Just over a week ago, Supervisor Mike Maggard accused Supervisor Leticia Perez and her husband, political consultant Fernando Jara of conspiring to unseat him.
Maggard, not backing away from those comments Thursday,
“I have expressed concerns that I have about what I think is a coordinated concerted effort by marijuana interests particularly pot dispensaries to come after me, and I think that’s for political gain,” said Maggard.
Maggard’s concerns were that Supervisor Perez and her husband Jara came together to recruit an opponent for Maggard, Bakersfield firefighter Jeff Heinle.
Heinle and Jara both denied involvement in any such plot.
Though Heinle did acknowledge Perez and her husband were at a dinner party the night he decided to challenge Maggard.
Maggard believes this effort stems from his vote last fall to ban the marijuana industry from Kern County.
Perez was the lone vote in favor of allowing marijuana businesses in the county, and her husband Jara has worked for marijuana clients in California.
Perhaps Maggard’s most serious accusation was that Perez could have had a conflict of interest if Jara was poised to benefit financially from a regulated marijuana industry in Kern.
County Counsel Mark Nations said he looked into the matter last year and saw no conflict, but Maggard is not backing down.
“Lots of people behind the scenes have confirmed to me what some of my concerns are, and those people – believe me – do not want to be put in the spotlight like I’m in the spotlight and get fried as the marijuana interests are trying to fry me. So I say let’s let this go forward. I expressed my concerns, I asked my questions, let’s see where that goes,” said Maggard.
Supervisor Perez once again did not return request for comment on this story.
Though Perez’s office says the supervisor and others have spoken with the State Attorney General to look into the brewing controversy.
Maggard says he welcomes any investigation.