by Amita Sharma | KPBS
Former Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Castaneda called Thursday on District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to release emails connected to his 2008 prosecution.
Castaneda’s request followed a KPBS report that Dumanis investigated him and his colleagues after failing to get her aide appointed to a vacant Chula Vista council seat.
In 2006, Dumanis opened an inquiry into whether Castaneda received favors from a developer. That was months after then-Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla said he refused Dumanis’ phone request to appoint an aide, Jesse Navarro, to a vacant council seat. Castaneda was later indicted on accusations of lying to a grand jury.
A jury acquitted him on most of the charges and hung on others.
Castaneda said he should have been told about Dumanis’ call to Padilla. He now wants the District Attorney’s Office to release all emails regarding his case because he wants to know “what happened and why it happened.”
“Frankly, if she were on my side of the prosecutorial desk, she’d be at a grand jury right now,” Castaneda said. “And she’s hiding behind her status and her position, and I think she owes it to not only me and my family, but she owes it to the people of San Diego County.”
A Dumanis spokeswoman released a statement on the matter saying, “Mr. Castaneda’s criminal case is closed and we will not allow the District Attorney’s Office to be used as a political pawn.”
KPBS also asked for the same emails but was told the records didn’t exist and would be exempt from disclosure anyway.