LOS ANGELES, Nov. 06, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Patricia Oliver, the lawyer with the R. Rex Parris Law Firm, who uncovered Jerry Brown’s use of state oil and gas experts to research oil drilling on family land issued the following statement.
“After revelations that Governor Brown diverted state resources to create a map of his personal oil holdings and threatened his newly appointed State Oil & Gas Supervisor with termination after the Supervisor emailed the commissioned document directly to Brown, his office told the media that ‘The Governor is interested in the history and geology of his family ranch in Colusa County—not drilling for oil or gas—and has the same right as anyone to obtain public records’. Noticeably absent is any reference that employees from the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) were told to remove the logo."
“The Governor’s office also failed to mention that the California Attorney General is blocking depositions of eight witnesses who would testify about Brown’s improper use of state employees to analyze his oil holdings. This included a deposition of one of the employees who created the materials used by Brown. This employee wanted to testify in a deposition, but the Attorney General stopped her from testifying,” said Oliver.
Oliver added, “The Attorney General warned the witness that if she testified without somebody from the Attorney General’s office representing her she would be fired. She was also falsely told if she produced any emails or documents about the incident she might be prosecuted for stealing state documents. Fearing that her job was in jeopardy, this witness would only testify if the Attorney General allowed it. The Attorney General refused to allow it. The Attorney General proceeded to block that deposition and all other depositions of state employees.”
“The new revelation, first reported by the Associated Press suggests that the Attorney General wanted to block the depositions because Brown is afraid that the public would learn that several state employees were taken off their normal job duties to work on the materials about his oil holdings for multiple days and possible weeks. These employees would also testify that all references, or most references, to the state had to be removed from the materials to Brown so that no one knew that he got it from a state employee,” stated Oliver.
“The facts in the case show that when state Supervisor Steve Bohlen emailed a copy of the materials to Jerry Brown, Governor Brown emailed back and told Bohlen that if he ever sent any such emails again, he would be fired. In other words, the Brown Administration did not want an email trail pointing to him. The blocking of the discovery from the witnesses who created this map demonstrates that the Attorney General is keeping the public from learning of Brown’s illegal use of the state resources,” said Oliver.
“This is not the first time the Attorney General has taken positions to protect the Brown Administration. In a parallel lawsuit involving Jerry Brown’s acceptance of contributions from oil companies in exchange for the State approving permits for toxic waste injection wells in almond orchards; the Attorney General is claiming communications, by the governor, ordering the issuance of permits in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act are privileged. The Attorney General refused to let Plaintiffs make that information public, and asserted that all such information about the purpose of Brown’s violations of the law should be protected from public disclosure,” added Oliver.
“The State suggested in multiple public statements that it improperly approved the injection of contaminated water into California’s fresh water because the agency was understaffed. The testimony of these witnesses who created the materials for Brown would demonstrate that the agency was not understaffed, and instead employees were working on Brown’s real estate holdings. The agency long ago increased staffing to address the problem that led to the permitting of wells that injected contaminated waste into our fresh water. Those employees were told not to enforce the law," concluded Oliver.
A copy of the original complaint can be viewed here. A copy of the amended complaint filed September 29th can be viewed here. The complaint says draft so the court was not confused that it had already approved the filing of the amended complaint and to show the court what would be filed.
About The R. Rex Parris Law Firm
For over 30 years, R. Rex Parris has devoted his practice to protecting the rights of injured people and aggrieved workers. Rex and his dedicated team provide thorough, high-quality representation with integrity and compassion. From motor vehicle crashes to class actions and defective products, these lawyers fight aggressively against corporate defense attorneys and insurance companies to ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. For more information, visit rrexparris.com
Source: R. Rex Parris Law Firm