A family affair? Valley Senator alleges powerful Modesto political family conspired to secure $5mil in budget funds

Sen. Marie Alvarado-Gil alleged that Stanislaus Supervisor Channce Condit conspired with his father (and her former chief of staff) to secure $5 million in state dollars for improvements in his district. Now the funds are on ice.

One year after they celebrated scoring $5 million in state budget dollars to improve south Modesto, Sen. Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson) is alleging that her local partner in the effort, Stanislaus County Supervisor Channce Condit, improperly and illegally conspired with her then-chief of staff, his father Chad Condit, to ensure the funding ask was prioritized.

Alvarado-Gil filed an ethics complaint with Attorney General Rob Bonta, requesting an investigation into Condit’s pursuit of the funds for infrastructure improvements in south Modesto.


The backstory: After the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors allocated $16 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for infrastructure improvements in south Modesto, Condit sent an email to Alvarado-Gil requesting matching funds from the state. 

  • Alvarado-Gil announced in July 2023 that she secured $5 million in the state budget for south Modesto and came together with Condit to present a check. 
  • Stanislaus County has allocated the funding for sidewalks, curbs, gutters and street lights with the plan to have the improvements completed by 2026. The money has not been spent yet, McClatchy reported. 

The big picture: Alvarado-Gil has gone to Bonta saying she thinks Condit did not follow the law in requesting the funds. 

  • “I have protected these funds and always advocated for them to go to Stanislaus County, never wavering on my support,” she told McClatchy. “The only question that remains unanswered is whether or not Mr. Condit followed the legal process in which public dollars may be requested from a government agency and my office.” 
  • Alvarado-Gil has not provided any further explanation for her request to Bonta for an investigation. 
  • Condit’s father, Chad Condit, is the son of former Rep. Gary Condit (D-Modesto). He served as Alvarado-Gil’s chief of staff in her Senate office through 2023 before he was allegedly terminated.
  • A 2023 annual report from Alvarado-Gil’s office boasts the budget appropriation for south Modesto, complete with a quote from the Stanislaus County Supervisor.
  • The same report, which features a staff roster, omits the position of Chief of Staff.

What they’re saying: Sunday, Condit sent an email to dozens in the Stanislaus County community, including Alvarado-Gil, saying the call for an investigation “is nothing more than a cheap shake down by our elected representative who is threatening our community from something she promised.” 

  • In the email, Condit claimed he spoke with Board of Supervisors Chairman Mani Grewal, county CEO Jody Hayes and Deputy County Counsel Rob Taro and that all of them told him that Alvarado-Gil has consistently stated her intentions to work behind the scenes to strip away the funding. 
  • “We as a community will stand united and fight you every step of the way until this is stopped,” Condit wrote. “Because of your actions you have put this project at risk and potentially future state funding that is at the detriment to the community you claim to represent.” 

Go deeper: On Wednesday, the law firm McCormick Barstow LLP – representing Condit – sent a cease and desist letter to Alvarado-Gil demanding that she not make any further allegations or publicly discuss them. 

  • The letter states that Alvarado-Gil alleged that Condit conspired with his father Chad Condit – who was her former chief of staff – to secure the funding without her knowledge. 
  • Alvarado-Gil has also alleged that Condit used his position for personal financial gain, according to the letter. 
  • “As I am sure you are aware, each and all of these allegations are false and your statements represent a wanton disregard for the truth,” the letter reads. 
  • The cease and desist letter claims that Alvarado-Gil is asking for an investigation in retaliation for Chad Condit’s pending human relations complaint against her. 
  • Per the letter, Condit threatened to file a lawsuit against Alvarado-Gil if she makes further comments about the allegations. 
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