A whistleblower has emerged in the controversy of Governor Jerry Brown’s use of state oil experts to study his own family’s private land.
Jennie Catalano, a mapping specialist for the California Department of Conservation, says she faced retaliation after complaining about being required to do personal work for Brown.
It is illegal for politicians to use state resources for personal benefit. Brown says he used the same resources available to any Californian.
The Associated Press confirmed the whistleblower complaint, which is separate from the original legal action by Kern County farmers alleging that Brown colluded with oil companies over the disposal of wastewater.
In addition, State Oil & Gas Supervisor Steven Bohlen confirmed that Brown had been upset over his use of email to discuss the research on his property. In the end, Bohlen told the Los Angeles Times, he hand-delivered the report to Born.
Republicans are calling for a full investigation. Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) told Breitbart News last week: “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.”
Brown claims his interest was in the history and geology of his family’s land, but the Associated Press contends that he was primarily interested in its oil and gas potential.
Brown has tried to reduce California’s consumption of fossil fuels dramatically, and has emerged as a global leader against climate change. However, he has resisted calls to end hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil in California, against demonstrations by left-wing environmental groups in the state.