MODESTO POLITICS IS A BLOOD SPORT

Bee reporter deals in gossip

DA is protected despite front page story

DA engages in coer up

Carmen Sabatino, former Mayor of the City of Modesto1999 – 2004:

I was elected Mayor of Modesto in 1999 defeating incumbent city Councilwoman Kenni Friedman and then incumbent Mayor Dick Lang in a December 14, 1999 runoff.

At the time of the 1999 mayoral election  Modesto Bee publisher Orage Quarles said, “My guys (editors) hate you and say you can’t win. I asked them what if he does win and they said no chance. I also asked them if they had an exit strategy.”

Apparently they didn’t at the time, but came up with one very quickly.

After defeating two incumbents the attempt to remove me from office began almost immediately.

Real estate mogul Michael Zagaris and his political attorney George Petrulakis formed the Modesto 2000 Committee to oppose my election and turned their direction to remove me from office as soon as possible.

The dedication of the new police station was postponed for 10 months in hopes that I would be gone in six months and my name would not be put on the cornerstone. They found it necessary to create the “perfect storm” with the assistance of law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, and other government agencies.

On September 3, 2002 Roger Brown, a Sonora attorney, delivered a list of charges against the Mayor, to City Manager Jack Crist, City Attorney Mike Milich, and the Modesto City Council.  His complaint was also delivered to various law enforcement agencies and the Modesto Bee. (Later city attorney Milich left the city to become Counsel for Michael Zagaris)

Mr. Brown’s report was created and researched with the assistance of my former attorney and alleged business partner Patrick McGrath.

Mr. McGrath and Stanislaus County Dist. Atty. investigator Kirk Bunch were high school classmates and worked together to create the accusations against Mayor Sabatino.

Mr. McGrath was eventually disbarred for stealing money and went bankrupt for over $3 million.

The 3 million that Sabatino was accused of not revealing in his campaign reports.

I was charged with 12 felonies two of which were dropped when Mr. McGrath refused to come to court, taking the fifth.

An out-of-town Judge Franklin Stephenson, was unable to get a conviction and the DA offered me a deal that for $4,700 the 10 remaining felonies would go away.

According to the deal, I had to plead to anything that would prevent me from ever running for office again and promise not to sue the county.

Judge Stephenson made it known that if I failed to take the deal I was looking at a two-year prison sentence.

Attorney Frank Carson was the sixth attorney that was assigned to me and we turned the deal down. Kirk Bunch and the DA failed to win the case which resulted in extreme bitterness towards Frank Carson. They were robbed of their victory, justice was not a factor.

Although I was never arrested or convicted, Judge Stephenson required that I be booked in jail.

Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson has stated at a Rotary Club meeting that “If I ever get Sabatino in my jail he will never see the light of day.”

Law enforcement, the City of Modesto, and Stanislaus County instill fear in people by taking care of political emergencies that punish their enemies and reward their friends.

I survived four years as Mayor of Modesto but I lost my restaurant and valued relationships with those who had elected me to office.

My experiences lead me to know that investigators will not investigate themselves and the culture of corruption and violation of constitutional rights will not be corrected without outside assistance.

In addition to my own trial I have watched Frank Carson represent AJ Pontillo in a six-month trial after an eight year investigation and although he was completely exonerated by a jury that cried after the verdict he was destroyed.

Frank Carson won and DA Birgit Fladager lost.

I also watched the trial of a Modesto Junior college professor of criminal law who was a whistleblower on a multimillion dollar scandal involving the college and the Police Academy.

Frank Carson won and DA Birgit Fladager lost.

Nine innocent people have been charged with murder and once again DA investigator Kirk Bunch sits in a courtroom assisting the District Attorney in a vendetta with no regard for the truth or justice.

Frank Carson is in jail on no Bond and three other defendants have $10 million bonds each.

Frank Carson’s wife Georgia had her bail reduced to $4.5 million and she bailed out for $360,000 which the Carson family will never see again. Georgia was arrested as leverage against her husband and they arrested her daughter.

I am attending a six-month preliminary hearing in the case of nine innocent people while district attorney investigator Kirk Bunch brags the hearing could go until September.

For 30 years I was a high school teacher for the Modesto City Schools. Since my election as Mayor and the history of the past 16 years I have questions about the discussions I had with students about democracy, constitutional rights, the social contract, and justice in America.