Supervisor accused of conflict of interest over pot vote
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — Southern California prosecutors say a county supervisor faces a pair of misdemeanor charges after she cast a vote on marijuana regulation while allegedly having a financial stake in the cannabis industry.
Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez will be arraigned Wednesday on conflict-of-interest charges. Her attorney said at a Tuesday news conference that the evidence is unreliable and the prosecution is discriminatory.
District Attorney Lisa Green says her office’s Public Integrity Unit investigated the conflict-of-interest claims over a four-month period.
The supervisors voted 4-1 last fall to prohibit commercial cannabis activity. Perez was the dissenting vote.
KBAK-TV reports Perez’s husband, Fernando Jara, has worked as a consultant for marijuana businesses. Perez recently announced she would abstain from any future votes involving marijuana to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.