Testimony by Inyo County’s former Assistant District Attorney in the Louis Leplat murder case says that Inyo DA Art
Maillet had authorized the release of confidential legal documents on his political opponent, Gerard Harvey just prior to the June, 2010 election. Former Assistant DA Mark Johnson had actually released the documents to Sierra Wave. Johnson admitted under oath in Ventura County Court that the document release led to his early retirement. He also admitted that DA Maillet knew about the document release and “authorized” it.
Louis Leplat’s public defender Neil Quinn of Ventura County had subpoenaed Johnson and others to search for evidence that DA Art Maillet had made a private deal with Inyo County inmate Dan Casteel to testify against Leplat.
According to courtroom sources, during his questioning of Mark Johnson, Quinn asked Johnson about his employment situation. Johnson reportedly said there was a political race and that he made a decision to release records on his boss’s opponent, Gerard Harvey. Johnson said he wanted the public to know who they might vote for. He also admitted this document release was “precipitate” and led to his early retirement.
Quinn asked Johnson if the document release were Art Maillet’s idea. Johnson said, no, it was his idea. Quinn asked him if Art Maillet had authorized the release of the documents. Observers in the courtroom said Johnson looked at Maillet and back at Quinn, seemed hesitant, and said, “Yes.”
The documents released on Mr. Harvey did not lead to any criminal charges nor convictions against Harvey. The Inyo County Counsel had investigated the document release. Some of the documents were deemed confidential. Mr. Johnson was placed on administrative leave and then retired. Neither District Attorney Maillet nor the county counsel would comment on this matter.
DA Maillet then publicly declared he would not talk to any news reporters, so the question of his involvement in the document release was never addressed. On Monday, we did place a call to the District Attorney’s office for comment on this news. We asked the DA’s office to contact Mr. Maillet for his comment. We had not received a call back by deadline.