Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Question, really, is "Who's left?" w/update

(Added): What's the takeaway message if you're a potential employer who has come upon this page because one of these people has applied for work? Don't blame the person. Consider the circumstances. Paul Gallegos has "lost," fired or driven away virtually all of Humboldt County's top prosecutors. Reports across the state indicate that everyone knows the office is in chaos. He remains unable to attract top prosecutors to replace those he has "lost." His new hires have little to no experience, and are thrust into high level cases without adequate experience. Working conditions are almost unbearable.

If the rumors that Zach Bird and Jose Mendez are leaving the DA's office are true...
Add them to the list of talent lost:
DDA Ed Borg
DDA Worth Dikeman
DDA Frank Dunnick
DDA Eamon Fitzgerald
DDA Heather Gimle
DDA Paul Hagen
DDA Nicole Hansen
DDA Shane Hauschild
DDA Andrew Isaac
DDA Allison Jackson
DDA Harry Kassakian
DDA Elizabeth Norton
DDA Murat Ozgur
Patrick Pekin
DDA Amanda Penny
DDA Gloria Albin-Sheets
DDA Tim Stoen
Jennifer Strona
DDA Andy Truitt
DDA Nandor Vadas
DDA Rob Wade
Bill Rodstrom
DDA Kelly Neel
Investigator Chris Andrews
Investigator Chris Cook
Investigator Jim Dawson (retired)
Paul's secretary Gail Dias
Office Manager Linda Modell
Investigator Eric Olson
Investigator Kathy Philp (retired)
Investigator Dave Rybarczyk
Investigator Dave Walker
Child Interview Specialist Gillian Wadsworth
Child Interview Specialist Laura Todd
Senior Legal Secretary Melissa Arnold
Alternate Child Interviewer Jennifer Maguire

Question, really, is "Who's left?"

Maggie Fleming, Max Cardoza, Wes Keat, Stacey Eads (on leave),
Allan Dollison, Arnie Klein, Jeff Schwartz,
Mary McCarthy, Davina Smith and Randy Mailman (the newest hire)

Two deputies leave DA's Office 3/8/2007
Update: 6/12/2007
County Counsel Kim Kerr - Longtime employee of the county takes job in Ione

Like Stoen leaving, this is good news... "" Jeffrey Scwhartz is leaving the DA's Office, going in to private practice (No surprise since he has had his "practice" listed in the phone book for the better part of a year, while acting as a prosecutor, which should be a big no-no.) 8/31/07, is gone.

1/2008 Davina Smith moves to the County Counsel's Office.

9/25/08 Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel, who has been handling the (Belant) case, will be leaving the office for another job at the County Counsel Office, Gallegos said. Reportedly back at the DA's Office after a stint at County Counsel.

1/5/10 Kathleen Bryson, now running against Gallegos... ◼ Local attorney throws hat in the ring for DA

Ben McLaughlin, gone.

Many more whose names were never even known to the outside world. Didn't last long enough to count as a blip. Who are they, drop us a note if you can add to the list.

Related: ◼ Unsustainable workload?; DA to continue prosecuting misdemeanors, says employees are overworked - Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard 7/29/12

One to watch

Judge continues McClung hearing

..."The Humboldt County District Attorney’s complaint charges McClung with four felonies, past reports indicate — false imprisonment/person used as a shield, false imprisonment, threatening crime with intent to terrorize and assault with a deadly weapon or great bodily injury force with a kitchen knife — and the misdemeanor resisting arrest or obstructing a public officer.

McClung could get up to two strikes if convicted, past reports indicate, making any future felony a third strike.

McClung is currently on a probation hold from a case that stems from a January 2003 case, in which he pleaded guilty to possessing chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine, as well as to a firearm enhancement.

With the probation penalty and fresh charges combined, McClung faces a maximum prison term of 17 years and eight months, past reports indicate...

“...We have begun a real thorough investigation and it’s put us in a position that we’ve been able to have some discussions with the District Attorney’s Office in regard to reaching an agreement in how we should proceed in this case,” (Russ) Clanton said. “There are many issues in regard to the factual aspects of this case..."

What will the deal be?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Houston Chronicle - After Hurwitz's ordeal, questions remain for FDIC

Interesting reading.
After Hurwitz's ordeal, questions remain for FDIC
Houston Chronicle Aug. 25, 2005, 9:53PM

Was it worth it?

That's the question I put to Charles Hurwitz on Wednesday afternoon as we talked on the phone about the court ruling that awarded the Houston financier and Maxxam, the holding company he controls,$72 million in sanctions against the federal government.

"That's a good question," he said. "Really, it's many questions."

Indeed. My own interest in the Hurwitz case started with a question. A few years ago, I asked why the FDIC would walk away from a case it had spent seven years preparing for and seven years litigating.

The ugly answer is revealed in some 2 million pages of court documents and congressional testimony: It brought the case simply because it could, because Hurwitz had something the government wanted. It walked away when its strong-arm tactics didn't work.

Some questions, though, remain unanswered. Why, for example, did the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. continue to pursue a case its own lawyers predicted, before the case was filed, it probably would lose?

Or why, after getting almost everything they wanted, do environmentalists continue to dog Hurwitz over logging by his Pacific Lumber Co. in Northern California?

The answer, I'm convinced, is Hurwitz himself. He enrages his adversaries with his iron-jawed refusal to accede to their demands. He wouldn't acquiesce to the FDIC. His closest friends told him it wasn't worth it, that fighting the government would ruin him and that it was better to settle and get on with his life.

Meanwhile, environmentalists demonized him for cutting trees that his lumber company owned. He offered to sell his old-growth redwoods to the government, but it didn't want to pay.

So the government tried extortion. It offered to settle the FDIC lawsuit if Hurwitz would surrender the trees, according to documents unearthed during congressional hearings in 2000.

FDIC spokesman David Barr disputes that. He says the agency was never interested in trees, only recovering the $1.6 billion lost in the collapse of Maxxam's United Savings in 1988.

'Never mind'

After keeping Hurwitz in court for seven years, the FDIC tried to walk away from its lawsuit — a billion-dollar twist on Gilda Radner's signature line "never mind."

Barr says this was because a parallel case, pending before an administrative law judge for the Office of Thrift Supervision, had run its course. But the judge in that case essentially found the regulators' claims lacking. Hurwitz agreed to a token settlement, but not the recovery the FDIC wanted.

The old-growth redwoods are now protected in a national forest. The government ultimately paid for the property. Pacific Lumber, in turn, agreed to stringent logging restrictions. The FDIC has been verbally spanked by a federal judge and told to pay Hurwitz $72 million, a sanction that Judge Lynn Hughes noted in his ruling is unprecedented.

It's not over yet

Yet the fight goes on. Environmentalists are trying yet again to restrict Pacific Lumber's logging, this time by claiming that streams are being damaged by erosion from tree cutting. The FDIC intends to appeal Hughes' ruling, Barr says.

The fight goes on because Hurwitz himself goes on, because at every turn he's refused to bow to the incredible pressure brought against him.

Which brings me back to my original question: Was it worth it?

"I'm very gratified with the outcome," Hurwitz said matter-of-factly. "How could I not be?

"If somebody had said 15 years later we'd be here and have spent this kind of money, I probably wouldn't have done it." Then he added: "I always knew we were right."

Opportunities lost

Being right, though, came at a cost. Hurwitz's Maxxam holding company has passed on some potentially lucrative deals. Hughes made reference to the lost opportunities in his ruling.

"He captured the sense of this thing when he talks about taking the entrepreneurial juices away," Hurwitz said. "That's really what happened."

Maxxam has suffered, too. Pacific Lumber recently proposed giving creditors control of its timber operations to reduce debt. Maxxam's shares are trading almost 53 percent below where they were when the FDIC filed its lawsuit 10 years ago. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index has more than doubled during that time.

"This will put us back on a growth path," Hurwitz said. "We'll kind of pick up the pace. We'll divert our energies into other things instead of thinking about the government."

It depends, though, on if the government is done thinking about him.

Hurwitz, of course, says if the FDIC wants to go another round, he will. After all, he says, it's worth it.

Loren Steffy is the Chronicle's business columnist. His commentary appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Copyright 2005

It seems like Charles Hurwitz just can't catch a break
Timber war may live longer than redwoods
FDIC made its bed and can lie in it
Congress Should Hold Hearings on FDIC Abuse of Citizens
With Hurwitz, FDIC got more than it bargained for
Tom Abate on The financial wizard behind Pacific Lumber controversy

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A REAL grassroots movement, and the plan to discredit it

Just as we were so rudely interrupted, Richard was floating the negative talking points aimed at discrediting Ron Arnold's Wise Use Movement, along with He may be interested in this transcription of a tape of an Environmental Grantmakers Association meeting where the discussion is focused on how to fight and discredit what they acknowledge is a TRUE grassroots movement...

They're talking about the people who have lost their jobs and their livelihoods due to increased environmental activism and regulations: "...this growing environmental backlash out there in the country that's really being fueled in large part by a lot of the economic stresses that have been brought to bear through environmental regulations or because people would like to think that they've been brought to bear because of environmental regulations and it's sort of the anti crowd is what we think of as wise use." People who say "your grants are taking away our jobs and that sort of thing."

The speakers notes, among other things, that: "...What we're finding is that wise use is really a local movement driven by primarily local concerns and not national issues. We tend -- you know, when you think of Ron Arnold and you think of Wise Use, you know, you think of command and control, top heavy, corporate funded, front groups that are organizing local people to get involved, get out there and attack environmentalists.

And that was the assumption I walked into this whole thing with. And in fact the more we dig into it, having put together a fifty -- really constructed over a number of months a fifty state fairly comprehensive survey of what's going on with respect to wise use organizing activity--we have come to the conclusion that this is pretty much generally a grass roots movement, which is a problem, because it means there's no silver bullets, it means this is, is, you know, something that is going to have to be confronted in states and communities across the country in different ways depending on what the various local issues are that those wise use groups are dealing with and campaigning on.

Ron Arnold and these other figureheads like Grant Gerber and Chuck Cushman and some of these other leaders -- Don Gerdts -- are not creating the movement. They're trying to get out in front of something that is going on, in fact. They're attempting to assert some control over this grass roots movement that's going on. And they're having a certain amount of success.

They're not having success in coordinating the national wise use grass roots community and coalescing it into one movement that has a common agenda, and works together to fight legislation or to pass bills or to defeat certain members of Congress... "
(Unlike the environmental movement...)

They go on to discuss how they can discredit this REAL grassroots movement, try to regain the moral high ground, and you know "frame the debate" by, among other things, promoting class warfare, pitting the workers against the evil corporations, timber company owners and ranchers, convincing them that it is the environmentalists who really care about them and their livelihoods.

Twist and spin, and structure the debate - Now, you will hear how the environmental activists are really looking out for your interests, you Palco workers. Why, they're going to create "good timber jobs" and, you know, "timber yes, fraud no." Maybe they'll get a few of you to come on board so they can use you as cannon fodder in the next PR volley. Because Palco is not dead yet.

Full transcription Environmental Grantmakers Association 1992 Fall Retreat Session 26: "The Wise Use Movement: Threats and Opportunities"
recommended - An easier-to-read transcription

Time for the crocodile tears

Mark Lovelace brings you, can you believe it? - "A COALITION of environmental, labor, and forestry organizations in a FREE public workshop..." about the Palco bankruptcy.

Well, isn't that special.

How much do you want to bet they aren't going to talk about Ken Miller's "Humboldt Watershed Council's" (read that "all Palco all the time, and only Palco watersheds council" role in the demise of Palco. Will they tell you about the decades long effort of Ken Miller (co-founder of BACH) and all of his other aliases. Will they talk about the concerted PR efforts of Michael Shellenberger, Earth First!, and EPIC.

"Oh, Rose! You are just an apologist for Palco/Hurwitz/Maxaam!"

No. Actually, I am not. But early on in this process, I realized that what I thought I knew about Hurwitz and Palco was the result of a massive negative public relations campaign designed to portray Hurwitz as the "robber baron." As I read Shellenberger's talk of "framing the debate" - how they had pressured public officials, and used the protesters in incidents like the Pepper Spray case to garner national attention, I realized how we have all been played, and how little any of us really know. I realize that I do not have any real information to go on, just the smear campaign presented as fact. He may be that bad. I don't know. And I no longer take it on blind faith.

I am surprised that Hurwitz never fought back, choosing, (wrongly, I think) to let the criticism and attacks roll off his back, thus irrevocably sealing his image in cyberspace.

But I listen to the disingenuous cries of "Who US?!" "Why WE are not to blame for this! It's all Hurwitz. It was his plan from the beginning. The lawsuits , the harassment, the continuous attacks had NOTHING! WHATSOEVER! to do with it!" And when I hear the crocodile tears professing to care about the timberlands and the workers - I am sickened.

Let's talk about what comes next - if Hurwitz leaves the picture - will the attacks cease? Would new ownership be allowed to operate in relative peace? (Did anyone notice how the protesters dried up and went back into the shadows during the most recent election? Standing by to be reactivated on command, no doubt.) Could any potential buyer stand a chance in an industry under such concerted attack?

Who'll be in the crosshairs next? Simpson/Green Diamond? Sierra Pacific/SPI? (oh they already are) Or was this all about getting one man, and not about the old growth/Headwaters at all?

If I were Hurwitz, I would file suit against Ken Miller, Mark Lovelace, Michael Shellenberger, Fenton Communications, Lumina Strategies, and each and every member of the "growing coalition" of attack groups.

It would be a groundbreaking RICOH/racketeering case, because the orgs are a new phenomena. So far they are able to operate outside the law, free from criticism because they wear the "grassroots citizen" cloak.

In the meantime, ask Ken Miller, and Mark Lovelace what is next in their transition mission?

Friday, February 23, 2007

A job for the spin doctor...

Put a nice face on this...

From ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ (Fighting in the Shade) "... CARACAS, Venezuela, Feb. 16 — Faced with an accelerating inflation rate and shortages of basic foods like beef, chicken and milk, President Hugo Chávez has threatened to jail grocery store owners and nationalize their businesses if they violate the country’s expanding price controls..."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Speaking of Child Endangerment...

Whatever happened to Marcus Smith?

"...A traffic stop led to three arrests and the removal of four children from a home where multiple loaded weapons and drugs were found....The Smiths were arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail on suspicion of possession of meth for sale, transportation of meth, possession of cocaine for sale, transportation of cocaine, armed while transporting narcotics, possession of a loaded firearm and possession of a concealed firearm.
The Task Force has also asked to that the Smiths be charged with maintaining a residence to distribute narcotics and child endangerment..."

The "projects"

You just need to learn the jargon...
"Humboldt Moneykeeper," I mean - "Humboldt BAYkeeper," is a "project" of the Ecological Rights Foundation and a national Waterkeeper Alliance "Member"

The Center for Ethics and Toxics (CETOS), is a "project" of the Tides Center.
Just more euphemistic Orwellian titles designed to hide the truth. "PROJECT" means funded by.

You following this? Your donations to "Moneykeeper" go through another Tides Project... - a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by the Tides Foundation in 1999, and a member of the Tides family of organizations.

"...Humboldt Baykeeper has partnered with to facilitate your online credit card transaction...."

Why bother to give them your hard earned money?

Friday, February 16, 2007

ER - Bowman to undergo evaluation

Bowman to undergo evaluation
by Kara D. Machado, 2/16/2007

Derek Bowman is back in the news.

Related stories:
collected here

Who pays?

"Members" create the ILLUSION of grassroots... "It’s a myth that today’s protest culture is an ad hoc gathering of like-minded citizens. ...Most anti-technology activists, whether complaining about biotechnology or global trade, do their best to feed the twin illusions of “grass roots” momentum and “protesting on a dollar a day.” The truth, though, is that the modern Protest Industry has an increasingly centralized command structure; its best-kept secret is its multi-million-dollar cash flow."

Remember Stoen, Gallegos and Salzman's Plan to place full page ads in the San Francisco Chronicle and LA Times to solicit special interest money from "environmentally involved" celebrities in order to privately fund the public prosecution of Pacific Lumber Company?

At the time, the cost of a full page ad in the Los Angeles Times, at open rate is $103,200.00. ($800.00 per inch) $129,000.00 if the ad runs on Sunday ($1,000.00 per inch) and the cost of a full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle, at open rate is $73,788.00. ($572.00 per inch) $77,529.00 if the ad runs on Sunday ($601.00 per inch).

Who was going to pay for these ads? Each one would pay for a staff person in the DA's Office (maybe two), at a time when Gallegos was claiming to be losing people due to budget cuts.

Surely Salzman would have been soliciting your money, just as he solicited your membership and your money to keep Paul in office - to protect the PL Suit. And to use you to claim "grassroots" status.

But it's unlikely he could've raised that kind of money on top of what he has already drawn from this community.

So who would pay?

Activist Cash describes a series of 25 full page ads that appeared in the Times

"...As any advertising executive will tell you, that kind of exposure is expensive. Within a few months of the campaign’s beginning, guessing the source of its money became a popular East Coast parlor game. Even in the pages of the Times itself, columnist Paul Krugman (an M.I.T. economist) asked: “Who’s paying for those ads?”...

An initial answer seemed to be provided at the bottom of each ad, where a partial list appeared of “coalition” members (examples included Greenpeace, Earth Island Institute, the Humane Society of the United States, and Friends of the Earth). Its first ad claimed that Turning Point was “a coalition of more than 50 non-profit organizations.” As the campaign marched forward, the claim grew to “more than 80.” Turning Point’s web site, still operating after nearly two years of advertising silence, now lists 108 “participating organizations.”

In the Fall of 1999 the standard commercial rate for a single full-page ad in the Times was in excess of $117,000. Some reports suggest that Turning Point got a more favorable rate of $87,000 per page, but the group only reported spending $1,164,563 on advertising during its campaign -- making the cost of each ad just over $46,500 -- that breaks down to more than $10,700 for each of Turning Point’s 108 “participating organizations.” This is not an unreasonable sum for today’s big-money environmental groups to come up with, especially considering how easy it is to move money between tax-exempt organizations (Turning Point is one, as are over 90% of its “participating organizations”).

Case closed -- or so it seemed. But tax filings recently released to the public indicate that over 95% of the Turning Point Project’s financing came from one source. It’s not listed among the “participating organizations.” In fact, its name appeared nowhere in any of the advertisements."
Turning Point Project.

Despite the Turning Point Project’s bluster indicating otherwise, its year-long splashy ad campaign was little more than paid political promotion for the radical worldview of Deep Ecology. The vaunted Turning Point “coalition” is an well-conceived smokescreen, but nothing more than that...."

Most businesses here struggle to pay for what little advertising they do. Very few can afford the cost of a full page ad in the Times Standard at about $30 an inch - significantly less than the LA Times & Chronicle.

So who would pay for those full page ads in the Chronicle and LA Times?

Salzman's Plan
Gallegos Request for Opinion
Tim Stoen's letter to the FPPC
The FPPC's Response to Stoen


Salzman International. Illustrator and Artist Representative of ...
Salzman International -- a national and worldwide illustrator representative for advertising, new media, graphic design, editorial and publishing. - 29k - Cached - Similar pages

Animal by-product professionals - Salzman International
Salzman International provides pork pancreas glands, beef pancreas glands, pituitary glands and many other animal by-products to pharmaceutical and ... - 7k - Cached - Similar pages

The Artists of Salzman International
free website counter. - 2k - Cached - Similar pages

Richard Salzman, Salzman International
Salzman International has been providing the most professional and talented illustrators in the country for over twenty years. ... - 8k - Cached - Similar pages

How many local artists signed on with this guy? Humboldt is supposed to have the highest number of artists per capita...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

In the "you just don't get it" file

"...We must be able to trust law enforcement to use good judgment...."

I'm sorry, but does anyone at the Times Standard know WHO prosecuted Mr. Marsh? There seems to be a key name missing from their coverage. (Hint: It isn't Chief Lawson.)
Above the call -- and unnecessary
TS - Complaint demands formal apology

Montana Meth Project

Heraldo mentioned the Montana Meth Project in his discussion on plummeting meth use in Shasta County.

I saw the Meth Project billboards in Montana last summer. They're really gritty, and really intense. I've tried describing them to people (especially the "SCABS, HALLUCINATIONS AND BODY SORES. THEN THINGS REALLY START TO GO DOWNHILL" ad, didn't realize they had TV and radio ads as well. Thanks, heraldo - They encourage you to download them. Here are just a few...

Also on youtube
Just once
Everything else
Junkie Den

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A fair point

Sean, you have to let the Eureka Reporter know that it really is you who wrote the letter, if you want it to be published. This isn't just Salzman's legacy, but all of the newspapers are enforcing their longstanding policy of calling and verifying the person who writes a letter as a result of his letter writing spree.
Sean Marsh letter still unverified; case should not have been prosecuted

In the TS, Jere Bob Bowden asks that "both the city (of Ferndale) formally apologize to Marsh and that the City Council direct the police chief “to personally apologize in public and in writing to Mr. Marsh.”

You should add Paul Gallegos and Jose Mendez to that list.

One question: Was Sean Marsh offered a plea deal, and if so, what was it?

And what ever happened to the Marcus Smith case?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sean Marsh NOT GUILTY - A cartoon, an editorial, an article and letters to the editor.

Includes a letter to the editor from Sean Marsh, setting the record straight, from his perspective.

From my perspective, it's not just that this case should never have gone to trial, it's that it went to trial when so many much more serious cases have not. When there has been little to no prosecution of REAL child abusers and molesters in the past year under Paul Gallegos (one as of last April, according to the statistics at the time). Yet he chooses to prosecute this man whose kid got a few feet ahead of him while walking down Main Street in the quiet town of Ferndale.

Many questions remain. Not the least of which is how this case came to be pulled out of the "Rejected cases" file and reactivated to the point that Gallegos himself participated in the investigation.

From the Ferndale Enterprise:

Editorial: Justice... but at what cost?


That's the word to describe our reaction to the events that unfolded last week and the early part of this week at the Humboldt County Courthouse.

As we watched the trial of Sean Marsh, it was hard to believe that it was real and not some big joke, like many thought the arrest of Marsh was some eight months ago.

The prosecution was weak. No, strike that. The prosecution was embarrassing. Embarrassing to the rookie deputy district attorney who had no evidence and whose cross-examination of Marsh left Ferndalers in the audience shaking their heads.

Yes, the system worked. A jury, thank goodness, used some common sense and ruled in less than 20 minutes that Marsh did nothing wrong (perhaps even shorter than that if you take into consideration the time it takes to pick a foreperson and fill out the judgement forms.)

Who's to blame for this mess and the exorbitant amount of money spent on investigating, prosecuting, and defending Marsh? There's plenty to go around. Of course, Chief Lawson is to blame. But he's not alone. Former City Manager Michael Powers, now in King City, is also involved in this mess. Remember former Councilman Carlos Benneman and Mayor James Moore stating that it would be an "unmitigated disaster" if Powers left? Excuse us? We're still cleaning up the mess he left behind and now the city will most certainly face a lawsuit from Marsh.

As we've pondered why this case was picked up by the DA's office and prosecuted, we look back on those emails from the city manager to this paper. Many of his comments were "off the record." However, it was clear that the complaint filed against the chief by merchant Polly Stemwedel prompted the city manager to stand firmly behind the chief and push strongly for a Marsh conviction. Powers and his supporters boasted about his "fending off" a major lawsuit against the city. He never named the lawsuit publicly, but we can't help but wonder if it involved this case. Can you say backfire? Emails this week to Powers in King City were not answered.

As for Marsh, he'll survive. Worst injustices have occurred. But the damage is done. When future employers "google" his name, the words child endangerment will forever come up. His name has been not only in this paper but others, who we must say have hurt him even worse. (His name was in the Times Standard police blotter when he was arrested... we've yet to see a story about his acquittal.)

The Eureka Reporter massacred its story on Saturday on the Marsh trial. (See the Marsh letter on this page.) It irresponsibly and unfairly gave six paragraphs to a resident's phoned in opinion about the chief. Evelyn Harrison, who did not attend the trial and hear the testimony, is the mother of one-time city council candidate Rachel Harrison - a staunch police department cheerleader, no matter who is in charge. The ER's reporter was in town Friday for lunch at Curley's and was seen taking pictures with her cell phone of the "busy intersection" and Brown and Main. Why, we ask, didn't she do her job and interview a selection of residents instead of taking a phone call at her desk from a resident with a known bias?

It seems like a regular thing now for us to email the editor of that paper to point out mistakes in their coverage of Ferndale. Is it self serving to do so? You betcha. Journalists have a lousy reputation and unless responsible reporting is sought, we'll continue to be in the same column as prosecuting district attorneys are this week. Two days later, a small correction, buried on the bottom of the second page was run. Four days later, after we hounded them again, another correction, excuse me, "clarification," was run. (Coincidentally, Marsh outside of court Tuesday was explaining to the ER reporter the mistakes in her story, and how they could have affected his case, while owner Rob Arkley, a juror in an adjacent courtroom, chatted on his cell phone during a break. Too bad he didn't hear about yet another Ferndale story inaccurately reported.)

Can we as a city move on from this story? Eventually. Now, the city council will have to decide what to do with Marsh's formal complaint. And outside investigation, done after Stemwedels's complaint, has already been completed by the Fortuna Police Department into the chief's actions. It found nothing wrong with the chief's actions.

Marsh, however, deserves a public apology - from the chief, the city and the DA. Many argue he deserves a year's worth of lost wages. (He was let go fro mhis job after being a "no show" at a bank training seminar he was to lead, scheduled at 8 am the morning after his night in jail.)

Life does go on, but this soty is not over.

The system worked, as the DA's office likes to point out. But we ask... at what cost?

Marsh acquitted
Jury finds former Main Street business owner Sean Marsh not guilty of child endangerment or interfering with duties of police officer
Feb. 8, 2007
It took a jury of six men and six women less than 20 minutes Tuesday morning to return to Courtroom Seven at the Humboldt County Courthouse and acquit former main Street business owner Sean Marsh, 38, on charges of child endangerment and interfering with the duties of a police officer.

Eight months after he was arrested on a Wednesday afternoon in Ferndale, while shopping with his eight-month pregnant wife, the former Village baking and catering owner hugged friends outside the courtroom moments after hearing the not guilty judgements.

Ferndale Police Chief Lonnie Lawson, who arrested and charged Marsh, did not wait for the verdict after testifying again on Tuesday.

Several Ferndalers, not necessarily close with the couple, traveled to Eureka to listen to the final day of testimony in a trial that lasted over a week. Some said, after reading news reports, they wanted to see first hand what was going on.

Marsh was charged with child endangerment - likely to produce great bodily harm or death - for allegedly allowing his two-year old son Everett to step off a curb 18 inches into the crosswalk at Main and Brown. He was arrested by Lawson who said he saw the child "running full speed: in front of Lentz Department store on the sidewalk. Marsh could have faced two years in jail. He has denied all along that his son was ever in any danger, and that he was right behind the youngster watching him carefully. He testified that the two had just smelled the flowers in front of the old Nilsen building and that he was on one knee, just getting up, when the chief, who was driving down Main, spotted the toddler.

Chief Lawson pulled into the intersection and parked his car at an angle to protect the child. Marsh, however, says the child was in fact shaken by Lawson's actions and that he was right behind his son to "scoop him up."

Both men differed in their testimony in court last week on what happened next. The chief claims Marsh "brushed him off" after admonishing him to keep a better watch on his child. Marsh testified that he raised his hand as to say, "I got it."

Lawson then pulled his car into a parking place near Lentz's, got out and approached Marsh. he claims Marsh was uncooperative and that he had to grab his shoulder. Marsh however, testified he was always cooperative and answered Lawson's questions.

He did not, however, produce written identification when asked by Lawson.

"I'm not required to by law," Marsh said after his acquittal Tuesday. "I gave the chief my name and birthdate."

That law was critical during judge Timothy Cissna's instructions to the jury Tuesday. He explained to the jury that one is not required to produce written identification when approached on the street by an officer.

Lawson took the stand twice in the course of the trial and had only one witness. Kevin Hamilton, owner of the Wild Blackberry Cafe, testified that he too saw the child on the sidewalk when he was driving down Main Street and exercised caution while making a U-turn.

Lawson took the stand for a second time Tuesday morning for last-minute questioning by prosecutor Jose Mendez, who attempted to prove that Lawson was not "angry" that day, as several witnesses to the arrest testified, but rather in "a very good mood."

Lawson said he had just received word that someone had donated $3,000 to the police department to purchase new body armor. He was on his way to tell former City Manager Michael Powers the news when he noticed the toddler running down the sidewalk.

Lentz's owner Polly Stemwedel filed a complaint with the city several weeks after the arrest, stating that she saw the chief during the arrest and was shocked by the angry look on his face.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Mendez discredited Stemwedel's testimony by stating that she had admitted to having a "prior beef" with the chief and often "complained to her husband" about him. He asked Lawson on the stand "if during the whole process, did he notice Mrs. Stemwedel?"

"I never saw her." replied Lawson.

"Did you make eye contact with her?" asked Mendez.

"I might have, but I don't recall seeing her there. I can't say one way or another."

During his closing arguments, Mendez repeated a theme of, "What's a police officer supposed to do?" He also called the defense a "Blame Chief Lawson defense."

"What would you do if you saw a kid on the sidewalk...walking to an intersection?" he asked jurors. "We pay money to them to investigate, put their noses in there, make sure things are okay. It would have been almost a dereliction of duties if he hadn't."

Mendez then stated that Lawson "put a hand" on Marsh's shoulder "to get him to stop." Marsh however testified that at no time did he not stop for Lawson.

"He became confrontational on certain levels." continued Mendez, describing Marsh's attitude. Witnesses on the defense side, however, such as Marilyn Benneman, Abraxas Shoe Store owner Brett Boynton, and real estate agent Jake Drake, all testified that Marsh just stood there and was not saying a word.

"Everyone else saw things after the major crux of the case," argued Mendez. "They saw someone being arrested. He has the right to ask for written identification."

Mendez continued describing a picture of Marsh attempting "to leave," although that allegation hadn't come up in previous testimony.

"I'm asking you to hold him accountable for his responsibilities," he concluded, referring to Marsh.

Public Defender Angela Fitzsimmons quickly summed up her closing arguments.

"Mr. Marsh was arrested not because he was engaged in any criminal conduct, but because he flunked the attitude test." she stated.

Fitzsimmons described Marsh as a loving and attentive father, proving that by his own testimony detailing his trip up Main Street with his son.

"Not only was he watching, but interacting," she said

She noted that the prosecution's only witness testified that he never saw the toddler enter the street.

"The evidence shows the little boy reached the end of the curb," she said, "that's it."

By convicting Marsh, Fitzsimmons told the jury, the DA would be "setting a standard" for child endangerment that would "snare innocent parents."

"That standard is ludicrous," she said while describing everyday events that occur when parents are taking care of children. "I'm sure the DA has the resources to pursue the real endangerment cases, since this week those resources were used to pursue this case."

As far as Marsh not showing written identification, Fitzsimmons explained that the law allows you to "turn away.:

"It may be rude, but it's not illegal," she said. "Officer Lawson, however, didn't like that."

Fitzsimmons then said that Lawson shoed "little or no concern" for the child, noting that he ordered Marsh to hand the child to Jake Drake, who was inside the store helping Marsh's wife Allison, shop for shoes. Drake, upon seeing the arrest outside, thought the situation was a joke and when asked by Lawson if the toddler was her child, joked back by pinching Marsh's cheek and stating, "No, this is my child."

The defender noted that the chief never contacted Allison to check on the child, or made no effort to make sure the child was in the hands of a caretaker.

She also noted the speed of the whole incident.

"Did you notice, this was the fastest investigation in the world? It all happened in minutes. How possibly, using a professional method, can you investigate child endangerment in about five minutes? In 20 minutes he had completed his report."

Fitzsimmons then noticed those in the audience and those that had testified in Marsh's defense.

"These are respectable business owners," she said. "They make up the backbone of the Ferndale business community. These are not anarchists."

Finally Fitzsimmons questioned why the DA charged Marsh.

"Did he hear Mrs. Stemwedel filed a complaint? Did he think it would be heard in the press? We can only surmise that the complaint against Officer Lawson was the reason that this case was brought to trial."

After the jury was excused, several told The Enterprise that "there just wasn't enough proof" and that "anyone who has a child knows that they can run away from you."

"there wasn't much to it," said juror Kenneth Willhoite about the case.

While defense attorney Fitzsimmons kept her usual practice of not talking to the media, prosecutor Mendez stated in an email later to The Enterprise that "we believe in the jury system... and respect it."

"I am obviously evaluating the case to see what I think worked and what didn't, though this process may take days or weeks."

Marsh, visibly relieved to have the case behind him after eight months, reiterated that the chief misperceived the situation from the beginning.

As for not showing his identification, Marsh said he was "standing up for his rights."

He also said he has thought about the case every day for eight months and that the effects of his ordeal are long term.

"Every article has involved the words child endangerment," he said. "Fifty people during jury selection saw that I'm the guy arrested for child endangerment. It's absolutely the most ludicrous thing. My wife almost died giving birth to my son. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Marsh said he wants a public apology from the chief.

"He wronged our family and wronged the entire community."

Reached later, Lawson had no comment.


Letters to the editor:

Questions about the Marsh case
Dear Editor:

We, along with other residents of Ferndale, have followed with interest the proceedings involving Sean Marsh. We have appreciated the coverage that you have given this series of events. Several questions, however, have arisen in our minds.
1. How much has this prosecution, including the arrest and incarceration of the defendant and the investigation of the "scene of the crime" by the district attorney and his staff, the jury trial, the entire proceeding cost the taxpayers of Ferndale and Humboldt County, and more importantly, cost the accused?
2. More important questions arise:
--a. Why was the defendant arrested rather than cited?
--b. Why was he taken to jail and required to post $50,000 bail?
--c. Why did the district attorney's office decide to proceed with prosecution after reportedly rejecting the case ("pending more investigation')?
We are privileged to live in Ferndale, a law-abiding, gentle and kind community. However, we are troubled than an event which could have been treated as a minor incident blossomed into what it has become.
Yours truly,
Patricia Hofstetter
Sally Tanner

Charged responds to reporting inaccuracies
(Ed.'s note: The following letter was submitted to the Eureka Reporter in response to several factual errors in an article published Saturday regarding the Sean Marsh case.)
Dear Editor:

The article submitted by Kara D. Machado on February 3, 2007 (Eureka Reporter) regarding the proceedings against Sean Marsh is inaccurate and contains elements more suited to the opinion page.

First, Machado asserts facts about Marsh's testimony that are false and libelous. Second, in an article purporting to be an accurate representation of facts involved in a trial, fully one third of the article is devoted to opinions from a person neither involved with the trial nor present at the proceedings. These opinions are misrepresentative of the issues being brought up at trial and are not indicative of the Ferndale community.

Machado's statement, "Marsh admitted he did not first stop for Lawson," is factually incorrect. The facts, as stated by Marsh in his testimony, are that Lawson did not order or request Marsh to stop. Rather, Lawson said, "You need to hold his hand (referring to Marsh's son)," Marsh acknowledged Lawson's statement by raising his hand, picked up his son, and turned around to walk back up the sidewalk. Shortly thereafter, Lawson pulled his cruiser to the curb, exited the vehicle and walked toward Marsh. Marsh having heard a door slam, turned to see Lawson behind him. Marsh stopped and turned to face Lawson. The encounter that followed is at the heart of this trial.

Not only did Marsh not "admit that he did not first stop for Lawson." but Marsh did in fact stop for Lawson as soon as it became apparent that the officer wanted to speak with him.

Machado's inaccurate statement is not a fair and true report of Marsh's testimony and fails to capture the substance of that testimony. Her reporting creates an inaccurate effect on the reader.

Furthermore, Machado did not arrive at the courtroom in time to hear Marsh's testimony. Having missed the bulk of the proceeding, Machado tried to get Marsh to speak with her "on the record" outside the courtroom. Marsh declined as instructed by his legal counsel.

Machado had an exchange with a member of the public defender's office where she defended her reputation for fair and accurate reporting. Having missed the actual testimony, it's curious how Machado acquired her version of the facts.

Depending on her source, Machado may be guilty of actual malice for her reckless disregard for the falsity of her statements.

Regarding the "opinion piece" encapsulated in Machado's report, this is a fine example fo irresponsible reporting. The opinions put forth by Evelyn Harrison are certainly not relevant to Marsh's testimony, and are not representative of the Ferndale community.

Harrison opines that the intersection of Brown and Main is 'hub' of Ferndale. really? This is simply a misrepresentation of fact. Brown is two blocks long. It has a "T" intersection with Main at one end, and the residential street of Craig on the other.

Brown is a wonderful street, but it Is not utilized to get anywhere. In the Main Street business district, Brown in undeniably the least traveled street. the other streets intersecting Main within the business district, Ocean, Shaw and Washington each are used to access the outlying areas of Ferndale and other communities.

In fact, the only time Brown could be considered a "highly congested traffic area" is when there is a fire, because it is then utilized by all of the volunteer firemen and the fire department equipment. During such an event, the siren is blaring, and all are aware that the intersection will soon be active. Literally, at all other times, a dog could take a leisurely nap in the middle of Brown and scarcely be bothered. Just to drive this point home, Main at Brown is the single most common place in Ferndale for Main Street drivers to make a U-turn. This is a resounding indictment; that drivers would rather risk an illegal maneuver in the middle of Main than trouble themselves with turning down Brown. It just doesn't go anywhere.

Harrison next expounds on the virtues of Officer Lawson. She states that Lawson is and "outstanding citizen and a wonderfully caring man. He's not the hothead police officer he's been portrayed to be. He is a gentleman."

One can deduce that Harrison knows Lawson socially. How Lawson acts in his social circles, however is irrelevant to the trial at hand. Harrison was not present at the incident involved in this trial. I assume she doesn't ride with Lawson during his shifts as police officer either. So her assertion that Lawson is not a "hothead police officer" is not based on any relevant observation.

It reminds me of the statements we hear from people who live next door to serial killers. They always say, "I'm shocked, he was such a nice quiet man."

So rather than the unfounded musings of a misguided friend to Lawson, why didn't Machado report on the testimony of the five defense witnesses who observed Lawson's interaction with Marsh?

Independently, these five witnesses described Lawson as "yelling" at Marsh, "pointing his finger in his face." "clearly agitated," :out of control," "staring with eyes so full of anger and hatred." The witnesses also described Marsh as "calm," "quiet," "just standing there holding his son."

Lawson in his testimony, stated "I never get emotional," and later added "I never get angry." According to the witnesses, Lawson's statements are incorrect.

Just for fun, let's look at another statement Lawson gave during his testimony. Lawson stated that he originally saw Marsh 200 feet from his child who was about to run into the street.

In a time span that Lawson estimated at 2 or 3 seconds, he pulled his car into the intersection, looked up and Marsh was picking up his son. Marsh had somehow covered 200 feet in two or three seconds? The world record for the 100 yard dash without starting blocks was set by Frank Wykoff in 1930 in a time of 9.4 seconds. At that pace, Wykoff could have covered 200 feet in about 6.1 seconds.

Lawson's testimony has Marsh covering that same distance twice, if not three times, as fast as the world record pace. Either Lawson is again incorrect, or Marsh should be pursuing a career as an elite runner.

Finally, Harrison does make one statement of opinion that is relevant to this case. She states of Lawson, "I would trust him with my life and the lives of any of my family members," Well, that's good, because as a police officer of Ferndale, our entire community has trust in officer Lawson. The entire community trusts that Lawson will uphold the laws of our village, state and country. We further trust that Lawson will respect the constitution and protect the civil rights and liberties of every citizen in our community.

And this brings up the relevance to this case. Marsh also trusted Lawson. It appears from the testimony at trial, that Lawson violated that trust. According to the testimony, Lawson acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when arresting Marsh. Lawson was not acting in a lawful course in his duties to detain Marsh, and had questionable constitutional authority to demand Marsh produce an identification document after Marsh had identified himself verbally.

Furthermore, there was testimony that Lawson twisted Marsh's handcuffs as a punitive measure. This technique was denounced by our current administration when it was discovered that twisting handcuffs of prisoners at Abu Ghraib had become a common form of torture.

Whether Marsh or Lawson are "gentlemen" is irrelevant to this case, and therefore should not be the subject of an article reporting on the testimony in the case.

The testimony is that Lawson perceived a situation incorrectly. Lawson then confronted Marsh in an aggressive and confrontational manner. Marsh attempted to walk away from the confrontation and Lawson detained Marsh without cause. Lawson ordered Marsh, a pedestrian, to produce identification documents. Marsh immediately identified himself verbally. Marsh asserted that Lawson's demand for physical documentation of identity constituted an illegal search.

Unable to admit his mistake in perceiving the situation, and unwilling to acquiesce that Marsh had identified himself within the scope of the constitution, Lawson arrested Marsh.

Machado has served this community unjustly with her inaccurate and irresponsible article. She has defamed Sean Marsh by not verifying the truth or falsity of her reported "facts." Further, she has confused the public by publishing narrowly held opinions in an article representing itself as factual reporting. Please print an equally conspicuous retraction to the original article, or print this letter in response to the original article.

Sean and Allison Marsh

Ferndale Enterprise Sean Marsh NOT GUILTY - A cartoon, an editorial, an article and letters to the editor
ACQUITTED ER - Sean Marsh not guilty on all counts, jury decides Tuesday
Ferndale Enterprise - DA explains Marsh "child endangerment" prosecution
ER - Sean Marsh testifies on his own behalf in child endangerment trial
ER - Marsh denies letting 2-year-old toddler walk unattended in road
Word to the Wise:
Don't Cop an Attitude in Ferndale

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sean Marsh - ACQUITTED

Sean Marsh not guilty on all counts, jury decides Tuesday
by Kara D. Machado, 2/7/2007

"...The not guilty verdicts were reached in a little less than half an hour of jury deliberation Tuesday..."

Is that a new record?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Paul Gallegos visits the scene of the crime

Image Source:

The Ferndale Enterprise Quote of the Week: "This is not the crime of the century. I'll concede that entirely." Humboldt County DA Paul Gallegos on the Sean Marsh case.

Interesting statement given the facts revealed in the Enterprise's story. Why - did you know that Gallegos visited the scene of the crime - the corner where Sean Marsh's son stepped a foot off the curb? Seems like he's taking it very seriously indeed. Tempting as it is to editorialize, I'll refrain. But pay attention to Gallegos' responses to the reporter.

DA explains Marsh "child endangerment" prosecution
February 1, 2007 The Ferndale Enterprise Front Page Story

subhead - Paul Gallegos paid a visit to Brown and Main for a first-hand look at intersection where toddler allegedly entered into crosswalk 18 inches.

"When is it appropriate? After the child is run over?"

That was the answer Tuesday afternoon from Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos after he was asked by The Enterprise if it was appropriate for his office to be prosecuting Sean Marsh.

Marsh, a former Main Street business owner, is on trial this week on two misdemeanor charges - child endangerment and interfering with the duties of a police officer. the former Village Baking & Catering owner allegedly allowed his toddler son to enter the crosswalk a distance of 18 inches at Brown and Main without supervision.

Ferndale Police Chief Lonnie Lawson, who happened to be in the area at the time Marsh's son allegedly headed into the crosswalk, pulled over to talk to Marsh after witnessing the alleged incident. Marsh, states the Chief in his report, was asked for his identification several times but refused to show his license. Instead, Marsh identified himself by name only.

Marsh has contended that his son was under his watchful eye the entire time he was visiting with fellow merchants on Main Street and did not enter the intersection, and in fact could have been hurt by the chief's action of pulling into the crosswalk.

The chief, apparently frustrated with Marsh's attitude, instructed him to turn over his young son to Ferndale Real Estate's Jake Drake, while he handcuffed Marsh after calling for backup, and put him in his patrol car. Drake has stated that she was a stranger to the chief and was concerned about him turning over the child. (Drake, along with several other Ferndalers, is scheduled to testify at the trial.)

Marsh's nine-months pregnant wife eventually emerged from inside Abraxas Shoes where she had been shopping to learn of her husband's situation.

Marsh was then taken to the Humboldt County Jail, where he spent the night on $50,000 bail. He was released in the morning. More than six weeks later the case was reopened and Marsh was arraigned.

Originally the DA's office told The Enterprise the case was "rejected" due to further investigation needed. However, Gallegos on Tuesday said, according to the file, a complaint request was received June 1 and filed on June 5.

"It was not originally rejected," he stated.

However further clarification with the criminal desk at the DA's office shows that a "statement of probable cause" from the FPD was filed on June 5 and not a complaint. "The case was declined on June 1 "due to further investigation needed." And it was not until July 18 that the case was reopened - after Main Street merchant Polly Stemwedel filed a complaint against the chief.

An investigation done by the Fortuna Police Department cleared the chief of any wrong doing.

Meanwhile the detention slip from the jail provided to The Enterprise states that Marsh was released from jail because "there was insufficient grounds for making a criminal complaint."

Marsh, the evening after his arrest, attended a Ferndale City Council meeting and asked for a public apology from the chief. The request was ignored.

Gallegos, meanwhile, said Tuesday that he and deputy Jose Mendez paid a lunchtime visit to the Brown and Main intersection three weeks ago to see exactly where the alleged incident took place.

"I think every attorney, if you're going to trial, should go and look at the site." said Gallegos, adding that it's the state's duty to enforce the laws.

"We have an obligation as parents to try and take reasonable steps to protect our children," he said. "When a parent fails to do that, the state has to step in and do that."

Gallegos commented on the fact that he has children as well and knows that "kids do run off."

"It certainly is a fine line," he said. "Is it the most egregious conduct in the world? No. But there is, quite frankly, not necessarily egregious conduct and we have to prosecute. Those are the laws. we then give it to a jury and let them decide what they think about it."

Gallegos denied any link between merchant Stemwedel's complaint against the chief and the reopening of the case.

Gallegos continued in a lengthy interview on the case, stating that while he "would not weigh in on the parent's intent," he didn't think that Marsh "lacked love or a desire to take care of the kid."

"The facts, however, as we understand, show that it wasn't the safest thing for the kid," said Gallegos.

Marsh's trial began on Monday in Judge Timothy Cissna's courtroom in Humboldt County Superior Court. Jury selection took up most of the morning on Tuesday and Deputy DA Mendez predicted the case would take up five mornings.

Several motions were filed by Mendez on Monday to apparently exclude the testimony of several witnesses.

The case file was unavailable for review and Mendez, when asked via email for clarification of the motions, stated, "I understand the desire to know everything about a case involving people in your community (especially for a reporter). However, I do not wish to subvert (or even be seen as attempting to subvert) the court process by putting this trial in a newspaper. At this point, the court file is a matter of public record and can be viewed by anyone who comes to the courthouse and makes the request. I also do not wish to go into why certain motions were made (or not) by one side or the other. As to plea offers, there is a certain amount of confidentiality that can be expected in negotiations. For the sake of all parties involved, I will not go into what was contemplated in negotiations by either side to resolve the case."

However, when Gallegos was asked by The Enterprise about the motions, he put the phone on hold and fetched the file.

Upon returning, he explained three motions had been filed with the first to exclude the testimony of Marilyn Benemann, the wife of former City Councilman Carlos Benemann, a witness to the event.

Gallegos then stopped reading the motions, stating he was not sure whether it was appropriate to be revealing the information in them.

"I'm not trying to conceal information from the public," he stated, "I'm just not sure what the court is going to do."

Gallegos, however was later asked by The Enterprise to make the motions public, per the California Public Records Act. Just before press time, Gallegos emailed The Enterprise and said Mendez would make the motions available. They were not available by press time.

Meanwhile in his earlier interview, the district attorney conceded that the Marsh case was "not the crime of the century."

"I'll concede that entirely," he said. "if the case should have been dismissed, we would have dismissed it. We always try to evaluate cases fairly...sometimes we're wrong."

Calls and emails, meanwhile to Marsh's public defender Angela Fitzsimmons were not returned.

In addition to the story, The Enterprise masterful cartoonist Jack Mays depicts a mock newspaper with an illustration of the arrest and the banner headline "Gallegos gets tough on Toddler Wandering - Leash Law now applies to all Ferndale Children.

Mock front page stories "Crime running rampant in Humboldt County - children found in locked car - police discovered two children locked in a car at the Bayshore Mall. The temperature was 120 degrees... Toddlers exposed to toxic fumes at Eureka Meth Lab... Eureka Police shoot "fleeing juvenile"... a twelve year old juvenile was shot sixty four times by Eureka Police Officers. the victim was trying to climb the new fence surrounding the Balloon Track. The reasons for the shooting were unclear at press time. According to a spokesperson for the District Attorney's office there were no investigators available at this time, the entire staff is currently investigating the wandering juvenile case in Ferndale....Crime in Humboldt County cited as reason for Tourism decline... Irate business owners, city governments, tourism board and film commission are all up in arms over the County District Attorney's Office. The General Complaint is that Gallegos is pre-occupied with child wandering cases and he doesn't have time for felony cases.... Gallegos was quoted as saying "No child will be left behind, blah, blah, blah, blah."

Funny stuff. If only it wasn't so serious.

(transcribed from the hard copy edition)
Ferndale Enterprise Sean Marsh NOT GUILTY - A cartoon, an editorial, an article and letters to the editor
ACQUITTED ER - Sean Marsh not guilty on all counts, jury decides Tuesday
ER - Sean Marsh testifies on his own behalf in child endangerment trial
ER - Marsh denies letting 2-year-old toddler walk unattended in road
NCJ - Word to the Wise: Don't Cop an Attitude in Ferndale

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Another Grand Jury Accusation? UPDATED

What did we learn from the Debi August case?

A Grand Jury Accusation Proceeding is a "100-year-old procedure is a rarely used method for removing corrupt government officials from office. The last time it was applied in Humboldt County was 1975." (TS May 22, 2005)

And now, Humboldt County sees its second accusation proceeding under Paul Gallegos. For what? Blue Lake Police Chief Dave Gundersen may have checked the wrong box on a DMV form when referring a driver for a medical exam. Can't wait to see how this one unfolds - and whether or not Gallegos will put Dollison in charge of the prosecution.

Court provides grand jury proceeding transcripts to attorney


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye

Friday, February 02, 2007

Gallegos' pleading

Gallegos, Tim Stoen and Ken Miller's suit against Pacific Lumber Co. did not pass demurrer. This doesn't just mean that his case doesn't have merit. It means it has no foundation in law. Despite this, Gallegos filed this appeal.

- DA's webpage

For more information:
The People v. Pacific Lumber Co. et al. Division 3 Case Number A112028
Case summary

Sign up for email notification of any progress in this case:
E-mail Notification 1st Appellate District

Gallegos' theatre of the absurd

We'll just let all the bad guys go and we'll prosecute this guy? You must be kidding! How dare you.

"...Ferndale Police Chief Lonnie Lawson alleges Sean Marsh failed to keep his toddler from danger when Marsh allegedly let his child walk off the curb of Main Street and 18 inches into the roadway at the intersection with Brown Street.

Marsh, however, has stated in media reports that he was calling his 2-year-old son Everett to come back to him — as Marsh walked about 15 feet behind the toddler — and that Everett got only as far as the curb of the intersection.

Thursday was Marsh’s second day of jury trial..."

We'll let the Whitethorn rapists off because - why was it again? But we'll put the full weight of the law behind THIS ONE.

Ferndale Enterprise Sean Marsh NOT GUILTY - A cartoon, an editorial, an article and letters to the editor
ACQUITTED ER - Sean Marsh not guilty on all counts, jury decides Tuesday
Ferndale Enterprise - DA explains Marsh "child endangerment" prosecution
ER - Sean Marsh testifies on his own behalf in child endangerment trial
ER - Marsh denies letting 2-year-old toddler walk unattended in road
Word to the Wise:
Don't Cop an Attitude in Ferndale