Accusations against Kernan came from the Pleasanton Weekly's online Town Square forum, where anonymous posters found websites connecting him to Camino, Calif., which is east of Sacramento. He has been absent from recent board meetings, including a May 1 special meeting where the board agenda shows him phoning in from Camino, although some occasions have been due to a recent hip surgery.
The district sought legal counsel on the matter in mid-May and drew up a document of reasons showing Kernan was within the law, including: his vehicle is registered in Pleasanton, he was excused from jury duty in El Dorado County this year on the basis of his Pleasanton residency, he is a member of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, and is registered to vote and has voted in Pleasanton elections.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Stark was asked to review documentation provided by parent and school activist Julie Testa. After perusing records and conducting an investigation, Stark said they "concluded that there wasn't any evidence of criminal misconduct" to justify a criminal investigation.
"In our review, Mr. Kernan appeared to be doing everything he could do to be living in the law, as opposed to outside the law," Stark said. "There are people out there doing their best to live in the letter of the law to represent what they were elected to do. (There are) those doing the opposite and hiding. My observation has been that the people who are expending the most effort are generally the ones doing it correctly."
Conclusions drawn by the district attorney's office are not final and residents are still pursue litigation. Private individuals can seek a legal opinion, or "quo warranto," from the California Attorney General. If approved, it can be used in the court process and could likely remove a person from public office. This process also helps public officers avoid frivolous lawsuits. To learn more about quo warranto, visit http://ag.ca.gov/opinions/quo_warranto.php.