes massive amounts of overtime. Every day in court there is many investigators sitting in the courtroom or in the overflow room doing nothing as there are no in custody witnesses, or they are not there to testify. One investigator that works for the California Department of corrections drive down from Sacramento every day to be there in court for no obvious reason to this writer. There is a Modesto police detective that is there almost every day just appears to just hang out with his buddies. Can the taxpayers continue to afford these type of activities where those resources and officers can be used in a much more efficient way.
Can we continue to have this District Attorney’s Office run at this out of control finances?