Don Perata’s former staffers rise to support him

More than a dozen of Don Perata‘s former staffers have joined the former state Senate President Pro Tem from Oakland in urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to put the kibosh on a years-long federal corruption probe.

Lawyers for the former lawmaker and his son, Nick Perata, wrote in the past month to Holder, to the Justice Department’s Inspector General and to members of the House Judiciary Committee asking them to review the decision of Lawrence Brown — the Sacramento-based acting U.S. Attorney for California’s Eastern District — to examine evidence FBI agents have gathered on Perata and his associates over the past four years even though Northern District federal prosecutors in San Francisco decided not to indict.

“This ordeal has affected our lives, our families and our reputations. It has resulted in reporter calls at home at night, inquiries by neighbors, questions by our children,” the staffers’ March 18 letter says. “In an effort to cooperate with the San Francisco office, Senator Perata repeatedly waived his rights, thereby extending the investigation well beyond the statute of limitations. He — and everyone associated with him — are now being punished for cooperating.

“We all understand what it means to do a job that relies on public confidence. We understand that the FBI’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office have jobs to do and we respect that. But it would seem those jobs came to conclusion when the office in charge of the investigation declined to prosecute.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • John Huston

    This is the same US Atty office that had there politically motivated prosecution of democrat officials in San Joaquin overturned by the 9th Circuit. That was a highly charged political prosecution that was launched right in the middle of an election.

  • anon

    Perata and his associates including his son Nick and girlfriend Sandy Polka have paid themselves millions of dollars from funds raised from contributors and hard-working Californians. Take Prop 93 and the Jeff Denham recall as examples of ridiculous political efforts that Perata used to funnel contributions and labor union dollars directly into his family’s pockets by hiring them to run the efforts and paying them exorbitant consulting fees.

    Just because Perata now has a friend in the White House doesn’t mean that a legitimate public corruption case should be dropped.

    George W. Bush prosecuted Rep. Duke Cunningham (R), Rep. Bob Ney (R). He also opened the ongoing investigations into Rep. Curt Weldon (R), Rep. Rick Renzi (R) and Rep. John Doolittle (R). There was nothing partisan about the way the DOJ and the FBI’s office of public integrity pursued corruption investigations.

    If Barrack Obama and Rahm Emanuel begin to politicize the DOJ at the request of crooked politicians like Don Perata, then many American’s will lose confidence in the fairness of the criminal justice system.

  • Elwood

    Gee, what a surprise! The little rats support the big rat!

    Reporters calling their homes at night?

    Oh, the horror!