Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Robin Bradshaw sentenced to 12 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter of wife

Robin Bradshaw sentenced to 12 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter of wife

Sheffield said the plea deal reached between Bradshaw and the District Attorney's Office in December of last year was made without ever consulting the family. Sheffield said that she is “extremely disappointed” in District Attorney Paul Gallegos.
”It's a never ending. It's like a nightmare that we can't get rid of,” Sheffield said. “We just want this to be over.”

It is indeed a never ending story. We hear this again and again and again.

Humboldt County jury convicts Roy Lee Stevens of killing brother

Humboldt County jury convicts Roy Lee Stevens of killing brother
A jury convicted Roy Lee Stevens of involuntary manslaughter on Tuesday for fatally shooting his brother last June....

To find him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the jury acquitted him of a murder charge, but kept the special allegation of using a firearm to commit the act, according to the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office.

Stevens is scheduled to be sentenced on July 28, and faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


What is MISSING from this report is disgraceful.
And there is no excuse for it. None.

Crime rates in Humboldt County increase; statewide numbers dropping The Times Standard/Matt Drange Attorney General report

Awwww, it's nothing. Just the DA lying again. Nothing to see here.

But not everyone is asleep at the wheel:

Crime and Politics The Journal
So you can expect this particular plank to vanish from Gallegos campaign literature as we move into the November runoff. Again, all’s fair in love and politics.

What doesn’t seem quite so seemly is Gallegos sloughing off last year’s big bump to the Times-Standard‘s Matt Drange.

”Humboldt County got hit hard last year — there was a lot of stress,” said Gallegos, who added that the economy was a key issue. “You tend to see that stress reflected in the courts.”

Yellow flag! You don’t get to claim sole credit for lowering crime rates if, when they rise, you say that it’s all someone or something else’s fault. You do the crime, you do the time (as it were).

Fact Checkin’ Crime Stats The Reporta

But who FIRST called him out on it? The answer is - Allison Jackson called him out on it during the KHUM/Northcoast Journal debate.
podcast here - DA Debate Video

Hank followed up with a Blogthing blog post:
Crime Rates in Humboldt County
...As recently as last night, though, Gallegos himself demonstrated that he takes the numbers very seriously indeed. Both Allison Jackson and Paul Hagen called him on this in different ways. Jackson asserted that the violent crime rate has in fact gone up, not down, during his tenure. Hagen, ready with that yellow flag, wryly quizzed Gallegos about what exactly he had done to bring the crime rate down....

And a mention in the paper:
Notes from the Hustings - Crime Stats

Gallegos' distortions were not challenged in the pre-election article in the Journal (DA Trials), nor did any other paper pick it up or take the time to examine his claims.

Love how he uses the year BEFORE he took office - technically saying "since he was elected" is accurate, he was elected in March of 2002, but did NOT TAKE OFFICE until January of 2003. It's a sleight of hand - it's why they say "Lies, damned lies and statistics." He cannot seriously expect to be allowed to use the 9 months that he was not in office, but he knows reporters like Matt Drange will not know to even question his statistics, or his choice of time periods. If he says it, it must be true. And since they like him, the report will read, "Gallegos stated" whereas they will slant the challenger's response, "So and so claims" - thus they always give him the upper hand.

Here's the Journal's chart(s):

Monday, June 28, 2010


Dope growers is oldspeak.
Newspeak is "undocumented organic pharmaceuticals producers and retailers"
h/t: ORD

Bradshaw sentencing date June 29 (tomorrow)

Previously, Robin Bradshaw appeared before Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Joyce Hinrichs, who set a June 29 sentencing date for the defendant. After the hearing, Robin Bradshaw's attorney, Peter Martin, said he assumed the DA's office would not be seeking to vacate the plea agreement, as it agreed to move forward with sentencing.

”The fact that the DA has suggested sentencing indicates to me that they are not going to withdraw the plea,” he said.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Humboldt County is the Place Where Ambition Goes To Die"

Movin’ On Up The Journal - Town Dandy

But it doesn't have to be.

Allison Jackson thanks the voters

Moving forward to November
Letters to the Editor Posted: 06/24/2010 01:15:27 AM PDT

To the voters who participated in last Tuesday's Primary Election - Thank you. To my supporters, I sincerely appreciate your confidence and your vote.

As we move forward toward the November General Election, I look forward to continuing to meet you and hear your concerns about our community, and to elevating the community's awareness as to the importance of the District Attorney's Office. The issues are so very important and what happens in November will affect all of us, especially the most vulnerable of our community. These same issues will also affect our entire administration of justice, interaction with law enforcement and protection of our families in the future.

Allison Jackson
District attorney candidate

Vigilantism is not, no scratch that... Universal justice is not universally popular

Gallegos campaign ad, I mean, "My Word"

Universal justice is not universally popular
Paul V. Gallegos/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 06/24/2010 01:37:11 AM PDT

I want to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made our spring campaign a success. It would not have been possible without each and every one of you who volunteered, donated and endorsed. Thank you for all you have given and the many hours of hard work and dedication you selflessly gave over the last several months. It is the sum of your very efforts that made our campaign successful.

I am grateful for the votes and affirmation I received, and to those who did not vote for me, I want you to know that I have heard your voices and I intend to redouble my efforts to earn your votes in November.

Joanie and I moved here about 15 years ago, and fell in love with this remarkable community. Eight years ago I ran for district attorney on a platform of Justice For All -- including those historically neglected by the justice system such as children, victims of domestic violence, people of color, and victims of corporate fraud -- and for modernization. It's hard to believe now, but when I inherited the office, criminal case information was kept on index cards-- not computers.

Since then, my office has aggressively prosecuted the powerful -- even when it's been unpopular. My office prosecuted Maxxam/PL on evidence of fraud. We prosecuted Blue Lake's police chief for multiple felonies including illegal weapons. We prosecuted an oil company and won a major settlement to protect our drinking water.

But universal justice is not universally popular, and some would rather go back to how things used to be. This would be a mistake.

When I came to office, the murder of Blue Lake teen Curtis Huntzinger was still unsolved after 18 years. It was presumed to be unsolvable. But my investigators cracked the case and obtained a full confession from his murderer, Steven Daniel Hash.

During the campaign, one of my opponents made the disturbing accusation that I had let a child abuser off with a slap on the wrist. It was odd because she, under the previous office, had handled the case back in 2000, and should have known the original sentence was overturned on appeal; my office had to re-prosecute it anew in 2004, and the perpetrator was sentenced to eight years in prison.

I'll be the first to admit how much I've learned in the past eight years. Delivering justice to all is not easy. Behind the big publicity stories are thousands of small success stories and dozens of daily tragedies. We can't bring back loved ones -- but we can prosecute to the full extent of the law with the best evidence we have, which is what we do.

We cannot go back to how things were; the improvements and progress we've achieved over the last eight years are simply too precious to give up.

I ask for your support on my campaign as we move toward a November victory. For more information, go to
Paul V. Gallegos is the Humboldt County district attorney.

Where to begin.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bill Bragg and his firm will be serving as the interim city attorney for the city of Eureka

Eureka announces interim city attorney

Grand theft charge dismissed against former Blue Lake police chief

Grand theft charge dismissed against former Blue Lake police chief
The grand theft case that followed former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's 2008 acquittal on spousal rape and weapons charges has been dismissed by a Humboldt County Superior Court judge....

The trial on the grand theft case was delayed several times -- in part due to Gundersen's apparently serious health problem -- and on Friday, Judge Bruce Watson dismissed the matter.

Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton said that it was inappropriate that the case had gone forward at all. He said that District Attorney Paul Gallegos only filed it after Gundersen was acquitted in the other case.

”Filing this case was just sour grapes,” Clanton said, “that's all it was.”

Watson was acting on a Kellett motion filed by Clanton. The Kellett rule holds that all offenses that flow from the same act must be charged together.

Gallegos said that his office was not aware of Trinidad law enforcement's investigation into the alleged grand theft until after Gundersen's earlier case was closed.

”There were no sour grapes,” Gallegos said. “Frankly, what there was evidence of a crime that was brought too late.”

He said that Gundersen had no factual defense -- that he stole the guns from Trinidad. Gallegos said that his office did not oppose Clanton's motion because of Gundersen's health, which called into question whether he would ever be tried....

(Prior to this) The jury in that case acquitted Gundersen of 24 counts of rape and convicted him of 11 counts of misdemeanor battery, which were set aside due to the statute of limitations.
The district attorney's office filed the grand theft charge weeks after the case wrapped up....

Links to GUNDERSEN coverage


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


Saturday, June 19, 2010

20th Annual Arcata Bay Oyster Festival

"...this is a celebration of that great mollusk, the oyster..." Amy Berkowitz
In 1991, Deborah Musick was organizer of the new event, referred to initially as a kind of picnic on the Plaza. “We were looking for an event that would be uniquely us,” Musick said. “There was a lot of talk of the health of the bay at that time and an aquaculture committee was created. A majority of the oysters harvested come from Arcata Bay.”

“Oysters have been part of Humboldt’s history for a very long time,” Koopman said. “A shell mound on Indian Island dates back 7,000 years.

Friday, June 18, 2010

There are over 6,000 countywide absentee and provisional ballots left to count

Election results hinge on additional counting McKinleyville Press
In the DA election, incumbent Paul Gallegos’ vote count stands at 11,207 or 39.72 percent of the vote. Former County Prosecutor Allison Jackson got 10,448 votes, about 37 percent of the total. Paul Hagen, a former environmental prosecutor who worked in Humboldt and other counties, got 5,229 votes, 18.53 percent of the total.

Local Attorney Kathleen Bryson, who ceased her campaign several weeks before the election, got 4.61 percent of the vote....
Arguments in Skilled Healthcare suit conclude; Humboldt County District Attorney to address case today
...District Attorney Paul Gallegos will be in court today when the injunction phase of the trial -- which does not involve the jury -- begins. The district attorney's office intervened in the case four years ago, assisting with collecting witnesses and sifting through evidence over the past few months.
Now Gallegos will make the state's case to prove to the court that Skilled Healthcare failed to provide adequate staffing. Gallegos said that he will present evidence, including video clips of witness testimony, with the goal of getting an injunction filed against Skilled Healthcare that could assess additional penalties and would order the company to make sure that staffing levels are compliant with the law....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Return of Cotchett

Lawsuit filed over Richardson Grove highway project

You have to be kidding.

With the usual suspects - Environmental Protection Information Center, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics and Trisha Lotus, Jeffery Hedin, Bruce Edwards, and Loreen Eliason.

Ken Miller must have quite a file on this guy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I step out for a few days...

Gallegos experiences cache-flow problems
Here’s an example.
Paul Gallegos told Thadeus Greenson:
After law school, Gallegos said, he spent some time as a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles before venturing out to start a private practice.

At the time, his campaign website said this:
During his time at LaVerne, Paul met Joan, his future wife. After being admitted to the California Bar Association, Paul was hired on to, and served as a DDA in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Paul and his new wife opened their first Law Office in Los Angeles.

After not receiving a reply back from him from an email I sent to his office. I decided to check out his campaign site. It no longer lists him as Deputy DA of Los Angeles.
It used to be in bold. Now he was a clerk. Oops!

After high school, Paul attended the University of Southern California where he earned a BS in Economics. This lead to his return to his home state of Maryland; where he worked for the IBM Corporation. However, unfulfilled in his life of crunching numbers, Paul decided to return to college—he returned to Southern California to attend LaVerne College of Law.**

During his time at LaVerne, Paul clerked at the Los Angeles and San Bernadino District Attorney’s Offices. After being admitted to the California Bar Association, Paul went into private practice.

Paul’s love of nature and desire to seek ever increasingly difficult challenges would lead him to Humboldt County as a circuit defense attorney. During his first days here, Paul was taken aback by the natural beauty of the area. This admiration for the majesty of Humboldt County, would lead to the Gallegos family moving to Eureka.

Why did it take the Mirror to point this out?

For a good time call 1-213-202-7777 - the Mirror
Uh, yeah. That would be the phone number for the nice Human Resources people at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Why would we list that? So you can call and confirm for yourselves that DA Paul Gallegos lied about his previous work experience to the Times-Standard’s Thadeus Greenson.

In a May 22 article Greenson wrote:
After law school, Gallegos said, he spent some time as a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles before venturing out to start a private practice.

We called the DA’s Office half a dozen times, spoke to four different people, provided both Gags’ name and bar number, and in each case was told that no one with either that name or number had ever been employed in any capacity by the L.A. County DA’s Office.


You know - there's more. I am going to have to look back, but there is more. Gimme a day or two.


From a comment on cap's:
When you want information about the Gallegos campaign, you should contact the campaign (unless you really only want to hear stuff that validates your already preconceived notions).

Paul Gallegos has never claimed to have worked as a prosecutor for the Los Angeles DA’s office. In his interview with Thad Greenson (5/22) Paul states, “…when he began clerking in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, got out of the classroom and got a taste of the courtroom.” Paul has never claimed to have been anything other than a law clerk for the LA DA’s office.

I take full responsibility for the website and I made a mistake. When I became aware of the inaccuracy, I fixed it. End of story.

Comment by Natalynne Wednesday 16 Jun 2010 @ 03:50


**1. Gallegos got his law degree from a school not accredited by the American Bar Association, one whose graduates were not allowed to practice law in other states, even if they passed their bar exams. He did, however, pass California’s Bar. (His school has, after 36 years, been “provisionally accredited” as of 2006.)... Many students at California’s accredited law schools feel that if they flunk out, they would rather give up on Law than go to an unaccredited school.

(More from Jim Fahey's article in the Arcata Eye way back in 2006:) Gallegos has answers for everything. I’ve never met anyone whose answers came so quickly, with such polish - except about his law school(s). He likely sounded the same way when promising to get prosecutors off their anachronistic “at will” status and onto civil service status. It never happened. Indeed, he told them, “Disloyalty will not be tolerated” – a real morale builder.

He sounds great. What progressive doesn’t want to believe in him? But it’s a myth. He’s an intellectual lightweight and self-aggrandizer who tries to please everybody with glib answers.

some stuff you can't make up

Why does the DA need assault rifles?
(From Gallegos' campaign website - assault rifles, his words, not mine)
Assault Rifles

The guns that are issued to the DA Investigators are standard issue, standard practice. The investigators are law enforcement officers and need proper protection. When faced with armed criminals, it is never okay to leave law enforcement officers without the tools necessary to protect the public. The investigators on my team are some of the best trained law enforcement officers in the county.

What is wrong with this picture? Let us count the ways.

closing arguments in the civil suit against Skilled Healthcare Group Inc.

Closing arguments begin in Skilled Healthcare case

Chad Larsen receives 25 years to life

Convicted sex offender sentenced for soliciting murder: Chad Larsen receives 25 years to life
Chad Andrew Larsen, 30, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years to life in prison for soliciting the murder of a 16-year-old girl who was poised to testify against him in a statutory rape case.
The ruling came after Judge Timothy Cissna rejected a motion by Larsen's attorney to recuse the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office from the case because of a campaign advertisement. Cissna said that while parts of the commercial were inaccurate, it “had no effect whatsoever on the judgment in the case.”
Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel said that the sentence was “a long time coming.”
”Now I get to call the victim and her mother and tell them it's over,” Neel said. “I think they can take comfort in the fact that the justice system held Mr. Larsen accountable for his actions.”
Neither the victim nor her family was in court for the ruling, but Neel said that she would call them with the news.
In addressing the court, Larsen said the advertisement would put his life at risk in prison.
”I'm going to be killed now,” he said. “I need to go to a mental asylum or something.”


Thursday, June 10, 2010

$27.57 Set of four 4-inch Picture Coasters

$13.95 Mouse Pad

Inquire at The Works for pricing on little stickers that will fit on parking meters.

On the dirty tricks dept.

“The tipster told us that he was someone “who helps journalists do their jobs,” but it was pretty plain that the opposite was in fact the case: He wanted journalists to help him do his.”

The Town Dandy

If a candidate has something to say about his/her opponent, they need to say it themselves. Presumably it is one of the reasons they are running against that person, and one of the things they want to say to the electorate to convince those voters that they are the better candidate.

Official communiques?

It appears the DA now has his own blog.

Registrant: Michael Evenson
Petrolia, CA 95558 US
Domain name: DA4HUMBOLDT.COM
Administrative Contact:
Evenson, Michael
Petrolia, CA 95558 US
+1.707 redacted
Technical Contact:
Evenson, Michael
Petrolia, CA 95558 US
+1.707 redacted

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 27-May-2010.
Record expires on 27-May-2011.
Record created on 27-May-2010.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It's a run-off

KATHLEEN BRYSON 795 5.98% 507 3.40% 1,302 4.61%
ALLISON JACKSON 5,157 38.76% 5,291 35.48% 10,448 37.03%
PAUL V. GALLEGOS 4,787 35.98% 6,420 43.05% 11,207 39.72%

PAUL HAGEN 2,556 19.21% 2,673 17.92% 5,229 18.53%
Unresolved Write-Ins 0 0.00% 7 0.05% 7 0.02%
Unqualified Write-Ins 10 0.08% 15 0.10% 25 0.09%
Cast Votes: 13,305 95.73% 14,913 96.32% 28,218 96.04%

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Eye on the DA's race, and my thoughts

trancribed from hard copy - no link yet:
Eye Editorial: Among things I don't look for in a candidate are perfection or complete agreement on all issues. More important is that the individual is a rational decisionmaker with a work ethic, not beholden and with enough character to withstand the temptation of situational ethics.

Since all serious candidates evince comparably reasonable views on the major issues, it comes down to their respective track records.

District Attorney

Paul Gallegos. Have two words ever inflamed passions in so many directions? Why should this be? And are you as tired of it as I am?

Patty Berg, famous for meddling in local elections she doesn't know much of anything about for the sole purpose of servicing her horrid Democratic Machine, is right about one thing - Gallegos has grown in office. But who wouldn't get better at their work after eight years of OJT? At this point, Gallegos has gone from lackadaisical to extremely, stunningly adequate.

Enthusiasm for Gallegos isn't justifiable in terms of either environmental accomplishment or crimefighting. There are far better candidates for either of those purposes. Remember four years ago, when Worth Dikeman was reviled by Gallegos' adherents as the Police State Incarnate just because he had law enforcement support? That was then. The revised line is that being police-friendly and having your own in-house police force equipped with AR-15s is the New Cool.

Only no one believes it, least of all the cops themselves. As strenuously as his ads attempt to align him with law enforcement, there's an artificial, overcompensating effect to them. One of this week's pro-Gallegos letter-writers tacitly acknowledges that the newfound law enforcement love is a crock and says he "rejoices" in it. He isn't alone - the Gallegos campaign signs on local hydroponics shops are there because he is going to imprison their customers? R i g h t.

Here's another one that typifies both his trademark lack of preparation and general falsity of Gallegos' newfound fealty with law enforcement. At his kickoff campaign event, I asked Paul what he was talking about when he mentioned in a news story the problem with "hyperbole" as regards the growhouse/cannabis problem. He cited the estimate from a few years back of 1,000 grow houses in Arcata.

This set his supporters a-tittering, since it is widely and lazily assumed that I contrived that number out of thin air to support my "crusade" against growers (also known to some as news reporting). But whoopsie - that figure was an estimate made by Jack Nelsen, head of the Humboldt County Drug task Force on my old Humboldt Review radio show.

Told this in front of dozens of people, Paul responded that "There's none of us that are immune from talking without having any evidence to support it."

So there you have it. Our district attorney glibly dismisses the informed estimate of one of the law enforcement agencies he's so recently become enamored as of "no evidence." without even knowing its foundation, just to fit the exigency of the moment. As though he knows better than Arcata residents and the DTF what we go through in Arcata with these residential homes converted into fortress-factories.

No, Gallegos' real comfort zone is with Tone Loc and the more party-hearty oriented actors on the local environmental scene. See them all together at the ATL this Friday night, June 4, and chillax with a tall Funky Cold Medina.

It's beyond all logic, but not human nature - this is their tribe, regularly coalescing around the Baykeeper Bashes and Pamplin Grove shindigs. (It's reminiscent of Schoolbus Bob and his "*UCK YEAH!" sign. Bob mindmelded just prior to the onset of arrested development, and now we all have to live with it day after day.)

Vote the Gallegos Groovocracy's slate and you get the handshake and special smile by the bonfire. Decide another way and you're an Arkley tool, a sellout, a pariah, The Man, and you can't cover our election night victory party for your newspaper and radio station because you dared to dissent, so there's the stairs, dude, GTFO. That's how they roll.

How this comports with the Gandhian Principles their candidate espouses is unclear. Either they don't agree with them on those, or they do, but disregard them. If they don't agree with his principles, why are they with him? If they do, but don't follow them, haven't they lost the plot? When I ask these things, what I get back is that this is the game of realpolitik, you silly boy. Unlike some of these uber-groovy sophisticates, many of us clods aren't interested in games or the tribal imperatives of others.

A politically astute associate is certain that Gallegos will win simply because of his physical beauty. Perhaps so. But I and others are just weary of the constant and divisive culture war over this undistinguished individual. Bottom line, Paul is a nice enough guy personally, and has discernibly tried to do better lately.

That said, we all know that the temperament of an organization usually reflects the leadership, or lack of it, at the top. After one has experienced the tragic hipness, the with-us-or-against-us mentality and the fluffed-up vacuousness of the Gallegos campaign, it's fair to wonder where that comes from.

All the ads in the world will never invest Paul Gallegos with the stature of Allison Jackson. Her gravitas can't be emulated, and it stems from a rare combination of qualities - her powerful legal mind, no-BS-attitude and a hell of a lot of heart.

Among the more comical (and defining) moments in this race took place at the animal activists' forum at the Humboldt Area Foundation. Kathleen Bryson brought her dog and held the poor thing up by his front paws, and even he looked embarrassed for her.

Paul Gallegos shoed the participants' pictures of his pets on his cell phone, and that is just so him.

In contrast to all this pandering, Paul Hagen fold the critter lovers that he had little affinity for animals; that they just aren't his thing, but that he would enforce the law to the maximum degree. This was quite well received; people appreciate honesty.

Allison Jackson was able to speak from deep experience as a longtime volunteer for Carly's ride, transporting rescued animals. In short, Jackson's the real thing. If you look at the amount of online defamation that's been heaped upon her from all-too-familiar sources, plus the incumbent's ludicrous "crimebuster" ads, it's obvious that Jackson's the one they consider the biggest threat.

I'm voting for Paul Hagen. How could I not? The man is honest to a fault (see above), a legal scientist and an accomplished environmental prosecutor. When I was subpoenaed to appear in court and reveal confidential communications, Hagen volunteered to advise me and immersed himself in Shield Law, learning it inside and out and patiently disabusing me of my assumptions. On the Planning Commission, he's all about clear findings and process.

Hagen with his character, crisp precision and proven record of accomplishment, is the perfect antidote for the last eight years of drift.
Kevin Hoover ◼ The Arcata Eye


Kevin Hoover will be voting for Paul Hagen. I will be voting for Allison Jackson. Should it be those two who end up in the runoff you may finally see a clean campaign in the District Attorney's race. And you will have a choice between two good people.

Should Gallegos win outright tomorrow, Humboldt County will be stuck with him for a long time. No one else will have the courage of Jackson and Hagen, who knew the gauntlet they would face, knew the dirty politics that would follow, and knew how expensive this race would be. No one else will be willing to have their character impugned.

A vote for Gallegos is a vote for those shady tactics, for Salzman and his personal brand of character assassination.

There is no longer any doubt that Gallegos has mismanaged the office. All of the candidates running (Kathleen Bryson withdrew) very clearly detailed Gallegos' failures. It's not in disupte.

Gallegos chose an odd tactic, trying to make his weaknesses into strengths with his campaign rhetoric. Perhaps he believes that if he SAYS he is tough on crime, you will forget the past 7 years. Perhaps he believes that if he drags the people of CAST into his campaign ads you will not know that he has been a one man wrecking crew for that and Victim Witness and so much more. Perhaps he believes he can hoodwink the voters one more time.

Those who work in and around the law enforcement community know his failings, ask most any person who works around the courthouse. They know the office is broken. The damage has recently begun to show, even to those who aren't really paying attention. Should Gallegos win, it will become impossible to hide, but it will be too late to do anything about it. It's almost too late now. Whoever takes over will need the full four years, and possibly more, to fix what has been broken. Just refilling the positions with higher level experienced Deputy DAs will take time. It can be done. It should be done. It has to be done.

With any luck at all, tomorrow night watchpaul will become blog history.

Get out and vote.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


On his grant applications, Gallegos routinely states:

...The communities of Humboldt County suffer from severe socio-economic problems, Historically, the northwest has sustained on primarily timber, commercial fishing and cattle ranching as its main sources of income. In the last two decades, these once abundant industries have been all but eliminated. The reulsts of this economic decline have been a slightly higher than state average unemployment rate (11.4%) and a high level of substance abuse. Because of the overwhelming amount of substance abuse there is an increase in crime such as: drug trafficking, rape, robbery, murder, child abuse, spousal abuse and child pornography....

In this example Gallegos is looking to purchase a "critical crime response vehicle for about $160,000 plus $12,092.25 and more money for uniforms, badge, flashlight, boots and utility belt for $1,299.00 - the total cost to be $406,875.09 - AND he promises that EVENTUALLY we will be VERTICALLY prosecuting these investigations.

So - is crime UP or DOWN?

Guess it just depends on who he is talking to and what he wants at the moment.


And where was District Attorney Paul Gallegos today? While the Board was looking at budget items that affect "his" office? The office he so covets? THAT "DISALLOCATES" 1.8 POSITIONS IN THE VICTIM WITNESS PROGRAM

Answer - nowhere to be found.

But - Jill Duffy made a motion that CAO work with the DA or his designee - drafting a strong letter of protest to the Victim Compensation and Govt. Claims board detailing the importance of the services. Copies are to go to Chesbro and Wiggins. click on June 1, 2010 Meeting agenda, go to item G-1.
G. DEPARTMENT REPORTSCounty Administrative Office
1. Proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2010-11 Budget.
RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors receive and review Humboldt County's Proposed FY 2010-11 Budget; Approve the deferment of Motor Pool depreciation charges for half a year in the amount of $550,095 for all funds ($225,000 savings for the General Fund) for FY 2010-11; Authorize the Auditor-controller to close funds 3717 Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA)-Projects-County Counsel, 4482 Gravel Trust, 4484 CHERT Surface Mining and 4004 Donations-Elections Initiative upon the transfer of the reamining balances to the General Fund; Authorize a voluntary unpaid furlough for the County Administrative Officer of up to five percent of his time for FY 2010-11; Re-allocate a 1.0 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Legal Secretary (Class 144) in budget unit 219, effective at the beginning of FY 2010-11; disallocate 1.8 FTE Victim Witness Specialists (class 689) in budget unit 220, effective July 11, 2010; Continue budget discussion to the public hearings scheduled for Monday, June 7, 2010 (1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.); Direct the County Administration Officer to return to the Board on June 22, 2010, to consider adoption of the final budget for FY 2010-11; and take other action as appropriate.

Last time Jill tried to save the Victim Witness Program was when Paul Gallegos lost the grant funding and cost our Program FOUR positions. And she was attacked for "making the DA look bad."

Remember? I DO.

The first the public heard of it, Paul was laying off almost the entire Victim/Witness Unit, what was left of it. That's a total of four people. That unit had been in the D.A.'s office for at least 20 years and losing four more people was going to do a great deal of damage to their efforts. (he had already laid off two positions.)

It was to be quietly passed through on the Board of Supervisor's Consent Calendar, without explanation, without discussion, without notice. Only when the item was pulled from the Consent Calendar did the public learn what was happening.
Even then, very little attention was given to it. Gallegos claimed it was political maneuvering, and the reporters seemed happy with that explanation

This saved him from explaining not only why this was happening, but why he hadn't alerted the Board sooner, asked for help, or sought alternate sources of funding.

Pull down the Board agenda (for 5/10/05 ( ). Look in the Consent Calendar for the item asking the Board for permission to De-allocate the positions for Victim Witness and to begin the lay-off process. (Note: FTE means Full Time Employee)

District Attorney
7. Request for the Disallocation of a 1.0 FTE Program Coordinator Position and 3.0 FTE Victim Witness Program Specialist Positions in Budget Unit 252 Effective July 30, 2005

RECOMMENDATION: Approve request, and authorize the Personnel Department to begin the layoff process for the disallocated positions.

Next, you need to pull down the Agenda Item. You should get the Memo pages for the Item directed to the Board.

Victim Witness Positions Deallocated--2005 05 10

Jill Duffy and Phil Crandall saved the day. Or a couple of positons anyway.


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.