As Steve Collins’ criminal case develops, judge raises concerns about who knew what when.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
It’s not helping former Monterey County Water Resources Agency director Steve Collins’ case that most witnesses have different recollections of what happened in his $160,000 consulting deal with the project manager of the Regional Water Project.
Collins is accused of two felony conflict-of-interest charges for taking cash from RMC Water and Environment while representing the county on the now-defunct project. On Oct. 26, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Pamela Butler made it clear that blaming others won’t work.
Collins’ attorney, Michael Lawrence, asked Butler to allow the defense to call a range of county officials as witnesses to help make the case that Collins was entrapped. “I know you’ve said I have a steep climb, but I’m simply asking for an opportunity to start that climb,” Lawrence told Butler.
“I do have grave concerns about who knew what when,” Butler repsponded. “[But] this court’s position is not to investigate what happened during the water project process.”
Butler ruled Lawrence can’t call upon Supervisor Lou Calcagno, County Counsel Charles McKee or others to argue entrapment, but she’s expected to rule Nov. 1 as to whether Lawrence can call them for other arguments.
Much of Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hulsey’s case so far shows several officials were long aware of Collins’ RMC deal.