No indication that the Sacramento County Grand Jury investigating accusations against former Elk Grove mayor

During last year's tumultuous Elk Grove mayoral election, there were many accusations tossed around by the candidates and their supporters. Among the most notable charges made against former Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly was that he and associates had engaged in a pattern of bullying women in the community outside of public meetings.

As a result of those accusations and political pressure, the Elk Grove City Council decided by a 4 - 0 vote (Ly abstained from voting) at their August 12, 2020 meeting to request an investigation by the Sacramento County Grand Jury. During that meeting, the city council had the option to censure Ly over the allegations but choose to request a Grand Jury inquiry.  

Following the city council vote, Elk Grove city attorney Jonathan Hobbs sent an investigation request to the Grand Jury (see document below). In response to the request, the Sacramento County Grand Jury responded in late August (see below), acknowledging receipt of the request. 

The foreperson for the previous Grand Jury responded with a form letter on August 31 that noted "While the Jury takes each inquiry seriously, not all can be investigated because of legal restrictions, resource limitations, or a variety of other reasons." The letter also stated confidentially laws prohibit the Grand Jury from responding to inquiries if they pursue the city's request.  

Before the City Council took their action, the Elk Grove Police Department conducted an investigation into associated allegations against Ly and associates. That investigation, which concluded no crimes had been committed, was initiated after allegations against Ly were leveled by a former campaign worker and a lifestyle writer. 

What's happened since then? 

Following the August 31 letter to the city, a new Grand Jury was empaneled for an 18-month term starting on January 1. The Grand Jury's term was extended six months over the typical 12-month period to compensate for the COVID-19 meeting restrictions. 

A public records request to the City of Elk Grove identified the documents displayed below. The city did not claim any attorney-client privilege blocking certain documents or correspondence to or from the Grand Jury in fulfilling the request.

Sacramento County Grand Jury public information officer Kim Pederson reiterated the Grand Jury does not provide information about how many investigations will be conducted or what requests will be examined. Pederson said the proceedings are closed to the public, and she was unaware where the Grand Jury was in the process of their investigations.

The subject of the investigation request, former Mayor Steve Ly, said as of April 10, the Grand Jury had not contacted him. Ly declined further comment. 

According to Pederson, once a witness is contacted by the Grand Jury during an investigation, they are instructed not to discuss their testimony or exchanges. Pederson did say an examination of previous Grand Jury reports could indicate what sort of investigations they pursue. 

A review of Sacramento County Grand Jury Reports over the last 20 years shows almost all investigations were examinations of government policies, conflicts of interests, or agencies. Notably, the one investigation into an individual was former Elk Grove District 3 City Councilmember Mike Leary who the Grand Jury found had suppressed political dissent during city council meetings.  

The current Grand Jury is seated until June 30, 2022. Their report will be released before the end of their term. 

While Ly lost his reelection bid in November in part because of the negative publicity of the requested Grand Jury investigation, accusations that surfaced last summer persist that first-term Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen used alleged racist language directed at the Hmong community. A group calling themselves Elk Grove Hmong Americans has consistently criticized Singh-Allen during city council meetings and has launched a recall effort.  

Investigation request

Response from Sacramento County Grand Jury

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

EITHER B.S. Allen is lying and stole the election from Steve Ly, or Steve Ly is lying and got caught. Either way, this is troubling behavior. We should not be holding our breath that the Grand Jury will even hear the case. That would be troubling behavior as well.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Didn't BSA's husband and others, circa 2010, including former Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Paul Lindsay, publicly state at an Elk Grove City Council meeting that they were going to file a Sacramento County Grand Jury complaint on then (and BSA's proclaimed good friend and ardent supporter) Council member Steve Detrick? It appears the grand jury didn't take that one either. No double standard is ever acceptable or is Karma a bit**!

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