From The Modesto Bee:
Attorney General Jerry Brown won’t remove three Hughson councilmen from their seats, despite a request from the Stanislaus County civil grand jury to do so.
In a response to presiding Judge Jack Jacobson, Supervising Deputy Attorney General Susan Duncan Lee said the issue should be sent to the local district attorney’s office for investigation.
Foreman Denis France said the grand jury hasn’t met since the response was issued. Though anything discussed in a grand jury proceeding is confidential, he said jurors would consider the letter and further action is possible.
In December, the grand jury issued a report finding that Councilmen Thom Crowder, Doug Humphreys and Ben Manley violated a state open meeting law, conspired to fire City Manager Joe Donabed and pushed their agenda ahead of the city’s. The grand jury said the three should step down or be removed from office.
Jurors required responses within 90 days from the Fair Political Practices Commission, the Hughson City Council and the attorney general.
The FPPC has the authority to fine council members for wrongdoing, but can’t remove them from office. Hughson Mayor Ramon Bawanan wrote a response in which he agreed with all the grand jury’s findings. That response is on the City Council’s agenda Monday night.