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Commentary: Supes are dismissive of Grand Jury reports

May 15, 2013|By Kent Moore

On June 30, 1982, in a letter to the Board of Supervisors , the '81-'82 Orange County Grand Jury referred to the "clanging chains" of that "bureaucracy" in reference to a broken promise made to this jury by the board concerning their lack of response to all Grand Jury final reports within a 60-day time frame.

Now, when reading the many news reports over the past several years about our county's many missteps, it would seem that the supervisorial "chains" continue to "clang," and that there has been very little oversight by our elected board members, especially in the areas of conflict of interest, cover-ups, sexual harassment and abuses of authority.

And, once again, some sitting supervisors, like many of their predecessors, continue to try and kill these Grand Jury messengers, who attempt to expose and correct ongoing governmental misconduct.

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Unfortunately, this seems to be part of a continuing pattern, which has developed with a number of other governmental entities in the Southland.

When you read the county's criticisms directed toward this year's Grand Jury, please keep in mind that these jurors are your "county government watchdogs," and they are made up of dedicated citizens with good educations and varied backgrounds.

Many have even enjoyed careers in several areas of government service. They volunteer their time to you for an entire year, working five-day, 40-hour-week schedules.

They are your last remaining resource in attempting to redress grievances that have arisen through public-sector wrongdoing and possible shielding by both elected and public officials.

Therefore, to have sitting members of the board, who have championed the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights during their campaigns, refer to this panel of citizen watchdogs as "incompetents" is truly reprehensible on their parts.

Mind you, the very last thing a county supervisor and his or her staff wants is an independent citizen panel, which has been given the task of investigating the operations of their respective county fiefdoms and government offices.

KENT MOORE lives in Corona del Mar.

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