March 27--Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero's credibility is at the center of the latest investigation of his actions by the county district attorney.
Don Anderson is investigating whether Rivero should be placed on a list of law enforcement officers whose court testimony in certain cases may be questionable or unreliable, according to emails and letters written by Rivero, his attorney, Anderson and the county counsel. The so-called Brady list must be disclosed to defense attorneys in cases in which the information could be pertinent.
The issue arises from a Feb. 2008 incident during which Rivero fired his gun at a suspect, grazing the man with a bullet. The shooting was found to be justified but the statements Rivero made to investigators are now being evaluated for their truthfulness, Rivero said.
Anderson "is saying I misrepresented something during the investigation," Rivero said. "I didn't misrepresent anything."
Anderson could not be reached Tuesday for comment. But he previously said that he could confirm only that his office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The shooting itself is not in question, he said.
Rivero said the investigation is just another of Anderson's attempts to discredit him.
"I have been under more investigations than Al Capone," he said.
This is at least the third investigation Anderson has launched into Rivero's actions since both men took office a year ago.
They include an episode in which Rivero sent officers to keep Hells Angels from entering Lake County, where sources had said they planned to battle an opposing gang, the Vagos. The bikers never arrived but Anderson said the attempt to keep them out was unconstitutional.
Anderson also is investigating a near-confrontation between undercover Sheriff's deputies and Clearlake Police that was triggered by a failure to communicate.
Rivero said the investigations are politically motivated.
"This is such baloney," he said.
Rivero also has been at odds with other law and county officials. During his election campaign, he created animosity within the Sheriff's department by accusing it of cronyism, racism and corruption. After he was elected, he revived a dismissed assault investigation of the Clearlake police chief.
Earlier this month, the hostility between him and Supervisor Rob Brown spilled over into emails that were made public.
Copyright 2012 - The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.