PLACERVILLE - The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors has cancelled two meetings rather than allow Supervisor Ray Nutting to vote while he awaits sentencing on six misdemeanor convictions.
The board met in closed session Tuesday morning to discuss the delicate situation involving a colleague who has been convicted of crimes that may not necessarily require his removal from office.
The same jury that found Nutting guilty of six misdemeanors for improperly borrowing bail money from county employees and contractors acquitted him of three felonies that would have led to his automatic expulsion under the California Government Code.
The jury hung on a fourth felony count involving an allegedly fraudulent document, and District Attorney Vern Pierson said Tuesday his office has not yet decided whether to retry Nutting on the single felony.
Prior to the closed-door meeting, a dozen of Nutting's supporters spoke on his behalf, claiming the prosecution was politically motivated and urging the board not to take any steps against him.
Among the speakers was Nutting's wife, Jennifer.
"My husband did not know that I was going to speak today and I was advised not to," Jennifer Nutting said as her husband wiped away tears. "I battle every day to forgive those who lie and continue to lie, but I pray for all of you."
After the hour-long closed session, El Dorado County Counsel Edward Knapp read a statement saying the board had voted 4-0 to ask Judge Timothy Buckley, who presided over Nutting's trial, to decide at the June 6 sentencing whether the six misdemeanor convictions should result in Nutting's removal from office.
The board also cancelled the rest of Tuesday's meeting and the meeting scheduled for June 3 in the belief that any vote taken could be tainted if the judge determines Nutting may no longer serve and should have been suspended following his May 14 conviction.
Placerville resident Cathy Nerwinski, who is not a Nutting supporter, expressed disappointment that the board chose to shut down for three weeks rather than suspend Nutting.
"We didn't close for business on 9/11, but we're going to close for Ray Nutting," Nerwinski complained.