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Sierra D.A. allegedly in brawl at bar

David Mirhadi
Staff Writer

DOWNIEVILLE ” The Sierra County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a report of a weekend fight that broke out at a Downieville bar that allegedly involves the county’s district attorney.

District Attorney Larry Allen said he was at the St. Charles Place bar early Sunday morning where the alleged fight occurred, but he refused to comment further.

Sheriff John Evans would not release a copy of the incident report, a public document. Evans gave little information about the case Monday, saying the report was not available and the case was still under investigation.

“We haven’t made any arrests, and we’re taking a report and investigating it,” Evans said.

Highway 49 winds through the center of this Gold Rush town of 325 people, the county seat of Sierra County. The North Fork Yuba River flows along the backyards of the businesses on one side of the highway.

Inside a 150-year-old brick building on the corner of Main and Commercial streets, St. Charles Place is a small, dark space that smells lightly of beer. A pool table stands in the middle of the sparsely furnished, slightly worn room served by the small, historic wooden bar.

On Saturday night, St. Charles Place was the venue for a traditional gathering of the fraternal organization E Clampus Vitus, which typically holds a “Clampers Weekend” on the weekend before Labor Day, bar patrons said.

The Clampers have placed plaques on several buildings here noting such events as an official being shot and a criminal being hung.

Three deputies responded to the establishment at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Evans said.

When asked for details in the complaint and whether Allen was named, Evans replied, “I don’t think it would be fair for me to give out any information.”

The Union was alerted to the story by an anonymous person who described the fight and alleged Allen was at the bar at the time.

Allen was not at work Monday, and a call to his home was not returned Monday afternoon.

The Union has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Evans and to Sierra County’s legal counsel, James Curtis, seeking copies of the incident report.

If the incident did involve a Sierra County public official, Evans said he would forward the complaint to the California Department of Justice for further investigation.

“From the information I was told, this incident was very minor,” Evans said.

To contact Staff Writer David Mirhadi, e-mail dmirhadi@theunion.com or call 477-4239.

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