Two Sides to Every Story

by Amanda L. Hopper, District Attorney, Sutter County

I appreciate Mr. Mistler graciously allowing me to comment concerning the unverified allegations flying about me and the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office. In so doing, I caution against jumping to conclusions. I encourage each reader to take the time to allow the facts to come out in the manner proscribed by law. I remind each reader that there are always two sides to every story.

I cannot compromise my ethical duty of confidentiality. I will not discuss personnel matters. The members of this community are no doubt aware that as a department head, I cannot violate the privacy rights of my employees, nor would I want to. The natural result is that you, the citizens, cannot know the facts at this time.

There are several facts that I can speak to and I want the members of this community to know. Leading an office is difficult. Traversing the myriad rules and regulations of county government is complicated. Being proud of the people serving in the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office, however, is easy. I am privileged to work with men and women who are motivated, diligent, hard-working, and most of all, ethical. These are the standards that I expect of myself and of my staff.

When I presented the idea of a proactive sex sting to my staff in the fall of 2015, I knew that I was asking a lot of them. I received an overwhelmingly positive response. DA employees have routinely volunteered for extra duties to support that operation. All of us, investigators, secretaries, and attorneys, put in an incredible amount of time and effort in the sting operation. And while making those arrests was a significant accomplishment, it was not the end for those cases. I learned early in my career that even the best arrest in the world does not amount to anything if the case is not adjudicated properly. We are still working these cases. The operation will not be completed until each case is closed. We are committed to ensuring justice in each case.

The Sutter County District Attorney’s Office is unlike the Sheriff’s Office and Yuba City Police Department. They respond to calls for assistance, investigate crimes and make arrests based upon probable cause. The Sutter County District Attorney’s Office’s duty is to “do justice.” We are mainly a law office with the duty to prosecute violators of crime. To assist in this responsibility, we have an investigations unit and we also oversee the Victim’s Services Program for our county. As the department head, it is my responsibility to budget the resources that our county supervisors have approved, allowing us to accomplish our mission. Allocating these resources in line with our overriding mission requires hard choices.

Our children are our most precious gifts; they are a “heritage of the Lord.” I am proud to be a mother of five children. They are my motivation to serve this community to the best of my ability. It is shameful that my children have been included in the allegations and rumors being tossed about. When did having a large family become a politically divisive issue in our community of strong values and fundamental rights? At what point does this society draw the line between right and wrong? It is vital that we educate ourselves about political issues, that we care about public safety, that we are vocal about liberty, and that we fight for democracy. It is foolish to make judgments without knowing the truth. Jesus cautioned against this very thing when He said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

George Bernard Shaw wisely urged, “Beware of false knowledge. It is more dangerous than ignorance.” Truth. Integrity. Justice. These are easy words to throw out but they are more than that to prosecutors. These are the necessary tools of this job. These are the principles that we fight for.

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