DA: attorney’s claims about Measure L unfounded | TahoeDailyTribune.com

DA: attorney’s claims about Measure L unfounded

William Ferchland

An assistant El Dorado County district attorney stated supporters of Measure L committed no violations of election law after reviewing a letter from a South Lake Tahoe attorney who alleged illegal campaign activities.

Paul Sutherland said a discussion with Steven Russo, chief enforcer with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, found only fair play among the allegations.

“I have spoken with Mr. Russo and he advised us that there is really no basis for violations,” Sutherland said. “The last thing we want to do is take action on the eve of the election. The reality is we’re deferring to Mr. Russo.”

Bruce Grego, a South Lake Tahoe attorney, sent a package to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office and the commission requesting an investigation. Specifically, Grego believed letters sent by school board president Wendy David and South Tahoe High School Principal Marcia Kaster regarding the measure were unfair. Grego also questioned the legality of campaign proponents using contact information of parents and students.

“Clearly, district employees and officials have been involved in the campaign for Measure L, using district resources, including their own compensated time,” Grego wrote.

Grego did not return a phone message left after business hours.

After details of his letter were known, supporters of the campaign discovered Grego sometimes represents Ed McCarthy, who manages the Americana and Stardust vacation resorts. McCarthy also helped establish the No on “L” Committee. One supporter described Grego’s letter as a unethical attack based on political motivations.

The attorney has denied such comments in a past interview.

Terry Price, a campaign consultant for the measure, thought otherwise.

“These allegations were nothing more than part of a smear campaign that’s being conducted by those who are only trying to protect their profits,” Price said.

– E-mail William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com.

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