To fully understand this candidate's qualifications one must know the different departmental structure between Nevada and San Francisco counties. In our county the Clerk-Recorder is elected and is responsible for both elections and recording duties. The title for the elected officeholder in San Francisco is "Assessor-Recorder", and that position has no authority over elections. A separately appointed commission manages elections. Mr. Diaz was never elected "Assessor-Recorder" in San Francisco, nor did he ever hold a position in the elections commission to the best of our knowledge. Also, he was not the person who was totally responsible for the activities of either department. To campaign on the premise that he has "twenty years of professional clerk-recorder experience" is misleading to our electorate! Unless fully informed, voters will assume he held a post that was elected, and that he was completely responsible for both the recording functions and for managing elections. To be clear, the Director of Elections heads the independent SF Department of Election who is appointed by the Election's commission through an application process. The Election's commission is made up of appointees by various elected officials.
The following excerpts and quotes will help voters understand what Gregory Diaz has actually done.
The first excerpt offers some insight regarding the quality of the office in which Mr. Diaz worked. It is from the San Francisco Bay Guardian News endorsement list for the 2005 elections, regarding the Assessor-Recorder's office. We quote; "This is one of the most important offices in the city, and for decades it's been filled with corrupt or incompetent politicians who have lost such staggering sums of money for the city that it's painful to even think about. The last two elected assessors haven't fared well: Doris Ward left under a cloud, with the federal bureau of investigation swarming all over her office. Mabel Teng unexpectedly resigned without ever giving a credible explanation, and hasn't been seen much around town since." A quote from Bay City News, May 10, 2002: "Her Chief Assistant Gregory Diaz said he had not seen or talked to her and did not know Ward's whereabouts." This statement was made to FBI agents who were raiding their office and had just shut down the operation. Was Diaz Chief Assistant, or Chief Enabler? How can you be that close to the top, and not know good from bad behavior and ethics. Ward served two terms. In the case of Chase Manhattan Bank (plaintiff) vs. City and County of San Francisco (defendant), argued October 7, 1996, and decided August 18, 1997, defendants include; "Bruce Jamison, County Recorder, Greg Diaz, Acting County Recorder for the City and County of San Francisco." Between the FBI raid in May 2002 and January 2003 Diaz left the San Francisco office and was employed by the Placer County Clerk-Recorder. He worked there from January 25, 2003 until October 3 of that year. His position was Clerk Recorder Manager, and he had no involvement with elections.
Several questions and answers exchanged with the San Francisco elections commission follow:First question: "From what I can determine, currently the Assessor-Recorder is completely separate from the department of elections and does not participate in overseeing elections?"
Answer: "You are correct."Question: "Can you please tell me if that was the case in the time frame of 1995 to date?"Answer: "Yes."
Another response: "You are correct. The Assessor-Recorder's office is separate from the Department of Elections. I understand that the Departments were separate offices 8 years prior to that date (1995)."Nevada County needs competent elections oversight. Diaz's record does not support his website claim of overseeing twelve elections. His claim of "five trouble free elections' in Nevada County is not accurate either, and that representation will be addressed in another article. The people of this county deserve to know the veracity of a candidate's assertions before selecting that person to handle a function as sensitive as elections. The county does not need a slick bureaucrat who is morphing into a slick politician.