“On Oct. 24, 2017, Perez was the lone vote against a motion banning commercial cannabis. Her husband, Fernando Jara, owns Savage Communications, a consulting firm that has done work on marijuana policy for several clients.
In May, following comments regarding her potential conflict of interest, Perez announced she would no longer vote on issues related to the local licensing of cannabis operations.
The second count against Perez states that on April 3, 2017, she failed to file a statement “disclosing her investments, interests in real property, and income during the period of 2016,” also a misdemeanor.
The investigation also looked into allegations made against Supervisor Mike Maggard but found no wrongdoing on his part.
“I am grateful for the thorough investigation by the District Attorney’s office and the thoughtful conclusion from the DA exonerating me of these false accusations,” Maggard said in an emailed statement to The Californian.
“We now need the justice system to follow its process to conclusion in order to remove corruption, self-serving influence, and suspicion from our local government. The people of our community deserve nothing less.”
Jara has said he got a job early in 2017 doing research for statewide medical marijuana interests who were considering an investment in the Central Valley.
He said he did profiles on marijuana businesses, the politics of the issue and potential for investment. He said he would also help arrange meetings between people in the industry.
He said he didn’t take any money for work in Kern County.
During a news conference held at his H Street office Tuesday, Sala compared Perez’s case to that of another local politician who faced conflict-of-interest accusations.
Sala said all sorts of allegations are contained in the investigative documents, which were not available in court July 17. Sala said one witness alleged a county supervisor — not Perez — was paid $30,000 for a “yes” vote on the cannabis issue.
Sala said his client will not be commenting on the allegations.
Perez, elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2012, is serving her second term in office.
She graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2000 and worked as a community banker at Wells Fargo Bank until 2003 before heading to the Valparaiso University School of Law, where she graduated with her law degree in 2006.
She worked as a deputy political director for the United Farm Workers of America in Keene from 2007 to 2008 when she joined the Kern County Public Defender’s Office.”