Gallegos, 52, announced last November that he was not going to run for a fourth term. The decision was multifaceted, Gallegos said.
“I saw that the job as a district attorney is to make tough decisions all the time,” Gallegos said. “To make tough decisions on behalf of the community, and to protect the individual from the community and to protect the community from the individual.”
Over the years, Gallegos launched a controversial and ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit against the Pacific Lumber Company, survived the resulting recall attempt, was re-elected twice, saw many of his experienced prosecutors leave, and was criticized for his office’s charging decisions in several cases, but along the way he persistently maintained that his No. 1 priority was equal access to government for all of the citizens of Humboldt County.
Gallegos said he prefers not to dwell on the past 12 years, and that it is time for him to move on.
This realization was spurred by his oldest son — who wasn’t even in elementary school when Gallegos took office — leaving for college.
“Because the community had entrusted me with this position, I felt that my priority needed to be the community,” he said. “Twelve years later, my kid is getting ready to go to college and I was confronted with all the things I wanted to do with him that I hadn’t done. I am not going to let that happen with my other kids, I won’t get to undo those things, but I’m going to be there for my kids.”
Gallegos also has a daughter in high school and a son who is 12.
He plans to return to working with his wife at the private law firm they started together and take the time to surf, hike and climb mountains with his kids. He said his wife tells him almost every day how happy she is about his decision.
Sunday, January 04, 2015
Fleming to make Humboldt DA history on Monday
◼ Paul Gallegos prepares to leave office after 12 years as Humboldt County district attorney. - Juniper Rose, Eureka Times-Standard 01/03/15, 10:09 PM PST