Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Gallegos files complaint against auto dismantlers

Gallegos files complaint against auto dismantlers

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos announced Tuesday that his office is filing a civil complaint against a Santa Rosa-based auto dismantler after oils leaked from its crusher while crushing cars in Rio Dell last year.

Both Cream's Dismantling and Joseph Cream Sr. are named as defendants in the suit.

”The lawsuit alleges that Cream's crusher was not equipped with an appropriate containment device and its employees did not otherwise take appropriate steps to prevent fluids from leaking,” stated a DA press release.

Gallegos alleges in the complaint that oil from the crusher ended up in Rio Dell's storm drain system and the Eel River.

Why is it I think there will turn out to be more to this story?

DA files lawsuit against Cream's Dismantling

He's very talkative in this one:

The district attorney included a cause of action under the Unfair Competition Law, citing the unfair profits retained by the defendants through their externalization of the costs of complying with anti-pollution laws.

“Businesses that fail to use the proper equipment, resulting in pollution releases that could have been avoided, are effectively shifting their costs of operation onto the public,” Gallegos said. “In this case, Cream’s should have retrofitted its crusher with a containment system that would have prevented the leakage of pollutants onto the ground. It chose not to invest the money to do so, with the result that the city and other agency officials had to respond to the spill.

“Additionally, in spite of the efforts of those who responded to the spill, pollutants ended up in the city’s storm drain system and washed into the Eel River.”

Gallegos said the alleged violations “could have and should have been avoided.”

“The laws that we are enforcing serve an important public purpose,” Gallegos said. “They are designed to protect the public health and safety by preventing the release of pollutants that are detrimental to the health of both people and the natural systems upon which we depend.

“It is critical that people become more aware of the importance of preventing hazardous substances from entering the natural environment. There are appropriate and legally sanctioned ways of disposing of hazardous waste. People need to know that, and know that if they violate the laws they will have to pay the consequences.”

But will he file a complaint against the POT PLANTATION OWNER?


  1. Funny, he used to have a trained and experienced prosecutor to handle such cases. What was the name? Paul something? Why wasn't it important to hang on to that resource, to protect the public and all.

  2. Yeah, Paul Hagen. But Paul Hagen had the guts to speak out - and so he was gone.

  3. But how did that protect the public? I mean, Mr. Gallegos says it's really important to do that in these kind of cases. This Hagen fellow must have done something wrong, something job related , to get rid of him. To protect the public.

    What qualifications does the current public environmental protector have, and how do those qualifications differ from the
    dismissed Hagen? Surely the public must be more protected now?

  4. Hagen was actually employed by the California District Attorney's Association, a non-profit, as a circuit prosecutor - he also handled cases in Del Norte and Lake. His replacement is likewise a CDAA circuit prosecutor, not someone PVG hired. His big sin (this is my speculation), was not anything that happened in the office but when he was on the Democratic Committee and suggested that there be some sort of process before the Committee rubber-stamped PVG's bid for re-election. That was construed, apparently, as disloyalty. And of course he was right about the PL lawsuit, which he refused to file or have anything to do with - that's unforgivable. Althouh Hagen was a CDAA employee there is no serious dispute that PVG engineered his dismissal.

  5. But why would PVG do that? PVG is a public servant who wants to protect the public, he said so in the paper. How does engineering the removal of a competent prosecutor for no-job related issues serve the public.
    On the other hand, this all happened before the election, and was in the news before the election, and PVG got elected again, so the public must have decided it's in the public interest. Case closed. Oh, and note to all others in the office or contemplating the office, the public loves PVG more than it loves anyone who might disagree with him in the slightest.

  6. No actually, it wasn’t done until after the election. Hagan was cut after the election by PVG who came after him with a vengeance for suggesting that the HCDCC develop some process instead of rubberstamping PVG again simply because he filed the dismissed palco lawsuit. Lake County was not consulted and was pissed and Del Norte County was not consulted and was pissed.

    The new enviro prosecutor has virtually no experience in enviro law. She worked for a bankruptcy firm for a couple of years before moving to an off the grid place out side of Ferndale where she and her husband recycle their own waste (yes folks that includes human waste) how environmentally sound is that?

    And it was fairly obvious of her lack of experience when one reads the DA’s reply brief. It is not coherent, doesn’t follow the rules of how to lay out a reply brief and was simply nonsensical. What a shame. The loss of Hagan hurt, but so has the loss of all the other ethical dda’s that have run screaming from the building and from the county.

  7. When I posted an earlier comment about the new environmental prosecutor being a CDAA employee I assumed (I know, I know) that the conversation was about Ms. Teeters, a CDAA circuit prosecutor who appears well-qualified. I know she's taken over at least one of Hagen's other counties, and I thought she took Humboldt as well. But apparently I was wrong. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. So is the office evn using the circuiot prosecutor? And if not, why not? And it doesn't change anything else I said at 8:07, however damaged my credibility might be.

  8. Wait, I'm confused. The DA had a competent environmental specialist THAT HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO PAY FOR and he,in effect, fired the guy
    AFTER the election (was this a coincidence) and he has not replaced th FREE EXPERT with another FREE EXPERT but instead is spending his limited budget on some tyro? But he says he's all about protecting the public?
    Mongo confused. Mongo not understand. Mongo sad.


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