By the Daily Post staff
The new group of civil grand jurors in San Mateo County — a panel that is supposed to investigate local government corruption — includes the husband of a Menlo Park City Council member.
Horace Nash, 65, of Menlo Park, is one of the 19 civil grand jurors named yesterday. He is the husband of City Councilwoman Betsy Nash.
Neither Nash could be reached for comment Friday.
Under state law, a civil grand jury conducts investigations of city and county governments along with special districts. They’re often described as the “watchdogs” of local government.
Residents can apply for the civil grand jury every spring. Then the judge, in this case Amarra Lee, will interview the candidates and put the names of the finalists into a drum. From the drum, the names of the 19 grand jurors are selected along with a handful of alternates.
A civil grand jury should not to be confused with a criminal grand jury, which issues charges against defendants in felony cases.
On the other hand, civil grand juries only investigate local government matters, and they have no authority beyond issuing reports that are intended to highlight problems in local government. Local governments aren’t required to follow the advice of a civil grand jury though they must respond to their reports.
Lee appointed 18 other people to the civil grand jury yesterday including:
• Lily Avida of Belmont;
• Randy Cali of Redwood City;
• Richard Garbarino, who lost his re-election bid to the South San Francisco City Council in November;
• Robert Giarrusso of San Carlos;
• Joy Kosobayashi of Menlo Park;
• Elwyn Loh of Redwood City;
• David Shaw of San Mateo;
• Susanna Tang of Menlo Park;
• Cristian Wedekind of Atherton;
• Dennis Wohrer of Redwood City
• Adrienne Bryant of East Palo Alto;
• Gail Fivis of Millbrae;
• Brett Gardner of San Carlos;
• Martin Johnson of Woodside;
• John Lewis of San Mateo;
• Marlene Scherer Stern of Woodside;
• John Wallace of San Carlos;
• Robert Weiss of Redwood City.
The term of this grand jury runs until June 30, 2022. Suggestions for investigations can be sent to the Civil Grand Jury, San Mateo County Superior Court, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063-1655.