TS It was hard to know whether to laugh or cry when word came on Monday that the Eureka Police Department was ready to give the district attorney its investigation report on the Rob Arkley-Larry Glass “incident.”
With great anticipation, we looked forward to learning the truth about what happened on Sept. 5 when Eureka City Council member Larry Glass met local mogul Rob Arkley at a reception at Avalon restaurant. Glass charged that Arkley shoved him, said he was having him followed, and threatened to destroy him if Glass voted against his Marina Center project. Arkley's spokespersons have said there was no physical contact or surveillance -- that Arkley was angry over the councilman's attacks on his family. Since there were dozens of potential witnesses at the Avalon, no doubt the police report clarifies who was telling the truth.
But depression set in when District Attorney Paul Gallegos said he would send the report immediately to the state attorney general. Not because he couldn't be fair to both parties, he said, but there was an appearance of conflict because Arkley once contributed to his campaign.
Our tears are because we doubt Attorney General Jerry Brown will want to catch this hot potato.
He has his eye on the governor's seat and is looking for bigger fish to fry . . . er, prosecute. Besides, in responding earlier to Humboldt County Democrats' plea that his office take the case, a Brown assistant wrote that “a mere appearance of conflict is insufficient to warrant recusal.”
So the state seems primed to say “no thanks” and toss it back to Gallegos, the gentleman who -- 560 days and counting after the officer-involved killing of the mentally ill Cheri Lyn Moore -- apparently has decided to let a criminal grand jury make the politically volatile prosecution decision for him. The Arkley-Glass case is a ticking bomb, too. The mind reels in contemplating another 2 1/2-year wait.
So to Mr. Brown or Mr. Gallegos: Please have pity on a poor, suffering community, not to mention the parties involved in the case. Whichever of you gets this case when you're done playing musical chairs, don't drag it out. Tell us if a crime was committed or not. Editorial: Political bomb ticks on . . .
It's not just a hot potato, this is silly putty. This is Gak.
More: Glass-Arkley investigation headed to DA
Gallegos said his office would not review the report.
Attorney General's Office to get Arkley-Glass report
Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said his office received the EPD report on Wednesday and he estimated it would be sent to the AGO either Wednesday or today, but no later.
Gallegos has previously told this newspaper that he considers Arkley a friend and that Arkley contributed to one of his political campaigns.
In explaining his reasoning for sending the report to the AGO, Gallegos said, “While I believe I can make a fair and impartial decision, I believe that, due to my relationship with both the parties and some of the anticipated witnesses, it is impossible to do so without creating the appearance of an impropriety.
“If the Attorney General’s Office decides not to accept the case, I will review it and make a decision. However, until such an occurrence takes place, I will withhold reviewing any material that is forwarded to us and making a decision regarding the possibility of any criminal charges being filed.”
Besides the fact that that is a pretty coherent response so I have to wonder who wrote it for him - I still want to know why swooping up nine felonies and dismissing them in a single day for the son of some of his biggest donors wasn't a case of "creating the appearance of impropriety."