Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez is breaking her silence after conflict of interest charges were filed against her by the Kern County District Attorney's Office. Investigators have alleged Perez voted on marijuana related issues that stood to benefit her family.
"This has been the most humbling experience of my life for lots of reasons," said Perez.
Though Perez couldn't speak directly to the case against her because of a gag order , at Monday night's Kern County budget public hearing, she expressed her gratitude towards Latino groups that have supported her.
"To see the outpouring of support from members of this community from every background and every walk of life. Folks that I never would have expected to just be so supportive. It is really very special," said Perez. "Very beautiful to me and my family. And I want to say thank you to all of those who are hopeful of a good outcome.”
Last week, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund called on California's Attorney General to investigate the charges filed against Perez.
MALDEF claims 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."
The Dolores Huerta Foundation has also expressed their support for Perez.
"We think that what they're putting her through right now is not fait, it's not right," said activist Dolores Huerta. "We feel that she is being targeted because she is the only Latina, the only person of color, the only female on the board and really the only one on the board that really represented the majority of people that live in this county."
Tuesday morning, DHF will be holding a rally at the Liberty Bell on Truxton Ave. at 8 a.m. The gathering will then move down the street as the group plans to escort Perez into county chambers for the supervisors meeting.
"Well we hope that the board and others, the district attorney, will see that Leticia Perez is not there alone," said Huerta. "She has people in the community that are very grateful for the services she has shown and for the leadership she has taken."
"There is a lot of support in the community," said Perez. "I am grateful for that support and I want to work harder than I ever have before in demonstration of that gratitude."