Contra Costa District Attorney Mark A. Peterson already was facing possible ouster
By Marty Carlson
California Atty. General agents detained Contra Costa County district attorney Mark A. Peterson last Thursday during a search of his home and office.
Agents seized his iPhone, iPad, and appointment calendar. The Atty. Gen.’s office stated they wanted those items because they are believed to contain the district attorney’s travel schedule, whereabouts and spending habits.
In February 2017, a criminal investigation was opened into Peterson’s spending. And he is being investigated for possible felony embezzlement, felony perjury and other related offenses. Much of this investigation was started as a result of a grand jury accusation issued against him in May.
Peterson has apparently admitted that he secretly spent more than $66,000 of the campaign cash on personal expenses over a five-year period, in violation of California law.
Peterson was contacted by the media stated that he is fully cooperating with the investigation and did confirm via text that the Atty. Gen.’s office had contacted him.
In December 2016, it was revealed he had spent about $66,000 from his campaign fund on gas, hot meals, movie tickets and close. Apparently, he made some cash withdrawals as well. Many of these expenditures started in 2011 and ended in 2015 when the state tax board audited Peterson.
But in documents sent to oversight agencies, which were signed under penalty of perjury, he stated he had zero loans for all those years.
In addition, Peterson’s financial statements, he submitted to the County for the period have loan sections that were blank.
In January, the California Fair Political Practices Commission fine Peterson $45,000 saying he had violated the state’s political reform act nine times.
In May, the Contra Costa civil grand jury served a civil accusation against Peterson, alleging he committed corrupt or willful misconduct during his term in office, they also suggested he be removed.
Peterson, he was running for reelection in 2018, has already two opponents who said they will run for the position.
Prosecutors in Peterson office also issued a non-confidence vote, which passed by a large majority. The attorney’s union issued a written statement stating that they have done their jobs under difficult circumstances with Peterson’s malfeasance for way too long.
Also noted in February of this year, an appellate court issued a ruling that limits what criminal charges prosecutors can file when a public
official submits a false document related to his or her financial disclosures
I’m sure this is no coincidence that this is now happening since Kamala Harris has left the Atty. Gen.’s office. It is very obvious that she was not willing to take action in these matters due to her political aspirations.