An investigator employed at the Kern County Public Defender’s office is under investigation.  According to reports, Dave Brown is being investigated for alleged “misuse” of the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) program.

The complaint charges that Brown used his access to CJIS to find information on defendants he was never asked to investigate.  It is further alleged he then personally billed Liberty Bail Bonds and Aladdin Bail Bonds, both of whom do Kern County bail bonds,  for “investigative hours” and “fugitive recovery” services.

Attorneys for the six defendants Brown checked up on have said they had not requested Brown to do informational searches on their respective clients.  Upon execution of the warrant to search Brown’s home he issued a statement of “no comment” and requested to speak with an attorney.

The case was initiated by Public Defender Arthur Titus.  Titus had been made aware that “invoices involving outside employment” had been located on the hard drive of Brown’s computer.  A spokesperson from the Kern County Sheriffs Department declined to comment.

A spokesperson from the Kern County Public Defender’s office declined further comment, citing the matter was a personnel issue.

The District Attorney’s office is currently investigating the case.  Bakersfield.com said that calls to Aladdin Bail Bonds were not immediately returned.

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Comments

  1. Jeff Downer Bail Bond Agent
    December 12, 2011 at 4:54 am

    So he uses a government owned computer to search government databases for your side work, then uses the same computer to bill his private clients?

    Now that that is bold.

    • Tonya Rynerson
      December 12, 2011 at 5:30 am

      That’s apparently the obligation. I have to wonder, what are the ramifications on the receiving end?

  2. Jeff Downer Bail Bond Agent
    December 13, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Here in Indiana the language prohibiting employment is those folks “having control and custody” of defendants.

    I am not where a public defender’s staff member would be considered in that definition.

  3. California Cop
    December 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Here in California, the CJIS computer system is the “Criminal Justice Information System.” Before access is granted, you sign a confidentiality form stating that misuse or anything obtained from CJIS not intended for the lawful purpose in which it was issued for, is punishable as a felony. If he was using his status as an investigator for the PD’s office and gaining information on criminals for his Fugitive Apprehension side business is a felony. S–ks to be him. He is a snake, I actually had him testify on a case in which I was the investigating officer and he lied under oath. He is buried.

    • Tonya Rynerson
      December 15, 2011 at 5:32 am

      In the Southern California counties, where we are based, there is strong allegation that this type of thing is going in the jails with someone passing personal information to certain bail companies. However, investigations and gathering evidence that a DA is interested in is difficult. I think in this case the PD office cannot look the other way because there is a paper (and electronic) trail. Wish more public offices had these types of controls.

  4. Jeff Downer Bail Bond Agent
    December 16, 2011 at 4:47 am

    It’s reassuring to know about the confidentiality requirement is in place to pursue the PD investigator.

    Like Tonya, I wonder how the conduct of the bail bond companies may be addressed. At worst it may be criminal behavior. At best it is a black eye for the industry.

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