The June 7 election is close approaching, and there are many questions about the incumbent DA, Erik Nasarenko, and his transparency. Shortly after Nasarenko was appointed to the District Attorney’s office, he reversed a major conviction of a violent offender that was convicted by the people for attempted murder. There were many press releases issued from the DA office, and Mr. Nasarenko was quite proud of this reversal; he no longer speaks of this in his record on the campaign trail. This brings into question the relationship between Mr. Nasarenko and one of the attorneys that worked the case.
According to public records (CA Form 460), the same defense attorney that worked on the Ignacio case contributed the maximum to Nasarenko’s campaign in October 2018, as well as shortly after the conviction reversal in July of 2021, he contributed the maximum $750. This isn’t to imply that Mr. Nasarenko was paid off, but it does bring into question the history of their relationship, the failure to return the campaign contributions, failure to be transparent about receiving maximum contributions or deciding to recuse himself from this conviction being overturned due to a conflict of interest.
Was it ethical for Nasarenko to make this decision to overturn this conviction this early in his tenure as DA? Don’t the voters deserve transparency? How this decision was handled by Mr. Nasarenko brought scrutiny upon the police department, the District Attorney’s office, opened them up to lawsuits as well as brought into question their credibility. It was a bit ironic that Mr. Nasarenko gave a public statement about the Oxnard Police Department’s lack of transparency when he himself didn’t disclose these close relationships. How do we know as voters that this attorney didn’t influence Nasarenko’ s decision?
In public interviews, Erik Nasarenko said he would be transparent; at his first opportunity to do just that, he was not. This also brings into question what processes were happening behind the scenes to get the appointment to District Attorney in the first place. What did a city councilman have to do with running a DA office? Ventura County voters deserve transparency about who will represent us, as well as someone that is tough on crime.