20180724-bc-perez-8

Leticia Perez at the Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Two executives at a California industrial property company claim that they paid Supervisor Leticia Perez’s husband $25,000 to arrange for meetings with county officials so their company could expand marijuana activities into the county.

The new details provide context into the Kern County District Attorney's case against Perez, who is charged with two misdemeanors relating to conflict of interest violations between herself and marijuana interests.

One of Perez’s charges stems from a vote she participated in on Oct. 24, 2017, in which she was the only supervisor to vote against banning commercial cannabis in the county.

The charge states that Perez “did make, participate in making or attempt to use her official position to influence a government decision in which she knew or had reason to know she had a financial interest.”

Perez is also charged with failing to disclose “investments, interests in real property, and income during the period of 2016.”

Both charges are misdemeanors.

In signed statements to the DA’s Office, Industrial Partners Group principles Martin Smith and Stephanie Smith said they entered into an agreement with Perez’s husband, Fernando Jara, to identify opportunities to establish licensed cannabis operations in cities and counties throughout central California in exchange for payment.

Both Martin and Stephanie told the DA’s office that Jara arranged for a meeting with Perez in her office, which took place April 5, 2017.

Later that year, the pair said they also met with Kern County Planning and Natural Resources Director Lorelei Oviatt.

The meeting appears to have taken place at a time when Industrial Partners Group was looking to invest in Kern County properties to be used for marijuana growth, sale and processing.

Ben Eilenberg, a lawyer for the company, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did H.A. Sala, a lawyer representing Perez.

The southern California company has been reported to own around 2 million square feet of industrial space, some of which is leased to cannabis companies.

Last summer, a company associated with Stephanie Smith purchased a plot of land in Kern County that was within a proposed “marijuana activity zone” northeast of Bakersfield that would have been legalized if a ballot measure, Measure K, had passed last November.

Reporting at the time showed that Industrial Partners Group was largely responsible for funding the campaign to get the measure passed.

Ultimately, Measure K lost 52 percent to 48 percent.

The DA’s office said in a court filing that Perez knew that her husband was involved in marijuana advocacy activity through his consulting firm, Savage Consulting, and was aware that he received payment to do so.

The DA’s office also said that Perez deliberately misled Kern County Counsel when she attempted to obtain a legal memo that could shield her from allegations of conflict-of-interest violations.

According to court documents, Perez told the county’s attorney that her husband “did not work for IPG” and “did not lobby any members of the Board of Supervisors.”

“Both of those representations are demonstrable falsehoods,” the DA’s said in court filings.

The County Counsel, who is not identified in the court documents, later told DA’s office investigators he may not have had all the facts when he issued his conflict-of-interest memo.

“The fact that Supervisor Perez deliberately misstated the facts to County Counsel demonstrates a consciousness that any vote by her on the issue could be unlawful,” the DA’s office wrote.

Perez’s trial was recently delayed. A rescheduling hearing is supposed to take place May 10.

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415 or smorgen@bakersfield.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

(13) comments

Nevermind

I'm a liberal. I'm for legalized marijuana. Get her out of there. At the very least for ethics violations.

Fram Smith

Thanks JimmyDude!
I have been laughing at your last response.
The level of hypocrisy, and dismissive hubris from those who feel the strange need to associate themselves with either political party; it defies logic.There is a new prerequisite to be a Republican or Democrat; you must reject verifiable facts that do not fit your " teams" narrative. There is an Orwellian world that many people are choosing to replace with reality; a world where you are not only entitled to you own opinion, but also, your own facts.It is nice to communicate with someone who lives here, unlike REMUDA and other out of area payed trolls. By the way, his real name is Victor, and he is just a regular college kid from St Petersburg.(Yes, I know, he is simply a guy working his way through college and trying to improve his English.)
Have a Great Wednesday!


JimmyDude

Thank YOU Fram!
I agree with you wholeheartedly and wish I could articulate my thoughts as well as you. You may continue to spew, so long as you spew on the whacked out extremists on both sides :)
Fun talking! Have a great day !

Fram Smith

Is it possible, that Bill Clinton is a rapist and Donald Trump is an adulter, a tax cheat, a money launder; and that both individuals are guilty of serious crimes? Could both the President's son in law, like Hilary Clinton, have monetized their influence with Saudi Arabia; Jarad to get a loan to cover the balloon payment on 666 so that it didn't slip into foreclose; Hilary for simple graft thru her "non profits".Prisons do not have one criminal, who has committed only one crime. There many forms or criminal behavior, and our prisons are full of many different types of criminals. You haters out there must know alot Independents; who are just appalled at the ethical standards of both the Republicans and Democrats. Again, for the third time, it is not my fault that Perez will not pay a price, politically, because her constituents,
( overwhelmingly Democrats), are going to believe that she is being singled out, because she is Hispanic. Again,Jara has a long history of questionable political behavior and influence pedaling. When this goes to trial, we will learn if Jara did this, without Perez's knowledge; it sounds unbelievable, but it may in fact be true.As President John Adam's taught us , "Facts are stubborn things". All serious criminal behavior, by Perez or the President, should be prosecuted. No one should be above the law- even you haters should be able to to understand that. And with that, Fram drops the mic.

Fram Smith

Wow Vico13- I must have hit the nail,head on. No one, least of all me, is an apologist for Perez or Jara.( Maybe you should re-read what I wrote; or better yet, get someone to read it to you, since there may be some words that you do not understand.) In any case, Perez's political career would be over, if there were a President Romney right now,(or even a President Pence). But because the standard for moral virtue in our politicians is now lower than the grass, underneath the dog excrement, she will get a pass
It is not me, who is mudding the waters-it is a President who's behavior-well I will let Vico13 defend the President's, indefensible behavior.Time to line up to have Linda Blair projectile vomit that green yuck all over your face!

Bodysnatcher

Fram, your attempt to compare Perez’s situation to a corrupt (your words, not mine) President Trump is very telling of yourself. Why not skip talking about Perez and just post “I hate Trump”? Suffering Trump Derangement Syndrome is a treatable condition.

JimmyDude

Hey stop demon puking on us! It's not nice.
Your comments, and subsequent elaboration and defense of your comments, are reasonable, thoughtful and seem balanced.
Don't make me summon Father Karras!

Concerncitizen

Right after the DA announced the investigation I got a robo call from an entity inferring this entire investigation was racially motivated. I am certain it was paid for by the Dolores Huerta foundation. Well, based on this information it was pure and simple corruption on Perez and her husband all for financial gain. Classic pay to play scheme. As a taxpayer it is time for Mrs. Perez to step down from the BOS.

Fram Smith

The only person who could possibly survive this kind of in your face criminal behavior is Donald Trump. But Ms. Perez doesn't have morally bankrupt sickofans with not a shred of integrity, like Congressman McCarthy or Nunez ,to back her up and muddy the waters. The problem with having a President who is an adulter as well as possibly a criminal, is when people in lower political positions commit obvious transgressions, the shock value just isn't there. Why should I care when the most powerful man on the planet pays off adult film actresses he sleeps with,and cleans up dirty money for rich Russians through the sale of real estate that is obscenely over priced. Make no mistake about it, Mr. Jara has the moral compass of a tapeworm. But any Republican who thinks they have any right to say a word, while the Adulter in Chief sit in the White House; well may Linda Blair projectile vomit on your face.

Vico17

Leticia Perez has Fram Smith to run interference and "muddy the waters" as you say. Typical Left tactics, blame the other side of the very thing YOU are guilty of.

JimmyDude

Fram - I clearly don't know you, but I have friends and family making the same noises. They are painfully inconsistent. They didn't give a rip about Clinton getting blown by interns in the oval office, and there sure was no "me too" rally in support of Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, Elizabeth War Gracen, or Juanita Broaddrick. Just the opposite - they were further degraded by the Clintons, their party and the media. How about JFK? Where were you on that? Did you also crucify Kavanaugh like some of my friends and family did? Trump is no pillar of morality - but he still has not been found guilty of a crime. If he is that will and should play out in the courts. As to Mrs Perez, that seems a pretty clear cut case, and has nothing to do with Trump or anyone else's morality. Looks like she sold her vote. Can anyone argue that thats OK ?

You'veGotToBeKiddingMe

lol

BakoMark

The slow drip. Wonder what else they have? This seems to undercharged, but slam dunk on charges filed. Poor H.A.

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