Monday, June 05, 2006

Read second - GALLEGOS' REQUEST FOR OPINION

GALLEGOS' REQUEST FOR OPINION


In this document you see Paul Gallegos attempting to implement Salzman/Stoen's plan. And while he was busy seeking creative financing in the form of special interest money for his Palco suit, he was neglecting his office, neglecting to apply for grants for his office's programs.

The complete text of Paul Gallegos' REQUEST FOR OPINION, which he submitted to the Attorney General's Office, will be posted as the first comment on this post.

As you read it, consider this: THE REAL QUESTION. No matter how carefully couched in legalese, the real question is whether or not the Humboldt County District Attorney can SOLICIT and accept SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY to fund the public prosecution of Pacific Lumber Company.

It is my contention that allowing politically motivated activist groups to hijack the public judicial system, using similarly inclined public officials to act on their behalf in pursuit of their political agendas should never be permitted. Allowing a District Attorney to pursue a specific case above all others, funded by special interest groups, in pursuit of fulfillment of campaign backer's political agendas should never be permitted. The detrimental effects on society and on the public judicial system are immeasurable.

Note: While Gallegos withdrew his Request on September 23, 2004. I am told that this may be because he was given a heads up that the Opinion to be rendered would not be in his favor. Nevertheless, if you read Salzman's Plan (complete text on previous post) you will see that Gallegos continued to set about implementing portions of that plan, specifically the plan to bring in "pro-bono" attorneys to work on the PL case.

11 comments:

  1. The Request for Opinion:

    Off ice of the District Attorney of Humboldt County letterhead

    pg. 1 of 3

    To:

    Honorable Bill Lockyer Date: March 29, 2004
    Attorney General of California
    P.O. Box 944255
    Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

    Re: Request for Formal Opinion - Authority of a board of supervisors to establish a trust fund to receive gifts from the public earmarked for the district attorney to use in the prosecution of particular cases.

    Dear Mr. Attorney general:

    Our office is considering the making of a request to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to establish a Trust Fund under Government Code section 23555 for the purpose of receiving donations from the public to subsidize district attorney operations. In addition to general gifts, that section authorizes a board to dispose of such property "for those lawful uses and purposes as are prescribed in the terms of the gift, bequest, or devise."

    Because we anticipate that some members of the public will be making gifts earmarked for the district attorney to use in the prosecution of particular cases, including both criminal actions and Unfair Competition Law civil actions, we are requesting a formal opinion from you as to whether this is acceptable.

    I.
    Question presented

    Does a board of supervisors have the authority to establish a Trust Fund to receive gifts from the public earmarked for the district attorney to use in the prosecution of particular criminal and civil cases?

    pg.2 of 3

    Honorable Bill Lockyer
    March 29, 2004
    Re: Trust Fund
    Page 2

    II.
    Discussion

    Our reading of the law is that such earmarked gifts would be upheld under the leading case of Hambarian v. Superior Court (2002) 27 Cal.4th 826. In that case the California Supreme Court refused to recuse a district attorney from a case where it received $450,000 worth of forensic accounting services from a victim city. In our situation, it appears there would be even less possibility of undue influence when the financial assistance comes from members of the general public who will not be direct victims in the earmarked case.

    In Hambarian the Supreme Court adopted, as the test for recual, the same as it had used in People v. Eubanks (1996) 14 Cal.4th 580: whether the financial assistance if of "a nature and magnitude likely to put the prosecutor's discretionary decisionmaking within the influence or control of an interested party" (Hambarian, at p. 835) In doing so, it distinguished its holding from Eubanks, in which it had ordered recusal:

    Our decision in Eubanks did not purport to fix a limit on the financial assistance that may be provided by an aggrieved victim. Rather we stated that the trial court would have been within its discretion to find a likelihood of unfairness where the crime victim, Borland International (Borland), was asked to pay for substantial investigative expenses already incurred by the prosecutor. The problem was not the 'fact' of the investigatory assistance itself, but the 'potential bias arising out of the district attorney's sense of obligation to Borland...."

    ***

    "In discussing the existence of the disabling conflict, we did not rely merely on 'the fact of investigatory assistance itself" and consequently declined to hold that a victim's financial assistance of any amount 'necessarily subjects the defendant to unfair prosecutorial treatment.' [Citation] We required the defendant instead to show that the financial assistance is of a "nature and magnitude likely to put the prosecutor's discretionary decisionmaking within the influence or control of an interested party." [Citation] That likelihood existed in Eubanks from 'the...


    pg. 3 of 3

    Honorable Bill Lockyer
    March 29, 2004
    Re: Trust Fund
    Page 3

    ... possible sense of obligation the district attorney would feel for Borland's payment of a debt owed by the district attorney's office,' an obligation derived from the fact that the district attorney had asked Borland to discharged a sizable debt the office had already incurred. [Citation]

    ***

    In Eubanks, the victim, Borland, was a competitor of the Symantec Corporation, whose president and chief executive officer was one of the defendants in the criminal prosecution. [Citation] One risk of Borland's involvement in the district attorney's prosecution was that the prosecution itself could be used as a strategic weapon to disrupt and distract competitor fro reasons wholly unrelated to the public administration of justice."

    (Hambarian, 27 Cal4th at pp. 834, 835, 837, italics as in the opinion.)

    III.
    Conclusion

    Based on Hambarian, it appears that our board of supervisors could establish a trust account able to accept earmarked funds for particular cases from members of the general public, who would not, either under that case or Eubanks, be deemed "an interested party," To make sure there could be no possible "interested party" issue, we would propose that such an ordinance prohibit earmarked gifts from any direct competitors of the persons being prosecuted.

    We would greatly appreciate your being willing to provide us a formal opinion at your earliest convenience.

    Very truly yours,

    Paul V. Gallegos
    District Attorney

    *******

    ReplyDelete
  2. Read before anything else:

    HE WON!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another way of looking at this is to change the parties involved and their allegeded crimes. What if the DA was going after protesters for vandalism and trespassing on PL property. Could the DA accept conributions from PL to prosecute the cases? Of course not. That would be corrupt and dishonest.

    The same goes with this case. You can't accept "donations" to prosecute a case.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree. You nailed it.

    Where does it stop?

    The DA's office belongs to the people. It should remain pure.

    I'm sorry Tim Stoen didn't have Johnny Cochran's budget. He went into the wrong branch of the law. Once the public system is influenced by money, everything is lost.

    ReplyDelete
  5. well, looks like paul won.
    no use in cluttering up cyberspace. time to shut this blog down.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Unfortunately, derf, the opposite is true.

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  7. It is getting a little old. You've beaten the horse about all you can.

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  8. mistake #1, bit. There's more. And I will add it all.
    The day Paul Gallegos leaves office, I will pull this site down.

    ReplyDelete
  9. time to shut it down6/23/2006 11:02 AM

    as rose said, "The day Paul Gallegos leaves office, I will pull this site down." 11:14 PM

    well, Paul left the office this very afternoon - after work.

    let's shut this website down and have cyber-peace and cyber-quiet.

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh Bit and "time to shut it down" the fun is just starting! Now its time to talk about Paul double billing in Del Norte and the police report written about it and the restitution agreement not to go back ever to that county. Or maybe yet, the fact that he got his briefcase bagged and tagged at pelican bay for smuggling contraband among the AB that he was representing. Or maybe the babe that he was kissing (not his wife) in the alley next to the museum. Or better yet - how about misappropriating state funds. OH the fun has just started.

    ReplyDelete
  11. ummmm, errrr, welll, hmmmm. wouldn't 'leaving the office this afternoon' require that he show up for work?

    Not to nitpick, but. If you want the job, bub, ya gotta show UP.

    ReplyDelete

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