Kern County Supervisor Charged With Conflict of Interest in Marijuana Vote

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — Southern California prosecutors say a county supervisor faces a pair of misdemeanor charges after she cast a vote on marijuana regulation while allegedly having a financial stake in the cannabis industry.

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez will be arraigned Wednesday on conflict-of-interest charges. Her attorney said at a news conference Tuesday, July 17, 2018, that the evidence is unreliable and the prosecution is discriminatory.

District Attorney Lisa Green says her office’s Public Integrity Unit investigated the conflict-of-interest claims over a four-month period.

The supervisors voted 4-1 last fall to prohibit commercial cannabis activity. Perez was the dissenting vote.

KBAK-TV reported that Perez’s husband, Fernando Jara, has worked as a consultant for cannabis businesses. Perez recently announced she would abstain from any future votes involving marijuana to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

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