We pursue Kern County officials on gay marriage, police called

 We pursue Kern County officials on gay marriage, police called »Play Video
For the past week, 29 Eyewitness News has been trying to get answers from Kern County Auditor Controller County Clerk Ann Barnett
on the issue of gay marriage and its related consequences.

We tried again when 29 Eyewitness News reporter Jose Gaspar went to her office. Gaspar was told by woman at the front desk Barnett "might" make a statement later in the day.

Barnett has also cancelled all civil wedding ceremonies performed by her office as of June 13. When Gaspar went to check on the weddings being performed in another part of the building, he asked two couples for permission to videotape their weddings for the evening's newscast. Both couples agreed.

But when Gaspar and Photo Journalist Chuck Dennis tried to enter the wedding chapel, they were denied access at the door by the county employee performing the wedding.

Another county employee who refused to identify herself came out with an explanation for being denied access.

"We're going through the (June 3) election right now. They're counting ballots and are totaling them and they're certifying the totals to the state right now," said the unidentified county employee.

Heading back to Barnett's office on the second floor in search of more answers, Security Chief Roy Burgess told Gaspar he had to leave the building.

"You're being rude and you actually tried to force your way in to a secured area, could you please leave?" said Burgess to Gaspar.

But videotape of when Gaspar and Dennis allegedly tried to force their way in to the wedding chapel shows the pair stopping at the door when told by a county employee they could not go in.

Gaspar and Dennis refused to leave the public building. Burgess ordered his staff to call Bakersfield Police. When police arrived, they told Burgess the city had no jurisdiction over the matter and left.

Gaspar and Dennis then agreed to leave the building, but not before fellow reporter Carol Ferguson took his place and stayed in an effort to get a statement from Ann Barnett.

Kern County Counsel Bernard Barmann also warned Barnett of the potential liability to Kern County for denying access to the media of a public space.

In years past, 29 Eyewitness News has had access to videotape
in the public building. Until Thursday.