From the county’s Friday memo:
“As you have read or heard about in the media, there is a major real estate fraud case being prosecuted in Nevada County Superior Court by the State Attorney General. This case involves the alleged fraudulent real estate transactions by four individuals involving numerous victims and millions of dollars of real estate.
“The State Attorney General is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions to prosecute this case. Three of the four individuals charged have ironically declared themselves indigent and deserving of Public Defender services in accordance with the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“As you know, the Public Defender’s Office and other Indigent Defense costs are entirely funded out of the County’s general fund. The general fund is already under stress due to the steep decline in the real estate market which has severely impacted property tax revenues. The Public Defender has had to conflict out of the case for legal reasons approved by the Court.
“This means there are three private attorneys defending these three individuals at local taxpayer’s expense. We have estimated that at a minimum the defense costs of these individuals to the County’s general fund to be in excess of $600,000 annually. This criminal litigation could last multiple years meaning potentially millions of dollars being drained from the County’s general fund.
“This has the potential of creating a financial disaster for us and for other small counties who may find themselves in a similar situation. The projected cost to the County to litigate a case such as this would be equivalent to putting six deputies on the street, hiring eight child protective social workers, or ten road maintenance workers.
“Accordingly, we have contacted our legislative advocate and Senator Gaines office to seek assistance and relief in this matter. Senator Gaines office has been receptive to providing assistance. We have also contacted CSAC and RCRC for assistance. I will provide regular updates on this matter as more information becomes available.”
Filed under: Uncategorized