Tori Salazar and Sammy Nuñez’s troubling relationship
By Frank Gayaldo
Sammy Nuñez and Fathers and Families of San Joaquin (FFSJ) latest legal troubles is yet another reminder that District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar is untrustworthy, anti-victim and pro-criminal.
Six former FFSJ female employees have come forward with complaints ranging from assault, battery, sexual harassment, wage theft and unfair business practices. None of this should come as a surprise to anyone, especially to San Joaquin County’s top legal eagle, Tori Verber Salazar.
One woman claimed she was terminated for reporting unlawful behavior. Another said she was terminated because she raised concerns about, drum roll please…grant money being mishandled. Another said she was offered money to sign a non disclosure agreement by FFSJ management in order to hide criminal misconduct. Wonder whose money they were using for that?
I have personally received multiple complaints from other sources regarding witness intimidation and tampering that I am unable to comment on further publicly, but have repeatedly shared with local law enforcement. I will say Nuñez had access to highly confidential law enforcement only data thanks to both contractual and informal relationships he should have never, ever had with the City of Stockton and San Joaquin County. Ms. Salazar knew or should have known all of this. As for Salazar’s misnamed “public integrity unit”, let’s just say a change in management is necessary.
When FFSJ’s bookkeeper was convicted of embezzling over $300,000 from her previous employer, she went to serve time at Stanislaus County. This clearly unscrupulous bookkeeper then RETURNED to her duties at FFSJ to AGAIN oversee AB-109 grant money. We reported on it. How could Ms Salazar conclude that was not a red flag worthy of an audit?
Salazar not only refused to investigate if tax dollars were being misappropriated, she demonized our pleas for an honest investigation and audit as being merely “knowingly false accusations” just three days before Nunez was arrested on May 21, 2021.
According to county counsel on 4/21/21, Salazar and Nuñez had an “attorney-client” and confidential informant relationship. After “Scammy”, already a convicted felon, was arrested for allegedly raping and molesting a child under 10, Salazar and county counsel have retracted their position on this. County counsel then claimed 209 Times could not obtain a copy of the district attorney’s written informant policy because it “contained documents” that were privileged. They also have since retracted that position and now claim the district attorney’s office does not have a written infirmary policy at all. Our repeated requests for explanations have been ignored.
Most disturbingly a county official has written to me that county counsel has lied in writing about all of this and that Ms. Salazar is fully aware of it. The State Attorney General’s office has yet to request our documentation, despite the fact we have overwhelming evidence of egregious public corruption that we are willing to share.
Why would Ms. Salazar be so ferociously defensive of FFSJ? Could the $20 million plus a year in AB-109 grant money the county receives by partnering with community based organizations like FFSJ be a tiny weenie part of her motivation to maintain the status quo? Did Ms Salazar’s longtime, complex relationship with “Scammy” impact her ability to see things clearly or is she always totally clueless?
Multiple past FFSJ employees have told us Nunez routinely bragged about having Salazar’s cell phone on speed dial. In an ACLU video, Nunez once bragged he “set the table and created the menu” for Salazar in regards to her prosecutorial policies. Salazar continued to provide FFSJ letters of support, even after Stockton Police Department’s feet got cold, due to lack of data to support the agency’s inflated claims of success.
Meanwhile, Ms. Salazar has admitted via county counsel she is operating without a written informant policy. Not only is that totally unacceptable, it is crystal clear best practices are not being followed as her office absolutely (with 100% certainty) has confidential informants. How many tax dollars have been spent to cover up criminal activity? With no written informant policy, and the Board of Supervisors ignoring requests for an enhanced audit of FFSJ, that is impossible to track. Gift cards anyone?
Tori Salazar not only totally failed these six women, she failed all of San Joaquin County for repeatedly choosing Sammy Nunez over victims. Imposing a written informant policy on the District Attorney’s office would be a good first step.
Ms. Salazar offering her immediate resignation to the citizens of San Joaquin would be another.