Marijuana shop owner David Abbasi is fighting a lonely war against some of the most powerful, influential groups in Kern County.
Supervisors, political consultants, county lawyers, county planners and opposing cannabis groups. He said they’re all out to get him.
Abbasi’s claims of bribery, influence peddling and retribution have widened an existing rift on the Kern County Board of Supervisors over the regulation of marijuana. His close friendship with Supervisor Leticia Perez and her husband Fernando Jara has only intensified the conflict.
Abbasi says he has audio, video and other proof that his claims are real.
But, despite repeated requests from reporters for detailed proof, he has been reluctant to release more than a few texts and readily-available public records.
Abbasi said he is reserving that evidence for a corruption lawsuit against the county.
So the county is left to deal with the fallout from his claims.
Kern County Counsel Mark Nations said Tuesday that the county has not been able to “uncover any facts which support,” Abbasi’s claims or proof that he’s taken them to a law enforcement agency.
“Based on what I have reviewed to date, I have concluded that what is happening here is a concerted campaign to disseminate false and misleading information in an effort to sow confusion, create mistrust and disunity, undermine confidence in local government, intimidate public officials and perhaps gain some perceived advantage in pending or future litigation,” Nations told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Attorneys and officials with the city and the county say Abbasi’s businesses were shut down because they were operating illegally.
City Attorney Ginny Gennaro said all dispensaries in the city have been