He's an elected official. He's untouchable. No one can stop him.
DA Gallegos can get his guns
Humboldt County Administrative Officer Loretta Nickolaus confirmed Friday that District Attorney Paul Gallegos had satisfied her office’s requirements in his bid to arm his investigators with semiautomatic rifles.
“Technically, I guess he’s OK with the use-of-force policy,” Nickolaus said by phone late Friday. “Financially, he has the money from the asset forfeiture account. So it’s really a judgment call for him whether or not he wants to do this.”
But Nickolaus stopped short of endorsing the plan.
“I still have my concerns over the potential for conflict of interest and liability exposure for the county, and I’m still not convinced that with this direction (investigators) will be able to maintain their independent perspective if one of their own is involved in a critical incident,” she said.
“But he can do what he wants. He knows how I feel about it, and he has completed the things I’ve asked him to complete.”
The controversy over the guns request began mid-May, after The Eureka Reporter learned that Gallegos’ seemingly routine allocation request for $58,462 in asset forfeiture funds was intended to outfit his eight investigators with AR-15 assault rifles, body armor, tactical vests, 5,000 rounds of hollow-point ammunition and matching parkas, polo shirts and pants.
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors approved the request March 6, but purchases were stopped midstream by Nickolaus in May over liability, scope of work and conflict-of-interest concerns.
Nickolaus said Friday she asked the DA to add a rifles section to his revised use-of-force policy and to provide assurances that investigators would receive appropriate training and would qualify before using the rifles.
She was still troubled, though, by the possibility of a conflict of interest, particularly when the District Attorney’s Office is called on to investigate incidents in which it has been involved.
“Having DA investigators on the front line would seem to present a serious conflict for the DA in conducting an unbiased and independent investigation of the facts,” Nickolaus said.
“It is still my opinion, and maybe it’s his opinion, too, that the DA’s investigative and prosecutorial authority is at its best when it is independent of other law enforcement agencies.”
Attempts to contact Gallegos after normal business hours Friday were unsuccessful.
In his initial request for funds, Gallegos said the expenses represented permissible uses of asset forfeiture trust funds, and if the request was not approved, his investigators would “continue to face compromising health and safety risks when responding to criminal matters due to lack of proper equipment and communication mediums.”
TS - DA force policy cleared by county administrator
You know. It really isn't funny.
More discussion on Eric's blog
but the defenders are on the Times Standard's comments trying to justify this. "oh it is so inportant for the DA's investigators to have guns so that they will be s-a-a-a-f-e.." Insanity.