Suspended District Attorney Jon Alexander's court battle to be reinstated as head of the DA's Office began on Friday.
Visiting Judge Robert Crone decided more information was needed for the court to rule on Alexander's petition to reverse the Board of Supervisors' April 5 decision to suspend him without pay pending the outcome of his appeal of a State Bar ruling that suspended his ability to practice law.
Crone requested County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr submit the code sections and case law the Board relied on to support its decision to suspend Alexander.
He stated that there were limited avenues to remove a DA from his position.
"I'm not trying to come to any conclusions on this, I'm just trying to raise the issues," said Crone.
The petition has yet to be assigned a permanent judge to handle the hearing, as both local judges have recused themselves from hearing the matter.
The petition claims supervisors violated the Brown Act and Alexander's due process rights, and that the county lacks the proper authority to suspend him.
He is seeking to be reinstated to his elected position with pay, as well as back pay with interest. He is also seeking attorney fees.
Stuhr has until Aug. 26 to file the county's response to the petition. Alexander's next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 11.
Alexander was suspended without pay by the supervisors April 5 following a decision by a State Bar judge to place him on inactive status for practicing law after she recommended he be disbarred.
The judge ruled that Alexander violated State Bar rules against communicating with a represented party, moral turpitude and suppressing evidence. The violations stemmed from a conversation he had with a woman facing drug-related charges after she went into his office with a voice recorder in her pocket.
Alexander's appeal of his recommended disbarment may not be resolved until next year.
I find it sad that the (county administrative officer) and Board can convene an emergency session, with only a couple hours notice, late on a Friday afternoon to effectively destroy an elected official who gave his heart and soul to this county and then fail to reply to our legal papers with over 3 weeks' notice given," said Alexander in an interview with the Triplicate. "I guess justice will have to be done further down the road."
Reach Anthony Skeens at firstname.lastname@example.org.