District Attorney Jon Alexander has become the subject of another Sacramento Bee story.
The story states that Alexander is under a new investigation by the California State Bar for alleged improper actions surrounding the arrest of Barry Brown, a local private detective, regarding a child abduction case. Alexander is currently facing disbarment in a State Bar trial that has been put on hold until prosecutors can interview a key witness.
Alexander is facing seven charges of misconduct including corruption. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will have 90 days to render a decision.
Brown stated he filed a complaint against Alexander last May following an arrest in February.
The article states it obtained a letter written by a State Bar prosecutor who assigned an investigator to examine Alexander’s role in Brown’s arrest. It does not state the date the letter was written.
An inquiry into every attorney complaint to the State Bar is opened; if it appears the attorney is a repeat offender or has committed a violation, an investigator and prosecutor takes over the investigation, according to the State Bar website.
At the conclusion of the investigation, it will be decided whether the complaint is dismissed, a confidential resolution is imposed or disciplinary charges are filed.
The article states Brown was told by a bar investigator on Oct. 24 the investigation would be completed if Alexander was not disbarred after the current trial.
Brown told the Triplicate Monday he filed the complaint because he believes Alexander withheld evidence that could prove innocence from a probable cause statement prepared by a sheriff’s detective to obtain an arrest warrant for Brown and his daughter, Jennifer Brown, who is in a custody battle for her children with their father, Don Crockett.
The warrant alleged the Browns had committed child abduction. After the arrests were made, charges were not filed.
Brown stated he was in communication with Alexander and provided him with contact information for his daughter, who, he claimed, believed her children would be harmed if she turned them over.
“We complied with the law by personally advising Jon Alexander of the circumstances,” said Brown.
The Bee article stated Brown said he had no involvement in taking or holding the children or any knowledge of their whereabouts. He also stated he gave letters to the DA’s Office about his daughter’s intent to temporarily keep the children.
The Bee article stated that it obtained a probable cause statement but doesn’t delve into its details other than stating, “it justifies the arrest, in part, on Brown being unreachable by phone and makes no reference to any written notifications to Alexander by the Browns.” It also notes that Alexander initialed the statement. (He initialed a sentence that referred to his office reviewing the document.)
On Jan. 29, the sheriff’s office was notified about an alleged sexual assault case reported by Jennifer Brown, according to the affidavit. (It is later stated in the document the court found that she had tried to influence the children against Crockett and allegations of sexual or physical abuse were not credible.)
On Jan. 31, Detective Ed Fleshman, who prepared the probable cause statement, was contacted by Barry Brown, informing him he was with the children in Humboldt County for a child abuse interview he had arranged with the Humboldt County DA’s Office. Brown is a retired chief investigator from the Humboldt County DA’s Office, the document states.
Fleshman had notified Brown that he had not authorized an interview by the Humboldt DA’s Office, the document states.
He also spoke with Jennifer Brown, who stated she was in Eureka for a child abuse interview. Fleshman told her there wasn’t an interview and that she needed to bring the children to Del Norte to be placed with a third party to minimize the influence of either parents during a child abuse interview, the document states.
Jennifer Brown seemed frantic and repeated why she couldn’t let the children go into protective custody, but eventually agreed to bring the children in by 4 p.m. that day, the document states.
On the same day, Alexander spoke with Fleshman about Barry Brown contacting ABC News about the child custody case, alleging Crockett had undue influence on law enforcement in Del Norte County, the document states.
On Feb. 2, a deputy district attorney from Humboldt County contacted Fleshman about Barry Brown, trying to schedule a child abuse interview “in my case without me,” Fleshman stated in the document.
Later in the day, Alexander contacted Fleshman to tell him Barry Brown was wondering where to deliver the children, the document states.
On the following day, Del Norte Superior Court Judge William Follett issued a protective custody warrant for the children, the document states.
The probable cause statement was signed on Feb. 8, stating the children’s whereabouts were unknown, and it was believed that both Browns were hiding the children to keep them away from Crockett and law enforcement.
“The arrest warrant declaration implied I was essentially on the run,” said Brown. “A period of time passed ... where my daughter was gone with the children, but I was not with her.”
“The scope of my involvement was merely driving to Humboldt County where I met my daughter ... to coordinate ... investigations that couldn’t be done,” said Brown, adding that there was ongoing contact with the sheriff’s office, the DA and his daughter until the time of his arrest.
The article states the Browns were not charged, but authorities did not remove the felony arrests from court records, which Brown said harmed his reputation and livelihood. (Usually it falls to the person who is arrested or convicted to attempt to have anything expunged from their record.)
“Aside from my personal reputation and the impact on my business, there’s been ramifications in family court because judges and people in the legal system depend on the accuracy of information provided by law enforcement and the DA’s Office,” Brown said. “I’m stuck with a felony arrest on my record at the hands of the district attorney who I believe lacks the moral character to occupy the position.”
The article also states Alexander released documents through his attorney to justify the arrests, but the documents may raise additional questions about his conduct due to sensitive information in them.
Alexander denied releasing documents or having his attorney release them to the Bee.
“I’m sorry this went the way it did, but ultimately the welfare of two small children had to take precedence,” said Alexander on Monday.
The Bee article can be read in its entirety at the newspaper’s web site by searching for Alexander’s name.