Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said Thursday morning she might release information later in the day about a criminal investigation involving prominent Fresno criminal defense attorney Anthony “Tony” Capozzi.
But by the end of the day, Mims decided against it.
In an email, sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said Thursday afternoon: “Just got out of my meeting. No information coming out on that case today. I don’t see it happening for a while. I will notify everyone if / when it happens.”
Capozzi’s lawyer, Carl Faller, also had little to say: “We are cooperating and we will not make a public comment until after the investigation is concluded.”
Capozzi has been the subject of speculation since Oct. 12, when the Sheriff’s Office issued a news release that it said was in response to multiple media inquiries about whether the lawyer was under investigation. The news release confirmed Capozzi was being investigated, but said: “No details of the allegations are available at this time.”
The release also noted that Capozzi had not been arrested.
Since then, Capozzi’s colleagues have said the news release was unfair because it has led to speculation about why Capozzi was being investigated.
Mims has been mum on the investigation until Thursday, when the sheriff said after a “No on Proposition 57” rally that she might release details about the investigation later in the day. She apparently changed her mind, according to Botti’s email.
Capozzi, 71, is a well-known figure in the Fresno legal community and in local and state politics. He operates his own law firm and is a legal and political analyst with ABC30 (KFSN) television.
His résumé includes president of the Fresno County Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association, San Joaquin Valley chapter; lawyer representative and co-chair of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference; elected member of the Board of Governors, State Bar of California, 2000 to 2003; president of the State Bar of California, 2003 to 2004; and member of the Judicial Council of California, 2005 to 2010.
In March, Capozzi was elected chairman of the Commission on Judicial Performance, an independent state agency that investigates complaints of judicial misconduct.