Did Shasta Supervisors Hide a Letter Exonerating the DA? A Private Firm Will Investigate.

Shasta County supervisors have approved an independent investigation into the handling of a letter from the Attorney General’s Office which cleared the district attorney of wrongdoing in the Zogg Fire settlement. The vote was 4-1 with Supervisor Patrick Jones as the lone no vote. 

Jones and Board of Supervisors Chair Kevin Crye have been accused of deliberately keeping the letter from the public in order to influence the outcome of the March 5 primary. DA Stephanie Bridgett won re-election despite allegations that she let PG&E off the hook for its role in the fire.

“After thoroughly reviewing the court records, available reports, and information about the settlement, our conclusion is that the District Attorney did not abuse her discretion in dismissing criminal charges and instead reached a significant civil settlement,” the AG said in the previously undisclosed letter.

The letter was received by Jones on January 29. He says he notified Crye. It’s not clear what transpired next, but Jones admits he threw the letter away. 

The letter’s existence came to light last month after Bridgett sent an inquiry to the Attorney General's office. It sparked a firestorm. 

The motion to investigate was introduced by Supervisor Mary Rickert.

"We have conflicting statements from Supervisor Crye and Supervisor Jones as to who knew what, who got what, so I think we need to clear the air, and the public needs to be able to feel comfortable with the outcome of this," she said.

Crye supported the probe, saying he has nothing to hide. Jones, on the other hand, believes his explanation should suffice. 

“I just said, I received the letter. I alerted you to it,” he told Rickert. “I get rid of many letters including that letter. I've had other letters from the Attorney General that I've gotten rid of. So the investigation is over and complete… The letter is gone."