Sunday, December 16, 2007

What's your take?

What do you get out of this My Word from Sunday's Times Standard? An attempt at humor? Successful or unsuccessful? An attempt to revive Gallegos' mythological stature - keep the divisive climate alive? Is he deriding his former boss or kissing up?

Worth Dikeman vs. Paul Gallegos, Round 3?

It is time for Worth Dikeman to come back to Humboldt County to battle Paul Gallegos in the third and final bout in the political arena. this time that arena would be the courtroom of the Cheri Moore homicide, where two high-ranking Eureka Police Department officers will be on trial for involuntary manslaughter.

There are some problems to get Worth back. They are not insurmountable. Worth would never be a defense attorney. He bleeds DA blood. Never say never. It would be a one-time shot defending his beloved Eureka Police Department.

During the last bout with Gallegos, Worth Dikeman had two EPD officers in his corner - his campaign managers. This time he'll again have two more EPD officers in his corner. It would be like the last election all over again.

The second insurmountable problem is Dikeman is working on his pension benefits at the El Dorado County DA's office. At his current annual salary of over a hundred grand, it would take him five years to make just under $600,000. But as counsel for one of the EPD officers, he'll make that in a year. In two years, when the case is done and over and tried, he'll have made close to a mil. Not bad - two years work as defense attorney defending police officers in exchange for 10 years pay as a DA defending police officers.

You say, "A million bucks? No way." You bet, a million bucks. Do you know how much money will be thrown at the defense of this case? Not only is the city and police union obligated to pay for the defendants (which is chump change), but also this indictment will light the fire of police chiefs and their underlings all around the country. We'll see the money coming in like it was the defense of Barry Bonds.

Here's how it works for Worth to try this case. With all that money coming in, the temptation ultimately will be to bring in the dream team, something similar to barry bonds' recent six-lawyer team.

But it would be a big mistake to bring in an out-of-town dream team to take on Paul Gallegos, who will try this case himself, if I know Paul Gallegos. (Disclosure: I know Paul Gallegos). These two officers need one thing, Worth Dikeman.

Instead of paying a six-lawyer dream team and $10 million, Worth can do it for a million. Worth will also need a million for his support team of out-of-town experts in mental health, SWAT tactics, pathology, forensics, ballistics and psychology. he'll need investigators, law clerks, law assistants, and interns.

And the most important person of all, he'll need a jury selection expert. This case is not about lawyering; it is about politics and demographics. It is Humboldt County's version of pro-life/pro-choice, Iraq war/no war, gay marriages/no gay marriages, and global warming/global warming Fraud. Some of our local versions include Arkley/Glass, Marina Center/Not, Higgins/Ollivier and, of course, Gallegos/Dikeman.

During the two previous bouts, there was one thing consistent with Dikeman: voters voted for him, just not hte majority of voters. This time Gallegos needs more than a majority. He needs all of the votes of the jurors and Dikeman only needs one.

In Round Three where a win for Gallegos is 12-0 and a win for Dikeman is anything else, all Dikeman needs to do is pick 12 jurors reflective of the views of Humboldt County.

If the trial goes forward with a representative sampling of the voting public of Humboldt County, Dikeman wins. This county is split on just about every liberal/conservative issue out there, such as police shootings, TPZ, rails and trails, chain stores and above all, Cheri Moore.

A jury consisting of a cross section os our community will split probably favoring Gallegos, just as the voters favored Gallegos. But a split is a win for Dikeman and the officers.

Like another like-minded person who won without the popular vote, Dikeman, too, can win without the majority of the people he is trying to convince. But it will be a win for Dikeman he has sorely sought.

Having the last victory will mean alot to him, and we can get Worth back into our county, retired, living on a good public pension plus a million dollars to spread around.

Jeffrey {} Schwartz, a {very briefly} former deputy district attorney {who plea bargained more cases than he could shake a stick at}, is an attorney practicing in Arcata {or trying to}. ...he notes that "Since writing this piece, it appears that Lt. Zanotti and Chief Douglas have retained attorneys. One is local, one is not. Both are top-tier attorneys. One of them needs Worth Dikeman on his team.

Once I get past the obscenity of someone like Schwartz invoking Dikeman's name, it is an interesting, though seriously skewed, piece.


  1. Mr, Schwartz is definitely better at irony/sarcasm than prosecuting. He may have found his niche.

  2. Maybe. There's a certain irony here. "Jeffrey "" Schwartz, who set more people free as a Deputy District Attorney than he ever did as a defense attorney," to quote one of the anons.

    Funny thing is, while he is focused on the money, Worth would be focused on the injustice.

  3., what a piece of shit. PVG hired him, bumped him to top step salary, and then after he screwed up by the numbers so many time he (PVG) pushed him out the side door. PVG ought to be indicted for allowing Scwhartz to dismiss and plea down every case that he handled, from rape to selling meth.

  4. 1st it's youGofree's slant at how every issue in our community is a clash of moral values. His side of course pure and the other at best wrong and in his warped perspective evil. 2nd youGofree is always a team player and has just given the outline,excuse, for why this rightouse endevor will fail. You can't blame the messenger, it will be the fools on the jury ,the pulse of the community, that will be to blame for a not guilty verdict. Clever but transparent.

  5. What he fails to mention is - a judge may toss this without it going to trial. A judge will rule based on law, not the machinations of the agitators, and not based on the mood of the community.

    If so, there goes all the dreams of millions in legal fees.

    But it raises another question - just what has Gallegos cost this community so far?

    What's been spent on the Palco suit? How much are we going to be paying for him to go down and plead his case this week?

  6. "But it raises another question - just what has Gallegos cost this community so far?"

    Again,please explain how the actions taken by the officers involved in the shooting are a fault of Paul's.

  7. How do you get to that question, Mark? Who said or even implied that the officers involved in the shooting were a fault of Paul's?

  8. You asked how much he's cost the community so far and invoked that he individually is costing the community money by taking on a case which needs to be resolved and that was brought to where we are by bad decisions made by the defendants,which could have been avoided.
    I still far too long of a time to get here though.I'll agree that time and money have been wasted there.

  9. Well, I'm referring to his history of ill-advised cases - from the Palco lawsuit - Stoen spent how many years on that? And, where Gallegos once claimed that "his" DDA's worked some 500-600 cases a year, Stoen had how many? Five? Ten? The highest paid guy in the office, the Palco suit, down in flames, Debi August down in flames - and now this. AND, the pending Palco Appeal. That's your money being wasted.

    He could've told Ken Miller to take a flying leap, but he didn't, hasn't, and probably never will.

    How many agencies have reviewed this particular incident, mresquan? At what point are you satisfied? You want the officers stoned in the public square?

  10. I've said it before, Konkler is an asshole plain and simple. And not as bright as you might think, as evidenced by the above remarks.

    That's a good question Rose! How much has PVG cost? The ill advised persecution of Palco. PVG gets his ass kicked in court on the Palco case and he is prodded into going for an appeal. I forgot he is supposed to argue his appeal this week or next in SF. I know where the odds are on this one!!!!!!!!

    It's hard to put a dollar amount on the cost of losing almost all the experienced deputy DA's and then hiring lawyers with little or no experience to stumble through witout some kind of training program. Then most of them get fired, quit, or are asked to leave by the side door. A waste of money and resources. Letting run amuck with the justice system.

    This last grandstanding goatfuck is just PVG going over the top. How will PVG's supporters try to spin this when a judge throws these BS indictments out with the afternoon trash???

  11. It's interesting that yougone's latest stab at a little free publicity focuses on Mr. Dikeman, who, while the two of them were at the DA's office, was everything the snivelling little toady Schwartz was not. Scribble away,
    sir, you are not now and never will be the man you carp about.
    The man himself, I suspect, never even thinks about you, while
    you apparently cannot stop thinking about him. What we have here, people, in the contrast between Schwartz and Dikeman, is,
    a perfect statement of what the
    DA's office was, and what it has become.

  12. "You want the officers stoned in the public square?"

    Maybe Gitmo is more appropriate.
    Kidding aside,I may not be as harsh if the police and their supporters didn't tear apart anyone who questioned their actions,and then a short time later a teenager winds up dead at the hands of an officer again under controversial circumstances in which all blame was placed on the child's mother instead of again,looking into possible faults within the department.

  13. It was not EPD's fault that the kid was in foster care or juvenile hall. It was not EPD's fault that the kid was truant. It was not EPD's fault that he was on meth. It was not EPD's fault that he was armed. It was not EPD's fault that he was hanging out watching TV with his (according to later news reports, pregnant) girlfriend), doing drugs when he should have been in school... it is not EPD's fault that he chose to run. It is not EPD's fault that he chose to go after the officer with the knife. He suddenly became their problem, but even you, mresquan, cannot say that it was their fault. You don't blame the Mom? Ok. Goodie for you. YOu might as well blame Bill the Chimp, then.

  14. I love mresquan. Let him post his points for God's sake.In America we support free speach. In mresquans case how would the rest of you get this other vision or point of view? Truth is stranger than fiction,as the saying goes. No one would believe what a stone cold idiot mresquan is or how ridiculous his positions if we didn't let the fool make a complete ass out of himself for all to see? Keep up the good work

  15. a complete and total ass ! frequently.

  16. His mom didn't shoot him. Chris was running away. Neither did his pregnant girlfriend shoot him. Drugs didn't shoot Chris. Officer Lyles shot Chris. And everybody is supposed to believe Lyles' version of what happened. The problem is that his version is so far fetched that you have to make a demon out of Chris Burgess in order to blame him for his own murder.

  17. "but even you, mresquan, cannot say that it was their fault. "

    I don't think that any of them have been their fault per se.But they failed to take more tactical approaches to deal with the situations,and do the best that they can do to ensure the safety of everyone involved.What do you think would have happened if Ms.Moore indeed did fire the flair gun at a gas source when the officers entered?.
    And in the Burgess case it was a bad idea to chase him into the gully instead of blocking off all surrounding areas.I'll argue that chasing him into the gully was the most dangerous thing the officer could have done to himself.And I'd suspect that he knew that there was a likelihood that he would end up shooting him before he followed him into the gully,given the circumstances.
    I can't believe I'm saying this but let the justice system to what it does.It's part of Paul's job to ensure fair closure on cases like these.I don't see them doing any time in prison as a result of his particular case,Paul needs a venue change for that to happen.And I think it would be unfair to her family to not have this brought forth to where we are.They deserve some closure on this.

  18. There is a consistent theme in the threads on this case that the prosecutor needs a venue change. That seems a little ironic, doesn't it?

  19. I would venture, mresquan that the officer did not necessarily believe there was a high likelihood that he would end up shooting. I would say that there are dozens if not hundreds of such encounters throughout the year that end quite differently, with the subject, tossing down his weapon of choice and raising his hands. That would be the more likely anticipated scenario. As for blocking it off - remember you had a school in lockdown in close vicinity. Easy for you and me to say what could have been done if it was a video game. It isn't. It's real life. Even running after a suspect is not easy.

    As for Cheri Moore, how many investigations does it take to satisfy you? Did it have to come to prosecution to give you closure? Her family? How many years had it been? Closure? For that they have to come to terms with their own estrangement. Presecution is not going to give them closure. Ludicrous. If it weren't so goddam serious.

  20. "Presecution is not going to give them closure."

    I assume you meant prosecution.

    It may not,but by having the trial all of the facts should be laid out and detailed even further and they will surely find out exactly what happened and what could have been prevented.They have a right to know exactly what went down that day,regardless of what you feel about the family's situation.You and I aren't the judges in regards to causes of her family's estrangement from one another.
    "As for Cheri Moore, how many investigations does it take to satisfy you?"
    I can't answer that as I'll wait to see what evidence presented brings a jury to its conclusion.I hope it ends at that point with the fairest judgement possible given.
    Although I'd wouldn't be surprised to see these Douglas and Zanzotti fighting battles in civil court for some time to come.A case like this is a potential cash cow for attorney's.

  21. One would like to know if the targets of the GJ, as presented by PVG, were given the option to address the GJ. If they had, they might well have made the kind of impression that would have prevented an indictment, and then the DA could have put the case to bed. Similarly, if the exculpatory evidence was presented in a certain way, there would have been no indictment. A GJ, especially an inexperienced "one shot" GJ such as the DA impanelled here, is almost always going to give the DA what he or she wants it to give. In short, the only reason this case is going to trial is because the DA wants it to. GJ's are not infrequently used as cover, precisely so a case goes away. That was not what was done here.

    So now, the evidence that has been available all along will come out at trial, or at least on the way to one. The transcripts, as noted by another post, will indeed be interesting. Here's another interesting question. Since this case turns on such fine issues of law and intent, it's peculiar that the indictments were presented to a grand jury, in secret. What reason is given by the DA for not proceeding in public, via a complaint and a preliminary hearing, which is a public process?
    Was there a reason the DA did not want a judge to hear his case?

  22. "I would say that there are dozens if not hundreds of such encounters throughout the year that end quite differently, with the subject tossing down his weapon of choice and raising his hands."


    The knife was the diversion that bought Chris Burgess a chance to escape two unarmed probation officers.

    Who panicked? Not Chris Burgess.

    Panic caused the school to be locked down. Chris did not need hostages. He had escaped.

    It is not too hard to imagine what was going through Lyles' mind. It had nothing to do with safety and everything to do with enforcement . He is the department's esteemed weapons expert. The children were in "danger". Panic, adrenalin, anger and the need to act drove him into the ravine.

    No witness. No prosecution.

  23. Really? He didn't panic? He grabbed a knife, and threatened them even after being pepper-sprayed if I recall correctly, then ran... I'm sure he was cool as a cucumber.

  24. He sure was. What makes you think Chris was pepper sprayed before he grabbed the knife? Did the probation officers have their gas masks on when they came to the door?

  25. Sigh - I'll pull up the links for you..

  26. Was any consideration given to the pregnant girl friend when probation decided to use pepper spray. The safety of other peoples' small children did figure prominently in some peoples minds.

  27. Who knows if she was even pregnant, that story didn't come out until after the funeral.

  28. Rose how do you continue to be so cool with all the nuts posting that excuse every anti social act and blame everyone with responsibility for others. Today I wished a deputy Merry X-mas and told him to be careful. He was flabergasted and tanked me with a huge smile.

  29. It's a testament to her good, kind, thoughtful, and forgiving nature.

  30. :) Not forgiving.

    Three words: Consider the source.

  31. I don't really get what Mr. Schwartz is talking about - what's his point? Is it supposed to be funny? Because it isn't. As to the unfortunate Mr. Burroughs and the equally unfortunate Ms. Moore, the two cases are completely different - the circumstances faced by the officers in each case are readily distuingushable to anyone with half a brain. Only a nitwit would compare the two cases to draw the conclusion that they collectively indicate EPD has some kind of problem. As to what PVG has cost the community, the question here is judgement. What cases are worth prosecuting? The Palco suit? D. August? S. Marsh? The Whitethorn rapists? Mr. Bowman? Whatever that 245 Mr. Schwartz did that ended up with a declaration of innocence? And now this debacle - PVG has no idea what he is doing. I'm guessing Wes Keat isn't going to walk him through this one.


Comments are open, but moderated, for the time-being. Good luck.