Who paid for the Zagaris dossier?

September 12, 2018

Dear Mike,

Your frustrated rant of 2001 about my motivations as Mayor of Modesto remains a mystery.

Portion of City Council Minutes of July 17, 2001 by Mike Zagaris,

“ Your remarks in the newspaper, which by the way, only serve to confirm comments that you made to other parties who called me and indicated what your motivations were, serve to me as a sad reflection of your use of your power as the mayor of this community to take out your personal vendettas against individual citizens. I have never wanted to be your enemy. I don’t want to be your enemy now. But if you choose to engrave my name on the granite list of enemies you have, I will find myself along with my deceased brother, Steve, along with County Council Krausnik, (sic) along with Supervisor Simon, and along with so many others a worthy crowd.”

Specifically, what act as Mayor did your group perceive as a “personal vendetta” that justified an 18 year vendetta that was organized and paid for by you, George Petrulakis, Jim DeMartini, and many others who have “engraved their name on a granite list”.

Through the years, I have accepted your challenge because the truth, and moral values, are necessary for human dignity.

The history of corruption that has been imposed on this community is being written and you will not like your chapter.

I would like to report on how much Roger Brown was paid and report on former Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Your input and cooperation is welcome at any time.

Who paid for the Zagaris dossier?

Probe began with Sonora attorney

By AMY LINDBLOM, the Union Democrat

Modesto’s mayor is the subject of state Attorney General’s Office and Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office investigations in part because questions raised by a Sonora attorney.

That lawyer, Roger Brown, and a client contend Modesto’s Carmen Sabatino violated the 1975 Public Reform Act by allegedly failing to disclose sources of income, loans and investment interests totaling about $3 million on state-required documents between 1999 and 2001.

In September, Brown met with four members of Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s staff and outlined the alleged wrongdoings in a 22-page report Brown wrote.

As a result, Sabatino re-elected last year is being investigated by both state and Stanislaus County prosecutors, plus the state Fair Political Practices Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.

Brown would not name the client who hired him to look into Sabatino’s doings but describes the client as a “public-spirited citizen.”

With clients throughout the state, Brown is one of 50 or so California attorneys who specialize in political law, and by his own claim, one of the few who do it well.

“California campaign finance laws are so terribly complicated, the penalties are too large, and the consequences too severe to not have a competent lawyer on your side,” Brown said.

Among clients he has defended are political powerhouses U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, former San Francisco mayor Frank Jordan, former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Hoenig and one-time San Francisco mayoral candidate Angela Alioto.

Brown spent a decade as an enforcement attorney for the California Fair Political Practices Commission. For half that time, he was the chief enforcement attorney

He joined the FPPC three years after the Political Reform Act was passed by California voters.

While at the FPPC, he prosecuted Republican Congressman John Doolittle, who once represented Tuolumne County, and won.