On May 6, 2014 we attended the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors (BoS) meeting and witnessed a strange occurrence during the public comment portion. Modest’s former Mayor Carmen Sabatino had just finished making some interesting points regarding the D.A.’s office and investigators. In recent weeks he has been vocal in his objections regarding the DA.’s 25 wire taps and the ensuing 25,000 intercepts in 2012 and the expense involved. Most of his time this week was involving an interrogation in Turlock of a 13 year old girl and alleged misconduct by two D.A. investigators Kurt Bunch and Steve Jacobs. these can be heard at 9:30 seconds into the meeting. Sixteen minutes into the meeting Birgit Fladager interrupts the meeting by rushing the podium out of turn to attack Carmen Sabatino and her opponent Frank Carson.
Mayor Sabatino’s earlier allegations and Birgit Fladager’s out of control behavior involving the wire taps and her investigators intrigued us.
Recently we made three Public Record Requests from District Attorney Birgit Fladager.
We requested the number of requests by year 2011, 2012, 2013. We requested any documents regarding which agencies made the wire tap requests. And finally we requested documents which would indicate if any of her investigators were working for the agencies when the requests were made. We also made it very clear we weren’t interested interfering with any investigations just who made the requests.
Here is the official response from the D.A.’s office.
Mr. Drake, I am informed that the District Attorney's office has no documents containing the information you described in your May 12 request. The records containing the information you seek are court records that are in each case sealed by order of the judge. Ms. Fladager has informed me that she happens to know herself that in 2012 there were 4 intercepts by MPD on homicide cases that resulted in arrests in 3 of those cases (the fourth involved the deaths of Deputy Paris and Glendon Engert and the suspect committed suicide); there were two intercepts by the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency that resulted in arrests (one case was prosecuted federally and the other case by Merced County); and there was an intercept on a Sheriff's Office homicide case that has resulted in one arrest. If you have additional questions please let me know. Thomas E. Boze Deputy County Counsel Stanislaus County Counsel 1010 Tenth Street, Suite 6400 Modesto, California 95354-0882
Now I don’t know about you, but for the District Attorney to claim she has not ONE single piece of paper tracking over 25 wire tape requests she made in 2012 alone, we find to be not only extremely questionable, but likely disingenuous in the context of her upcoming reelection bid, especially if you take into consideration how few wire tape requests (3 – 5) other counties have made. According to her she doesn’t have the ability to show how many requests were made in any single year. Is this any way to run an office? Or is it just another way to hide from the public excesses by government agencies and/or potentially corrupt individuals with the help of her office?