Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What it takes to be district attorney

In June, Humboldt County voters will make a critically important decision -- who will serve as their district attorney. A successful DA must bring commitment, ability, experience, intellect, judgment, and nonpartisan temperament to the office to provide the professional competence that the job requires, and that the public deserves. - David A. Prendergast/My Word/Times Standard

...The DA must be able to: analyze and apply legal principles and practices; prepare, and prosecute criminal and civil cases; interview witnesses and complainants; advocate a wide range of criminal and/or civil cases; review motions, orders, pleadings and other legal documents; present statements of fact, law and argument clearly and logically both orally and in writing; grasp the logistics of trials -- implementing practices and procedures to ensure that discovery is both timely and complete in each case to limit delays in trial preparation and conclusion; and establish and maintain effective relationships with county agencies, including, but not limited to, law enforcement.

Finally, the district attorney has to be able to recruit, teach and motivate junior prosecutors to do all of the above.

Humboldt County is faced with challenges, some of them the mundane problems of every California county, others more uniquely those of the North Coast. Each challenge profoundly affects individuals, families, and the community. The DA is someone who can make a significant difference in the community he or she serves -- with very real quality of life impact on residents.

Based on my years of experience, I urge my neighbors and fellow citizens to consider carefully what it takes to be the district attorney, weigh all the available facts objectively, meet as many candidates as you can, ask questions, consider answers, and decide wisely.
__________________

OK...

49 comments:

  1. He submitted this same article to one of the SoHum papers. On the surface, it seems balanced enough. Doesn't take direct hits at any of the candidates. But if you know candidate resumes, and you know he has all but officially come out in support of Maggie, it makes it a little less balance and a lot more tailored to Vote for Maggie. Also, David lied when it says he lives in down in So Cal. Both him, his wife and his law practice were/are in Eureka.

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  2. Jim, you are just pissed off because Prendergast refuses to forgive and forget Allan's repeated fraud and mishandling of his clients which landed him in huge hot water with the Bar.

    Who cares where David P. lives? Perhaps he lives in both places? That is not a lie as I know that David P. left our county for a significant period of time and then came back. Allan lied to the Bar Association. Bold faced.

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  3. Ferguson, you are pretty damn flippant. If you took the time to read the piece, you would see that it was the TS who labelled the author a resident of Riverside. No where in the piece does Prendergast say he lives. Typical poor editing by the subStandard.

    You do Allan no service by going off that way. On the other hand, you are probably helping the voters

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  4. hmm, that piece reads pretty well for Mr. Klein, doesn't it? Word has it that Mr. P and Mr. K are tight as ticks . . .
    And Dollison has a fair amount of experience, too. Not near as much as Klein and Fleming, but rather more than Firpo.

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  5. If you've ever submitted a letter to the editor, you know one of the requirements is not only your address but a phone number to verify that the letter comes from the person it's supposedly from. No publication will print anything with this information. If the T-S says he lives down south, that is because he told them so.

    As to being pissed off, not at all. What's annoying is that David refuses to admit to his support of Maggie and hides behind a curtain of "I have not publically endorsed anyone" when all his actions favor her and promote her candidacy.

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  6. Ferguson, you are talking out of your hat. You have two possibilities, and you decide, based on your own deductive powers, which one is correct.

    Others may reach other conclusions, or simply give the facts time to come out. But not you, you declare the man a liar. Well, fine, if anyone should know a liar, it's someone who works for Allan. Oh, wait, he got all better. That's why he was frog-marched out of the office when he "resigned".

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  7. How does Prendergast's piece about experience help Fleming more than it helps Klein? Ditto the discipline thing.

    Did Mr. Ferguson just admit that his candidate lacks significant experience? Seems to me he did, because otherwise he should have jumped right in with "Exactly, and Allan has all that". But no, his immediate reaction to an old pro explaining the importance of experience was to attack the source.
    Tell us this, Ferguson, what did Prendergast say about the importance of experience that was not true?
    How is the last paragraph of the piece anti-Allan? Do you not want voters asking questions . . . oh, wait, I see your problem.

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  8. OH for Christ sakes quit it y'all. Dollison made a Mistake as a baby lawyer and has been a stand up guy since. I have met a crime victim he helped who thinks he was a great lawyer and compassionate. Prendergast is a bit of a Wing nut. I can recall a Rambo photo he sent before he was let go from the city of eureka.

    As for the for the other candidates. Well they all have problems. Klein is a bit of a nutter handing out zig zags with vote for Klein. Fleming is a cold woman with no management abilities and Firpo can manage but is awfully new.

    I am still deciding but leaning firpo or dollison. I may be in the minority here but the sniping from two of the candidates isn't helping them.

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  9. "Flemiing is a cold woman with no management abilities".

    And you know this because? She seems to have managed CAST and DTF well enough.

    "Firpo can manage".
    And you know this because?

    No one who knows Fleming thinks she is cold. No one who worked with her doubts her management abilities.

    No one in Humboldt has ever seen Firpo manage a thing, and no one has heard any Maylaysians or anyone else who worked with her say different.

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  10. Everyone who knows Fleming thinks she's cold. From what I've heard she sold drug cases down the river for her beloved paul and did the same with kid cases until she was removed. Whoopi. Some resume. My coworker dealt with her as a witness in a case several year ago and was appalled (excuse the pun) I am just deciding between two and she's not it sorry but you won't change my mind by insulting remarks.

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  11. Everyone who knows Fleming thinks she's cold. From what I've heard she sold drug cases down the river for her beloved paul and did the same with kid cases until she was removed. Whoopi. Some resume. My coworker dealt with her as a witness in a case several year ago and was appalled (excuse the pun) I am just deciding between two and she's not it sorry but you won't change my mind by insulting remarks.

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  12. You folks that refer to Fleming as cold are ........ not being truthful, are very uninformed, or just low life hacks trashing one candidate because whomever you support doesn't measure up.

    That said, I actually know Maggie Fleming. She is a delightful lady, friendly, and decent ! Her qualifications, experience, and professionalism speak for themselves. I have no doubt that she is the best possible choice for DA.

    You hack's inspire me to donate to Maggies campaign, AGAIN !

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  13. Ok donate. You don't convince by referring to folks who disagree as hacks.

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  14. Who's trying to convince the "hacks"? People that make those kinds of comments aren't prone to rational thinking.

    trying to play nice

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    Replies
    1. You are acting like an ass.

      Delete
  15. David A. Prendergast4/23/2014 8:45 AM

    To Jim Ferguson said...
    I provided all the personal information required by the TS upon my submission to the "My Word" section. My entire name, phone number that begins with (707) and my contact information. Just for the record. I went to Riverside county in late 2005 to treat for cancer. Had to stay for a year of follow up and our family relocated while I was in treatment. My wife was hired by the Riverside Superior Court as a Certified Shorthand Reporter (For you a Court Reporter) and I was later offered employment 2007, with the Riverside Public Defender's office. I accepted the position with the major felony unit in Indio, near my hospital and medical providers, and we stayed there until 2009 when I became too sick to continue working. We came back to Humboldt County in 2009, where we have live ever since. My children are third generation Humboldt residence, and this is OUR home. I again was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, and again went south for treatment, this time in Palo Alto, by surgeons from Stanford Univ. Hope this is enough for you to keep on bashing away you small minded supporter of a fraud, thief, forger, and prosecutor who was terminated and walked out of the Humboldt D.A.'s office for Prosecutorial misconduct after the Dec. 2012 mistrial caused by Dollison. If you would like a copy of my resume, I would be more than willing to provide it. I sent one to the TS.

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  16. David A. Prendergast4/23/2014 8:54 AM

    To Jim Ferguson said...
    And by the way, Mr. Klein, Ms. Fleming, Ms. Firpo, and, yes, even Mr. Dollison have had significant professional contact with either my with as a Court Reporter, or me as an attorney. Some more than others given the very large disparity in the years of professional practice among the four candidates. We both have our own professional and personal opinions about each of the four.

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  17. David A. Prendergast4/23/2014 9:01 AM

    To Jim Ferguson said...
    Not to leave anything out of a personal nature, I served 14 months in Vietnam as a combat Marine from 01/1967 to 02/1968. I served in I Corp just south and abutting the DMZ. I, as were all USMC personnel stationed there, exposed to Agent Orange, which contained Dixon, a carcinogen, causing cancer and many other serious medical conditions. Both my cancers were agent orange cancers, Just a few months ago I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, another agent orange condition. Any thing else you need, or want to know?
    I have never exposed anything about Mr. Dollison except the facts, and the truth.

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  18. David. I saw the copy of this same piece you sent to the So Hum paper yesterday. It showed you signed it with the details about being retired etc. from Riverside, and located in Eureka. In retrospect, I assume the T-S just screwed up again and didn't list your current residence. I apologize.

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  19. David A. Prendergast4/23/2014 9:29 AM

    To Jim Ferguson said...

    Reminds me of what I was told by a Judge I clerks for during Law School. ASSUME= you make an ASS out of you, and an ASS out of me. the ME being who ever you represent a fact based upon ASSUME. Thanks for doing some actual research after you set out attacking me. David

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  20. "Cold woman" - Maggie? Really? Wow!

    Is it her ready smile or her kindness that you find cold? Is her altruism or perhaps all her volunteer hours for the various boards she serves on?

    Maybe it is all the volunteer hours at the DA's office? She only got paid for 38 hours a week but she worked many more than that. 24/7 on DTF for four years. No other candidate knows the fruitlessness of going after small grows in our county better than Maggie. And the need to go after meth and heroine and treatment for those that want it. As county counsel she has even learned about the environmental issues associated with large grows.

    Further, she is the only one of the four organized enough to get the grant money or even know how to go after the grants...herself...not by employing someone who she hopes will know how to do it. She knows first hand.

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  21. David A. Prendergast4/23/2014 6:27 PM

    To Jim Ferguson: I'm sorry to say that your attack policy in the campaign approach seems rather old and unproductive in these times when most voters are just plain tired of such efforts. Perhaps a positive approach extolling the positive virtues of your employer, Allan Dollison, might help improve his public image of a professional who struggles with what is right and wrong. I would like to hear some positive character traits, time tested and provable, that would encourage voters to vote for him.

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  22. David, I am curious - what we have in the DA's Office RIGHT NOW, and have had since 2003, is a complete incompetent manager, who has run the office into the ground - and you've been - where?

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  23. I'm not surprised Ferguson has serious foot in mouth disease, it's certainly not the first time, nor will it be his time. Since he has been paid as a campaign manager he thinks now he knows all there is to know. Unfortunately for him, we can all see that he knows very little and he proves it almost every time he posts on a blog or opens his mouth! Keep up the good work, I'm sure Allan appreciates all that you do????

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    Replies
    1. Losey. Give it up.v The candidates have to run on who they are now. Prendergast and you will just have to deal with it. Klein is out. He's a creep. The other three will have to run on who they are now and not about 20 years ago. That includes dollison, Fleming and firpo. Get over it and quit living in the past. Ps. You haven't done shit for this county since you became Gallegos ' s bff. The best thing for Fleming is if you stfu.

      Delete
  24. I assume Mr. Prendergast has been minding his own business, and he's had a pretty full dance card. You are welcome to your obsessions Rose, but the idea that everyone else should share them is quite absurd. It's an election year, now, and that is an appropriate time for citizens to speak up.

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  25. Mikey: Have you ever run a campaign outside of the little Fortuna sandbox? Or are you just Maggie's troll for the duration?

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  26. Butt out, 8:06. I'm a fan of his. And he is saying he cares about who is in the DA's office.

    A LOT of people have helped me in this endeavor - but his name has never come up.

    So, I'm asking.

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  27. There have been MULTIPLE other opportunities to speak up.

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  28. Uri Driscoll4/23/2014 8:54 PM

    Ms. Flemming is by far the best choice we may ever have had for DA. She is warm, sincere and highly intelligent.
    Does she know everything she will after her first term, no.
    Is she open to constructive criticism, Yes.
    Is she going to bother giving attention to groundless accusations, no.
    She has much more important things to do.
    We all should.

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  29. I agree with you on a lot but not this Uri. You don't know her enough. Nice mask. No substance. She is not open to criticism at all. She hides from it and makes nice but makes nothing but what she can take from it. Sorry brother. As my dad says, That dog won't hunt. Won't even fetch.

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  30. Butt out? A little thin skinned, aren't we?

    Also, a little incoherent, but that's old news.

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  31. Well, Anonymous responder to Mr. Driscoll, since you don't give any basis for your implied knowledge of Ms. Fleming, which is totally fabricated, the point goes to Mr. Driscoll. And the suggestion that there is no substance to Ms. Fleming is simply laughable. As for your dad, he has my sympathies. It might not be his fault that his child is a cowardly lying weasel.

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    Replies
    1. Back yo you anonymous. Since you don't give your basis either for your implied knowledge I am still laughing at your response. My sympathy for your family and friends. It is not their fault you are a complete putz.

      I will stick by my assessment and you can stick by yours. .

      Delete
  32. I stick with things like this:
    Maggie Fleming represented my family in the prosecution of three young men who murdered my daughter on January 23, 1994 at the South Jetty. Maggie was deputy district attorney at the time and kept us informed every step through the trial that lasted 4 years. Maggie was the voice of Amber who lost hers when these young men robbed her life. From the moment my family stood in her professional presence Maggie was there to ease the pain. She explained and answered all our questions with an open mind and always made us feel cradled by her ability to present our case. She has the ability to communicate with passion and firmness, empathy and directness, and has years of experience. My family supports Maggie’s decision to run for District Attorney and knows she is committed to making a difference in all our communities.
    Francine Schulman
    Amber Slaughter’s mother

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  33. I have introduced Maggie to many many folk since she let it be known she was running last November. Not a single one thinks she is cold. Not a single one hasn't later said: "She's got my vote."

    Seeing (and meeting) is believing.

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  34. Every candidate can get a supporter from a case they represented. Every candidate supporter can say people meet my candidate and say she has my vote.

    Only three candidates have endorsements, funds, professionalism and several supporters who are not friends.

    Of those three candidates each has pluses and minuses.

    Of those three one will be the next District Attorney June or November.

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    Replies
    1. I would rather have remarks from cases less than 20 years old. I would rather have critiques from other than 20 years ago. How about focusing on what these 4 people have done in the last 10 years or 5 years. Have they been great during this time? Or been hiding out part time doing nothing? That's what I am looking for.

      Delete
  35. Fleming must really scare somebody.

    Why not make a statement why you support your favorite candidate, instead of trash talking the competition??

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  36. 9:25 coming from a Fleming supporter, your candidate and her supporters should follow your own advice.

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  37. I am a retired high school history teacher. I have lived in Humboldt County for 10 years. A few years ago I was a juror on a murder trial at the Humboldt County Courthouse. Maggie Fleming was the prosecutor. She presented a case that was so well prepared that we were able to put away a very dangerous person for a very long time. My fellow jurors and I were particularly impressed with the way she worked with the Sheriff’s Department.
    After the trial I found out from my friends in law enforcement that Maggie is universally respected. I can’t think of a better person for the office of District Attorney than Maggie Fleming. Experience matters — she has it. The ability to work well with every branch of the justice system matters. She is simply the best qualified candidate for the job.
    Bruce Osborne
    McKinleyville

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  38. David A. Prendergast4/26/2014 7:35 AM

    To Rose: I would be more than willing to share my "what have you been doing" with you. I will need to send you the material via email as an attachment. You can find my contact information on the California State Bar Assoc. web site under my name. David A. Prendergast. I will fill in personal info in addition to the attachments. Maybe we could even meet sometime for a cup of coffee and have an adult conversation and drop the anonymous barrier?

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  39. David, I don't need the stuff you've been sending around - if you know anything at all about this blog, you know I am the one who first posted that. MANY years ago, now.

    And if you've been following, you also know my observations and conclusions with respect to Mr. Dollison. Trust me, I was one of the worst critics.

    I do find it - ironic, maybe - that people are jumping up and down in fury over it NOW, after the hiring, and after years of serving here, and proving to be not only one of the better prosecutors, but infinitely more honest than his boss.

    As I indicated above - I'm not one of YOUR detractors. Coffee, one of these days, probably a good idea.

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  40. Yes, David and Rose should get together.

    In the meantime, let's put this to bed in June.

    Maggie is clearly the best candidate and will do a very fine job.

    She DOES have management skill and she does know criminal law inside and out. The staff at the DA's office desperately want her back and so do most of the victims in this county (and all future victims).

    She has the support of key stakeholders in our county: Mental Health, Law Enforcement, Non-Profits, Probation, Environmental Health, etc

    Let's get 'er done.

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    Replies
    1. Fleming managed one department. The grand jury squad she did not maintain the level of her predecessor. She only management was complete mismanagement if the most important division in the office.

      Delete
    2. Fleming did not manage squat. She was the deputy da assigned to a multi discipline group and each department managed their own. Saying she managed it is dishonest. But she didn't do the job as the prosecutor from what the grand jury found in its investigation. Sad sad sad.

      Delete
  41. If Maggie is clearly the best candidate, why are there so many comments trying to convince others of this fact.

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Comments are open, but moderated, for the time-being. Good luck.