Nutting Files $600,000+ Civil Rights Complaint Against County - Demands Jury Trial

by Placerville Newswire / Aug 08, 2016 / comments

Former Supervisor Ray Nutting has Filed a Civil Rights Complaint Against County and Demands Jury Trial, and asks for over $600,000 in damages from both the county and the employees as individuals. 

Last week several current and former El Dorado County employees and elected office holders were served documents that they are a party to a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit filed by former county Supervisor Ray Nutting alleging that he was illegally deprived of his office by bad acts of the county employees.  The lawsuit seeks $100,000 each in damages and a Jury Trial as set out in Rule 38 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

-- Plaintiff: RAY NUTTING, an individual.

-- COMPLAINT FOR  VIOLATIONS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, AND THE FIFTH: EIGHTH: FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, CALIFORNIA STATE CONSTITUTION: AND 1 THE BILL OF RIGHTS

-- DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL 

-- Defendant: EL DORADO COUNTY: Ron Mikulaco; Brian Veerkamp; Ron Briggs; Norma Santiago; Ed Knapp; Pamela Knorr.

The complaint claims that certain individuals acted outside the law resulting in depriving Nutting of the office he was elected, a county Supervisor.  Specifically:

"The violations herein alleged, were caused by Defendant's’ action outside the scope of their duty, and under the color of state law, enforcing their practices, policies, ordinances, resolutions, customs and usage of regulations adopted, employed and ratified by their supervisors.”

The civil Rights lawsuit claims that Nutting was deprived of mandated Due Process of law. 

“This action evolves from plaintiff's removal from his office after being duly elected as El Dorado County Supervisor, by the people of El Dorado County. The removal action proceeding was conducted through ex parte communication with the Superior Court. Without notice, opportunity, a hearing, or right to appeal for the plaintiff. Plaintiff was denied the enjoyment of his office as an El Dorado County Supervisor. In essence Plaintiff was denied all due process, and the right to serve in his office as El Dorado County Supervisor.”

Nutting states in court documents:
19. A former County Supervisor in 2004, plaintiff was ask to support Vern Pierson repeatedly for his endorsement for the California State Senate race A Senate District 1. Plaintiff declined and made it clear that he felt Assemblyman Dave Cox was a much better candidate. Pierson raised about $6,000 and failed to secure the required 20 nomination signatures. 

20. After the Vern Pierson senate race was over, in 2006 Pierson again approached plaintiff to support him this time for El Dorado County District Attorney race. Plaintiff was endorsing incumbent Gary Lacy, and again decline to lend any support to Vern Pierson. 

21. Pierson again called asking plaintiff for his support, each time he declined. The race was extremely heated and a lot of plaintiff's friends were supporting different people A he decided A become neut.. Plaintiff's relationship with Vern Pierson, became very strained, because he would not endorse Vern Pierson. 

22. After Vern Pierson won the District Attomey election 2006, plaintiff believed he started to use his El Dorado County DA office to go after his political enemies. Examples: Congressman Tom McClintock, Assemblyman Rico Ollier, El Dorado County Judge Stracener, Candidate Dylan Sullivan who was running for El Dorado County Judge, El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini in 2010. 

23. The 2010 El Dorado County Sheriff's' election was a huge political battle between John D'Agostini and Greg Therkildsen. Both John D'Agostini and plaintiff shared the same campaign manager, Dan Dellinger. The battle really heated up when the Therkildsen campaign, sent out a mailer accusing John D'Agostini catering to the Hell's Angels. Plaintiff believed that mailer was so ridiculous that the voters saw through it and John D'Agostini was elected as El Dorado County's next Sheriff. 

24. District Attorney Vern Pierson had the Civil Grand Jury investigate both plaintiff and Dan Dellinger starting in 2011. Plaintiff was to be examined before the 2011 Civil Grand Jury. Advising the Grand Jury was Deputy District Attorney James Clinchard. He asked plaintiff questions about his involvement with child protective cases, and about his involvement with the Big Cut Mine issue. Plaintiff was not charged with any violation of law. Plaintiff believed this was just a “witch hunt" because plaintiff was just doing his job listening to his constituents complaints about how they were treated by El Dorado County agency.

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30. Ken Steers. a local business man, started getting involved in county politics approximately 2004. Plaintiff was invited to his home in Cameron Parks Estates. Ken Steers supported plaintiff’s campaign. Ken Steer's lobbied plaintiff to support Vern Pierson for El Dorado County. District Attorney. 

31. Plaintiff stayed neutral in that race. In 2008 both Ken Steers and Vem Pierson lobbied plaintiff to support Doug Osi for the United States Congressional race. Plaintiff declined. 

32. Ken Steers showed plaintiff the "hit piece" that he stated was going to mailed out against Sheriff candidate D'Agostini. Ken Steers informed plaintiff that he needed to abandon D'Agostini and support Craig Therkildsen. Plaintiff refused. 

33. Therkildsen campaign mailed out the "hit piece" to the voters of El Dorado County. Plaintiff believes the "hit piece" was so radical and so ridiculous that the voters rejected it and D'Agostini became El Dorado County's new Sheriff. Ken Steers, became the new President of the El Dorado County Republican Central Committee in 2009, and after his candidate Craig Therkildsen lost the election to Sheriff John D'Agostini. Ken Steers resigned. 

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38. On or about 2010, plaintiff received phone calls from very upset parents regarding their children, that had been taken away by Child Protective Services. Plaintiff made phone calls to key staff and was briefed as to what was going on. Knapp informed plaintiff that he didn't have the right to ask questions about cases that includes children. Plaintiff informed Knapp, that he was just doing his job and that he had not violated any laws. 

39. As a result, the District Attorney investigated plaintiff. Once again plaintiff was called to address the Civil Grand Jury. The Big Cut Mine issue was starting to unfold and there was a huge debate as to whether the mine was vested a pre-existing mine or new mine. Knapp, would say to plaintiff that: "it is not a mine anymore." Plaintiff disagreed with Knapp's conclusion about the mine. Plaintiff knew the mine was a “patented mine" from the late 1800's and federally patented mining rights could not be taken away by a country practice, without a hearing. 

40. The County law enforcement showed up at Big Cut Mine. and pulled their guns on Rick Churches minor children at their home [which neither the children nor their home are a part of Big Cut Mine investigation or court action.] Rick Churches, who was not at home, called plaintiff. Plaintiff waited for the enforcement staff out by the county road.  After words, Knapp approached plaintiff and said he was way out of line, and the District Attorney Vern Pierson's office is investigating the issue. Once again plaintiff was under investigation. 

41. Complaints were coming in from both the El Dorado county staff and private sector, Rick Church filed a complaint with the sheriff's office for the manner in which his minor children were treated. Knapp down played all the complaints. At that time plaintiff's relationship was extremely strained with El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson and Ed Knapp.

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43. All of the District Attorney's attempts to bring civil charges had failed, and now a new investigation with charges, began to unfolded against plaintiff. Knapp, stated many times that he is not involved with plaintiffs investigation and cannot get involve. Plaintiff later learned Knapp, was very involved and serving the District Attorney. 

44. After plaintiff was indicted by the criminal Grand Jury, May 2013 Knapp advised plaintiff not come to work. Plaintiff refused to take that advice, knowing he had not done anything wrong. Knapp claimed he researched the laws and claimed plaintiff was not able to vote as a County Supervisor on federally funded budget items. Although plaintiff had not went to trial, Knapp stated that the District Attorney wins close to 97% of all his cases and that plaintiff chances of winning were low. Plaintiff stated, (we have not had atrial, I am not guilty and will never give up). 

45. Plaintiff informed Knapp that he looked forward to trial where he can finally get his day in court and the evidence before a jury. Plaintiff believes Knapp was not pleased with my response. Many times Knapp would have documents in his hand, and invite plaintiff to come over and talk about the criminal charges against plaintiff. In passing Knapp pointed to documents and said it doesn't look good for you. Plaintiff stated, Knapp you are wrong. 

46. One day Knapp stated that if plaintiff was convicted of a felony that he would lose his pension. Plaintiff told Knapp that wasn't right and he was going to trial. Knapp knew the matter was pending trial before the court and continue his harassment and reticule day after day until plaintiff was removed from office. 

47. May 28th, 2012 to September 20th, 2012 the criminal investigation of plaintiff focused on the El Dorado Fire Safe Council's budget, and federal grants. The District Attorney's Office had two investigators and a forensic auditor working with County Council Ed Knapp and Mike Applegarth investigating thousands of documents. After untold sums of money the El Dorado County investigators found no evidence of wrongdoing by plaintiff. 

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51. After over two years of the El Dorado County DA relentless attacks, the DA's office finally convinced the Criminal Grand Jury to indicted plaintiff on four felony count. The criminal charges revolved around plaintiff's involvement with the 2007, California Forest Improvement Grant. 

52. On or about May 28th. 2013 plaintiff claimed that he had been indicted on four felonies and was given about two hours to arrange S55,000 bail and turn himself in at the El Dorado County Jail. A member of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, reached out to friends and relatives for funds to post cash bail. 

53. Plaintiff knowing that the El Dorado DA, was conducting a "witch hunt" to remove him from office, requested the Fair Political Practice Commission, (FPPC) to conduct their own investigation. In June 2013, the FPPC commission completion their investigation finding: "the conflict of interest prohibition of the Act will not apply". Plaintiff was confident that the charges against him would be dismissed. 

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56. On May 14th, 2014, Plaintiff was acquitted on three felony counts and one misdemeanor; a mistrial was declared on the fourth felony, count when the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Plaintiff was convicted of three misdemeanor, of the Political Reform Mt violations of obtaining "personal loans" for bail from county employees or contractors (Govt. Code §87460 (a) and §87460 ( c), and three misdemeanor of failure to document these "personal loans" for bail (Govt. Code §87461). Ironically plaintiff was convicted on the posting of bail for the felonies of which he was originally charged and acquitted. 

57. After the criminal trial, County Council Ed Knapp quickly found a lawyer specializing in government code 1770 (h) and 1771. This lawyer came to El Dorado County and advised the Board of Supervisors. Both Knapp and the new lawyer were having ex parte communication with the Superior Court Judge prior to sentencing. 

58. On May 19th, 2014 plaintiff's attorney David Wiener sent a letter to the El Dorado County Supervisor’s office stating in part: "This board does not have the right or authority to suspend Ray Nutting: the political sanctions for conviction of a misdemeanor under the Political Reform Act is as stated by the office of the District Attorney in the attached Mountain Democrat article; Government Code section 1770 (h) is not applicable to facts of this case; there has not been a determination complying with due process under the criminal case, Government or t Code 3060 other appropriate hearing of the predicate for application of Government Code section 1770(h). An action of suspension by the Board would violate individual and property rights of Ray Nutting, and subject the Board and its individual members to liability." 

59. Plaintiff requested El Dorado County Council Knapp permit him to join in the hearing. The Board of supervisors were holding a closed session hearing. Plaintiff requested an official decision ,of what constitutes a violation of official duties. Knapp denied plaintiff's request to join in the hearing. Plaintiff asked Knapp why he was doing this? Knapp replied the District Attorney Vern Pierson asked tim to. Plaintiff was shocked. 

60. Plaintiff believed Knapp's job was to be council for the Board of Supervisors and not for the prosecution. 

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61. The Judge on June 6th; 2014, sentenced plaintiff for the May 14th, trial convictions, sent letter to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisor's stating "plaintiff office was vacated". The 3060 documents for a special election included a resolution from the BOS, stating plaintiff's office has been vacated. Plaintiff stated his office was never vacated! No hearing occurred. 

62. The Superior Court Judge, after the sentencing sent a letter to the BOS stating that the office is "now vacant". Plaintiff while driving to Fresno received a call from Human Resource: director Pamela Knorr. She informed plaintiff that he needs to return his office keys immediately. Plaintiff told Knorr that is not possible, to return the keys plaintiff was in Fresno, and that if she County Council Ed Knapp, the office was vacated and plaintiff was not allowed returning to his office. 

63. Knorr, informed plaintiff that he needed to clear out his office and have a county escort present. Knorr further stated no documents would be removed without the escort reviewing them first. Plaintiff informed Knorr that he was not vacating his office, and would appeal the Superior Court's decision. 

64. On or about June 17th, 2014 the El Dorado County Board of Supervisor met in open Session to set a special election. Without holding a hearing, notice, opportunity, or a judgment to appeal from. The Resolution was passed by BOS, and in the resolution they stated plaintiff office had been declared vacant by Judge Timothy Buckley, the Superior Court Judge of the criminal proceedings. 

65. On June 6th, 2014, there was a meeting with County Council Ed Knapp, Human Resources Pamela Knorr, Chief Administrative Officer Terri Daily, Sheriff John D'Agostini and perhaps others. There was no direction as to what to do from the BOS. Plaintiff believed that defendants believed the letter from the Judge was a judicial order declaring the office of Ray Nutting was now vacant. Defendant Knapp never directed the BOS any differently. 

66. Plaintiff believed that he never vacated his office and only physically cleared it out after he special election was held Sept 9, 2014 out of respect for the voters. 

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68. On or about August of 2014 The Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and her deputy David Andrew Eldridge, responded and argued in part that: "The post-judgement letter's comment about vacancy, while true, had no legal effect" 

69. At the Supreme Court the Attorney General argued, that plaintiff attorneys has the wrong party, and there is no Judicial order to which an appeal may lie. 

70. August of 2014 Supreme Court summarily denies the Appeal. 

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118. At the time Defendants and each of them undertook all of the above-referenced conduct to oust and remove plaintiff from his office, the law was well-settled to the effect of Constitutional due process requirements. It is well-settled that before plaintiff's rights to his office OEM he taken or abridged. some form of deprivation notices to Plaintiff and an opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time was required prior to plaintiff ousting as the El Dorado County 'Supervisor. 

119. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and thereon allege, that Defendants, and each of them, undertook their actions and statements and otherwise acted cruelly, willfully, in bad faith and 2 in conscious disregard for Plaintiff's rights, with the intent to vex, harass, annoy and cause injury 3 and unjust hardship to Plaintiff, and that said acts were done with malice, fraud and oppression 4 directed toward Plaintiff. As A result, Plaintiff is entitled to an award of exemplary damages against 5 Defendants. and each of them. according to proof at the time of trial. 

120. As a direct and proximate result of the above-stated intentional acts of Defendants, 7 and each of them, Plaintiff has been, and will continue to be, deprived of their Constitutional due 8 process rights and have therefore been damaged in an amount in excess of this Court's diversity 9 jurisdictional threshold in the manner herein alleged. 

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136. Defendants and each of them punished plaintiff for his political views by, ousting him from office without due process leaving him with no other remedy at law to exhaust. Defendants and all of their discriminative actions, in concert, to remove plaintiff because defendants did not agree with plaintiffs political views. Leading defendants to an all out attack to remove plaintiff at all cost. Even at the blatant disregard of plaintiff's right of due process, deliberately violating the very Constitution defendants swore to uphold. Defendants outrageous violation of the Constitution for this purposes of harassment and injury and for no rational or reasonable purpose except to embarrass plaintiff before his constituents in an attempt to force him to resign. 

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PRAYER FOR RELIEF 

a. Punitive damages according to proof: against each defendant jointly and severally, In the amount of $100,000.

b. Award punitive damages in an appropriate amount, but not less than $100,000 each against defendants and Does... 

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SOME of the complaint: [OCR conversion may produce typos that are not in the original document.  This conversion has not been corrected.]

NATURE OF ACTION 

1. This is an action of law to redress the deprivation of civil rights under the color of state law, statute, custom or usage of a right, privilege, and immunity secured to Ray Nutting. (hereinafter plaintiffs, in Proper Persona.) by the Fifth, Eighth, Fourteenth amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America ( 42 U.S.C. Section 1983), and arising under the laws and statutes of the State of California. This action seeks to redress for violations of. the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 USC § 1983, and the United States Constitution. 

2. The violations herein alleged, were caused by Defendant's action outside the scope of their duty, and under the color of state law, enforcing their practices, policies, ordinances, resolutions, customs and usage of regulations adopted, employed and ratified by their supervisors. 

3. This action evolves from plaintiff's removal from his office after being duly elected as El Dorado County Supervisor, by the people of El Dorado County. The removal action proceeding was conducted through ex parte communication with the Superior Court. without notice, opportunity, or a hearing, or right to appeal to plaintiff. Plaintiff was denied the enjoyment of his office as an El Dorado County Supervisor. In essence Plaintiff was denied all due process, and the right to serve in his office as El Dorado County Supervisor. 

JURISDICTION 

4. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 28 U.S.C. § 1343 in that this is an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking compensation for violations of Plaintiff's Federal Constitutional rights. 

5. The jurisdiction of the Court is invoked under 28 U.S.C. Sections 1331 and 1343 (a) (3), (4), this being an action authorized by law to redress the deprivation under color of state law, statute, custom and usage of a right, privilege, and immunity secured to plaintiff by the Fifth, Eighth, Fourteenth, amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America ( 42 U.S.C. Section 1983), and arising under the laws, statutes and Constitution of the State of California. All of the actions by defendants and damages have been to the detriment of Plaintiff and have occurred within the venue and jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 

6. Venue is proper and lies within the Eastern Division of the United States District Court for the District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a)(1) and 28 U.S.C. § 1391(6) 

EVENTS LEADING TO REMOVAL 

18. Plaintiff was re-elected to the El Dorado County Board in November of 2008 for his third term as an El Dorado County Board Supervisor. Plaintiff term started January 2009. 

19. A former County Supervisor in 2004, plaintiff was ask to support Vern Pierson repeatedly for his endorsement for the California State Senate race A Senate District 1. Plaintiff declined and made it clear that he felt Assemblyman Dave Cox was a much better candidate. Pierson raised about $6,000 and failed to secure the required 20 nomination signatures. 

20. After the Vern Pierson senate race was over, in 2006 Pierson again approached plaintiff to support him this time for El Dorado County District Attorney race. Plaintiff was endorsing incumbent Gary Lacy, and again decline to lend any support to Vern Pierson. 

21. Pierson again called asking plaintiff for his support, each time he declined. The race was extremely heated and a lot of plaintiff's friends were supporting different people A he decided A become neut.. Plaintiff's relationship with Vern Pierson, became very strained, because he would not endorse Vern Pierson. 

22. After Vern Pierson won the District Attomey election 2006, plaintiff believed he started to use his El Dorado County DA office to go after his political enemies. Examples: Congressman Tom McClintock, Assemblyman Rico Ollier, El Dorado County Judge Stracener, Candidate Dylan Sullivan who was running for El Dorado County Judge, El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini in 2010. 

23. The 2010 El Dorado County Sheriff's' election was a huge political battle between John D'Agostini and Greg Therkildsen. Both John D'Agostini and plaintiff shared the same campaign manager, Dan Dellinger. The battle really heated up when the Therkildsen campaign, sent out a mailer accusing John D'Agostini catering to the Hell's Angels. Plaintiff believed that mailer was so ridiculous that the voters saw through it and John D'Agostini was elected as El Dorado County's next Sheriff. 

24. District Attorney Vern Pierson had the Civil Grand Jury investigate both plaintiff and Dan Dellinger starting in 2011. Plaintiff was .11 to be examined before the 2011 Civil Grand Jury. Advising the Grand Jury was Deputy District Attorney James Clinchard. He asked plaintiff questions about his involvement with child protective cases, and about his involvement with the Big Cut Mine issue. Plaintiff was not charged with any violation of law. Plaintiff believed this was just a -witch hunt" because plaintiff was just doing his job listening to his constituents complaints about how they were treated by El Dorado County agency.

25. Plaintiff believed he was then investigated by the Grand Jury the use of his rental home and alleged Section 8 housing payments (which plaintiff never received) and a possible conflict. Plaintiff informed the County that he had advertised his rental home located in Grizzly Flats. for rent in the local paper. A woman named Jennifer, responded to the add and contacted plaintiff and asked if he would accept federally funded Section 8 housing vouchers. 

26. Plaintiff explained to the potential renter he thought there may be a conflict of interest because he sits on the Housing Authority Board, and that he would consult Staff. Jenivor asked if plaintiff was discriminating against her. Plaintiff said no and he would ask Staff if he had a conflict of interest. 

27. After consulting with Staff. and the Washington D.C. Office plaintiff asked if he recuse himself would there still be a conflict. The Washington D.C. Office stated: " yes, and that plaintiff would have to resign from the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors if he accepted the section 8 housing vouchers". 

28. No charges were brought by the District Attorney and the matter was dismissed. 

29. Plaintiff believed the District Attorney Vern Pierson was frustrated because there was no conflict. Pierson sends information to the press, and the individual El Dorado County Supervisors, stating, that plaintiff was desperate for money (rents) and trying to use his influence to accept section 8 housing vouchers. 

30. Ken Steers. a local business man, started getting involved in county politics approximately 2004. Plaintiff was invited to his home in Cameron Parks Estates. Ken Steers supported plaintiff’s campaign. Ken Steer's lobbied plaintiff to support Vern Pierson for El Dorado County. District Attorney. 

31. Plaintiff stayed neutral in that race. In 2008 both Ken Steers and Vem Pierson lobbied plaintiff to support Doug Osi for the United States Congressional race. Plaintiff declined. 

32. Ken Steers showed plaintiff the "hit piece" that he stated was going to mailed out against Sheriff candidate D'Agostini. Ken Steers informed plaintiff that he needed to abandon D'Agostini and support Craig Therkildsen. Plaintiff refused. 

33. Therkildsen campaign mailed out the "hit piece" to the voters of El Dorado County. Plaintiff believes the "hit piece" was so radical and so ridiculous that the voters rejected it and D'Agostini became El Dorado County's new Sheriff. Ken Steers, became the new President of the El Dorado County Republican Central Committee in 2009, and after his candidate Craig Therkildsen lost the election to Sheriff John D'Agostini. Ken Steers resigned. 

34. Two other Central Committee members resigned along with Ken Steer's, they were Jerold Sirocco and Brandon Kashia. Jerold Sirocco became Ken Steers' Chief Financial Officer. Later Jerold Sirocco because Vem Pierson's campaign treasurer. 

35. Jerold Sirocco in 2012, requested a Public Record Act (PRA) from El Dorado County, to have plaintiff's computer and phones searched for illegal campaign activity. After the PRA was produced "No illegal campaign activity was found". 

36. Ken Steers next move was to become a member of the 2013, Civil Grand Jury.  Plaintiff was called to appear and testify to the Grand Jury. Plaintiff informed the Grand Jury of Ken Steers political involvement, and that the group needed to be aware of his history. Later that same year Plaintiff returned to a sub-committee to answer questions about county processes. Ken Steers is on the record criticizing and demeaning both plaintiff and Dan Dellinger, from after 2010 Sheriff race to the present. Plaintiff believes Ken Steers verbal criticism is in retaliation for plaintiff's failure to support Ken Steers political allies. 

37. Ed Knapp was the Deputy Assistant County Council for El Dorado County between 1993 to 2012. He was appointed Department Head and County Council in 2012 and retired in October 2014. Plaintiff worked with Knapp on hundreds of issues. Early on Plaintiff and Ed Knapp had a good professional relationship. However, strange events began to unfold after the 2008 election starting January 6th 2009 term. 

38. On or about 2010, plaintiff received phone calls from very upset parents regarding their children, that had been taken away by Child Protective Services. Plaintiff made phone calls to key staff and was briefed as to what was going on. Knapp informed plaintiff that he didn't have the right to ask questions about cases that includes children. Plaintiff informed Knapp, that he was just doing his job and that he had not violated any laws. 

39. As a result, the District Attorney investigated plaintiff. Once again plaintiff was called to address the Civil Grand Jury. The Big Cut Mine issue was starting to unfold and there was a huge debate as to whether the mine was vested a pre-existing mine or new mine. Knapp, would say to plaintiff that: "it is not a mine anymore." Plaintiff disagreed with Knapp's conclusion about the mine. Plaintiff knew the mine was a “patented mine" from the late 1800's and federally patented mining rights could not be taken away by a country practice, without a hearing. 

40. The County law enforcement showed up at Big Cut Mine. and pulled their guns on Rick Churches minor children at their home [which neither the children nor their home are a part of Big Cut Mine investigation or court action.] Rick Churches, who was not at home, called plaintiff. Plaintiff waited for the enforcement staff out by the county road.  After words, Knapp approached plaintiff and said he was way out of line, and the District Attorney Vern Pierson's office is investigating the issue. Once again plaintiff was under investigation. 

41. Complaints were coming in from both the El Dorado county staff and private sector, Rick Church filed a complaint with the sheriff's office for the manner in which his minor children were treated. Knapp down played all the complaints. At that time plaintiff's relationship was extremely strained with El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson and Ed Knapp. 

42. On or about June 12, 2012, agenda item # 3, a motion was made and passed 5 to 0, by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to research all monies coming into the county for forest fuels reduction programs. 

43. All of the District Attorney's attempts to bring civil charges had failed, and now a new investigation with charges, began to unfolded against plaintiff. Knapp, stated many times that he is not involved with plaintiffs investigation and cannot get involve. Plaintiff later learned Knapp, was very involved and serving the District Attorney. 

44. After plaintiff was indicted by the criminal Grand Jury, May 2013 Knapp advised plaintiff not come to work. Plaintiff refused to take that advice, knowing he had not done anything wrong. Knapp claimed he researched the laws and claimed plaintiff was not able to vote as a County Supervisor on federally funded budget items. Although plaintiff had not went to trial, Knapp stated that the District Attorney wins close to 97% of all his cases and that plaintiff chances of winning were low. Plaintiff stated, (we have not had atrial, I am not guilty and will never give up). 

45. Plaintiff informed Knapp that he looked forward to trial where he can finally get his day in court and the evidence before a jury. Plaintiff believes Knapp was not pleased with my response. Many times Knapp would have documents in his hand, and invite plaintiff to come over and talk about the criminal charges against plaintiff. In passing Knapp pointed to documents and said it doesn't look good for you. Plaintiff stated, Knapp you are wrong. 

46. One day Knapp stated that if plaintiff was convicted of a felony that he would lose his pension. Plaintiff told Knapp that wasn't right and he was going to trial. Knapp knew the matter was pending trial before the court and continue his harassment and reticule day after day until plaintiff was removed from office. 

47. May 28th, 2012 to September 20th, 2012 the criminal investigation of plaintiff focused on the El Dorado Fire Safe Council's budget, and federal grants. The District Attorney's Office had two investigators and a forensic auditor working with County Council Ed Knapp and Mike Applegarth investigating thousands of documents. After untold sums of money the El Dorado County investigators found no evidence of wrongdoing by plaintiff. 

48. El Dorado County DA, spent over two year of ongoing investigation by the Civil Grand Jury wherein plaintiff testified multiple times, and one time at the Criminal Grand Jury, El Dorado County DA investigators, and various El Dorado County agencies claiming amongst other things that plaintiff: a) received federally funded Section 8 housing vouchers: b) interfering El Dorado Counties investigation of Big Cut Mine: c) interfering El Dorado Counties investigation of Child protection agency: b) plaintiff had a conflict with El Dorado Fire Safe Council's budget: e) receiving California Forest Improvement Plan (CFIP) grants for brush removal during his tenure as an El Dorado County Supervisor: f) El Dorado County Code enforcement comes to ranch sited plaintiff for various violation: g) Assessor's Office send plaintiff a letter claiming plaintiff was not reporting business equipment: g) ra'29TrsenliatVrti1ghe i sinssLiPlaiibeves plaintiff  letter claiming Business complaining plaintiff needed contractor's license. No contractor's license is required agricultural activities. 

Trial on Criminal Grand Jury Indictment 

49. On April 23rd, 2013 El Dorado County Supervisor Ron Briggs, chaired in an illegal close session to discuss the Channel 13 local TV episode making plaintiff look like a criminal. Plaintiff was in close session and told Chairman Supervisor Briggs, that the meeting was illegal and plaintiff promptly left. The rest of the members of the Board of Supervisors soon left the room. April 25. 2013 chairman Ron Briggs, on El Dorado County letterhead sent a letter to the media as the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors calling plaintiff's behavior wrong. Briggs signed it as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Plaintiff inquired with his fellow Supervisors and they stated Briggs letter was not authorized. 

50. About this same time El Dorado County Supervisor Jack Sweeney wrote a personal letter to plaintiff asking him to resign. Plaintiff found the letter strange, and out of line. 

51. After over two years of the El Dorado County DA relentless attacks, the DA's office finally convinced the Criminal Grand Jury to indicted plaintiff on four felony count. The criminal charges revolved around plaintiff's involvement with the 2007, California Forest Improvement Grant. 

52. On or about May 28th. 2013 plaintiff claimed that he had been indicted on four felonies and was given about two hours to arrange S55,000 bail and turn himself in at the El Dorado County Jail. A member of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, reached out to friends and relatives for funds to post cash bail. 

53. Plaintiff knowing that the El Dorado DA, was conducting a "witch hunt" to remove him from office, requested the Fair Political Practice Commission, (FPPC) to conduct their own investigation. In June 2013, the FPPC commission completion their investigation finding: "the conflict of interest prohibition of the Act will not apply". Plaintiff was confident that the charges against him would be dismissed. 

54. Shortly thereafter in June 2013, the El Dorado County DA's office seizing upon this opportunity to now to add seven misdemeanors from the Political Reform Act, (Cal. Gov. Code § 87460) alleging that the posting of bail was an undocumented personal loans & soliciting loans, from a county employees and contractor. 

55. On February 26, 2014, Deputy DA of El Dorado County stated in part: GovenimpeZngrcll 30160tionhalgrciTG'rardiritl:c=rtegdtolegd:o iyeNhuottingto!lc7b: removed from office. Certain convictions, such as perjury, do not carry an automatic removal from office. For example, see the recent conviction of state Sen. Rod Wright, said prosecutor Jim Clinchard. Wright was convicted of felony perjury but remains in office, able to propose laws. Instead cecalielectici''hictke2:larfanTunV"1Paiern°neLal6Ua:al:therwaytoreu;ve forne,elnchrdLd.11eopeheid,voldt11 a public official who was convicted in a criminal court would "step down, as it's the right thing to do." But, if they do not, a 3060 action can occur. 

56. On May 14th, 2014, Plaintiff was acquitted on three felony counts and one misdemeanor; a mistrial was declared on the fourth felony, count when the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Plaintiff was convicted of three misdemeanor, of the Political Reform Mt violations of obtaining "personal loans" for bail from county employees or contractors (Govt. Code §87460 (a) and §87460 ( c), and three misdemeanor of failure to document these "personal loans" for bail (Govt. Code §87461). Ironically plaintiff was convicted on the posting of bail for the felonies of which he was originally charged and acquitted. 

57. After the criminal trial, County Council Ed Knapp quickly found a lawyer specializing in government code 1770 (h) and 1771. This lawyer came to El Dorado County and advised the Board of Supervisors. Both Knapp and the new lawyer were having ex parte communication with the Superior Court Judge prior to sentencing. 

58. On May 19th, 2014 plaintiff's attorney David Wiener sent a letter to the El Dorado County Supervisors office stating in part: "This board does not have the right or authority to suspend Ray Nutting: the political sanctions for conviction of a misdemeanor under the Political Reform Act is as stated by the office of the District Attorney in the attached Mountain Democrat article; Government Code section 1770 (h) is not applicable to facts of this case; there has not been a determination complying with due process under the criminal case, Government or t Code 3060 other appropriate hearing of the predicate for application of Government Code section 1770(h). An action of suspension by the Board would violate individual and property rights of Ray Nutting, and subject the Board and its individual members to liability." 

59. Plaintiff requested El Dorado County Council Knapp permit him to join in the hearing. The Board of supervisors were holding a closed session hearing. Plaintiff requested an official decision ,of what constitutes a violation of official duties. Knapp denied plaintiff's request to join in the hearing. Plaintiff asked Knapp why he was doing this? Knapp replied the District Attorney Vern Pierson asked tim to. Plaintiff was shocked. 

60. Plaintiff believed Knapp's job was to be council for the Board of Supervisors and not for the prosecution. 

61. The Judge on June 6th; 2014, sentenced plaintiff for the May 14th, trial convictions, sent letter to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisor's stating "plaintiff office was vacated". The 3060 documents for a special election included a resolution from the BOS, stating plaintiff's office has been vacated. Plaintiff stated his office was never vacated! No hearing occurred. 

62. The Superior Court Judge, after the sentencing sent a letter to the BOS stating that the office is "now vacant". Plaintiff while driving to Fresno received a call from Human Resource: director Pamela Knorr. She informed plaintiff that he needs to return his office keys immediately. Plaintiff told Knorr that is not possible, to return the keys plaintiff was in Fresno, and that if she County Council Ed Knapp, the office was vacated and plaintiff was not allowed returning to his office. 

63. Knorr, informed plaintiff that he needed to clear out his office and have a county escort present. Knorr further stated no documents would be removed without the escort reviewing them first. Plaintiff informed Knorr that he was not vacating his office, and would appeal the Superior Court's decision. 

64. On or about June 17th, 2014 the El Dorado County Board of Supervisor met in open Session to set a special election. Without holding a hearing, notice, opportunity, or a judgment to appeal from. The Resolution was passed by BOS, and in the resolution they stated plaintiff office had been declared vacant by Judge Timothy Buckley, the Superior Court Judge of the criminal proceedings. 

65. On June 6th, 2014, there was a meeting with County Council Ed Knapp, Human Resources Pamela Knorr, Chief Administrative Officer Terri Daily, Sheriff John D'Agostini and perhaps others. There was no direction as to what to do from the BOS. Plaintiff believed that defendants believed the letter from the Judge was a judicial order declaring the office of Ray Nutting was now vacant. Defendant Knapp never directed the BOS any differently. 

66. Plaintiff believed that he never vacated his office and only physically cleared it out after he special election was held Sept 9, 2014 out of respect for the voters. 

67. Plaintiff Appealed the Judge's letter about the vacancy to the Third Court of Appeals. They denied review, and he appealed to the California Supreme Court. 

68. On or about August of 2014 The Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and her deputy David Andrew Eldridge, responded and argued in part that: "The post-judgement letter's comment about vacancy, while true, had no legal effect" 

69. At the Supreme Court the Attorney General argued, that plaintiff attorneys has the wrong party, and there is no Judicial order to which an appeal may lie. 

70. August of 2014 Supreme Court summarily denies the Appeal. 

71. On Sept 9th, 2014 a Special Election is held and Shiva Frentzen was elected. Out of respect to the voters, Plaintiff cleared out his office on Sept 10th, 2014. To date plaintiff still believes he is the duly elected County Supervisor ousted from office, denied the enjoyment of his office without  any due process. 

72. Frustrated, that plaintiff was not given due process or a remedy, plaintiff submitted his claim against El Dorado County December 2014. Plaintiff's claim was rejected in January or February of 2015. 

73. Plaintiff alleges and re-alleges the facts stated in paragraphs 1 through 72 are reincorporates herein as if fully reproduced herein by reference. 

PARTIES  ... [listed above and any unknown Does] Details 74-93.

GENERAL ALLEGATION AGAINST DEFENDANTS 

94. Plaintiff alleges and re-alleges the facts stated in paragraphs 1 through 93 are reincorporates herein as if fully reproduced herein by reference. EVENTS AFTER JUNE 6th, 2014 

95. Plaintiff alleges on June 6 2014, he requested defendant Ed Knapp to permit him to join in the hearing Knapp refused. 

96. Plaintiff alleges on June 6th, 2014 the Board of supervisors were holding ex parte close session hearing. 

97. Plaintiff alleges on June 6th, 2014, that he requested an official decision of what constitutes a violation of official duties and was denied. 

98. Plaintiff alleges on June 6th, 2014, he asked defendant Knapp why he was doing this? Knapp replied the District Attorney Vern Pierson asked him to. Plaintiff was shocked. 

99. Plaintiff is informed and believe, and thus alleges, that the Judge of the Superior Court, sent a letter to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisor's stating "plaintiff office was now vacated" on June 6th. 2014. 

100. Plaintiff is informed and believe, and thus alleges, the removal or "vacation" of office was never before any court, for determination. 

102. Plaintiff is informed and believe, and thus alleges that defendants and each of them on June 17th, 2014, voted on a resolution stating plaintiff's offi. has been vacated. 

103. Plaintiff is informed and believe, and thus alleges that on June 17th, 2014 defendants and each of them held a special election for a new County Supervisor to take plaintiff's seat. 

104. Plaintiff alleges he never vacated his office! No hearing occurred. 

105. Plaintiff is informed and believe, and thus alleges that while driving to Fresno received a call from Human Resources Director, defendant Pamela Knorr. She informed plaintiff that he need to return his office keys immediately. 

106. Plaintiff alleges defendant Knorr, informed plaintiff, according to County Council Ed Knapp, plaintiff's office was vacated and plaintiff was not allowed returning to his office. 

107. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Knorr, requested his key to his office. 

108. Plaintiff alleges that defendant Knorr, informed plaintiff that he needed to clear out his office and a county escort would need to be present when he returned to him 

109. Plaintiff alleges he informed defendant Knorr that he was not vacating his office. 

110. Plaintiff is informed and believe, and thus alleges that defendants and each of them on June 6th, 2014, held a meeting with defendant County Council Ed Knapp, Human Resource Pamela Knorr, Chief Administrative Officer Terri Daily, Sheriff John D'Agostini and others to remove plaintiff from office. 

111. Plaintiff alleges that defendants believed the letter from the Judge was a judicial order declaring the office of plaintiff Ray Nutting was now vacant. 

112 1 arc rincorporates herein as if fully reproduced herein by reference. COUNT ONE (42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Violations of the Right to Due Process) 

113. Plaintiff herein reallege each and every allegation as contained above and hereby incorporate them by this reference as if fully set forth herein 

114. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution guarantee to :citizens of this United States, like plaintiff Ray Nutting here, freedom from the deprivation of life, liberty and property without due process of law (i.e., notice and an opportunity to be heard in meaningful manner and at a meaningful time). 

115. The Constitutional right to due process exists both pre- and post-deprivation. 

116. Defendants, and each of them, violated Plaintiffs' due process rights as alleged hereinabove when they failed to give plaintiff any notice and opportunity of hearing, before ousting >r vacating his office. 

117. These due process requirements imposed on defendants and each of them by the United( 'States Constitution was not new to the defendants. The defendants and each of them swore to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, which requires a hearing to be set before the court and give plaintiff: (1) "notice," and (2) an "opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner, before any rights can be abridged or action taken, such as ousting plaintiff from office. This fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner. 

118. At the time Defendants and each of them undertook all of the above-referenced conduct to oust and remove plaintiff from his office, the law was well-settled to the effect of Constitutional due process requirements. It is well-settled that before plaintiff's rights to his office OEM he taken or abridged. some form of deprivation notices to Plaintiff and an opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time was required prior to plaintiff ousting as the El Dorado County 'Supervisor. 

119. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and thereon allege, that Defendants, and each of them, undertook their actions and statements and otherwise acted cruelly, willfully, in bad faith and 2 in conscious disregard for Plaintiff's rights, with the intent to vex, harass, annoy and cause injury 3 and unjust hardship to Plaintiff, and that said acts were done with malice, fraud and oppression 4 directed toward Plaintiff. As A result, Plaintiff is entitled to an award of exemplary damages against 5 Defendants. and each of them. according to proof at the time of trial. 

120. As a direct and proximate result of the above-stated intentional acts of Defendants, 7 and each of them, Plaintiff has been, and will continue to be, deprived of their Constitutional due 8 process rights and have therefore been damaged in an amount in excess of this Court's diversity 9 jurisdictional threshold in the manner herein alleged. 

121. WHEREFORE Plaintiffs pray for judgment against Defendants, and each of them, jointly and severally, as hereinafter set forth. 

122. Plaintiff alleges and re-alleges the facts stated in paragraphs 1 through 121 are 3 reincorporates herein as if fully reproduced herein by reference. 

COUNT TWO (42 U.S.C. § 1983 — Taking of a Liberty, without a hearing) 

123. Plaintiff herein reallege each and every allegation as contained above and hereby incorporate them by this reference as if fully set forth herein. 

124. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution guarantee to citizens of the United States, like plaintiff Ray Nutting here, protections from the taking of their rights without a hearing, such as plaintiff liberty interest to hold office. This liberty interest and , property right to serve is well recognized in our Federal and State law. 

125. These unenumerated right to serve and hold office lodged with the United States , Constitution can not be abrogated or abridged by a letter from a Judge, or by an ex parte hearing,  motion or resolution, by the defendants acting as the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors. , These arbitrary and capricious actions by defendants and each of them show the complete disregard  for the Constitution and plaintiffs rights , 

126. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, protections act as a safeguard from the arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by government outside  sanction of law. 

127. Although both State and Federal law require a hearing (1) notice, and (2) an opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner, before any rights can be abridged or action taken, defendants and each of them acted arbitrarily and capriciously when they hose to ignore the well established laws, and the Constitutions. Defendant's action of holding ex parte hearing wherein defendants voted on the vacation of plaintiff's office should shock the conscience of this Court. Defendants actions holding these ex parte hearings, without due process, clearly violate both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. 

128. All the time defendants undertook all of the above-referenced conduct, the law was well-settled to the effect. that , abrogation of plaintiffs liberty, and his property interest without first providing plaintiff Ray Nutting duc process was a clear violation of the Constitution. 

129. Plaintiff is informed and believes. and thereon allege, that Defendants. and each of them. undertook their actions and statements and otherwise acted cruelly, willfully, in bad faith and in conscious disregard for Plaintiff's rights with the intent to vex, harass, annoy and cause injury and unjust hardship to Plaintiff and that said acts were done with malice, fraud and oppression directed toward Plaintiff. As a result. 

130. As a direct and proximate result of the above-stated intentional acts of Defendants, and each of them, Plaintiff has and will continue to be. deprived of his liberty and property interest and right to serve and hold office as the El Dorado County Supervisor. As the result of defendants and each of them violating due process. plaintiff has therefore been damaged in an amount in excess of this Court's diversity jurisdictional threshold in the manner herein alleged. 

131. WHEREFORE Plaintiffs pray for judgment against Defendants. and each of them. jointly and severally, as hereinafter set forth. 

132. Plaintiff alleges and re-alleges the facts stated in paragraphs 1 through 131 are reincorporates herein as if fully reproduced herein by reference. COUNT THREE (42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Violations of the Right to Equal Protection Under the Law) 

132. Plaintiffs hereby reallege each and every allegation as contained above and hereby incorporate them by this reference as if fully set forth herein. 

133. The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees to citizens of the United States, equal protection of the laws. 

134. The actions, inactions and statements of defendants, and each of them as set forth above, clearly demonstrate a continuous and orchestrated pattern of unequal treatment and discrimination against Plaintiff by defendants. Defendants and each of them acting under the color of state law, thereby violated Plaintiff's rights to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 

135. At the time Defendants undertook all of the above-referenced conduct, the law was well-settled to the effect that the Constitutional afforded equal protection to plaintiff. Defendants and each of them deliberately denied plaintif equal protection of law simply because they disagreed with his political views. 

136. Defendants and each of them punished plaintiff for his political views by, ousting him from office without due process leaving him with no other remedy at law to exhaust. Defendants and all of their discriminative actions, in concert, to remove plaintiff because defendants did not agree with plaintiffs political views. Leading defendants to an all out attack to remove plaintiff at all cost. Even at the blatant disregard of plaintiff's right of due process, deliberately violating the very Constitution defendants swore to uphold. Defendants outrageous violation of the Constitution for this purposes of harassment and injury and for no rational or reasonable purpose except to embarrass plaintiff before his constituents in an attempt to force him to resign. 

137. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and based thereon allege, that Defendants, and each of them, undertook their actions and statements and otherwise acted cruelly, willfully, in bad faith and in conscious disregard for Plaintiff's rights with the intent to vex, harass, annoy and cause injury and unjust hardship to Plaintiff and that said It were done with malice, fraud and oppression directed toward Plaintiff. As a result, Plaintiff are entitled to an award of exemplary damages against Defendants, and each of them, according to proof at the time of trial. 

138. As a direct and proximate result of the above-stated intentional acts of Defendants, and each of them, Plaintiff has been, and will continue to be, deprived of his Constitutional right to due process and has therefore been damaged in an amount in excess of this Court's diversity jurisdictional threshold in the manner herein alleged. 

139. Plaintiff alleges and re-alleges the facts stated in paragraphs 1 through 138 are reincorporates herein as if fully reproduced herein by reference. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff pray for judgment against Defendants, and each of them, jointly and severally, as hereinafter set forth. 

 

PRAYER FOR RELIEF 

a. Punitive damages according to proof: against each defendant jointly and severally, In the amount of $100,000.000 

b. Award punitive damages in an appropriate amount, but not less than $100,000 each against defendants and Does 

1-25 and each of them, individually, and in their official capacity. 

c. For attorneys' fees and costs according to proof; and 

d. For the right to amend this complaint as needed; and 

e. For such other and further relief as the Co. deems just and proper: 

1. Trial by jury is demanded herein as provided by Amendment Seven of the United States Constitution and by Rule 38, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.