The Napa County Chapter of the California Grand Jurors' Association

WELCOME

  • The Napa County Chapter (NCC) of the California Grand Jurors' Association (CGJA) is composed of former and current Grand Jurors in Napa County. The Chapter was established in 2001 as a 501(c)(3), nonprofit public benefit corporation, to promote awareness of and participation in the Grand Jury system in Napa County, and to support the activities and programs of the California Grand Jury Association.  All current and former grand jurors in Napa County are eligible for membership.  The California Grand Jurors' Association is a statewide organization composed of current and former grand jurors. It is dedicated to promoting the understanding of the unique practices of grand juries in California and to educate the public and prospective grand jurors about the beneficial oversight function of this system.


Benefits of belonging to the Napa County Chapter include:         

Continue your unique service to Napa County, Join with us to work with the court to recruit and educate grand jury applicants, Monitor and follow-up on responses to Grand Jury reports, Support of the grand jury by activities such as updating the Procedures Manual, Participate in regional meetings to share lessons learned,  Voting privileges at the chapter meeting,  Continue the special friendships you made during your service.

 

We are dedicated to promoting Grand Jury awareness, education and outreach. Three memberships levels are available 

One year membership is $25

Two year membership is $35 

Ten year membership is $150  

See next section titled Downloads for a membership application.  Print this form and bring to a Chapter meeting, or mail in with your check to P.O. Box 2496, Yountville, CA 94559.

 Our Chapter By-Laws, current set dated 04/28/2014, and the 2016-2017 Presidents Report may be found in Downloads section as well. 



Officers of our Chapter for 2017-2018

  Paul Roberts, President 

Richard Faenzi, Secretary 

John Morris, Treasurer

Bill Cinquini, Committee Chairperson

 Charlie Eckstrom III, Committee Chairperson 

Robert Meanza, Committee Chairperson 

Bill Moore, Committee Chairperson 

Margaret Niland, Committee Chairperson 

Diane Shepp, Committee Chairperson 


  • Meetings are conducted on the last Monday of every month in the Gasser Foundation conference room. The meetings usually start at 4:00 PM.

Chapter Activities

Current & former Grand Jurors

   Napa County Chapter (NCC) of the California Grand Jurors’ Association (CGJA) honored the Current Sitting Grand Jury at the Napa Yacht Club on Sept. 26. 

Greeter Paul

  In welcoming the 2017-18 Napa County Grand Jury,  NCC president Paul Roberts, expressed his appreciation for their service, and noted that this party was a chance to take a break and meet past jurors. 

Bartenders

John and Bill keep everyone happy.

Old friends

  Each year the NCC holds a “Meet & Greet“ in honor of the new Grand Jury giving the Chapter Members and special others a chance to mix with the new jury and have some fun! Food and Drinks are prepared and served by the Chapter Members.

Fred and Margaret having fun

  Allen C. Dell’ Ario, foreperson of this year’s jury, thanked the NCC for inviting them to the party, and having a chance to get to know past jurors. 

Good things to share

A good time was had by all!

2017 Holiday Lunch Meeting

A Warm Welcome

A glass of wine, warm conversations  with old friends started the Holiday Lunch 

Beautiful table arrangements

One of our guests, Judge Mark Bossenecker at a table with former grand jurors

Good conversations

Happiness is sharing common interests at the lunch table

Glad to be here

Many thanks Fred Giarusso for hosting  the lunch at the Napa Valley Country Club and to Bill Moore and the social committee for making all the arrangements

More pleasant table talk

26 chapter members and guests attended the very beautiful and informational event

Our Guest Speaker

Allison Haley, Napa County District Attorney shared the actions of the DA office during the recent wildfires in Napa.  She also provided information regarding the functions of her office. 

The Napa Chapter and the CGJA

The CGJA Mission Statement

  • To promote government accountability by improving the training and resources available to California's 58 regular grand juries and educating the public about the substantial local government oversight and reporting powers these grand juries have.

How we support the CGJA

  • Many of our Napa County Chapter members also hold membership in the CGJA, and some serve as chairs of committees to provide grand jury support at the State level.  Among CGJA's most important activities are: ·        Train most every grand juror in California ·        Maintain a “Help-Desk” for sitting jurors ·        Prepare and publish guidebooks on grand jury practices and law ·        Present Grand Jury news on its website cgja.org ·        Sponsor Excellence in Reporting Awards to honor the best reports from around the state ·        Monitor and respond to any legislation regarding the grand jury system.  For more information about the CGJA activities and to join the CGJA go to www.cgja.org.

The Napa County Chapter-CGJA Mission Statement

To effectively promote the Grand Jury System



The Grand Jury’s Historical Roots

  • The Grand Jury system has been used in England since the twelfth century.  Grand juries were brought to America in 1635 when the Massachusetts Bay Colony empaneled the first one in the new land. The Grand Jury system has been embedded in the California Constitution since the beginning of statehood in 1850.  The first Napa County Grand Jury convened in the 1850's.  The Napa County Grand Jury operates under the constitutional mandate which calls for a Grand Jury in every county.   The term of service is one year and begins on July 1.  Upon being sworn in, jurors are provided orientation and training regarding grand jury responsibilities and on investigating and report writing techniques.  The Grand Jury organizes itself and investigates various departments and functions of local governments as it chooses.  Subjects investigated can be initiated by the Grand Jury or suggested by letters from citizens, complaints of alleged mistreatment by officials, suspicion of misconduct, or government inefficiencies.  Such complaints, and ALL transactions of the jury, are kept confidential.  A report usually follows with recommendations which must be addressed by the recipients.  The advice of the County Counsel, the District Attorney, and the Presiding Judge is available to the Grand Jury.

Video

Watch a brief message from Gavin Newsom

What is the Napa County Grand Jury and what does it do?

  •   The Grand Jury is a historic institution and serves an important role in our society. It is sometimes referred to as the "watchdog" of the community. It functions as an arm of the judicial branch of government and operates under the authority of the Napa Superior Court. The Court is responsible for appointing 19 Napa County citizens to the grand jury each year. The term of office is July 1 to June 30.   The Grand Jury investigates and reports on the operations, accounts, and records of local government officers and agencies. It is a fascinating opportunity for citizens to learn about the workings of the institutions and people who govern our local affairs. Grand jurors also have the power to investigate citizen complaints about local government. By performing this important service, the experience rewards grand jurors with a satisfaction they have made their community a better place to live and have enhanced the freedoms we enjoy in this country.  

What are your obligations as a Grand Juror?

  • A grand juror serves for one year beginning on July 1.  There is a significant time commitment that varies from year to year.  The Grand Jury itself decides how often to meet and how much work to do,  You will also decide for yourself when to meet and accomplish the work of the Grand Jury. No set schedule is forced on you.  If you are unable to continue serving for the entire year, an alternate will be appointed to replace you.  The law requires each Grand Jury to inquire into the condition and management of the public prisons within the county and to investigate and report on the operations, accounts, and records of the officers, department, or functions of the county on a selective basis.  The Grand Jury also has the authority to review the operations of many other local government agencies, such as cities and special districts.  The Grand Jury decides which agencies to review each year.  Grand Jury meetings are confidential and cannot be discussed publicly.  The Fair Political Practices Commission requires that all grand jurors file a Statement of Economic Interests Form 700.  Napa County provides training for all grand jurors by utilizing the training services provided by the California Grand Jurors' Association.  Support is also given to the Grand Jury throughout the year by the Court, the County Counsel, the District Attorney, and the Napa Chapter.

How to apply to serve on the Grand Jury

  •   State law requires the formation of a grand jury every year. Grand jury service is an important civic responsibility for all citizens of this state. It is also a rewarding experience for those who serve. Grand jurors must meet the following legal qualifications: 
  •         At least 18 years old ·        Citizen of the United States ·        Resident of Napa County for one year prior to next July ·        In possession of natural faculties, of ordinary intelligence, of sound judgment, and of fair character ·        Possess sufficient knowledge of the English language ·        Not currently serving as a trial juror ·        Not discharged as a grand juror within one year prior to next July ·        Never convicted of malfeasance in office or any felony or other high crime ·        Not currently serving as an elected public officer
  •  If you would like to be considered for the next Grand Jury, please contact Connie Brennan at the address below. The Jury Commissioner will retain your questionnaire for consideration on the next Napa County Grand Jury, which recruitment begins the first of March. General questions or comments about the Grand Jury process can be directed to: Connie Brennan, CCLS
    Court Administrative Assistant
    Superior Court of California, County of Napa
    825 Brown Street
    Napa, CA 94559
    (707) 299-1110
    connie.brennan@napa.courts.ca.gov  

Previous Investigations

Each year the Napa County Grand Jury investigates County and City agencies to provide an independent opinion of the effectiveness of these agencies.  The Grand Jury also investigates complaints on local governance by citizens.  The Grand Jury issues reports on the investigations and makes recommendations to the relevant agency.  These reports with their recommendations can be found in the county libraries or on line at: http://www.napa.courts.ca.gov/general-info/grand-jury.  The agencies are required by law to respond formally to the Grand Jury recommendations.     Investigations in recent years that have generated public interest and comment include: 


City of Napa Red Light Camera Enforcement (2010-2011 report)          Napa Valley Transient Occupancy Tax: How Much Is Being Lost? (2008-2009 report)          Management of Groundwater and Recycled Water: Is Napa County in Good Hands? (2014-2015 report)          Are Napa County Wineries Following the Rules? (2014-2015 report)          Gang Activity in Napa County (2015-2016 report)          Is Napa County Financially Healthy (2015-2016 report)          Napa River Reclamation District (2015-2016 report)          Napa County Jail and Department of Corrections (2015-2016 report)          Farmworker Housing: A Case Study in the Failure of Government Stewardship (2007-2008 report) won the CGJA Excellence in Reporting award.   The Napa Register won the Excellence in Reporting Award by Media for comprehensive stories and editorials supporting the activities of the Grand Jury

Recognition Award

  • The Napa County Chapter of the California Grand Jurors Association (CGJA) presented a Recognition Award and Certificate of Appreciation to the Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation in March, 2014. One of the goals of CGJA and its local Chapters is to increase public awareness of the role the Grand Jury plays in our democratic system of government and the well-being of local communities. As such the Napa County Chapter of CGJA has established a recognition award program in conjunction with the CGJA Local Achievement Award Program. The first recipient of the Award was presented to the Peter H. and Vernice A. GasserFoundation, a non-profit organization that supports programs that enhance the quality of life in Napa and help maintain sustainability. The foundation is a ‘green’ organization established in 1989, and headed by President and CEO, Joseph G. Peatman.  “Over the past 12 years, the Gasser Foundation has demonstrated its support of the Grand Juryof Napa County by providing much needed private meeting space for the sitting Grand Jury. Additionally they have provided meeting space for the Napa County Chapter of CGJA. Andin 2011 and 2012 they generously provided major funding to support the educational activities of two statewide CGJA conferences hosted by the Napa County Chapter”, stated Diane Shepp, President of the Napa Chapter of CGJA.   “This kind of local support demonstrates a deep and prolonged commitment in alignment with the Mission and Purpose of the CGJA”, added Beate Boultinghouse, President of the CGJA. For these reasons, the Napa Chapter of CGJA and the CGJA honored the Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation and its Board of Trustees for their long-term commitment and generous support of the Napa County Grand Jury and the local Chapter of CGJA.

Previous Grand Juries

2007-2008

Bill Trautman Foreperson

2008-2009

Bill Trautman Foreperson

2009-2010

John Morris Foreperson

Previous Grand Juries

2010-2011

Judith Bernat Foreperson

2011-2012

coming soon

2012-2013

coming soon