Steve Enos: Investigation initiated by my personal note to Lamphier
I felt it improper to make a statement while former County Supervisor Terry Lamphier’s investigation was underway. I felt it improper to comment while Terry’s court case for multiple counts of “possession of matter depicting minor engaging in sexual conduct” is ongoing.
But Terry recently posted a comment on a local blog making a number of false, libelous, defaming comments about me and my initial involvement in this incident. So I feel it necessary and appropriate to now publicly respond.
Some decisions are agonizing to make. Last year, I was faced with such a decision. So I decided to drop off a letter to Terry at the Board of Supervisors office. No one was at the reception area, so I left the envelope at the reception counter.
The envelope was addressed to “Supervisor Terry Lamphier.” The envelope was sealed and it was not intended to go to anyone other than Terry. I fully expected the envelope would be placed in his incoming mailbox, that Terry would be the one to open it.
I have known Terry for many years. I even worked on a number of his previous election campaigns. On some issues we agree, on others we don’t, which is common to us all. We live in a small community with diverse views. My note to Terry was personal and things went a different direction when a staff person opened the envelope addressed to Terry.
Terry can make the contents of the envelope public, that’s his decision to make. But in his own Oct. 24, 2014 press release, Terry stated, “The correspondence made no specific allegations, but implied improper use of a county computer.”
I fully agree with Terry’s statement that I “made no specific allegations.” I also made no allegations to the county, to law enforcement, to the District Attorney, to the grand jury, to the FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Fish & Game or to the Vatican. No allegations were made.
What happened next has been publicly reported. The county conducted an initial review of Terry’s office computer. When confronted, Terry made “certain admissions.” Additional investigation by the county IT department and NCSO took place. Information was then presented to a judge who found sufficient evidence to issue search warrants for Terry’s home and autos. Terry’s county computer was then sent to the state computer crime lab for forensic analysis.
The evidence gathered was then presented to the District Attorney, who found sufficient evidence to charge Terry Lamphier with three counts of ”possession of matter depicting minor engaging in sexual conduct.” The DA’s complaint also includes the following, “NOTICE: The people intend to introduce evidence of prior sexual abuse incidents at trial pursuant to Evidence Code section 1108.” A court arraignment took place and the judge ordered Terry to surrender to the jail for booking on the charges. Terry was released from jail and is currently going through the legal process.
Some, including Terry, want to claim this was some grand conspiracy, a political vendetta, some evil plot to unjustly discredit a sitting county supervisor. Some have made outlandish claims it has been an orchestrated plot involving computer hacking, planting of evidence, framing, the county IT department, the Sheriff, NCSO, the state computer crime lab, the DA, the judges and Elvis.
The reported facts make it clear the only person using Supervisor Lamphier’s computer was Supervisor Lamphier. The conspiracy theorists are wrong, Elvis is not alive and living in Bakersfield and Terry Lamphier is not the victim here.
In Terry’s recent blog statement he says, “I would love to say more but have withdrawn from public view due to sensationalism associated with this situation. Too bad I never received this kind of coverage with all the good things I did in office.”
Terry can “say more” if he would make himself available to be interviewed. Terry could publicly answer some basic questions I’m sure reporters would love to ask. This hasn’t been a sensationalized witch hunt as Terry and a few others would like people to believe.
For the sake of our community, I hope Terry goes forward with a public trial. I hope Terry refuses any plea deal and utilizes his opportunity to have his day in court. I’m a former deputy sheriff and federal drug enforcement officer and I trust our legal system. Let all the evidence and testimony be presented in public. Let a jury consider the evidence and render a decision on the charges.
Terry and a few supporters can attempt to divert and shift the focus from the evidence and the serious issues of multiple counts of “possession of matter depicting minor engaging in sexual conduct.” Their attempts to distract and divert reminds me of the following quote by John Steinbeck:
“When people are engaged in something they are not proud of, they do not welcome witnesses. In fact, they come to believe the witness causes the trouble.”
The troubles Terry Lamphier faces are of his own making, not mine or anyone else’s.
Steve Enos, former Grass Valley City Council member, lives in Grass Valley.
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