Tuesday, June 01, 2010


The Times Standard

Paul Gallegos for district attorney

The role of district attorney is a complex one which demands a balance between two sometimes conflicting interests -- a community's sense of justice and the rules of the legal system, which are often a mystery to those unfamiliar with the process.

Current District Attorney Paul Gallegos has certainly shown lapses in judgment, in our opinion, with his penchant for hanging major cases on legal minutiae or rarely cited law, including the unsuccessful ones filed against Palco, former Fortuna Councilwoman Debi August and former Eureka Police Chief David Douglas and Lt. Tony Zanotti.

Those were unneeded distractions that took already strained resources away from what should be the office's main focus -- criminal cases.

We hope that Gallegos learned his lesson, and he appears more recently to have moderated his tone and grown into the office.

There's no doubt Gallegos brought the office into the 21st century and assembled a crack investigative team, which has solved several cold cases, including the murder of Curtis Huntzinger after nearly two decades, finally bringing closure to the boy's family.

While we have concerns about Gallegos, we also have reservations about the ability of Allison Jackson or Paul Hagen to step into the job. Jackson's passion for victims' rights is apparent and admirable, but cannot be a main focus of the office.

She especially, however, has raised several legitimate issues, including the way major criminal cases are assigned and a need to keep families informed as they navigate their way through the complex legal process.

Gallegos would do well to listen.


Right. Withholding exculpatory evidence is "hanging major cases on legal minutiae."

Charging people without the evidence to back it up is "legal minutiae."

Cases thrown out because he had the law wrong, had no basis in the law at all is "legal minutiae."


Here's one of the TS's PRIOR editorials:

Times-Standard editorial - Paul Gallegos
☛ TS Gallegos' case management

Humboldt County and its District Attorney Paul Gallegos have been through a lot together. When Humboldt County voters decided to oust longtime incumbent Terry Farmer in favor of the young surfer DA, it was with an eye on cultivating some fresh blood and adding an infusion of vigor and energy in the District Attorney's Office.

It was hoped that Gallegos would bring a new perspective, and challenge that status quo.

Gallegos has done that -- he's challenged entrenched powers, and he's certainly shaken up things in Humboldt County.

The problem, though, is that nearly every major undertaking by Gallegos has ended in failure, and with each of those has come a colossal waste of time and resources, as well as an increasingly divided community.

Whereas it was initially hoped that Gallegos would bring the community together by progressively representing the bulk of the county's voters, instead he has sponsored division and rancor in nearly everything he's touched.

The case against Pacific Lumber Co., which led to a huge battle in the community that included a recall effort against Gallegos? Dismissed. The case against Fortuna Councilwoman Debi August? The same.

The case against former Chief Dave Douglas and Lt. Tony Zanotti? Dismissed.

In hindsight, we fear that with each of these cases, Gallegos has tried to live up to his own progressive legend at the expense of critical thinking.

At times, Gallegos tries to hang major cases on legal minutiae, or rarely cited bits of law, that leave other legal scholars scratching their heads. Given the preeminence of his position, and the fact that he's gambling with public chips, he needs to proceed much more carefully in his remaining time in office.

He has wasted resources, directing attention away from his office's main task -- criminal cases -- and woefully divided the community with very little if anything to show.

This newspaper endorsed Gallegos in his last election, a decision we stand by given his competition at the time. But our support, and that of the public, will be much harder to earn the next time around, given that Gallegos sometimes appears too interested in attracting headlines for filing major cases that he almost invariably loses.

If he doesn't change his stripes and fast, a loss at the polls for Gallegos may be the only victory he can secure for the rest of us.




  1. When I first saw the T-S article this weekend it looked like Great they're going to clear this up. But no it looked like a front page running ad for Gallegos, no reminders of the Grand Jury reports.

    Its not just Allison Jackson and Paul Hagen saying its time to go Paul Gallegos. This more of the same old same old from the Times Substandard.

  2. Voters can believe the facts, or the
    Times Standard. If once again Humboldt chooses ignore the facts,
    Humboldt will continue to get the government it deserves. Rampant pot crime, home invasions, robberies, endless probation grants, a world wide reputation for all of the above, resources squandered on politically motivated cases, the ongoing drain of lawyers, oh, wait, the reliable, thorough, dependable, diligent TS says he's the man? Never mind. Say no more.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. I'm sorry, anonymous, but without some sort of corroboration, charges like that cannot be posted.

  5. I would add, charges like that are going to require you identifying yourself. There is no other way.

  6. In fact I have noticed an increase in things getting posted that seem deliberately aimed at getting blog owners in trouble.

    The other bloggers have noticed it as well, and responsible bloggers make every effort to delete these kinds of things. At least 4 local bloggers have to deal with it. We aren't tolerating it

    We're not all like Richard Salzman.

    In my case, for something to be posted requires corroboration from multiple sources, and preferably documentation as well. Rumors are noted as rumor.

    This close to the election, if you honestly have something you think needs to be brought forward, you need to take it to the newspapers. (Yes, I know, many have tried and met with frustration, nevertheless, they are the record of our time, and they are tasked with investigating and reporting.)

  7. There's something missing here.

    "We hope that Gallegos learned his lesson, and he appears more recently to have moderated his tone and grown into the office. And besides, he likes pot. We like pot, too"

    fify (fixed it for ya)

  8. OK, so here is corroboration. Allison Jackson favors the legalization of Marijuana! Kevin Hoover reported so in the Arcata Eye.

    "And like the other candidates, Jackson is in favor of marijuana legalization in the state and she wants it on a federal level too."


    Was that a lie? You make fun of Gallegos being the pro-pot DA, yet Rose your candidate favors the legalization of Marijuana. (Gallegos favored reasonable community restrictions) It doesn't bother me that Jackson would oppose the legalization of Marijuana. It bothers me a lot that she would lie about her position, so she can get some SoHum votes. Well we will find out next week how that works out. Stop complaining about Gallegos alleged pro-pot policies when your own candidate favors the legalization of Marijuana.

  9. EVERYONE I know is in favor of legalization at this point.

    Medical Marijuana was and is a sham and a scam - a defacto legalization that has brought nothing but grief to neighborhoods in this county.

    Grow houses, house fires, diesel spills, criminals, drug cartels, rental housing usurped and destroyed, people moving here just to take advantage of a DA who do nothing to protect people.

    And the problem with JUST California legalizing it is you will just expand the problems Humboldt County is facing to the statewide level, you need it legalized nationwide.

    It's coming. And the dope growers do not need Gallegos any longer. They are going to need accountants, because they are going to have to fork over the taxes that all the rest of the people have to pay.

  10. Not just taxes by the way - business license fees, fictitious business name statements, employee withholding, Social Security for trimmers, unemployment insurance for workers, business telephones, enforced compliance with all manner of regulations, inspections and so on and so forth.

    In short, dope growers will have to live under the same condition as Palco.

    And I do believe you will either see a huge criminal tax-dodging class develop out of this or you will see the biggest and most successful tax revolt this nation has ever seen. Hone your axes, activists, you will have a chance to do something good for a change.

  11. Oh - and don't forget that lovely NEW tax provision tucked into the monstro-health-care bill - now you will also have to 1099 EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS ENTITY YOU DO BUSINESS WITH - not just deduct your PG&E expenses, but pay your accountant to track every payment you make and 1099 it to the Federal Government so they can more completely and adequately track you and everything you do - you and everyone you do business with.

    I will be voting FOR legalization in Nov. I have bought into the meme that prohibition does not work. I know there will be unforeseen consequences, we have learned that from 215.

    Let the chips fall where they may.

  12. Don't you just love the T/S?

    Just think how things would be if Worth Dikeman would have won the last election?

    I do hope folks don't waste their vote, or fail to vote.

    Vote early and vote for A. Jackson.


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