Sunday, September 25, 2011

DA drops plan to file charges in Isleton Pot Farm Controversy

Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully said Thursday that she will not file charges in Isleton's plans for a large medical marijuana farm, however she made it clear that she believes the whole matter was illegal from the start.
"Had the marijuana cultivation farm project become operational it would have been illegal under state and federal laws and not in compliance with attorney general guidelines," Scully's office wrote in a 21-page report.
The report is the latest slam at the Delta town's failed efforts to generate revenues by approving a 15,000-square-foot farm on the northern edge of town.
Michael Brubeck,  who offered the city up to $25,000 a month from medical marijuana revenues, will not face charges, Scully said, and neither will any city officials.
However, she believes City Manager Bruce Pope and City Attorney Dave Larsen acted improperly as they pursued a way to get the project done.
She said Larsen had a conflict of interest, and the matter would be sent to the California State Bar Association for review.
At issue was the fact that Larsen, who is paid $150 an hour by the city for his services, also was being paid $250 an hour by the developer to help draft documents for the project, Scully's office said.
That issue was previously raised by a critical grand jury report, and Larsen on Thursday once again defended his conduct and said everything had been done properly and in the open.
He added that Isleton officials knew dealing with marijuana was "tricky business" but that they were rebuffed in their efforts to get advice from Scully's office on how best to proceed.
"We never got to first base," Larsen said. "There was just no willingness to talk to us in any fashion along those lines."
Scully's report said the city was uncooperative, delayed providing documents and provided misleading information as she investigated what was going on in the community of 840 residents.
"Rather than choose to cooperate, the city manager and the city attorney chose to fight the investigation by withholding some public records, disclosing some uncompleted and unsigned documents, and keeping the city council in the dark about letters from the DA and the U.S Attorney, " her report concluded.
The pot farm idea never got far. After initial construction of frames for some grow houses, Brubeck and his Delta Allied Growers operation pulled out of the plan when threatened with prosecution by U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner.
A grand jury report issued in June indicated that 1,000 marijuana plants that had been brought onto the site were buried using a bulldozer and the plan was abandoned.

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