She said her decision to run came after she and other local attorneys had discussions about who was going to run against Gallegos.
”And no one came forward,” Bryson said.
Even the defense attorneys and public defenders know that Gallegos is a disaster.
One of Bryson's criticisms was Gallegos' handling of high-profile cases, including the recent prosecution of two men who killed 9-year-old Nicole Quigley while street racing on State Route 299 in October 2008.
”The Whitmill case is what lit a fire under me,” Bryson said.
Nicole's father Ken Quigley was very public about his frustrations with the process, which seemed to resonate with the community. At the case's conclusion, Ken Quigley was critical of how Gallegos handled the case, saying the family was not made aware of the plea agreements until the last minute.
Bryson said she will be wearing pink, because it was Nicole Quigley's favorite color, and that pink will be on her campaign signs, which will have the slogan “Justice for all” on them.
The Quigley family said they had not spoken with Bryson.
”I think it's inappropriate for anyone to use Nicole, my daughter's name, in any campaign unless they talked to us, her parents, first,” Ken Quigley said.
Bryson said in a later interview that the story of Nicole Quigley, who her daughter played soccer with, had an impact on many people in the county who don't personally know the family.
”It would be inappropriate to approach Ken because he's grieving,” Bryson said.
She said that the District Attorney's Office should be run more like a business and that the district attorney should not get wrapped up in trying to prosecute time-consuming cases.
”The district attorney is an administrator,” Bryson said. “Why on earth does Paul Gallegos put himself in a felony trial?”
Gallegos said it would be a disservice to the community if he did not help out with the case load in the office.
”People demand more, not less, work from government these days,” Gallegos wrote in an e-mail. “So, in actuality I have to administer this office, train and oversee staff, direct and guide the office toward where we want this office to be and try cases as well. Fortunately, I am assisted in fulfilling my duties of making sure this office is running effectively and efficiently by many outstanding people.”
Bryson said that law enforcement members she has talked to are frustrated with the DA.
”Law enforcement has about had it with Paul,” Bryson said.
Gallegos said that was a “false” and “irrelevant” claim.
”I work for the People of the State of California,” Gallegos wrote. “As such, I cannot work to curry favor in any one group or groups but must represent all.”
But, Bryson said she liked Gallegos while she worked for him.
”I was grateful for my job,” Bryson said.
She said that if she wins there won't be any major personnel changes in the office.
”Not a single deputy will be laid off unless they choose to leave,” Bryson said.
She said she wanted to hear from the community before discussing any possible changes to the medical marijuana guidelines in the county, but that she understands marijuana plays a large role.
”We keep it criminal and we keep it dangerous,” Bryson said. “We have to be very careful on how we regulate it.”
Bryson is in the process of hiring a campaign manager.
”I've got a lot of ground to cover in the next six months,” Bryson said. “I plan on wearing out a lot of tennis shoes.”
She makes some good points.
The reporter mentions Ken Quigley's frustration with the process, and leaves it at not being contacted regarding the plea deal. In fact, his frustration is much deeper than that, and has been detailed in an ongoing series of unbearably poignant Letters To The Editor. It is most certainly a case of one man trying very hard to let people know what is wrong with the DA. He is not the only victim/family member to articulate the exact same kind of treatment over the years.
Gallegos' record is sure to come out this time. He doesn't have Palco to hide behind anymore, and all the spin in the world is not going to disguise his true nature.
Statements about him being back up by outstanding people are nice, and certainly the staff by and large is outstanding, but it isn't what it once was, he lost or fired virtually all of the County's experienced prosecutors, and he remains unable to fill those positions. trials are being handled by inexperienced and overloaded staff.
It's high time someone took a long, hard, serious look at the facts.