Dellinger cleared in civil trial |

Dellinger cleared in civil trial

PLACERVILLE — Political consultant Dan Dellinger has been found not liable in a five-count civil complaint alleging he and partner Christopher Alarcon unlawfully used taxpayer money to advocate passage of a tax increase for Pioneer Fire Protection District.

In a press statement, Dellinger called the court proceeding, which concluded Thursday, a “show trial” and said he is often on opposite political sides of the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.

“By clearing Dellinger and media consultant Chris Alarcon of any wrongdoing in connection with Dellinger’s Consulting Company work assisting the financially stressed Pioneer Fire Protection District pass a parcel tax known as Measure F back in 2011, the jury of seven men and five women handed El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson his second major defeat in as many weeks in what most observers now see as Pierson’s Soviet-style show trials for self-aggrandizing publicity or simply attempted political lynching of effective opponents,” Dellinger said, referring also to the recent trial of county supervisor Ray Nutting, whom Dellinger has helped with campaigns.

Announcing the civil complaint in a press release in July 2012, the District Attorney’s Office said, “It is abundantly clear that Dan Dellinger and Christopher Alarcon were hired and paid, at taxpayer expense, to expressly advocate a position in favor of a ballot measure to raise taxes,” calling their actions “impermissible, taxpayer-funded, express advocacy.”

In an email following the trial, Assistant District Attorney James A. Clinchard said the complaint was filed after the El Dorado County Civil Grand Jury made findings that Dellinger and Alarcon unlawfully used state resources for campaign activity and ordered the District Attorney’s Office to file a civil suit against Dellinger for $10,000 he received from the fire district.

Clinchard said the District Attorney’s Office unsuccessfully attempted to settle the issue with Dellinger.

“We respect the recent decision made by the civil jury of not finding liability, as the jury system and process is the foundation of our great system of justice. But at the end of the day, the jury ultimately said to Mr. Dellinger — you can keep the $10,000, which is precisely what was offered to Mr. Dellinger two years ago before the case was filed,” Clinchard said.

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