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Daniel Weintraub

California Insider

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Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub

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« Using public dollars to change minds on preschool | | Bond deal? »
March 8, 2006

Conflicting conflicts

Strange goings on at the legislative Audit Committee hearing today on the First 5 money. The committee did vote to proceed with the audit, which even Rob Reiner at this point says he supports. But the commission's director, Kris Perry, oddly said that the attorney general's office, which normally represents the agency, had bowed out due to a conflict of interest. Yet earlier this week, Atty. Gen. Lockyer declined a request to investigate First 5 and referred it to the local DA because, he said, he represents the agency and so investigating it would be a conflict. So now he has declined to investigate and declined to represent it, saying both times that doing so would be a conflict. The upshot was that Perry refused to answer questions from the committee because, she said, she will have to hire outside lawyers to represent her and, in the meantime, the attorney general had advised her (depsite its conflict) to say nothing.

Unfortunately, the audit is going to take four or five months from the time that it starts, and no one knows when it will begin. A vote to expedite the audit fell one vote short of passage in the committee.

 
 

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