San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe isn't buying the allegation that his office is being investigated by the FBI. "This whole FBI thing has been manufactured ... there's no FBI investigation, in my belief," he said last week.
Sources have told the Almanac that, since late January, a number of people have been interviewed by the federal investigative agency about goings-on in Atherton and in the county DA's office. Several sources said they themselves have been interviewed.
But Mr. Wagstaffe told the Almanac: "There certainly has been nobody (who contacted) us, and that's a standard procedure the FBI would follow. ... There's nothing to investigate involving us. What would it be?"
He noted that interviewing someone in and of itself doesn't constitute an investigation.
"There's been some pretty unfair coverage of the District Attorney's Office and the men and women who work hard in it. ... There've been some misconceptions put out there that have damaged the reputation of the office," he said.
In addition to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, former Atherton finance director John Johns told the Almanac that he was interviewed by the FBI last month. Mr. Johns, who successfully sued the town for wrongful termination and currently has a complaint filed against the police department, said his discussion with the agency involved his experiences with the town of Atherton.
Julianne Sohn, a spokeswoman with the San Francisco office of the FBI, said that as a matter of policy she could not confirm or deny that an investigation is taking place.
Atherton resident Peter Carpenter acknowledged playing a role in the matter, but noted that it was only as "the switchboard" helping to connect several people with the federal agency.
Several people who felt they had evidence of wrongdoing came to him for advice, he said, and because he has a number of contacts within federal agencies, he was able to help. "My role was simply to identify an appropriate FBI person to whom that person could speak."