Board of Supervisors slammed in Sacramento County Grand Jury report, but no mention of Elk Grove's requested investigation

This week the Sacramento County Grand Jury issued their report that slammed the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors for the initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic that started just over two years ago.

While the scathing report has received extensive local media coverage, for the Elk Grove City Council, what the report did not contain was as relevant. It appears the Grand Jury did not conduct an investigation against former Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly that it had requested in August 2020.

Facing extensive public and political pressure, the Elk Grove City Council, which at the time included Ly, requested an investigation into alleged political harassment committed by the former mayor and his supporters. At the time, four city council members, including Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen, decided against a formal censure of Ly and instead sought the assistance of the Grand Jury. 

In issuing their report this week, along with the county's COVID 19 investigation, the Isleton City Council and the Del Paso Manor Water District were examined. There was no mention of Elk Grove's investigation request.  

The Grand Jury did not return a phone message seeking information if more reports could be released before the end of their term on June 30 or if the next Grand Jury could pursue Elk Grove's request. Because of COVID-19, the last two grand juries were empaneled for 18-month terms.

On the April 4 release of the current report, the Grand Jury's website says "Each year, the grand jury issues a report based on its investigations. These reports include findings and recommendations which must be addressed by the agency involved. In most cases, the entity has 90 days to respond." 

The current Grand Jury convened on January 1, 2021. The Grand Jury empaneled at the time of the August 2020 request adjourned on December 31, 2020, after convening on July 1, 2019. The next Grand Jury convenes on July 1, 2022, for a 12-month term.

The controversy surrounding the allegations Ly faced is believed to have contributed to his defeat by Bobbie Singh-Allen. Among several people making harassment allegations against Ly were Elk Grove Unified School District Trustee Nancy Chaires-Espinoza, Cosumnes Community Services District Director, and Sacramento County Supervisor candidate Jaclyn Moreno, Ly's former campaign manager and an Elk Grove-based lifestyle website operator. 

Throughout the 2020 Elk Grove mayoral election, Ly, who is of Hmong ancestry, faced political harassment allegations. In addition, his 2020 challenger and successor, Singh-Allen, was accused of making racist comments about Hmong, which she denied. 

Ly is running as no party preference for the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors District 5 seat. Hume and Moreno are among the other candidates seeking to replace long-serving County Supervisor Don Nottoli.

Ly said he was not surprised the Grand Jury did not fulfill Elk Grove's request for an investigation and that he was never contacted for an interview. He also noted an Elk Grove Police investigation found no wrongdoing. 

"The grand jury choosing to not entertain these overreaching and false referrals by the Elk Grove City Council is no surprise. As I've stated from the very beginning and reported by Chief Tim Albright to the council in July of 2020, and affirmed by Detective Benitez, there is no substance to the lies made against me," Ly said. "It is shameful to witness politicians intentionally stooping to new lows for political gain."   

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