A spokesman for the County of Santa Barbara said Wednesday the county is currently investigating allegations that Chief Executive Officer Mike Brown behaved inappropriately, as outlined in a lawsuit filed May 18 against Brown and the county by former public defender James Egar. The county has hired an outside investigator, Joseph B. Scudiero of Torrance.

Mike Brown
Paul Wellman

This isn’t the first lawsuit filed against the county because of Brown’s behavior. In 2001, former Human Resources Director Ann Goodrich filed suit, eventually settling for $900,000.

Boyer called the investigation ongoing because of a lack of cooperation on Egar’s part. “The investigator needs to be able to talk to the person making the allegations,” Boyer said. But in a letter to Scudiero dated May 1, Egar’s attorney Janean Acevedo Daniels said her client, as a former employee of the county, wasn’t obligated to participate in the investigation, but that he could rely on a detailed draft complaint with his allegations and claims, along with more than 600 pages of documents which support those claims. The information is “more than sufficient” for a thorough investigation, Daniels wrote.

James Egar
Paul Wellman

Despite an ongoing investigation, the county believes the lawsuit is “without merit,” Boyer said, based on the information already gathered. “The county will defend itself even though it wastes taxpayer’s money.”

For more about the lawsuit, read the original article about Egar’s departure.


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