Monday, August 4, 2014

(Nevada County) Grand jury sheds light of important issue

August 2, 2014
The Union of Grass Valley
Letter to the Editor

Thank you, Diane Masini, for another fine article on the duties of, and constraints on, the Nevada County grand jury. It needed to be said to explain some of the actions of the current jury.
I, also, was once a grand juror, and know how limiting the confidentiality requirement can be in writing final reports.
As in all government activities, appearances can be just as important as substance. It appeared to me from this year’s reports that the jury took on more than it could chew and cut corners to complete its work.
It also crossed my mind that the jury may have approached some of its investigations with a conclusion already in mind as interviewees were selected. I say this horrible thing because I fear others may have had this impression.
No one can suggest that in fact this jury was sloppy or biased in its work, because only the jurors are privy to their investigations and deliberations.
It is important for all of us to know that grand jury reports are not the end-all on the topics investigated. A grand jury’s job is to shed enough light that others can complete the job in the open where sources of facts can be revealed and new information explored.
Grand jury secrecy is required to shield interviewees so they can reveal facts without fear of retribution, among other things. This jury has succeeded admirably in stirring the waters to inspire others to probe into several matters of great importance to Nevada County. Well done!
Herb Lindberg, Penn Valley

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