Accusations of bribery, personal threats, and dispensaries at heart of weed wars

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - In the wake of the Board of Supervisors voting last fall to ban the marijuana industry from the county's unincorporated parts, accusations of wrongdoing have exploded.

"There are some alleged allegations of bribes coming from one person to another person. I don't know anything about it, but I need to know and I think the reputation of this board demands an answer," said Supervisor Mick Gleason Tuesday after he had enough of Kern's weed wars spilling into supervisor chambers.

"I'm here today to talk about the bribes that were made to certain marijuana groups to certain supervisors," said David Abbasi, a longtime medical marijuana advocate who had his marijuana dispensary shut down in November.

Abbasi says Supervisor Mike Maggard and Supervisor Leticia Perez are playing favorites, arguing each have associates who are trying to create a marijuana monopoly.

"The corrupt officials who create unfair competition or unfair economic advantages for their preferred group has to stop," said Abbasi from the lectern.

He accused Supervisor Maggard of accepting bribes from marijuana groups.

"[It] is outrageous, it's libelous, it's without merit and untrue," responded Maggard.

Supervisor Perez saying she's in communications with County Counsel Mark Nations, "As well as the [Bakersfield Police Department] and their investigative unit regarding allegations and threats and other questionable behavior. And while I'm not at liberty to communicate about that now, I would like my colleagues to know...that there is an investigation underway and we are engaged in our due diligence to complete that process."

Bakersfield Police said they took a report of possible extortion of Supervisor Perez this week, and referred it to the District Attorney's office.

The DA's office would not comment.  

But after Supervisor Gleason's request, county counsel is now taking a serious look into these allegations that have been building up.

"I'll just have to look into it. I cant' specify anything I would do, in fact I would prefer not to, but I will look into it," said Nations. 

We reached out to County Counsel Nations Friday for comment, but did not hear back as of news time.


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