Saturday, November 11, 2006

The truth v. the talking points

The truth:
Writer believes Gallegos, DA's Office are a sham

Dear Editor,

This letter is in reply to a letter from a Lynn Pettlon. I just hope you or your family never has a crime committed against you, (but if one does occur I) hope D.A. Gallegos will prosecute the villain, especially if the villain is one of Humboldt County’s methamphetamine users. Gallegos will let them plea bargain for probation.

We had a case where a methamphetamine user and ex-felon stole 38 rifles and one pistol — plus 30 diamond wedding sets — from a 90-year-old World War II veteran.

This ex-felon and methamphetamine user admitted to using drugs to the district attorney, but was able to plea bargain for probation for the third time in the past nine months. And you think Gallegos has only lost one out of 11 cases? The Sheriff’s Office and Probation Department had witnesses who would be willing to testify against this thief. A slam-dunk case on this ex-felon.

I called Paul Gallegos and had a talk with him about his case. I told him that the Probation Department, law enforcement and a private investigator we hired sent his office e-mails about this case.

His reply was that his office didn’t receive them. I think Gallegos owes an apology to all law enforcement in Humboldt County for the hard work they do.

And I do believe you, Lynn Pettlon, should get your head out of the sand if you believe that Gallegos has integrity and excellent judgment.

John Hay
Rio Dell
Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved

And, then you have Salzman's talking points:
Gallegos has the support of the majority in county
Dear Editor,

Rarely does any candidate survive relentless media smear campaigns like those waged against District Attorney Gallegos. Amazingly, Gallegos did prevail, twice. I believe he prevailed because he spoke more thoughtfully and fairly. He prevailed because, in marked contrast to his opponent, he advocated equal treatment under the law. Heather Muller gave us the opportunity to see that.

Heather Muller wrote interestingly and gave both sides. By the time I read through her compelling accusations, I was actually interested in Gallegos’ responses, which I found, thanks to Heather’s extensive and unadulterated quotes, to be professional, fair and thoughtful.

Post-election accusations have been interesting also, albeit outlandish. For example, the accusation that Gallegos fired Dikeman because of politics isn’t reasonable when you consider that Dikeman lost 10 of his last 12 cases, whereas Gallegos won 10 of 11.

Also interesting but unreasonable were the September attacks against a tribal member for a tribal donation to Gallegos. First, the tribal member was presumed guilty of charges that were dropped. Aren’t we supposed to presume innocence? Why would the tribal member be charged with rape for having consensual sex with his wife and mother to their two children? Heather alleges favoritism when prejudice is evidenced.

Gallegos was elected to fulfill equal treatment under the law. It is absurd to suggest that he recuse himself whenever justice involves a group that donated to his campaign. The tribe sought equal treatment and it should not be denied it. It is Dikeman whom the higher court found to be unfair, not Gallegos.

I believe that Gallegos brings integrity, excellent judgment and commitment to fair and equal justice for all. Thank you, DA Gallegos. You have the support of the majority.

Please stay the course.

Lynn Pettlon
Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.


  1. Is Lynn Pettlon R. Trent, or a real person?

    "integrity, excellent judgement and commintment to fair and equal justice for all" ..... she can't be for real! Gallegos's poor judgement and lack of integrity is the reason the DA's office is in such a mess.

    Fair and equal justice for all ??? Just an outrageous lie or the speaking of someone high on pot, mushrooms, and LSD.

    There is nothing fair or equal about how Gallegso runs the DA's office. He uses his power as a weapon against his enemies or his supporters enemies.

  2. "I believe that Gallegos brings integrity, excellent judgment and commitment to fair and equal justice for all." Pauly has no comprehension of what those terms mean, nor does he understand morals, ethics, and honesty.

  3. I was going to ask how close McKinleyville is to Trinidad-are they on the same 'water'?

    But its more likely that Lyn Pettlon is the kissass-I mean another name for R.Trent.

  4. As to John Hay-you have a right to be outraged! The DAs job is to prepare cases for preliminary hearing and allow the judge to decide if there is a case. For Mr Gallegos to be judge, jury, and excuser is inexcusable.

  5. John Hay's experience with the DA's office is not unique.

  6. Lynn Pettlon spouts Salzman's talking points, and employs his cynical spin, designed to fool the voters. Let's take one of her points:

    Salzman likes to make use of the "Dikeman lost 10 cases, while Paul has won all 10 of 11 of his" argument.

    What Pettlon may not know, and Salzman counts on you not knowing or thinking about it is this:

    1. Gallegos himself is on record as stating that his DDA's handle roughly 550 cases a year. Significantly more than Gallegos' 11 cases.

    Over the years Dikeman has handled thousands of cases, including serious death penalty cases.

    2. Dikeman was known for taking on the tougher cases - and, anyone in the office will tell you, if he had three cases, and had to choose, he would give away the easy cases, and take the hardest case.

    3. As part of Gallegos' strategy in "restructuring the office" he shuffled all of the DDAs out of their area of specialty and expertise and reassigned them. In doing so, he took Dikeman off the tougher cases for which he was qualified.

    4. Gallegos chose to cherry-pick the cases he took to trial himself, and he chose the slam dunks - AND, those cases, so far have all been prepped by the very people Gallegos has lost, meaning all the hard work was done for him. That will no longer be the case going forward.

    and, 5. Dikeman, as mentor for the other attorneys in the office, was the one they went to for advice, especially on difficult cases, he was the one law enforcement consulted with, and, it has been said, was the glue that held the office together.

    In fact, 6. When he left Dikeman had one of the best trial records in the state, which was recognized and noted at one point when he was named Prosecutor of the Year, voted such by his peers, other DDAs in the state, and again most recently by the California Narcotic Officers’ Association.

    Lynn Pettlon is deliberately ignorant of all of those facts, and her regurgitating of Salzman's talking points does herself and this community a disservice for which she should be ashamed.

  7. Correction - my link in the comment above leads to the CNOA Prosecutor of the Year. It refers, though to the CDAA Proscutor of the year. I'll find the link to that and correct it. Two separate Awards.

  8. Dikeman's CDAA (California District Attorneys Association) Prosecutor of the Year award was in 1993 (I'm prety sure. The California Narcotics Officers Association award was this year.

    And very true Rose. Dikeman would take on the more difficult cases. Just because there might not be an abundance of evidence on a case doesn't mean the defendant didn't commit the crime and deserve to be prosecuted. There are easy to prove/convict cases and there are difficult cases. There is the DA's office Gallegos inherited and there is the dysfunctional corrupt mess on the 4th floor of the courthouse that is supposed to be a DA's office.


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