DA Smittcamp won’t prosecute Fresno threat case, reigniting claims of political bias
The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office has declined to file criminal charges against a Fresno man who is alleged to have threatened City Attorney Andrew Janz and Fresno County Judge Gary Orozco.
Burton James Enloe (34), was arrested and booked into the Fresno County Jail Tuesday on suspicion of criminal threats.
Enloe made the alleged threat during a police investigation unrelated to this case.
In court records, Janz, during his tenure as deputy district attorney prosecuted Enloe for domestic violence, resisting an officer of the law and contempt of a court. The 2022 case was presided over by Judge Orozco.
Enloe, who was due to be charged on Friday, instead chose to not file charges. The decision rekindled accusations that Smittcamp, an ardent Republican, unfairly treats Democrats. Janz and Orozco both are Democrats.
‘Insufficient evidence,’ says DA’s office
Taylor P. Long, public information officer for the DA’s office, said the decision not to prosecute was based on “insufficient evidence” and nothing else.
“The decision to not file charges has nothing to do with a person’s political affiliation,” Long said. “Our filing decisions are based solely upon the facts, the law, and the sufficiency of the evidence.”
In September, several groups including the Fresno County Democrats called on California Attorney General Rob Bonta to investigate Smittcamp and her office’s Public Integrity Unit for allegedly targeting elected Democrats of color.
Janz said Friday that out of respect to his former colleagues at the District Attorney’s Office he wasn’t going to comment about his former boss’s decision not to file.
“I do want to thank the officers and detectives at the Fresno Police Department for putting in countless hours in investigating this case and for their concern for my safety,” he said.
Judge Orozco declined comment. He also thanked police for alerting him to a possible danger.
Arias questions common sense
Miguel Arias of Fresno City Council questioned the sense in not pressing charges against the suspected, considering the number of threats being made against elected officials and judges, as well as prosecutors.
“I am afraid that this decision to not file the case further emboldens those individuals and jeapordizes the integrity of the criminal justice system and our democracy at large,” Arias said.
Enloe was held in the Fresno County Jail Friday under a “no bail” hold. He is accused of violating the probation he was given for his convictions on domestic violence charges. The next date of his court appearance in Department 95 is April 18.