Days after criminal charges were filed against Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is calling on California's Attorney General to investigate.
MALDEF sent out a press release Friday morning saying a letter has been sent to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to determine if charges against Perez "may have been 'motivated by pressure from other County officials who seek to retaliate against Supervisor Perez as a result of her trial testimony' in a recent federal Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed against Kern County officials."
“Intimidation through prosecution is one of the oldest means of maintaining and reinforcing power structures that exclude minority group members,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel. “The timing of the inquiry and the unusual nature of these misdemeanor charges warrant an investigation to ensure that Kern County is not engaging in retaliation; such retaliation is unlawful and a grave threat to civil rights.”
Perez faces two charges of conflict of interest tied to her connection to the marijuana industry.