State Court Rejects Steiner Bid to Foil Grand Jury Action

A state court Wednesday refused to block an impending grand jury action against Supervisor William G. Steiner for his role in the county's bankruptcy.

Steiner's appeal was rejected by the 4th District Court of Appeal, a day after Superior Court Judge David O. Carter ruled that Steiner could not challenge either the grand jury or the district attorney's office on conflict-of-interest issues.

Carter said Steiner couldn't make a preemptive legal strike until he has been officially charged with misconduct, and the court agreed, Steiner said.

"I wasn't surprised, but it is disappointing to me to not be able to preempt this action," Steiner said. "It's disappointing to have to wait for charges to be brought against me."

Despite the setback, Steiner said he submitted documents, testimony and other evidence to the district attorney's office Wednesday that he contends will exonerate him.

"This is evidence that refutes any culpability on my part and hopefully will be taken into consideration by the grand jury in making a balanced decision," he said.

Steiner and other county officials have been told they are targets of the district attorney and grand jury investigation into the bankruptcy. Steiner went on the offensive last week in an attempt to thwart the investigation and protect his reputation.

"If this evidence does not determine my innocence for the grand jury, I'm convinced it will convince a jury at the time of trial of my innocence."

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