Friday, 19 July 2024

Brown: A no vote for Farrington

I recently read the well-scripted and polished press release issued by Anthony Farrington, in which he stated that he is running for Lake County district attorney.

While I am happy with my retirement from politics, and really have no interest to jump back in, I feel the safety of Lake County is not something that should be allowed to be politicized.

I worked with Anthony for 16 years, as did many other past and present county supervisors, city council members, and state and federal officials. I believe that the perspective many of us have to offer is something the public should be made aware of.

I am very familiar with the political tactics of Anthony Farrington and I can predict many things, including his whining about this letter being “mudslinging.” It is not mudslinging, but facts that people should have in order to weigh their decision in this very important race.

Additionally, it’s important to note that our current district attorney, Susan Krones, has nothing to do with my opinion or this letter as a whole. In fact, she will be reading it for the first time just like anyone else.

Anthony is a very polished politician and, like many of our modern career politicians, he comes across as very smooth and knowledgeable. He was able to fake his way through 16 years as a county board member, but I don’t think he would be able to fake his way through the highest level of law enforcement in our county.

As anyone who has worked in the legal system in Lake County will attest, Anthony has very little experience, if any, in criminal cases.

I think it is worth noting that not one single board member who he worked with is willing to support him. This indicates that there must be a concrete reason behind their collective aversion to him. I will also predict that his response to this statement will be to claim that he has been a lone fighter for the “will of the people." This is the kind of political rhetoric that you can expect from Anthony.

Many of those who worked with him, myself included, were forced to deal with his nonattendance to many of the committees that he now brags about being on. I remember once bringing a photo of Anthony to show the other members of the Public Defender Oversight Committee what he looked like in case they had forgotten.

I can’t recall him ever attending even one single meeting during the entire time that the Public Defender Oversight Committee was active. In fact, according to one representative of
the California State Association of Counties, his attendance record was less than 20%. When he was there, it was for less than an hour and he would make minimal and insignificant

The other board members and I (not to mention dozens of county support staff) were all forced to pick up the slack for him while he was attending his online law school for three years.

Although his law school was completely online, it still seemed to take a tremendous amount of time away from his job as supervisor, for which he was being well paid by the taxpayers of this county.

Additionally, all of the time that he spent studying for the bar exam also took his time and focus away from attending to important county business. He had to take the bar exam an inordinate number of times before he finally managed to pass. In all fairness to Anthony, it may have only been four times, but it was still a significant amount of time taken away from the job that he was being paid to do by the taxpayers of this county.

As with his previous political campaigns, his contribution to committees and policies is heavily embellished. His involvement in locking up cough syrup at Kmart was something that was being worked on by state officials long before he hurried the ordinance through in order to try and take credit for being first. The real issue here is his ignorance of the actual root of the methamphetamine problem. How did locking up NyQuil work out for us, Tony?

Further, I might be misunderstanding him, but it looks as if he is also making a feeble attempt to convince the voting public that he can take sole credit for the Megan's Law website
that has actually been implemented in all counties in California for years. It is hard to determine if this is Anthony’s ignorance or arrogance, but either way, the public should be leery.

His claim of having a 100% success rate in civil protective orders is also a substantial exaggeration. He has used his position as a supervisor to try to manipulate law enforcement into making arrests of members of the other side in his family law cases. He has done this in order to gain leverage in civil matters. Several members of law enforcement officers can attest to this.

I personally heard a dispatch tape in which Anthony identified himself as “Supervisor Farrington” in a custody battle that he was involved in. In the recording, he falsely accused the other parent of kidnapping. Law enforcement rightfully dismissed his attempts at coercion as a civil matter.

We had this kind of conflict with our last district attorney and it is highly inappropriate and unethical.

He also claims that his purpose for running is that he has been a victim and has felt as if he didn’t have a voice. While I am sincerely sorry for the loss of his father who died while he was an inmate in a Texas jail in December of 1979, I don’t see that having any impact or reflecting on our current DA. It clearly did not impact Anthony’s career choices, as he has no experience in criminal cases worth mentioning.

Additionally, I am amused by his newfound manliness as he talks about shooting at the range, working on cars, working at his ranch (hobby farm) and fishing. Not only is he attempting to pander to a male conservative voter block, but I believe this to be a subtle reminder from him to all of us that he is a man, and that his opponent is not. I find it offensive.

Be prepared for a lot of gloss and promises that he cannot keep and has no intention of keeping. He displayed the same tactics during every previous election cycle when he promised to get water rights back from Yolo County, while knowing full well that such a feat was legally impossible. He then dropped the issue immediately upon getting reelected.

In another example of him doing and saying anything that might benefit his addiction to political expediency, he registered as a Republican during his first campaign for office. He then found it to be strategically advantageous to register as a Democrat when he made a feeble yet brief attempt at running for State Assembly. That ambition was annihilated when the State party informed him that they had a better candidate in mind and kicked him to the curb.

It is not necessary to take my word for the truth of the above statements. Further confirmation can be found by speaking to other supervisors and elected officials who have worked with Anthony over the years and listening to their perspectives. While they may be less blunt than I am, their lack of support for him will likely be the same and speak volumes.

Do not let Anthony trick you into thinking his family law practice qualifies him for district attorney. I challenge Anthony to provide a list of his criminal law jury trial experience
(excluding being a spectator or a witness, of course). It should not take him long.

I guarantee that list does not qualify him to be an entry-level deputy DA, let alone lead the entire office.

My advice to Anthony is to put back the Lakeport billboard he conveniently removed of late and to continue chasing his personal injury and family law practice and face the reality that he lacks the experience needed to be a minimally competent entry-level deputy DA.

Rob Brown is a retired Lake County supervisor. He lives in Kelseyville, California.

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