BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County District Attorney's Office announce Thursday they have met a resolution with Supervisor Leticia Perez over her conflict of interest case.
Perez agreed to pay $30,000 in penalties to community charitable organizations focusing on homelessness abatement and/or drug rehabilitation, a $4,000 administrative fine to the Fair Political Practices Commission, perform 100 hours of community service, complete an in-person ethics course conducted through the California Institute for Local Government and provide all information about income received from the cannabis industry by Supervisor Perez from 2016 to 2017.
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If Supervisor Perez completes these action within one year, the District Attorney’s Office has agreed to the dismissal of the pending criminal charges. As motivation, if she completes these actions within six months, the District Attorney’s Office has further agreed to consider effectuating the conditional dismissal. A conditional dismissal means Perez would have no no criminal history and has shown willingness to reform and not repeat the alleged criminal behavior.
If Supervisor Perez does not complete the actions within the one-year timeframe, the criminal case would proceed to trial.
When the penalties that may be imposed by the Fair Political Practices Commission are not enough to fully address violations of the public trust, criminal prosecution is appropriate to ensure that there is a strong deterrent for actions that run counter the public’s trust and ethics laws. In this case, the criminal prosecution has successfully achieved our goals of ensuring that Supervisor Perez is not permitted to profit from the conflict of interest she engaged in. Moreover, today’s resolution requires clear admissions to the facts underlying the charges, ensuring that voters can make educated choices about the Supervisor’s actions. In addition, the resolution provides both punishment and rehabilitation measures to ensure future compliance with ethics laws.
Perez announced she will be donating the $30,000 to the Bakersfield Homeless Center. Perez's attorney H.A. Sala released a statement on behalf of the supervisor. He said:
This resolution is an exceptionally favorable outcome for Supervisor Perez. The objective of the defense team from the beginning of this case was to attain dismissal of all criminal charges. That objective has been accomplished. The stipulation of facts was agreed to in exchange for a complete dismissal upon the other conditions being satisfied. We are entirely confident that all conditions will be satisfied and that the charges will be dismissed. Supervisor Perez is cognizant of her ethical duties and responsibilities and will continue to serve the residents of Kern County with distinction.