GRAND JURY AS TOOL FOR CHANGE

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Many caregivers are concerned over misappropriation of tax dollars appropriated for the SMI community. The public has a basic right to question the use of their tax dollars. The Grand Jury is a way to get those questions asked.

The grand jury system has roots in laws traced from ancient Greece, through the Norman system, the Magna Carta and early American and California judicial systems. The United States Constitution specifically refers to a grand jury. The Alameda County civil grand jury is comprised of citizens who act as officers of the Court and are responsible to citizens of Alameda County.

Below is  general info on the Grand Jury and attached is their most current report.  It tells who they’ve  investigated this past year and gives a more of an idea of how things work and who it involves.  Requesting an investigation is anonymous and this seems important because it does not benefit anyone to make enemies and any  consideration of filing  should be kept between us.

Contra Costa County requested a Grand Jury investigation during their fight for Laura’s Law and Doug Dunn who requested the investigation thought this made a big difference.
We must continue to  find ways to fight the inequality for care in our current system.
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Civil Grand Jury
 The civil grand jury acts as a “watch-dog” by investigating the workings and efficiencies of county and local governments. Past investigations have highlighted the failings of local officials in adequately scrutinizing the deal that returned the Raiders football team to Oakland – a deal which currently costs Oakland and Alameda County taxpayers in excess of $20 million every year; the failure of local school boards and county education officials in adequately overseeing the financial affairs of bankrupt school districts in Oakland and Emeryville; and exposed the county welfare agency’s complete failure to investigate welfare fraud, resulting in the district attorney assuming responsibility for those investigations and prosecutions – now numbering over 800 felony prosecutions each year.

The civil grand jury is also authorized to:

  1. Inspect and audit books, records and financial expenditures to ensure the public that public funds are properly accounted for and spent.
  2. Inspect books and records of special districts in Alameda County.
  3. Examine books and records of non-profit agencies that have substantial contacts with county or local agencies.
  4. Inquire into and inspect conditions of local jails and detention facilities.
  5. Investigate charges of willful misconduct by public officials or employees.

Secrecy

Both civil and criminal grand jury proceedings are conducted in secret. Complaints made to the grand jury are kept confidential as are the identities of complainants and of witnesses who testify in front of the grand jury. This secrecy allows complainants, including whistle-blowers, and witnesses to have confidence that their identities will not be revealed.

How Can I File A Complaint With The Grand Jury?

Any person may complain to the Alameda County civil grand jury. The grand jury can only act on complaints dealing with a county department, any city within Alameda County, local agencies that operate within Alameda County (for example BART, EBMUD, AC Transit), and all school districts within Alameda County. The civil grand jury also considers complaints against public officials typically dealing with malfeasance in office. The civil grand jury cannot investigate complaints against state or federal agencies.

Since the activities of the civil grand jury are secret, complainants can be assured their identity will not be disclosed to anyone outside the grand jury.
 Complaints made to the grand jury must be in writing and include the name, address and phone number of the complainant. The civil grand jury encourages people who wish to make a complaint to use the complaint form below.

To make your complaint:

  1. Download the complaint form. (7kb)**
  2. Complete the form.
  3. Mail the completed form to the address listed in the form

1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 1104
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 272-6259
FAX: (510) 465-9647
E-mail: Grand Jury

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