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Linns file against Madera County for $15 million

Supervisors reject assertions of district attorney

 

The Madera County Board of Supervisors has rejected claims by District Attorney David A. Linn, and his wife, Betty Linn, for a total of $15 million in damages they say they have suffered.


Their claim is that a censure against the district attorney by the board subjected Linn to a “hostile work environment while serving as the Madera County District Attorney,” and that he has “suffered damages as a result of the intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and assault, defamation, libel and slander, all at the hands of the various county officials …”


The county’s rejection of the Linns’ claims came at the end of a closed session Tuesday. No reason for the supervisors’ rejection was given.


The complaint by Linn names Kimberley Horiuch of the law firm Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, who investigated claims of sexist and abusive behavior against Linn; County Counsel Regina Garza; human resources director Adrienne Calip; Chief Administrative Officer Eric Fleming; district attorney’s Chief Investigator John Markle; and Supervisors Brett Frazier, Tom Wheeler, Max Rodriguez, David Rogers and Rob Poythress, as the county employees involved in inflicting the damages he asserts he has suffered.


Linn also alleges in the complaint that the county has refused to pay his attorney’s fees, and that he has suffered loss of reputation, loss of future income, bodily and emotional injury causing him to suffer mental anguish, physical and emotional injuries requiring him to incur medical bills “for treatment in an amount currently unknown although believed to be in excess of $5,000.”


The claim states that Linn’s damages commenced on Sept. 5, 2017 and continue to the present date, as the county failed to properly investigate a claim made against him by Deputy District Attorney John Baker.


He accuses the county of issuing a press release which included “false and inaccurate information on Nov. 21, 2017,” and publishing that information during a public hearing on Nov. 27, “all in violation of County rules and policies, state law, Federal law, equal protection, and also violated Claimant’s due process rights with specific intent to destroy Claimant’s reputation.”


Linn also alleges that these actions were taken to thwart his efforts to run for re-election and disrupt the functioning of the Madera County District Attorney’s Office “in order to interfere with or prevent the continuing investigation of government corruption.”


Linn names as witnesses “Kimberley Horiuchi, Betty Linn, Russell Georgeson, all persons in attendance at the meeting of Nov. 27, 2017, as well as any persons in the Madera-Fresno news market,” along with all members of the Board, County Counsel and “various Madera County employees.”


David Linn is asking for $10 million in damages.


Betty Linn has also filed a complaint alleging $5 million in damages, stating that she suffered from the “illegal and wrongful release of defamatory information” about her husband.


“I was seated next to Mr. Linn at the hearing of Nov. 27, 2017, and within the zone of danger created by the Board of Supervisors’ defamatory, illegal, and inaccurate statements,” says the complaint. Mrs. Linn says this had the effect of “placing me in the false light” of the same statements made during the course of that meeting.


The complaints were received by the Madera County Counsel’s Office on Feb. 28.