No charges against Don Perata?

I’m hearing that Acting United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown of Sacramento is preparing to issue a statement saying he’s declining to file any charges against former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland — thus spelling an almost-certain end to a years-long corruption investigation in which nobody was ever charged.

You’ll recall that federal prosecutors for California’s Northern District in San Francisco decided to take a pass on the case several months ago, so the FBI took its evidence — reams of subpoenaed or seized documents, interviews with potential witnesses and so forth — to Brown in the Eastern District. The Don as well as his family, friends and former staffers were not amused, saying the FBI was venue shopping for its non-existent case.

Looks like the Perata for Mayor 2010 campaign is about to get a big boost. I’ll be following this as the day progresses…

UPDATE @ 12:55 P.M.: Yep, it’s all true — read all about it here, and stay tuned for updated versions throughout the day.

UPDATE @ 5:25 P.M.: David Dayen at Calitics wants to know if The Don will give back the $1.9 million he diverted from his Leadership California committee – ostensibly created to support Democratic campaigns and causes – into his legal defense fund late last year. (And hey, what about the $450,000 he got from the California Democratic Party?) Fat chance, David… looks as if it’s all gone into lawyers’ pockets by now. At least the Fair Political Practices Commission has now cracked down on these smelly transfers.

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 W

    I’m not a Perata fan. Nor do I think he is Mr. Clean. But this investigation went way, way overboard. What a waste of resources and gross example of prosecutorial excess! Also, he may be the person who can bring sanity to Oakland government — Oakland’s Richard Daley.

  • Elwood

    Here is Perata’s campaign slogan which will undoubtedly resonate with Oakland voters:

    Don Perata!

    Never been indicted!

  • ted ford

    He’s absolutely clean. Imagine the scrutiny the Feds have had on him these past five years. I agree that this was a gross waste of prosecutorial resources. The Federal Attorneys who pressed this should be fired. I hope Perata is elected Mayor of Oakland. The City would be lucky to get him.

  • Elwood

    I am the owner of a newly rehabilitated bridge between Martinez and Benicia.

    If Ted Ford believes that Perata is “absolutely clean” I would like to sell my bridge to him.

    As an additional incentive, Mr. Ford, it is an excellent vantage point for viewing the flying pigs over the Carquinez strait.

    I too hope that Perata is elected mayor of Oakland. They deserve each other.