Not a month goes by, it seems, without a controversy involving the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office. And now the San Jose Mercury News reports that DA Dolores Carr has recused herself months into a potential death penalty case because her husband received money for consulting on a related civil action. (Read the Merc's full story here.)
The paper reports that it took Carr five months and an internal investigation to determine that she should recuse herself, and that she hadn’t initially consulted the DA’s official in-house ethics adviser nor her second-in-command.
As the Merc tells it, Carr’s husband, former San Jose police Lt. John Carr, was paid $14,000 by an attorney representing the family of slain Willow Glen shopkeeper Vahid Hosseini. Carr was acting as a “security consultant” in a civil suit Hosseini’s family filed against the bank where Hosseini was robbed and shot after withdrawing money.
So Carr was effectively receiving money from the family of the victim in a case her office was prosecuting, the Merc notes.
Hosseini’s widow prompted the conflict-of-interest investigation, ultimately done by the prosecutor on the case, when she told detectives of her concerns, the Merc reports. It reportedly noted that John Carr had been “privy” to a conversation the DA held at their home with detectives working on the case.
The Merc says John Carr has returned $10,300 of the money, the part he was paid after the criminal case against the alleged killer was filed.
— Evan Hill