Friday, September 22, 2006

Did you think it was just campaign rhetoric?

People got real upset about the dog abuse case. As well they should. To hear about the horrific fate Bugenig's dogs suffered in Trinity County was bad enough. But to learn that people in Humbodt County had come forward and tried to get Paul Gallegos to stop the abuse long before it moved to Trinity County was truly shocking. He said there was nothing he could do. "In the interests of Justice."

But no one got upset about the revelations regarding CAST. No response to an equally horrific decline in child abuse prosecutions.



Why? Did you think it was just election rhetoric?

Why didn't the Times Standard follow up on that story, which was backed up by statistics. Backed up by professionals, people who worked for and with CAST. People like Gillian Wadsworth, Melissa Arnold and Allison Jackson. People who did have the courage to speak out.

Didn't the voters deserve to hear about it? People want to be informed.

CAST is a multidisciplinary team, it requires the DA's office working closely with law enforcement, being in on an investigation from the beginning, to insure that proper evidence is gathered, and that it is gathered properly and professionally, that interviews are properly conducted. When that working relationship breaks down, the system doesn't work.

Why don't the people care about the kids?

One thing that never made the paper was that during the campaign, the Dikeman campaign was approached by kids who were begging to star in ads. They wanted to say that they were ready, willing and able to testify against their abusers, and Paul Gallegos told them he "couldn't do anything." They wanted to ask him "WHY?"

Obviously they couldn't be used in the ads. That is a boundary which can't be crossed. The repercussions they did not anticipate were far too serious, the ways in which it wouild affect them, at school, and with friends and family far too longreaching. It was out of the question.

But re-electing Gallegos sent a very clear message to those kids. They had to go back to their abuser with no hope that the people who should help them would do so.

It's a tragedy.

And reading James Faulk's Bully Pulpit in which he reveals his disdain for any claims made during the election season, I suspect he just thought it was too unimportant for him to pick up the phone and interview any of the people who had the courage to speak out. To get copies of the statistics, to actually understand what they meant, to consider the possibility that there was something seriously wrong. Or maybe it just wasn't "funny" enough.

Now, as Gallegos removes Maggie Flemming from child abuse prosecution, the only seasoned prosecutor left with experience prosecuting child abusers and working with CAST, the one everyone agrees is one of the finest prosecutors in the office, and turning it over to a man who has only taken one case to trial in the year he has been here (and that one resulted in a hung jury), to a man who has plea bargained away a rape case where the guys tied a woman to a tree for days - it's simply unfathomable.

This time, I blame James Faulk and the editors at the Times Standard. You had a responsibility to at least look into the report. It wasn't campaign rhetoric. It isn't now. The election is over. The problem still exists, and it is getting worse.

I want you to imagine what is being done to the kids - the child abuse victims - tonight.

9 comments:

Anon.R.mous said...

I can't understand it myself Rose. After all, I have led them to water with the College of the Redwoods story and not one of them have picked up the slack or even emailed me asking for some more info. Hell, Measure Q money has been misspent, and they don't care. I'm starting to wonder if Humboldt County really just doesn't care, and it's someone elses problem.

Rose said...

Let's hear some answers.

The media certainly has no trouble running stories quoting very obviously biased people on the - for lack of a better term - left, progressive or politically correct side - quoting Salzman extensively (in the Recall days), Mark Lovelace extensively, even though he was Humboldt Watershed Council and was running ads supporting Paul... even though his group was intensely involved in leading hte charge against Palco.

But to quote Allison Jackson - oh, no, she is biased against Paul, therefore it must not be reported upon.

Never mind that she was the child abuse prosecutor, helped strengthen and improve CAST every working day of her life, never mind that she knows the subject inside and out and knows the inner workings of the DAs office and law enforcement - she was against Paul - >gasp!<

And anyone else who was quoted - well obviously they just had an ax to grind - and well, they were just against Gallegos from the start - yeah, that's how we'll play it.

There is hope, Hank Sims broke the silence with his "Web of Lies" story and the follow up, and he looked into the question of why Allison Jackson was fired. The Eureka Reporter came out with the CAST stats, and asked the question, "What is going on here?" The Arcata Eye and The McKinleyville Press have raised serious questions about Gallegos.

They deserve answers - and the public deserves to know the truth.

And I have to say, the Times Standard has let people down. In so doing, they have created a climate where people do not come to them with the story, with the documents, and you cannot run a paper that way.

Anonymous said...

I don't care.

Rose said...

Is your issue pot? Or Palco? You choose these over kids? 8:46

Barbara Shults Watch said...

Why don't you just mind your own business?

Gail

Rose said...

If Gallegos was in private practice, what he did would be his own business. Like it or not. But he's not. Therefore what he does with respect to our office is all of our business, Particularly when he is tarnishing the office, Nick (Gail)

Anonymous said...

If there was no Eureka Reporter much of this information would never get out to the general public. I think that's why the radical left or progressives are so against the Reporter and Arkley.

GO Rose!

Anonymous said...

Eureka Reporter is improving but they do need an editorial board so the Times Standard won't spank them anymore as the publisher was quoted as saying-on Roses blog?

Rose said...

What are you talking about? The publisher is on my blog? The TS? Or the ER? Which anon are they?