Sheriff Margaret Mims has no plans in the near future to release any information about a criminal investigation involving prominent Fresno criminal defense attorney Anthony “Tony” Capozzi, the sheriff’s spokesman said Wednesday.
“It remains an ongoing investigation,” spokesman Tony Botti said.
Speculation about Capozzi has been circulating since Oct. 12, when the Sheriff’s Office issued a news release that said Capozzi was under investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office said the news release was in response to multiple media inquiries about whether Capozzi was being investigated, but added; “No details of the allegations are available at this time.” The release also noted that Capozzi had not been arrested.
On Oct. 20, Mims said after a “No on Proposition 57” rally that she might release details about the investigation later that day. But by the end of that Thursday, Mims had changed her mind without giving an explanation.
We are pleased that the Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation in a thorough manner.
Fresno attorney Carl Faller
Capozzi’s colleagues have said the news release and the sheriff’s silence are unfair because they have led to speculation about Capozzi, 71, a well-known figure in the Fresno legal community and in local and state politics. He operates his own law firm and has been a legal and political analyst with television station ABC 30.
On Wednesday, Capozzi could not reached for comment. His attorney, Carl Faller, said he and Capozzi are aware of the allegations, but “we will not discuss them until the investigation is completed.”
Faller said Capozzi has cooperated with sheriff’s investigators. He also said that once all the facts are known, Capozzi will be exonerated.
“We are pleased that the Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation in a thorough manner,” Faller said. “We are hoping it will be completed in the near future.”
Capozzi’s résumé includes president of the Fresno County Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association, San Joaquin Valley chapter; lawyer representative and co-chairman 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.