Friday, February 29, 2008

Pointing a flare gun

Just interesting... regarding pointing flare guns at police...
Police kill flare-gun-wielding C. Fla. man
A 62-year-old convicted pedophile shot and killed while holding a flare gun Wednesday was a Sunday school teacher and assistant pastor at a Central Florida church, police said.

Sheriff's deputies and Orlando police officers were performing surveillance on the man, who was wanted on charges of capital sexual battery on a 7-year-old.

Orange deputies shoot, kill sex-offense suspect wielding flare gun

About 3:15 p.m., deputies saw the man head for his parked Toyota Corolla and try to drive away, Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Solomons said.

The deputies turned on the lights and sirens on their unmarked car and ordered him to stop, Solomons said. When the 62-year-old man raised a loaded, single-shot flare gun wrapped in a cloth and pointed it at them, the deputies fired, Solomons said.

"They did what they're supposed to do, which is to take defensive action," Sheriff Kevin Beary said.

The man was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The comment threads are particularly interesting.

Gallegos to face difficulty upholding burden of proof - UPDATED


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Gundersen’s attorney: Gallegos to face difficulty upholding burden of proof

Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen’s attorney, Russell J. Clanton... said he’s reviewed the amended complaint that Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos filed Wednesday, which added four charges to the 15 already alleged against Gundersen. But he hasn’t received all of the evidence.... said he was troubled by the timing Gallegos chose to file the new charges — the day Gundersen was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing...

“It appears the DA is developing his case as we go forward,” Clanton said. He said it’s horribly unfair, and called it a “witch hunt” and “character assassination.”

TS Gundersen's lawyer: A 'witch hunt'

Clanton said he believes the charges are rooted in an ongoing custody battle between Gundersen and his ex-wife, who is an employee with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office.

While Clanton said he still holds that opinion, it appears there are people in the law enforcement community “with an ax to grind.” He also said evidence to support the latest charges are trickling in from the DA's office, putting the defense at a disadvantage.

Gallegos said “everyone will hear what the facts are and they'll be tested in court, as opposed to someone saying something.”

TS Court documents shed light on Gundersen case

...The court documents outline how the allegation of spousal rape was initially reported, list items reportedly found during law enforcement searches and offer some insight as to why District Attorney Paul Gallegos is now labeling Gundersen's wife {Jane Doe}, the alleged victim, as a hostile witness.

According to the documents, the case developed on Feb. 8 over the course of about 14 hours, beginning with the alleged victim being interviewed by law enforcement, followed by the issuance of search and arrest warrants, Gundersen's arrest and his wife later stepping back from her allegations....

The probable cause document states that during the meeting she claimed her husband had sex with her “hundreds of times” while she was incapacitated after she took sleeping pills, most recently the night before. She also reported finding photographs taken without her knowledge on a computer about six months earlier and confronting her husband about them.

While the timeline is unclear, according to the same document, Gundersen's current wife and his ex-wife spoke while she was at the McKinleyville substation, where his ex-wife works as an office clerk. At some point, the ex-wife relayed information to Morey, which prompted his involvement in the investigation, the document states....

It also states the alleged victim had previously told the ex-wife about her concerns regarding Gundersen, and had given the ex-wife an external hard drive from Gundersen's home computer, which she believed to contain non-consensual nude photographs of her.

The alleged victim, referred to as Jane Doe, was questioned in a videotaped interview at the substation. District Attorney Paul Gallegos said Thursday that there is law to support admitting the videotaped interview as evidence in court...

”Jane said that is what she told us, but now in her mind the sex was consensual,” the report states. “I asked Jane if the suspect asked her if he could have sex with her. Jane said no. I asked Jane if the suspect knew she was under the influence of a sleeping aid. Jane said yes, the suspect told her to take it. I stated the suspect knew she was under the influence of a sleeping aid, and he had sex with her, without her permission. Jane said yes. Jane said now, in her mind, it was consensual sex.”

...”If we have evidence of other criminal activity, we'll file charges,” Gallegos said. “The defendant has the right to a trial and the presumption of innocence always applies. The burden of proof is always on us.”

Related coverage, with links


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Thursday, February 28, 2008

A recurring story

Writer says DA and media think mountain lions more newsworthy than crimes

Dear Editor,

Are the residents of Humboldt County more concerned with a mountain lion attack or being a victim of a criminal attack? The local newspapers seem to think that mountain lions are more of a threat and more newsworthy than the criminal element infesting our streets.

I arrive at that conclusion because when I submitted a letter to both newspapers regarding my being an assault victim, both papers declined to publish it because it was too long. I thought the news outlets would be interested in knowing that, based on my own experience, prosecuting criminals does not appear to be a high priority for our District Attorney’s office. I was wrong.

Apparently, it’s not news when a man is assaulted and beaten by four alcohol-influenced street punks in “Friendly Fortuna” and only two are prosecuted. It’s also not news when the D.A.’s office is apathetic about conducting an investigation even after stating three times that they would.

It must not be news that if my wife had not urged concerned citizens to write letters to the D.A. they wouldn’t have prosecuted anyone, despite one or more being on probation at the time of the assault.

I guess it’s also of no interest that the investigator, who didn’t have time to investigate, called to let me know my wife was not a credible witness. She was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher before the creeps jumped me. She watched the entire incident, but she’s “not credible

By Manny Mello, Fortuna
Published: Feb 27 2008, 6:13 PM

What, no DA asset forfeiture assault team?

ER - Deputies, officers raid two locations in Southern Humboldt

On Wednesday evening, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Humboldt County Code Enforcement Unit and Humboldt County Drug Task Force in serving a search warrant on a parcel of property located off Woods Ranch in Redway.

TS - Redway pot busts net pot plants, assault rifles More than 3,500 marijuana plants, three assault rifles, two diesel generators, 80 pounds of pot and two quad runners were seized from two pieces of property in Redway earlier this week, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office said today.

Search warrants were served on two parcels of property off Woods Ranch on Monday and Tuesday by the Sheriff's Office, the Humboldt County Code Enforcement Unit and the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.

No suspects were at the property searched on Monday, but a suspect has been identified through evidence found on the property, the Sheriff's Office said in a statement. An arrest warrant for marijuana cultivation, possession for sales of marijuana and possession of LSD will be requested through the Humboldt County District Attorney.

Officers seized 2,570 growing marijuana plants that ranged in size from 1 inch to 4 feet from three structures. They also seized three assault rifles and a small amount of LSD from the residence on the property. Lastly officers seized two quad runners and a 70-kilowatt diesel generator that was supplying power to the indoor pot growing operation.

On Tuesday, law enforcement personnel served another search warrant at another parcel of property off Woods Ranch. They seized 1,251 growing marijuana plants that ranged in size from 1 inch to 4 feet from four structures on the property. Officers also seized a 15 kilowatt diesel generator that was supplying power to an indoor growing operation and 80 pounds of dried pot on the property.

Two Redway men were arrested on charges of cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sales. David Shriver, 36, posted bail, and Eric Eastridge, 31, is still in custody and bail has been set at $30,000.

State of mind

URGENT ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial.
☛ ER
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.
The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.

Original post: TS State of mind

Friends of Cheri Lyn Moore questioned during grand jury proceedings that led to charges of involuntary manslaughter against top Eureka police officials seem to disagree over whether her death might have been, as a defense expert insisted, suicide by cop.

An expert provided by Lt. Tony Zanotti, SWAT team commander on April 14, 2006, told the grand jury that Moore showed a number of signs that she was suicidal and that she intended for police to kill her. Expert George Williams said that any non-suicidal suspect faced with three armed policemen would have surrendered.

”The police weren't out there fishing for this,” Williams told the grand jury under questioning by Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos. “She initiated this action....”

More On Gunderson charges UPDATED


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


ER Four new charges against Gundersen

They include one felony count of allegedly using a firearm to kidnap or carry away an alleged victim for the purpose of rape around March 7, 1999 — an alleged violation of California Penal Code 209 (b)(1).

This alleged victim is not Gundersen’s wife or his former wife, Gallegos said. The alleged offense is considered a felony under PC 1192.7 (c)(8) and a violent felony under PC 667.5 (c)(8).

Gundersen is further accused of one felony count of allegedly selling, offering to sell, possessing or knowingly transporting a Heckler & Koch MP5 machine gun — around Feb. 8 — an alleged violation of PC 12220 (a)....

The third charge — one felony count of possessing a silencer for firearms — also occurred near Feb. 8. It is an alleged violation of PC 12520.

Lastly, he was charged with one count of allegedly violating California Vehicle Code Section 1808.45, for disclosing information from an unnamed-department record, using false representation to obtain the record, using the information for a purpose other than what it was requested for, or participating in the sale or distribution of the information without prior disclosure around Sept. 28.

Gundersen pleaded not guilty to all four counts. At his arraignment on Feb. 13, he pleaded not guilty to all the previous charges.

TS Gundersen faces new charges of kidnapping, possessing a machine gun

Gundersen's wife, one of the alleged victims in the case, was in court with her attorney. Gallegos asked the judge to order her return to court Monday, stating she may be a hostile witness.

”We clearly expect her to be a hostile witness,” Gallegos said after leaving court. “Her interests now are hostile -- not in the sense of swinging -- but hostile to the case.”

Feeney made the order, and Gallegos said he expects the alleged victim to be on the witness stand for several hours Monday.

TS Blue Lake changed policy to allow Gundersen, wife to work together
Related coverage, with links


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gundersen faces additional charges - UPDATED


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


The Times-Standard reports Gundersen faces additional charges.

The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office charged Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen, who already stands accused of spousal rape, with more counts today, including the kidnapping and rape of another victim and selling, attempting to sell or transporting a machine gun.
Gundersen already stood accused of 12 counts of spousal rape while using “an intoxication and anesthetic substance,” as well as several charges allegedly committed while in custody: Attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, willfully violating a court order and being in possession of a controlled substance without a prescription....

Related coverage, with links


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


More testimony emerges

‘Fatal funnel’ for law enforcement in Cheri Lyn Moore stand off

Updated list of Cheri Moore related coverage with links HERE

Monday, February 25, 2008

Propaganda, Photoshop, and Honor

Source includes large image and detailed points
HONG KONG -- It turns out that train tracks in Tibet aren't where the antelope play.

Earlier this week, Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, issued an unusual public apology for publishing a doctored photograph of Tibetan wildlife frolicking near a high-speed train.

The deception -- uncovered by Chinese Internet users who sniffed out a Photoshop scam in the award-winning picture -- has brought on a big debate about media ethics, China's troubled relationship with Tibet, and how pregnant antelope react to noise...

Suspicions about the photo became public --- after Mr. Liu's photograph was displayed in Beijing's subway system. An anonymous Chinese Internet user going by the screen name Dajiala raised questions about the photo's authenticity on one of China's largest photography Web sites. Dajiala, a photographer who claimed to idolize Mr. Liu, said he was studying a copy of the photo posted on Beijing's Line 5 subway platform when he rubbed some dust off it and noticed something odd.

"At the bottom of the photograph, there was a very obvious line," he wrote. "I examined it very carefully and it was obviously the stitching of two different images....Was this decisive moment just a simple Photoshop trick?"

His post created an online storm. Photographers blew up the image and analyzed each out-of-place pixel. Animal behaviorists weighed in, explaining that antelope are shy and noise-sensitive, and would scatter in panic at the sound of the high-speed train. When the chat-room controversy spread to China's largest Internet portals, the Chengdu Business Daily confronted Mr. Liu.

Cornered by the mounting evidence, Mr. Liu admitted he had indeed used Photoshop to blend two pictures, according to the newspaper.

Mr. Liu resigned from the Daqing Evening News and posted a statement on his blog. "I have no reason to continue my sacred career as a newsman," he wrote. "I am not qualified for the job." His editor then resigned, too, and the newspaper posted an apology on its Web site. The newspaper didn't respond to repeated calls to its office. Mr. Liu didn't answer calls to his cellphone.

Interesting - on alot of levels.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Police commanders' defense to file motion for dismissal

URGENT ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial.
☛ ER
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.
The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.

Original post: TS Police commanders' defense to file motion for dismissal

Gallegos called expert witness George Williams to testify during the proceedings. Williams, a police training specialist, called the case a “clear case of suicide by cop,” and went on to call the SWAT operation “extraordinarily” well handled.
In his concluding grand jury instructions, Gallegos tears apart Williams credentials as an expert, and essentially asks the grand jury to disregard the expert witness' testimony.

”This is a gentleman who has never been a police officer,” Gallegos told the jury. “He has never been a SWAT officer. He has never been in a supervisory role that we are aware of. He was never trained in SWAT tactics. Quite simply... his summary of qualifications though impressive as to particular things is lacking as it relates to the facts that he gave an opinion as to, and that is the appropriateness and the decision making of the supervisorial staff, Chief Douglas and Lt. Zanotti on April 14, 2006.”...

...”There in fact should be someone who is qualified,” Bragg said. “If (Gallegos) felt that fellow wasn't qualified, why didn't he bring in someone he did feel was qualified to discuss SWAT procedures so the grand jury could have had a better understanding?”

Declining to elaborate too much on the defense strategy, saying he wanted to try the case in the courtroom and not in the newspapers, Rapoport said Williams' testimony will also be the subject of a future motion to dismiss the case.

”The DA chooses his witness,” Rapoport said. “He obviously did in this case. ... That's something that again is going to be the subject of a legal motion in the future.”

...”You have bad law being argued to citizens by the chief law enforcement officer in the county [Gallegos], so citizens are bound to think he knows what he's talking about,” Rapoport said, adding that a variety “fundamental” and “esoteric” errors in Gallegos' interpretation of the law would be the subject of an upcoming motion to dismiss by the defendants.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Re: the Humboldt County Animal Shelter

Too many animals are being held for too long waiting for the DA to sign for them to be released.

BECAUSE OF DOGS ON LEGAL HOLDS (INCLUDING LONG TERM COURT CASE HOLDS) - we are still asking people to look at all our dogs and pull any that they can. Because of these conditions adoptable dogs would be at risk as the only legally available population from which to ease overcrowding.  (That means adoption or euthanasia, right?)


Total Population is now at 66 including bite holds and the court case dogs that are not listed on petharbor. Dogs are being double bunked and as soon as we get a rescue commitment on any dog in the place and they clear their legal hold and we find a ride they are out the door!

Adoptable dogs are at 32.


I will consider your office accountable for these deaths by your lack of action and refusal to sign the necessary release legal documents needed to get the animals either adopted, placed in fosters or transferred to other animal rescues.

Barbara Shults, R.N.-Founder
North Coast Animal Welfare Advocacy Center

Related 85 live animals from Cutten. They include chameleons, geckos, a monitor lizard, bearded dragons, rattlesnakes, toads, a bullfrog, ferrets, a stick bug, a tarantula, a cat with kittens and 61 turtles...they are court property because they were seized with a search warrant... Whether and how the animals are adopted depends on the criminal case... no adoptions can happen until that is over.

Barbara adds: Basically, the Humboldt County Animal Shelter can not currently release any of the animals on legal holds due to California Penal Code animal welfare violations, even with permission of the owner, because of the D.A.’s failure to bring these cases before a judge, therefore they take up space and increase the chances of euthanasia for strays currently being held and new ones coming in. So, if a dog is border line on adoptability, which can be due to medical reasons, being frightened of the shelter or other issues, this animal has far less of a chance to be placed on the adoption list.

The Animal Welfare groups do as a much as we can but are limited due to our lack of resources.  The Humboldt County Animal Shelter has done a miraculous job in connecting with animal welfare rescues and Animal Shelters throughout the U.S. However; as I have stated over and over again, our nation is failing in dealing with the pet overpopulation and millions of animals need to be placed in homes.

Currently all the animals seized in Cutten a month ago are in legal limbo. They also have an emaciated wolf hybrid dog and her pups confiscated from a breeder in Petrolia in a like situation.

What the District Attorney's office needs to do is bring all the animal welfare neglect cases to court, push for appropriate animal abuse charges and get a release so that the animals can leave the shelter. I am not sure of the correct legal term, however; Steve is not legally able to do anything with the animals until then.

Animal welfare organizations:
1. Animal Legal Defense Fund
2. Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute
3. In Defense of Animals
4. Animals and Society Institute
5. Humane Society of the United States

It's called talking out of both sides of your mouth

The moneygrubbing "Baykeeper" has a new "Keeper" friend - and they want MORE money from you - taken the usual way, through a folksy concert, so that you won't feel the hands in your pocket...

Un-Dam the Klamath Benefit Dinner
followed by live reggae and funk
at the Bayside Grange
sponsored by "Klamath Riverkeeper" the Karuk Tribe and the predatory litigious "Humboldt Baykeeper"

Why? To help pressure Pacificorp and Warren Buffet to remove the dams on the Klamath River,

Does this mean the "Baykeeper"/ NEC is going to support the Klamath Restoration Agreement after all?

Didn't think so. They want to preserve their right to sue. (BIG money in that.)

Besides that, since they have access to millions in Foundation grant money, do they really need your money?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ken Miller's talking points?

Surfacing in Gallegos' points to the Grand Jury? Did you catch that?
Judge continues Douglas-Zanotti arraignment

Charges exposed

URGENT ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial.
☛ ER
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.
The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.

Original post: Arraignment continued second time, charges exposed

According to the transcripts, Gallegos alleged that Douglas and/or Zanotti committed three acts with criminal negligence and two crimes.

The first act allegedly committed with criminal negligence, was failing to adequately supervise or direct the EPD SWAT team members in relation to Moore — a barricaded subject.

The second act alleged against the defendants is failing to adequately supervise the EPD Crisis Negotiation Team.

The third states that they failed to provide adequate communication between the EPD, SWAT and CNT — to enable them to plan and/or prepare how to respond to Moore....

...The first alleged crime reportedly committed by the defendants is unauthorized destruction of property — a misdemeanor under California Penal Code Section 603.

According to the transcripts, “(It applies) to every person, other than a peace officer engaged in the performance of his duties as such who forcibly and without consent ... enters a dwelling house ... and who damages, injures or destroys any property of value in, around or appertaining to such (a) dwelling. ...”

The second alleged crime is reportedly home invasion, PC 602.5 (a). “(The law states) every person other than a public officer or employee acting within the course and scope of his or her employment in performance of a duty imposed by law, who enters or remains in any ... residential place without the consent of the owner ... or the person in lawful possession thereof is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What is interesting about the coverage today...

URGENT ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial.
☛ ER
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.
The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.

Original post: First Gallegos uses a Fortuna incident as an example, as if to show that EPD could have waited longer before going in, but strangely, in the case he chose, the person also ended up dead - so would waiting make any difference?
Gallegos ...compares the Moore case to a Fortuna standoff that lasted 32 hours, saying Fortuna Police Chief Kris Kitna delayed entry, evacuated the surrounding area and obtained a Ramey warrant before entering the house where a hostage had been held by Michael Allman.

”They use gas. They break windows. They use shields. They use a PA system. I can't recall whether Chief Kitna indicated whether he tried to use the throw phone or not. It was a process that lasted 32 hours,” Gallegos said.

”There is something for us to consider, to look at to see what reasonable people do, what a standard might be. It is a double-edge sword though, because what else do we know? We know that Chief Kitna with the Eureka Police Department and the Sheriff's Department and -- they were there for 32 hours or roughly 32 hours, and what happened? Mr. Allman ended up dead,” he said.
TS Douglas, Zanotti set to be arraigned today in Moore shooting

Then there's this, which seems to show that the spotter who advised that she had put the gun down was telling the truth, which would mean the decision to go in was a good one...
Harpham testified that he moved in and saw Moore in the room with her back to him, and the weapon -- the flare gun -- sitting on a table or shelf. He yelled for her to put her hands up, he said. Moore turned around with a look of shock on her face, he testified.

”She picked up the weapon and she started to bring it up to where she could point it at the direction of myself and the rest of the team and when she started to bring the weapon across towards me that is -- or towards where I was at, that is when I began firing,” Harpham testified.

Harpham said that he believed Moore would shoot him and that he had no other option but to shoot.

And this, which seems to offer an explanation of why they didn't wait...
Eureka Fire Capt. Patrick Joseph Lynch told the grand jury that a fire crew had staged a block and a half away, and had been told there was a possibility that a gas line had been broken in the apartment, which could have had dire consequences if Moore had discharged the flare gun.
TS Cheri Lyn Moore case: What the grand jury heard

April Fool's

URGENT ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial.
☛ ER
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.
The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.

Original post: TS Commanders' arraignment in Moore case continued

Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna agreed today to continue the arraignment of former Eureka Police Chief David Douglas and Lt. Tony Zanotti on involuntary manslaughter charges until April 1.

Deputy District Attorney Maggie Fleming said District Attorney Paul Gallegos and the defense agreed to the continuation before Thursday's arraignment hearing to allow the defense time to receive and review copies of the evidence exhibits presented during the criminal grand jury proceedings.

Fleming said both sides agreed on the April 1 date....

TS Judge continues Douglas-Zanotti arraignment

List of Cheri Moore related coverage with links


Douglas, Zanotti set to be arraigned today in Moore shooting

URGENT ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial.
☛ ER
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.
The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.

Original post: TS Douglas, Zanotti set to be arraigned today in Moore shooting
TS Cheri Lyn Moore case: What the grand jury heard

TS 'Right to know': Not just words
The Times-Standard is gratified that Superior Court Judge John Feeney on Tuesday upheld the First Amendment and its counterpart in the California Constitution that say court records are presumed to be open to the public unless they are expressly ordered sealed under strictly defined legal tests.

After a legal back-and-forth dating back to last year, when a criminal grand jury handed up indictments of former Eureka Police Chief David Douglas and Lt. Anthony Zanotti in the Cheri Lyn Moore shooting case, Judge Feeney found for the Times-Standard and released the transcripts of the testimony and deliberations. Still to be released, pending review by defense counsel, are a video of the hearing and exhibits that were presented.

The lawyers for Douglas and Zanotti were within their rights -- and indeed probably were obligated to their clients -- to argue that release of the transcripts might taint the jury pool, should the case go to trial. The Times-Standard argued, and the judge agreed, that the defense had not offered any basis for concluding that sealing or redacting testimony and arguments would threaten chances for a fair trial.

Making a stand for freedom of information can sometimes be costly, but it's a duty that the American press has been proud to exercise for more than 200 years, and we hope it will always do so.

It's fitting that this decision in Humboldt County comes just before Sunshine Week, March 16-22, a national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include not only print, broadcast and online news media, but also civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know.

Open government is important to liberals, conservatives and everyone in between, for without the free flow of information, the democratic system cannot work.

In Humboldt County this week, it worked.

Thanks, Times Standard.

Gundersen case headed to trial UPDATED


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Gundersen case headed to trial

In a closed courtroom, a preliminary hearing date of Feb. 27 at 8:30 a.m. was confirmed. Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel represented the prosecution, expected to be personally led by District Attorney Paul Gallegos.


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

NOW they're in trouble!

Forget the 100 pounds of processed marijuana, $20,000 in cash, two pistols and seven rifles, and the 5,275 pot plants...

Forget the 271 grow lights powered by two generators, a 400 and a 350 kilowatt unit...

According to deputies, Finds the Feather and Wood had fled the residence in the Jeep with the children riding unrestrained in the back of the vehicle...

Yeah, NOW they are in trouble.

Total Lunar Eclipse

Source: NASA

That is the coolest thing!

Grand Jury papers to be unsealed in Moore case

URGENT ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial.
☛ ER
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.
The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.

Original post: Grand Jury papers to be unsealed in Moore case

ER The transcripts from the criminal grand jury investigation into the death of Cheri Lynn Moore were unsealed Tuesday by Superior Court Judge John T. Feeney in the Humboldt County Superior Courthouse.

Former Eureka Police Department Chief Dave Douglas and EPD Lt. Tony Zanotti were indicted Dec. 3, 2007 for their leadership roles in a scene that involved SWAT and ultimately led to Moore’s death on April 14, 2006. Moore was killed in her Eureka apartment.

During a standoff with SWAT that lasted about two-and-a-half hours, Moore brandished a flare gun out of her window. Officers entered her residence – believing she had put the gun down, as reported, and she was shot when she reportedly pointed the gun at officers.

The grand jury transcripts state that David Douglas and/or Anthony Zanotti alledgedly committed the following lawful acts with criminal negligence:

Failed to adequately supervise or direct the Eureka Police Department SWAT team members and failed to adequately supervise or direct the team members in response to a barricaded subject.

Gallegos went on to say, according to the transcript, “a person acts with criminal negligence when the way he or she acts is so different from the way an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that his or her acts amount to disregard for human life or
indifference to the consequences of the act.”

In court, criminal defense attorneys William R. Bragg and Greg Rael represented Douglas. William Rapoport from Redwood City represented Tony Zanotti.

The defense expressed that they were not opposed to unsealing the transcripts from the grand jury indictment – except for one part.

Douglas and Rapoport said they believed that the transcripts would exonerate their clients of guilt. But they requested in court that the beginning portion of the transcripts remain sealed – as they could spread prejudice and contaminate the jury pool.

The testimony of the witnesses pretty much exonerates Lt. Zanotti, Rapoport said, adding, it shows the planning involved. In a SWAT operation, everyone has veto power of the mission, he said.

Bragg and Rapoport agreed that when Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos instructed the grand jury on how to rule the law, he had misinterpreted it.

In a grand jury proceeding, Bragg explained, the district attorney shows evidence of how the law was broken. But there is no rebuttal by the defense to offer its interpretation of how the law applies, he said.

“We’re not asking that evidence be sealed,” Bragg said of the transcripts in court. “We don’t feel there’s a need to have it sealed.”

Bragg and Rapoport said they believe the transcripts will show no evidence of wrongdoing by their clients.

The defense said it just wanted the district attorney’s instructions to the grand jury – which, they claimed, were “horribly wrong” – and Gallegos’ argument of evidence to remain sealed, Bragg said.

He argued that in his jury instructions, Gallegos offered a biased interpretation of the law, but in a court trial the defense would have had an opportunity to explain their view of the situation.

Bragg said that unsealing that portion of the transcripts would be unfair, calling it, “a recipe for bias to be planted in the jury pool.”

He cited that the county jury pool has a 16 percent turn out rate – which is likely to read the media and be swayed by Gallegos’ opinion, he said.

Bragg said that it’s a concern to him that the media circulation exceeds the jury pool because the jury pool is 90,000, but the turnout yields a jury panel of just 425.

However, Feeney released the transcript, and an in-depth look is on the way.

There are 150 items of evidence, called exhibits — such as pictures, that will remain sealed for 10 days after the defense receives them.

Videos of various witness’ testimonies before the grand jury will also remain sealed until 30 days after the defense has received copies of them.

For a pretty nearly complete list of articles (w/links) on this topic, CLICK HERE

Some of the articles are posted on watchpaulARTICLES in case links go dead.

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Baykeeper"/NEC propaganda radio

Recommended reading: Arcata Eye Editorial

In an editorial recapping the flouride related rhetoric that inflamed passions in the recent election, Kevin Hoover points out that:

"KHSU 90.5 FM’s The Econews Report only gave one side – that fluoride impacts the environment, or so the opponents believe. I asked Humboldt Baykeeper’s Pete Nichols, the host, why he didn’t present other perspectives.

He said, “Since I only do one Econews per month, I didn’t have time to schedule the pro-fluoride for an interview. Perhaps not so fair and balanced, but given that fluoride does have impacts on the environment, and Econews is an environment show, it seemed appropriate to investigate that aspect.”

The “investigation” consisted of the familar anti-fluoride presentation – selectively mined factoids and speculation, this time presented without rebuttal. An informed individual with a different view could have easily put this misleading information in proper context.

I asked Nichols if there was any thought given to having people who believe there is no environmental impact on the same show.

He said he “considered it, but felt 30 minutes was too limiting to get both perspectives fully. I decided to investigate the potential harm to human health and the environment from fluoride exposure since it has been the minority view for decades.”

Fluoride opposition wasn’t the minority view on KHSU’s centerpiece environmental program – it was the only view, during election season with a big vote coming up."

Kevin points out that he, himself hosts Humboldt Review "a public affairs show on KHUM FM 104.3, and our middle segment is about a half-hour long. We routinely have three, four, five or even more guests on in that period so as to ensure fair access for all viewpoints."

Busted, Pete. Fair and balanced, "Baykeeper"/Northcoast Environmental Center is not. "Baykeeper" also has another show called Coastal Currents, same deal.

In this week's McKinleyville Press...

Falor accuses county of Grand Jury meddling,
an article by Daniel Mintz.

excerpt: One of the thorniest situations in county government has gotten more so, as former County Counsel Tamara Falor is alleging that Grand Jury investigations into her resignation and $289,000 damage claim settlement have been manipulated by county employees and officials.

...The crux of Falor's claim is that a June 2007 Grand Jury report on its investigation into the controversial settlement was intentionally led astray by county officials - including current County Counsel Wendy Chaitin. The claim describes Chaitin as someone who "had an involvement" in the situation that led to Falor's "separation" from county work. And Falor's claim states that this year's Grand Jury - which is completing the investigation - submitted a letter of recommendation supporting Chaitin's "quest to be appointed as county counsel." Sources say the letter exists and was submitted to the Board of Supervisors in late November...

...The claim also refers to pre-settlement circumstances. It states that Falor "is informed and believes" that one or more county officials "used their positions" to obtain the unsigned settlement agreement and "then disclosed that information." In a letter sent to the county's outside attorney last December, Falor's former lawyer, Wendy Wyse, said that the unsigned settlement document was released to a deputy county counsel. County officials have said that the counsel's office was not involved in the settlement dealings or the Grand Jury probes.

Names of people listed as being responsible for Falor's injuries include Chaitin, former Interim County Counsel Ralph Faust, "certain employees of the County Counsel's Office" and supervisors John Woolley, Bonnie Neely and Jimmy Smith. All three supervisors had voted to appoint Chaitin, who is considered an interim counsel but will be evaluated for permanent appointment.

The claim lists "other county employees and representatives who published and/or released information about Ms. Falor in violation of her rights" as well. Also included are members of the 2006-07 Grand Jury, and the "county employees which led the members... to publish defamatory information about Ms. Falor."
McKinleyville Press
(May also be in The Independent...)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Here's another one:

Eel River pot bust reveals costly mess
A month ago in Mendocino:

An elaborate 2,000-plant indoor marijuana growing operation uncovered this week near the Eel River in northern Mendocino County is the site of environmental contamination that may cost $1 million or more to clean up, law enforcement officials said Thursday.

Two Southern California men were arrested and an investigation continues at a site fouled by the dumping of diesel fuel and other petroleum waste into an open pit a half mile uphill from the river, according to Mendocino County sheriff investigators.

In order to maximize profits... the growers had installed machinery and equipment to extract THC, the potent chemical found in marijuana, from pot plant waste. He said the end product was being stamped into "cakes" that were to be sold....

...Deputies discovered two indoor grow rooms, $15,280 in cash, hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana packaging materials and scales, and several weapons including a military-type assault rifle.

... investigators also discovered that diesel fuel spewing from a leaky generator supplying power to the indoor growing rooms was being collected in containers and dumped into an open pit.

By Thursday afternoon about 750 gallons of dumped diesel had been removed from the pit, which might have originally served as disposal for an old outhouse.

"We don't know what it will take to clean everything up,"...

... the damage is believed to be so extensive that county officials Thursday called the federal Environmental Protection Agency for assistance...

...The case underscores mounting concerns among county residents about the extent of commercial marijuana operations and the effects on the environment, crime and rural neighborhoods.

County voters in the June primary will decide whether to repeal a local measure passed in 2000 that decriminalized possession of up to 25 marijuana plants, a move that helped foster Mendocino's reputation as a haven for pot growers.
By Mike Geniella, The Press Democrat, Friday, 1/18/08

And here in Humboldt County - it's 99 plants. And we are known as a haven for pot growers.

Maybe I missed it - have we heard from the 'environmental' groups like Salmon Forever/Humboldt Watershed Council/"Riverkeepers" and friends of the Eel etc, etc, etc. condemning this kind of thing? Seriously. Something on the scale of CREG's outrage...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Whatever happened to

the Eureka Civic Association?

Between Sept. 15 and Sept. 30 (2006), according to the ECA’s financial disclosure statements, it raised $2,500, $1,000 from Ogden and $1,500 from McKinleyville resident Dr. Ken Miller. (how many groups does he have now?)

Another bust - 7 arrests, 5,000 pot plants in second raid

☛ Ukiah Daily Journal: 7 arrests, 5,000 pot plants in second raid 2/15/08

Seven people were arrested and more than 5,000 marijuana plants seized in Dos Rios Wednesday in an early morning raid by local, state and federal law enforcement officers.

Law enforcement officers served a search warrant on a remote ranch near the Eight Mile Bridge in Dos Rios at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and seized 5,275 plants, ranging from seedlings to full-grown budding plants, as well as 100 pounds of processed marijuana, $20,000 in cash, two handguns and five rifles...

...Two structures on the property were being used to grow marijuana, according to sheriff's reports. One was a barn that had been converted into a grow room; the other was a starter room and processing shed.

The starter room contained 271 grow lights run by a 400-kilowatt generator. Noe said the generator was three or four times the size of a car.

"It was one of the most extensive grows I've ever seen," he said.

Officers also found a second 350-kilowatt generator at the ranch as well as 25 gallons of waste oil and a large plastic tank containing fuel for both generators. Officers called the Mendocino County Department of Public Health to investigate any possible environmental hazard....
read the rest

☛ The Press Democrat Arrests in pot raid

UKIAH — Seven people were in custody Thursday after drug agents from Mendocino, Sonoma and Shasta counties raided a large indoor marijuana growing operation at a remote ranch along the Eel River near Dos Rios... The Press Democrat read the rest

No mention of any LLC's.

Confiscated marijuana, weapons and imitation law enforcement gear are displayed on a vehicle at a home in the 3000 block of Ruddick-Cunningham Road that was raided Thursday morning by the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force.
(The Daily Journal)
☛ Ukiah Daily Journal Drug raid finds fake police gear 2/15/08

Confiscated marijuana, weapons and imitation law enforcement... (MacLeod Pappidas/The Daily Journal)
The county's drug task force served a search warrant at a home on Ruddick-Cunningham Road expecting to find methamphetamine and marijuana and found not only the drugs, but evidence of a drug thieving operation that included costumes with which the thieves were impersonating drug enforcement officers.

A black cap and bulletproof vest labeled "POLICE" and "NARCOTICS" along with handcuffs, a badge, holsters, hoods and a pair of black tactical pants were among the items seized from the three-bedroom home where two arrests were made.

Veronica Vega Sandoval and Juan Carlos Garcia Arreguin, both 35, were arrested at the scene. A person who lived at the house is being sought by police.

Children living in the home were at school at the time of the arrests.

Officers, with the help of the Task Force drug search dog, found more than one quarter ounce of suspected methamphetamine in the house as well as two one-pound bags of trimmed marijuana buds and an estimated 10 pounds of untrimmed marijuana filling a blue plastic tub, approximately 20 gallons in size. Officers also seized a rifle.

According to Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force Commander Bob Nishiyama, the police-style costume is the same as one found in at least one other drug raid, and investigators believe it is linked to numerous home invasion robberies involving marijuana, including several in Boonville and the most recent on Cow Mountain in December....
read the rest

Diesel fuel, oil from generators primary sources of pollution
Every year, law enforcement officers in Mendocino County raid hundreds of illegal marijuana gardens and seize thousands of marijuana plants, but in a presentation to the Ukiah City Council Wednesday night, Hazardous Materials Specialist Jim Harrison showed the lesser known environmental impacts of illegal marijuana cultivation.

The primary sources of pollution in illegal indoor marijuana grows are diesel fuel and waste oil, Harrison said. Illegal marijuana growers often use generators to power grow lamps.

"The generators run seven days a week, 24 hours a day," Harrison said.

These generators require large amounts of fuel and frequent oil changes.

At an indoor grow on Hunt Ranch in Laytonville, 33,000 gallons of diesel fuel were stored in several large plastic bins that were connected to generators by plastic tubing.

"Just about every connection had a leak," Harrison said.

At another indoor grow on Foster Mountain, near Salmon Creek, a chronic fuel leak contaminated the soil.

"We had to take 200 truckloads of contaminated dirt out of there," Harrison said.

Cleanup at these sites can be expensive. Harrison said the Foster Mountain cleanup cost $650,000. He said cleanups on that scale are not uncommon read the rest

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One blog rumor confirmed - UPDATED


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Gundersen's ex-wife, who works for the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office as a legal office assistant, is represented by Arcata attorney Joan Gallegos, the wife of Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos. Attorney Christopher Metzger represents Gundersen in that matter.

The Times Standard reports Gundersen custody battle goes back 10 years
Gundersen hit with 12 counts of rape


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Gallegos the Sneak" from the Wasp - UPDATED


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


From the Times-Standard Blogs - The Humboldt Wasp reports "If you're waiting to read reporting from the courtroom in the Blue Lake police chief rape case in tomorrow's local daily newspapers, you won't find it. That's because District Attorney Paul Gallegos apparently snuck David Gundersen's arraignment onto the court calendar while reporters weren't looking this afternoon." Read Andrew Bird's full account

The TS does have a late breaking report posted:
Gundersen pleads not guilty to 12 rape charges
Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen pleaded not guilty today to 12 counts of spousal rape, along with additional charges.

”We make decisions based on the evidence we have,” Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said.

Gallegos said the multiple rape charges all relate to the same victim. The chief is being held in Humboldt County Jail on $500,000 bail.

Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton said that he's been told that the information he's received from the investigation is only a small part of what's been collected by the DA's office. He added that his stance has not changed regarding the chief's innocence.

From Andrew (The Wasp) comes this: Correction: Apologies to Paul Gallegos. I was wrong, apparently, when I said it was Mr. Gallegos who snuck the arraignment into court while reporters were not present. According to one of the reporters who was initially upset that the arraignment was heard ahead of schedule, it was the judge, not Gallegos, who called it into his courtroom early.

If this is true, I owe Mr. Gallegos an apology.

The fact remains that the hearing was held before it was scheduled to be heard, and that no reporters from the two dailies were in the courtroom when Gundersen entered his not guilty pleas.

And, Andrew has a follow up post: Gold stars for Thad and John...but something's amiss


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

TS - Attorney: Gundersen claims 'false' UPDATED


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Ya can't make this stuff up...

TS Breaking News/Updated Gallegos sticks to his guns regarding investigation into Blue Lake police chief
Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's attorney said today that a bitter custody dispute is likely the genesis of his arrest on suspicion of spousal rape.

Arcata attorney Russell Clanton said that Gundersen's current wife told him that she's not a victim, and that she's completely supportive of her husband.

Clanton said that he believes it was Gundersen's ex wife who alleged his current wife was repeatedly raped while intoxicated or drugged. Clanton said Gundersen's current wife, a sergeant at the Blue Lake Police Department currently on leave, is fully supportive of the chief, who intends to plead not guilty to any charges if they are filed.

”Frankly I think the position is that the state has put their nose into the bedroom of Chief Gundersen and his current wife,” Clanton said.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos strongly disagreed with Clanton's take. He said Tuesday that believes Gundersen's current wife is the alleged victim, that she first reported the alleged acts and that his investigators have been in contact with her in recent days.

”If we don't have a victim, it seems we wouldn't have probable cause to issue an arrest warrant,” Gallegos said.

The Times-Standard Article Launched: 02/12/2008 04:05:29 PM PST
Includes Video of Clanton's Statement.
ER Defense attorney announced for Blue Lake Police Chief
ER Blue Lake residents speak out against police chief
TS Breaking News/Updated Gallegos sticks to his guns regarding investigation into Blue Lake police chief
TS In tense meeting, council puts off action on jailed police chief

Arraignment expected today.


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Monday, February 11, 2008

On Gundersen and RUMORS - UPDATED


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Lotta speculation on the blogs following the articles on his arrest...
An anonymous comment on the TS site offers the following:
Bothered to Check said
Commenters keep bringing up that Gundersen was arrested before, which would be public record, but then acting like it's too much of a secret to give us any details. So I looked for myself. Many commenters also assume that the newspapers have the whole story and are correct in their reporting. Having been in the newspapers many times, I wouldn't assume either to be the case. Why not wait until the facts come out. If he's guilty, lock him up for the rest of his life. If he's not, then Gallegos has some explaining to do. Here's some info on the "mysterious" arrest of Gundersen at his old police job: The following article describes the events that took place in that case and notes the resolution:

It's quite a story. The article Bothered to Check links to describes in detail the events that took place and ends with this statement:
Gundersen's attorney then applied to the city and the District Attorney's Office for a determination of factual innocence, which was granted and favorably acted upon by the Department of Justice. The terms of Gundersen's settlement agreement are, for the most part, confidential.

However, he is permitted to reveal to prospective employers certain documents which demonstrate that he did nothing wrong, in addition to being able to establish that he was factually innocent of criminal wrong-doing. In addition, Gundersen received a six figure settlement for back wages and to end the pending litigation.

Now - a finding of factual innocence is a big deal.

Today's coverage in the Times-Standard has an update to their previous story, but yesterday's story links are dead, maybe it is a glitch. (Note: TS link has changed and I have updated the post below) DA: Allegations stem back a couple years, may have been continual occurrence

Something odd here?

Then, on "heraldo" - February 11, 2008 at 3:09 pm
truthgiver Says:
After reading the biased and very ignorant rantings of people who are criminals themselves (you know who you are) really makes me sick and sad that you all are so jaded. You people need to look within yourselves, focus on becomming a better person.

One simple observation after reading these comments and seeing how people can not spell “Gundersen’s” name right only exhibits the fact that you people do not pay attention and only believe what you want to. SICK

Stop being ingnorant and speaking off the cuff. NO one has mentioned that Gundersen’s ex-wife is employeed by the Humboldt county Sheriff’s Office and her attorney is Mrs. Gallegos and they are currently in a custody battle, can you say hunting expidition? just like the Grand Jury. NO one has mentioned that his current wife is seeking to drop all charges, although it’s too late now, the DA is running with it now. There is alot more truths to this case, but the foolish ones who post comments and who will post comments don’t want to hear that.

If true - this is serious stuff,

TS DA: Allegations stem back a couple years, may have been continual occurrence
TS Blue Lake police chief arrested for alleged rape
ER Blue Lake Police Chief arrested on suspicion of rape
ER Blue Lake police chief accused of multiple assaults
TS No charging decision made in Gundersen case, says DA
District Attorney Paul Gallegos said Monday that his office is investigating allegations of spousal rape made against the Blue Lake police chief that span a couple of years, but no charging decisions have been made.

TS News spreads quickly in sleepy Blue Lake
KMUD Daniel MIntz interview with Gallegos. Click on KMUD Local News, 6:00 pm edition, Monday, February 11, 2008 6:00 pm
"heraldo" Blog - Blue Lake Police Chief Arrested for Rape
TS Attorney: Gundersen claims 'false'
ER Gundersen: No stranger to bumpy roads 2/16/08

Saturday, February 09, 2008

In the Cases to Watch file

TS House torched with girlfriend inside; man arrested
TS Blue Lake police chief arrested for alleged rape

Another big suit

has reportedly had 8 out of 11 counts thrown out so far.

And I keep hearing about depositions in that case. Has "heraldo" been deposed?

From One BILLION to SIX bucks...

$1,000,000,000 to $6
WOW! The latest lawsuit ends with a settlement of Six Bucks. PALCO will pay $6 in whistle-blower lawsuit...
Frank Bacik, PALCO vice president and general counsel, stated in a news release... “There was ample opportunity within that process to challenge testimony and exhibits, but these accusations were not raised until eight years later,” Bacik stated in a news release. “We’ve believed from the outset that the claims were without basis in law or fact, and this settlement supports that belief.” Wow. Deja Vu.

One by one, down in flames.
According to the terms of the settlement, which has the approval of acting assistant U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Bucholtz, Wilson and Maranto would receive $1 each from PALCO, Scotia Pacific and Salmon Creek.

And look - Good Ol' Cotchett was in on this one - 'member him? The guy who wanted in on Paul's suit? The one the Board said NO to? Wonder what Cotchett's cut is? 30% A buck eighty?
Bertain, along with attorney Philip Gregory from the Bay Area-law firm Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy that also represents Maranto and Wilson in the whistle blower lawsuit, declined to comment on the matter.

Oh, but the neverending lawsuit may not be over...
ER Area attorney Bill Bertain, who represents the Elk River and Freshwater Creek residents, said previously those flood claim settlements were beneficial for his clients because they freed the matter from the Texas court and allowed them to move forward in Humboldt County against MAXXAM and Charles Hurwitz.
TS ”This should help the bankruptcy process,” said the residents' local counsel Bill Bertain. “And it will allow our clients' cases to proceed in Humboldt County Superior Court.”

Residents look to settle with Palco over flooding 01/18/2008
Update: New Blog in Town with a FUNNY, FUNNY take on this one: The Humboldt Mirror - Billion-dollar suit settled for two Happy Meals. Ouch! There's some other FUNNY stuff there!
h/t: Kym

Friday, February 08, 2008

Both sides now ...w/update(s)

KSLG's John Matthews interviewed both Larry Glass and the Arkley family spokesperson, Steven Glazer, regarding the AG's decision... (Hank has dubbed it Push comes to Shove)

First, Glass: I've pretty much heard Larry Glass' side before, but there were a few new things.. he sure is mad at the Times Standard, calls them "despicable" - laughs that he got better treatment from the Eureka Reporter, says Heather Muller's coverage was accurate and that he tips his hat to Glenn Franco Simmons, says he went out of his way to give a fair presentation, without spinning it. I actually thought the Times Standard's coverage was fair, the letters and cartoons may be what he is referring to, but, ok.

Says he had stuff leaked to him, which begs the question 'who and when?'

Says he stood up and did what he had to do, It's water under the bridge now.

Larry didn't pull any punches. Everyone who listens to it will take away from it what they want. I'd say one thing, Larry, being a public official isn't the same thing as chatting at the record store, some things oughtta just be kept close to the vest, and calling Arkley names and sneering at the Mayor of Orinda because he also happens to have a job as a PR guy... I don't know, that part is kinda beneath the dignity of your office.

Then, Glazer: I've read the reports, so I had a basic idea of what to expect. Obviously, the Arkley family is gratified to have an end to this. But Glazer didn't pull any punches, either. He talks about Larry acting at the behest of his "handlers" - changing his mind about pressing charges (Which I agree with, after listening to Larry's first interview way back when and watching the subsequent events unfold.) He talks about Larry's anti-Marina Center crusade (which are also well documented) and questions his ability to set aside his bias with regards to the Marina Center Project.

Richard Salzman's anti-Arkley stickers are a big part of the story, as Richard knew they would be. But Salzman's antics actually bolster Glazer's argument that these were politically motivated charges brought by an individual with a long-standing grudge against the Arkley's. That single thing stands out.

One thing I've noticed is the spin on the blogs turning into "Of course the AG wouldn't prosecute a rich man." The absurdity of that, when the AG is a prominent democrat, and this case presented an opportunity to 'get' a major republican donor - it just strikes me funny to see the spin unfold. I do think Jerry Brown's integrity rises above that. And when the evidence wasn't there, he did the right thing.

John Matthews asks them both if Larry and Rob could sit down and have coffee some day. Maybe someday they can. In the spirit of - as Glazer says - of making Eureka the best it can be. Stranger things have come to pass.

Matthews does a good job of giving you both sides. When all is said and done, however, I'm left with - this is another case where we would all be better off if Richard Salzman hadn't injected his particular poison into the process.

Ya want the flip side? Try "heraldo" and Carol and Greg's Place. Eric has a more balanced post.

TS - Glass accused of 'political crusade'
TS editorial - Not a bang, but a whimper 02/10/2008

The TS responds to Glass' charges - Tossing a hand grenade
I was listening to an interview with Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass on KSLG last week regarding the state attorney general's office's decision not to act on Glass' charge that businessman Rob Arkley threatened and shoved him.

In the middle of the interview, Glass launched into a tantrum about media coverage of the incident, saying, “The papers treated it as comic relief. The Times-Standard took great glee in trying to ridicule me by portraying me as a baby who was whining, complaining and crying. They're despicable in their portrayal of this whole thing.”

”The Times-Standard?” asked the interviewer, John Matthews, expressing surprise.

”Rich Somerville in particular,” Glass replied. “Editorial cartoons, editorials and spinning the coverage.” The councilman said it was a “horrible mistake” for Somerville to have been hired as editor of the Times-Standard.

If politicians or other public officials think I'm terrific, I usually wonder what we've been missing. Thus, I take Glass' crack as a compliment, sort of like being on Nixon's “Enemies List.”

But the unsubstantiated characterization of the Times-Standard's coverage of the Arkley-Glass incident -- the equivalent of tossing a hand grenade and running -- is surprising from a person who is described by his friends as straightforward....

Rich Somerville read the rest

By Hook or By Crook - Funny to look back...

When the Palco suit was tossed the first time - District Attorney Paul Gallegos was out of town and had not read the ruling when the Times-Standard contacted him. Gallegos said he would not comment until he saw the decision.

Deputy District Attorney Tim Stoen, who was trying the case, did not immediately return a phone call left at his office.

But Steve Schectman, a private attorney recently pulled in by Stoen to assist in the case, said he believes the decision should be appealed. However, he added that was not an official statement. He said the judge's ruling would encourage corporations to lie, and place a burden on administrative agencies to be truth-finders, like a court.

"If you get it by hook or by crook, you get a pass," Schectman said.

Richard Salzman, a key political supporter of Gallegos, said he didn't believe the ruling would hurt the district attorney.

"His office isn't about this lawsuit," Salzman said. "I think the leadership, the real leadership that Paul shows in the community is what is important to me."
Source: TS Judge Axes PL Suit June 2005

Wonder what Schectman would say about LLCs and the right to, today?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gallegos on Humboldt Review last night w/LINK to podcast

Transactional Immunity, Lincoln School, Trinidad’s General Manager – February 7, 2008
Only time for a short dispatch this week.

On the Thursday, Feb. 7 Humboldt Review, we’ll talk with District Attorney Paul Gallegos about his decision to grant “transactional immunity” to members of the Eureka Police SWAT Team who testified before the Humboldt County Grand Jury in the Cheri Lyn Moore case. The main question is, why’d he do that? Other questions are about how the Grand Jury process works, what’s to come next in the Moore case and, is it true that he’s a “rogue DA?”

LISTEN LIVE - KHUM Humboldt Review is the weekly community affairs program on radio station KHUM 104.3/104.7 FM, Ferndale, serving Humboldt County California. It is on Thursday nights from 6 to 7 p.m. Hosted by Kevin L. Hoover and produced by John Matthews. Call-in line: (707) 786-5486.

LINK to the podcast.

For a pretty nearly complete list of articles (w/links) on this topic, CLICK HERE

Some of the articles are posted on watchpaulARTICLES in case links go dead.

Is this the reason

for "heraldo's" preemptive strike on Eureka City Manager Dave Tyson? The TS reports: City at odds with county on general plan
Could this be a clue? The timing is suspicious... so what's the game? Or is there yet another surprise waiting in the wings?

AG: No charges in Arkley-Glass case

TS, breaking news. The AG declines to prosecute. Are you surprised? An end to one of the stupidest chapters of political life in Humboldt County's recent history.

Hank has it on the BlogThing
Poor "heraldo" doesn't have much to say
The Eureka Reporter has it Attorney General’s Office: no charges in Glass v. Arkley case

Hank's also got an interesting post on the Lumber based Manufacturing Index...



Bread and Circuses (Town Dandy, Feb 7, 2008)

Staring down at the Times Standard Op-Ed pages over the last five years, it has often occurred to us that those columns could be vastly improved with the addition of a single exclamation point. Too often the guest opinions do not live up to the section header under which they run. The usual header - "My Word" - conjures up manly visions of fists pounding tables, straight talking guys and gals calling it like it is. Sounds good, but when your eye scans downward what you generally get are the frightened scribblings of flaks and fussbudgets.

A suggestion? Add the exclamation point. "My Word!" The mental image of a sweating, bonneted Aunt Bea fanning herself to ward off heresy is almost always more apropos. And such was the case on Tuesday, Feb. 5, when former Deputy District Attorney Jeff Schwartz took up pen to scribe an early Valentine's letter to his ex-boss, DA Paul Gallegos. The Schwartz "My Word!" piece was called "Paul Gallegos: The beginning of an era," and it takes to task both the T-S editorial board and your humble servant for daring to suggest that the final failure, last month, of Gallegos' massive, five-year lawsuit against Pacific Lumber Co. reflects poorly on the DA.

Before we continue, let's get to the disclosure. Schwartz is the husband of the Journal's "Media Maven" columnist, Marcy Burstiner. I've never met the man, but I'm looking forward to someday doing so. He was supposed to show up at the Journal's Christmas party but the whole family came down with the norovirus that day. Just about the only thing I know about him is that before moving to Humboldt County and becoming a senior prosecutor under Gallegos, he was a San Francisco defense attorney with a website called "YouGoFree.Com." That's all in the past, although since stepping down from the District Attorney's office he has hied to his old occupation.

The nut of Schwartz's argument is based on the somewhat tired and dated notion of the "goold old boy" network, which Schwartz believes is still working to keep Gallegos down. Why? Because he had the gumption to prosecute members of their tribe.

Have you noticed that the non-historical cases he brought -- the cases against Debbie August and Palco. to name two -- never got past Humboldt's historical power base (the judiciary, the newspapers and the local law makers) and thus never reached a jury, which would have been made up largely of people who elected him?

I'm not sure what Schwartz means by "non-historical" here - failed? - and I'm not quite sure how, as an officer of the court, he can deplore the fact that the judicisary doesn't automatically roll over for whatever strikes Gallegos' fancy. Leave those things aside, though. The more important thing is that Schwartz is flat-out wrong on the facts.

Take the judiciary, one of "Humboldt's historical power bases." But Humboldt County judges have nothing to do with the death of the Palco suit. The appellate court killed it last month on the grounds that it had no basis in law. Neither did the Palco case founder in front of any local judge when it was back in trial court. It's true that judge Christopher Wilson ruled for Pacific Lumber on an early demurrer, but he gave the DA and his assistant Tim Stoen, leave to amend the case. And when the case was amended, Stoen fought - successfully - to have it heard before an out-of-town judge. It was Lake County's Judge Richard Freeborn who threw the case out in superior court, way back in 2005.

So what of Schwartz's charge against that other "power base" - the newspapers? This sadly, is where Schwartz dissolves into ridiculousness. Every newspaper in Humboldt County - even the Eureka Reporter - supported Gallegos' right to bring the suit, and every paper in Humboldt County editorialized strongly against Pacific Lumber's recall drive against the DA. Speaking for our paper, we would certainly do so again. It was dirty and rotten and reduced the rule of law to the level of an Alabamian backwater.

But it's one thing to bring the case, and quite another to win it. If our only desire is that Gallegos bring cases against the elite, we would have done as well with any bum standing on the Plaza ranting about the perfidity of "the corporations." It's even likely that the bum's rhetoric would be zazzier than Gallegos'. But we fear that there is no distinction between effort and accomplishment in the mind of Schwartz, or in the mind of any of the many Gallegos supporters who still look on the man with starry eyes and imagine that he has claimed the county on their behalf. Schwartz writes that Gallegos has many accomplishments in the prosecution of white-collar crime. Sadly, he does not bother to list any.

That isn't to say Gallegos hasn't achieved positive things. It's easy to make the case that the DA brought some sense to the county's prosecution of marijuana crimes, even if he did so by de-criminalizing the drug de-facto. It's a strategy that is not without its own consequences, but it's arguably more senisble than what came before.

Anything else? Schwartz himself listed two high-profile, white-collar cases that Gallegos brought and lost. In the one, he sought $250 million in remedies and in the other he sought the removal from office of a member of the Fortuna City Council. Are there any white-collar cases of so high a profile that Gallegos has won? If so, Schwartz has not remembered them. And so, to date, the man's reputation is more grounded in failure than in success. Read the rest...
Note: Schwartz doesn't even know how to spell Debi August's name.

OMG! The Media Maven's column in this same issue is titled Be Clear. She'd also advocate for a factual report. Obviously her advice hasn't rubbed off on Jeff ""

Steve Schectman

What's Schectman been up to? Some links from the post below:
Steven Schectman, a lawyer for the center, said he wasn't surprised by the raid
DEA Launches Statewide Offensive Against Medical Cannabis Dispensaries
Medical Marijuana: DEA Threatens San Francisco Dispensary Landlords, Dispensaries Sue, Conyers to Hold Hearings
court docs
Medical Marijuana: DEA Threatens San Francisco Dispensary Landlords, Dispensaries Sue, Conyers to Hold Hearings
Day After Lawsuit Filed Against DEA U.S. Congress Decides To Question Agency

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How about Measure MJ?

You've got Measure T forbidding contributions from corporations. Don't you wonder what would happen if the voters passed Measure MJ banning contributions from pot growers and drug dealers? (To include both declared and undeclared cash-out-of-the-paper-bag contributions).


hedlund 0 matches TS, and nothing recent in ER
vilica 0 matches DID YOU MEAN?: silica

Actually, though, the TS does have the AP version in the hard copy of today's paper.
Ahhhh! LINKED! Man in pot case forfeits rights to Humboldt properties

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Looks like Ken Miller and crew are pushing Gallegos into appealing his piece of shit Palco suit.

It's not enough that the case has been thrown out, what is it, three times now? Miller & Co. won't give up. How else do you explain Jeffrey "" Schwartz buttering Gallegos up, telling him (and you) how fabulous he looks in those silky golden, jewel-encrusted robes they have created for him, in the hopes that he will parade into court yet again without realizing he is buck-naked.

This nauseating piece of - ummmm, fiction demands a response. It's time to make the real record clear. I'm going to need more than 750 words, Mr. Somerville.

Where do I start?

Hank has nailed it in his response. Bread and Circuses (Town Dandy, Feb 7, 2008)

Oakland Tribune on Hedlund/Vilica and yet another LLC

Guilty plea in Berkeley pot operation Man, 31, agrees to forfeit 7,000 acres By Angela Hill, STAFF WRITER 02/05/2008

OAKLAND — Joshua L. Hedlund, 31, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Oakland to using a Berkeley warehouse for a massive illegal marijuana grow and laundering the proceeds from that operation, the U.S. Attorney's office announced.

As part of the plea agreement, Hedlund agreed to forfeit more than $1 million in proceeds from the Berkeley grow and money he received from others for the purchase of properties in Humboldt, Marin, Mendocino and Trinity counties, authorities said.

Hedlund also agreed to forfeit his right to more than 7,000 acres in Humboldt and Trinity counties that he purchased from the Eel River Saw Mill in the name of Vilica LLC.

The guilty plea is the result of a two-year investigation by the Berkeley Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigation division.

Hedlund was arrested March 15, 2006, during a raid at a warehouse at 807 and 809 Allston Way in Berkeley, which netted 5,800 marijuana plants, a dozen weapons and $220,000 in cash. Investigators said it was the largest haul of marijuana Berkeley police had made in several years, and led to searches of homes in Oakland, Castro Valley, Antioch and Brentwood.
Berkeley police began investigating the Allston Way grow in early 2006. Surveillance of that location led to the arrest of six other individuals, all of whom have pleaded guilty to charges related to the cultivation of marijuana at the warehouse.

The IRS was called in to investigate the money laundering aspect of the case, said Special Agent Arlette Lee, of the IRS' criminal investigations section.

"Many people don't realize the IRS gets involved whenever there is a situation like this with money laundering," she said. "The Berkeley police and the DEA went after the illegal drugs. But we tracked the money, the proceeds from the sale, where it was coming from and where it was going."

In court Monday, Hedlund admitted he knowingly allowed others to grow marijuana at the warehouse between late spring of 2003 through March 2006. He also admitted to using the proceeds of the marijuana grown to pay his mortgage on the warehouse, authorities said.

In addition to forfeiting the Vilica LLC parcels, Hedlund agreed that law enforcement officials may at any time, without warrants, search more than 5,000 acres Hedlund controls throughout Humboldt and Mendocino counties in the name of Schmook Ranch LLC.

Hedlund is scheduled to be sentenced May 16 in Oakland, and could receive up to 20 years in jail and a fine of up to
$500,000 for using a warehouse to grow marijuana, plus an equal sentence for money laundering
, authorities said.
No mention of Paradise Palms LLC. Nor what was going on on that Eel River SawMill acreage. No mention of Vilica LLC partner and president Steve Schectman... How many of these LLCs are there? Who are the partners in the LLCs? Obviously Hedlund is involved with at least two of them, are there any other crossovers? Were any of the other defendants involved in the LLCs?

Virtually identical article in SF Examiner Feb 5, 2008 8:22 AM (11 hrs ago) News Reports, AP

A comprehensive guide to Cannabis arrests and seizures worldwide A brief history of cannabis arrests and seizures from around the world, from the blatantly obvious to the downright bizarre, including arrests for cultivation, arrests for possession, arrests for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Cannabis arrests brought to you on a daily basis, occasionally with a hint of humour.