Matt Manuel: I thought they wanted change in DA’s office
I thought that the Nevada County Board of Supervisors developed an objective process to select the best candidate based on their response to a number of questions. Instead, I read in The Union that candidate Jesse Wilson went around lobbying members of the board.
Supervisor Hardy Bullock stated: “When I spoke with Jesse and when it was presented in the board meeting, it was obvious that he was ready to tackle the next step of his career and make some institutional changes to this office …”
If lobbying was the appropriate method of being selected for district attorney, than what was the farce that occurred in the board chambers? Was that just for show?
Shouldn’t Supervisor Bullock have said: “I cannot speak with you, Mr. Wilson, until after the special board meeting as you are a applicant under consideration.”
Supervisor Bullock, and any other supervisor who met with Wilson prior to the special board meeting, has tainted the entire process and undercut the legitimacy of the nomination of Wilson.
I am not the only Nevada County resident who is upset with what I have read in The Union. I am not the only Nevada County resident who believes that the process should be started fresh — free of taint, or that a special election be held so that the voters can decide who is the next district attorney.
It is clear from The Union article that Jesse Wilson and Chris Walsh can’t get along. When Wilson worked in the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office, instead of attempting to improve the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office from within, working with Chris Walsh and younger DAs, he quit the office and left for another county.
When the recent opening for Nevada DA occurred, like a carpetbagger, he returns as a mere out-of-county deputy DA, with the least amount of years on the job and experience of all the candidates, lobbies the supervisors and succeeds in being appointed.
Wilson was in the Cliff Newell “do nothing” District Attorney’s Office the longest. But somehow Bullock and the other supervisors believe and take the position that Wilson is going to bring “institutional change?”
Both Wilson and Walsh are Cliff Newell acolytes. What real change will there be in an office that had forgotten the turncoat Wilson and was developing under Walsh?
There was one candidate who had experience and had actually done the job. But why should our supervisors actually look at someone who might actually bring a real fresh approach or real experience to the office when they can pick a thin-skinned Newell-trained deputy DA and expect a different result.
By the way, there was no evidence presented at the sham special session of the Board of Supervisors meeting to nominate a new district attorney that Chris Walsh was doing a bad job. There was only Wilson saying Chris Walsh was doing a bad job. Backdoor lobbying, finger pointing and bad mouthing does not bode well for institutional change.
It also does not look to be a good omen of how the “new” office will be run.
Matt Manuel lives in Nevada City.
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