Republican leaders in California have called for an investigation Thursday into Governor Jerry Brown in response to a story by the Associated Press earlier in the day that suggested he may have misappropriated state resources to search for oil on his family’s private property.
State experts with the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources produced a report providing “geological assessment, plus a personalized satellite-imaged geological and oil and gas drilling map for the area around Brown’s family ranchland near the town of Williams,” the Associated Press reported.
Several individuals involved in the oil industry told the AP that the request was highly abnormal and an exceptional level of governmental reporting.
Republican California Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (Bakersfield) told Breitbart News:
The governor’s actions appear to be a clear violation of well-known state law prohibiting the use of public resources for personal gain. There will need to be an investigation to ensure the facts are brought out. If the facts are as the AP has found, then there will be a prosecution and probably a hefty fine at the least. The governor is a lawyer and has been a prosecutor. He knows better than to get himself into this fix. So a judge may set his fine toward the high end.
As Breitbart news previously reported, California law bars elected officials from using state resources for personal gain.
When asked if the allegations against Brown could lead to his impeachment, Grove responded:
If what is being reported is true and if there is an investigation and prosecution then the people of California would have to decide whether to recall him or consider impeachment.
Former State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, now host of the radio program, The Tim Donnelly Show, told Breitbart News:
If using state resources and a state agency as a concierge in pursuit of oil, the same oil exploration that he has used to discourage elsewhere, if that’s not illegal and an abuse of power and your position, I don’t know what is. It’s the height of hypocrisy for him to be essentially stealing the use of state resources that should be at the behest of those within the industry, for his own personal financial gain, when he uses the same agency and environmental laws to penalize his potential competitors. I think the king’s been in power too long.
However, Brown’s office told Breitbart News that the governor had not violated any laws.
“The Department of Conservation regularly fields similar requests for public, historical well and geological information–from property owners interested in records and local government officials requesting maps for permitting purposes to reporters seeking information for a story,” a spokesman for Brown told Breitbart News.
He noted that it was not illegal for an elected official to use state services on the same basis as other residents.
The AP report indicated that no examples had been provided of other citizens receiving similar research. Brown’s office replied that it had been compiling examples at the AP’s request, and that the AP had published its story before receiving those examples.
California Senate minority leader Jean Fuller had yet to respond to a request for comment on Brown’s alleged misconduct.
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