California Gov. Jerry Brown Issues 104 Pardons For Christmas

| by Kathryn Schroeder

California Gov. Jerry Brown continued his Christmas Eve tradition of issuing pardons.  For 2014, 105 pardons were given, with one being retracted shortly afterwards.

The majority of pardons were given to people who have been convicted of nonviolent drug offenses and burglary more than a decade ago, reports CBS San Francisco.

One of the pardons was handed to Stanislaus County’s Michael Joseph Moradian Jr., who was sentenced to three years’ probation in 1986 for taking expensive wine out of a wine cellar and drinking it.

Brown wrote in his pardon that Moradian has since “lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen.”

According to the governor’s office, all who received pardons had already completed their sentences and had been released from custody for more than a decade without committing further crimes.

Brown said he issues pardons to those who earn them through “exemplary behavior” and by living productive lives.

There was one pardon that Brown retracted a mere hours after granting.

Glen Michael Carnes did not receive his pardon as it was found that he had not “disclosed recent discipline by financial regulators,” reports Yahoo News.

Carnes’ pardon was based on a court-issued certificate of rehabilitation for a drug-related conviction he received when he was a teenager in 1998. The pardon had not yet been signed by the Secretary of State and was withdrawn before being officially granted.

The disciplinary action taken by investment regulators against Carnes occurred in May 2013.

Carnes’ allegedly violated his former company’s policy by participating in "an unapproved private securities transaction [and provided investigators with] false and misleading statements that minimized and mischaracterized his involvement."

There was no admittance of guilt or request for review made by Carnes, but he did sign a consent settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority agreeing to be barred from financial investment.

Carnes gave a heated reaction when he heard the news as he was sitting down to dinner with his family.

"Oh my God. You've got to be kidding me," Carnes said. "I was told by attorneys that it didn't need to be disclosed.”

Carnes claims the reason for his non-disclosure is because it was not a conviction, which is what the paperwork requests.  He also said the sanction was based on a technicality wherein he merely neglected to get his company’s approval via a form letter to do volunteer consulting on the side.

The reason Carnes did not challenge the allegations is because he no longer needed the licenses. He also reportedly was never paid for the work.

"I cannot believe this is happening, I've waited 20 years for this," Carnes said. "This is wrong."

Carnes plans to contact the governor’s office to challenge the retraction.

With the retraction of Carnes’ pardon, Brown’s total pardons for 2014 equals 104.

Pardoned individuals will have certain rights restored to them, including serving on a jury, and the possibility to own a gun, unless they had been convicted of a crime involving a dangerous weapon. They may also now work as a county probation officer or state parole agent.

Sources: CBS San Francisco, Yahoo News / Photo Source: Yahoo News