The county grand jury has declined to recommend that Sheriff Brad Gates be prosecuted for alleged perjury, according to a Santa Ana college instructor who claims that Gates lied under oath in a civil proceeding.
Rancho Santiago College police science instructor George Wright said he received a letter explaining the decision on Tuesday from David H. Bunch, chairman of the grand jury's criminal justice-public safety subcommittee. Spokesmen for Gates and the grand jury could not be reached for comment.
Last month, the U.S. attorney's office declined to prosecute Gates for alleged violation of Wright's civil rights in connection with a taping, saying that the statute of limitations had expired for action in the 1981 incident.
The case involves an apparently surreptitious tape recording of a classroom lecture by Wright. Gates denied the surveillance in a sworn affidavit in a civil lawsuit. However, a recording of Wright's lecture was later discovered in the files of an investigator who worked for the Sheriff's Department intelligence unit, which answers only to Gates.