If anyone needed proof of why any witnesses in the grand jury investigation of the county counsel’s performance wanted and needed anonymity, all they’d have to do is look at all we see that’s happening to Sup. Jill Cox and others.
Both Keith Groves and Margaret Long complained about the anonymous nature of the witnesses and investigation and wanted them exposed. But because the duty of a grand jury is to protect witnesses, we the grand jury have held true to our oath.
So now Groves and others have tried to implicate Jill Cox and Jim Underwood as witnesses simply because they don’t have anyone else they can attack. How convenient it is for Groves that we as a grand jury can’t confirm and more importantly deny if they were or were not witnesses. So, he can just claim it without proof and the grand jury is prevented from countering his claim.
In the same way Long keeps claiming that the grand jury never contacted her office about this report. A legal firewall is meant to allow the grand jury to get legal counsel from Mrs. Long’s practice without her knowing we the grandjury were looking into her as county counsel. While it might make sense that she was unaware of the details of our investigation since the legal firewall would prevent her colleagues from discussing the details of our investigation, she could confirm that the grand jury did indeed consult with her colleagues at her practice about the legal approach and for records requests, after the report was released, assuming they are still employed by Prentice/Long.
Enough is enough! Long needs to stop making the false claim the grand jury didn’t do their due diligence in their work of compiling the report. The report is factual and done exactly as it should have been done. Her colleagues at Prentice/Long were involved throughout the entire investigation, including getting a copy of the report before it was released.
I and my fellow grand jury members have maintained neutrality and kept our opinions to ourselves, but I for one no longer want Long as county counsel for Trinity County because of all that has happened since the report was released. Her practice, if allowed to extend its contract with Trinity County, should provide someone else from her firm to provide legal counsel going forward. It’s time for a change for the good of the county.
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