Madera County District Attorney David Linn is suing the county’s Board of Supervisors, blaming them for his failure to win reelection.
Linn, in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Fresno on Monday, alleges the board violated his civil rights, slandered him, denied him due process and has interfered with his ability to earn a living and has caused him emotional distress.
He is seeking damages, including punitive.
Named in the lawsuit are Supervisors Max Rodriguez, Tom Wheeler, Brett Frazier, David Rogers and Robert Poythress. Also named was Eric Fleming, the county’s chief administrative officer.
Rogers called the lawsuit against the board “laughable.” Rogers said Linn has only himself to blame for losing his job.
“His behavior is what led to him not winning reelection,” Rogers said. “Nothing else.”
Linn declined to comment on Tuesday. But in the lawsuit he alleges the board “stampeded” over his civil rights in an attempt to “thwart” his investigation into political corruption.
The board saw it differently. Last November, Linn was publicly censured after an investigation, initiated by the board, accused him of workplace harassment, discrimination, and abuse. They asked for his resignation during a closed-door meeting and Linn refused.
Linn has denied the board’s claims against him and said in the lawsuit that he was not given the chance to respond to the accusations.
“Madera County Board of Supervisors issued a press release to publicly denounce (Linn) in the worst light without due process,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants’ press release revealed that they knew that (Linn) was an elected official and that a public scandal and public censure was the only way to interfere with Madera County District Attorney’s war on corruption.”
Linn was trounced at the polls on June 5. He finished the race with just 22 percent of the vote. The top vote-getter, Sally Moreno, a senior deputy district attorney in Fresno County, received just over 45 percent. Paul Hornick, a senior deputy district attorney under Linn, got 33 percent of the vote. Moreno and Hornick are headed to a November runoff.
As a result of losing his chance for another four-year term, Linn estimates his loss of income to be in excess of $165,000 a year for the years 2019-2023.