If Gallegos makes a list of law enforcement officers with ethics problems, does he have to put himself on it?

Pot, kettle, etc.

The Times-Standard reports that Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos is making a secret list of of law enforcement officials “whose character and honesty have come into question.”

What could possibly go wrong with that?

So because we like to help–we’re givers, you know, deep down inside–we thought we’d get the ball rolling with a list of people in Gallegos’ own office against whom dishonesty has been not only alleged but judicially substantiated.

Our story begins with a routine DUI arrest in Ferndale and ends almost two years later with a California court of appeal tossing the case after finding that DA Investigator Wayne Cox and Deputy DAs Ben McLaughlin and Randy Mailman committed prosecutorial misconduct and violated the defendant’s constitutional rights.

A subsequent opinion upheld these findings and added Assistant DA Wes Keat–the number-two guy in Gags’ office–to the list of perpetrators.

Go team!!

The appellant, Rocky Crowl, was arrested in Ferndale in 2009 for allegedly driving under the influence. At the time of the arrest, the defendant and his two alleged passengers–Rocky’s girlfriend, named Jessica Sneed, and Rocky’s cousin Christopher Crowl who bore a “ballpark” resemblance to Rocky, according to court records–were out of the vehicle, and it was unclear which Crowl had actually been driving. Was it the drunk Rocky or the sober Christopher?

Sneed and Christopher didn’t help the prosecution’s case a bit when both testified at the preliminary hearing that it had been Christopher, not Rocky, behind the wheel. But this setback was only temporary, because the resourceful men and women from the DA’s Office had a solution: Tell the witnesses that if they testify at trial you’ll throw them in prison for perjury–or, to use the formal term for that activity, intimidate the shit out of the witnesses.

Cox had them arrested (over a 3-day weekend) and both charged with felony perjury and being an accessory to a felony. And then, maybe just because some things never change, McLaughlin offered them a deal in exchange for guilty pleas. Both refused.

Just how unusual was it to arrest and charge defense witnesses with perjury? The trial judge said that in 12 years on the bench, he’d never seen anything quite like it. According to the appellate decision,

We need not ignore the clear inference that the nearly unheard of conduct by the prosecution in this case was designed to intimidate these witnesses and keep them from testifying for defendant.

The court concluded

that the evidence in the record supports the trial court’s finding that the prosecution’s unnecessary urgency in arresting, forcefully interrogating, and filing perjury and accessory after the fact charges against Sneed and Christopher resulted in effectively precluding these previously willing defense witnesses from testifying at defendant’s trial. This was misconduct.

The court notified the California State Bar of its findings of misconduct by McLaughlin, Mailman and Keat.

Oh, and it also affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the DUI case on the ground that the prosecution violated the defendant’s constitutional right to due process by intimidating defense witnesses.

So there’s four names for Gallegos’ Brady list. We’d put Gags on there too, except it’s pretty hard to question the character and honesty of someone who has neither.

44 Responses

  1. Hahahaha. Now that’s both funny and disgusting. In most places these folks would be told to get other employment. Where’s that you say? Humboldt. Send your liars, incompetents and malcontents up here. They fit right in with our Dumb Ass (DA).

  2. Good point. I hadn’t drawn the connection, but Yeah, I posted on this back in March.

    It’s another case of the bizarre, schizophrenic nature of the prosecutions under this DA. But it’s also another weird case, where the cop seems out of line. He didn’t bust the guy when he could have KNOWN who was driving, he went back to the station, then tracked them down at a shopping center, where no one was in the car, then arrests them as they are walking back to the car… it’s totally weird IN THE FIRST PLACE, and then Gallegos goes balls to the wall on THIS one, just like he did with the Marsh case.

    But there are others in the DA’s Office who should be added to the “Brady List.” Don’t forget Allan Dollison, especially since he’s rumored to be appointed the new Assistant DA.

    Dollison was “suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension” and stipulated to 16 counts of misconduct in four consolidated cases: three counts each of failing to perform legal services competently or respond to client inquiries and improperly withdrawing from representation, and two counts each of failing to return client files, refund unearned fees and cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

  3. So that’s five. Like we are surprised. Ooh I made a funny.

  4. Thanks, Rose. We may be slow, but we sure are mediocre.

  5. I like the tag “another story Thad Greenson will never write.” Seriously, does he know we can tell he’s spoon fed pablum from Gags and Nielsen? Does he realize how obvious it is? Because he wants to keep the information flowing, he won’t write anything critical of either. Nielsen employs a crook, and he’s a hero for firing him. Gallegos heads up a cast of d-list players so lame they can’t even successfully intimidate a witness, and he’ll get a pass like he always does. At what point does the Times-Standard editor grow a set and ask the staff to report news instead of self-serving fluff?

  6. Maybe the LE Chiefs should start a “stupid and lazier than shit” list. That way the whole DA’s office could be on it.

  7. Police officers and departments get sued, and attorneys in private practice can be disbarred. But if you’re a prosecutor or investigator for the prosecutor and your misconduct is excoriated by a judge? Come get your county paycheck! All is forgiven!

  8. As a court worker I feel sorry for the Judges. You can’t believe anything that comes out of the mouths of Gags or his collection of disreputable attorneys.

  9. That’s an important point, Men. Not only did they do all that unethical shit, but even with three cheating lawyers and a dishonest cop on the case they still couldn’t make one lousy DUI stick.

  10. As a court worker I feel sorry for the Judges. You can’t believe anything that comes out of the mouths of Gags or his collection of disreputable attorneys.

  11. I have no clue how that posted twice.

  12. Wow.

  13. How about a little context. The DA’s office went after two people prepared to say that the suspect wasnt’ driving. Wonder what the suspect himself had to say about who was driving? Here’s from the
    March 29 opinion
    The court considered a recorded statement made by defendant after his arrest and while he was being transported to the police station. In the recording, defendant commented to the arresting officers, “I already know I was breaking the law. [¶] … [¶] Fucking ten DUI’s. I’m going to hell…. Yeah, I know I shouldn’t be driving.” Later, he said, “I don’t know what’s going on….” Still later, he said, Well, … this is my fifth DUI…. Only I was coming down just for a fucking cigarette. Oh that’s why I’m so pissed. I wanted a fucking cigarette. [¶] … [¶] Fucking cigarette. Oh I hate you guys. I hate all people. I can’t believe this—for a fucking cigarette…. Oh well. I’ll do the charges…. What the fuck was I thinking. I knew I was taking a chance. Not like this. ‘Cause I gotta go to jail.” Defendant then said his girlfriend didn’t have a driver’s license, and also said, “The only reason I was driving is because I know how to drive and she doesn’t.” He also said, “I shouldn’t have been driving without a license.” Finally, he said, “Fucking dumb ass …. fucking cigarette…. My fucking fifth DUI.”

    Just so you know

  14. We do know, and provided links to the full documents so everyone else could know too.

    Those documents show that the charges were dismissed by two courts, the same number that found prosecutors to have engaged in misconduct.

    It’s always possible, of course, that you want to argue that it’s ok for the DA’s Office to violate the civil rights of guilty people. In which case, have at it. The floor’s all yours.

    Just so you know.

  15. And by the way, Paul, if that is what you believe, you might consider a different line of work.

  16. Where have you been, Humbug? It’s only ok for the DA’s office to violate the constitutional rights of police officers, particularly those that don’t work for the DA’s Office. Try to keep up, will you?

  17. Some really good material, funny too.

    Does the Brady list include police management? Or maybe conduct in prior civil court actions or depositions?

    What took Gallegos sooo long? Is there or was there something behind this? Answer, yes there was.

  18. Oooh someone knows something interesting. I can smell it!! Feel free to share–confidentially–at humboldtmirror@gmail.com

  19. Why did Gallegos and team take this obviously flawed Ferndale DUI arrest all the way? Did the Ferndale officer get trouble for being a whimp?

    And that other famous Ferndale case, the guy with the 3 year old kid that stepped into the street? The one where the DA went to a jury trial and lost in a major sort of way!

    These two cases show a serious lack of basic sound judgement on the part of the DA.

    Why both of these Ferndale arrests?

    Neither of these cases should have ever gone to court. Does someone in Ferndale have some super pull with the DA? Or is the DA just an idiot?

    Is there a Brady list for defense lawyers? Common sense tells you that they are all lying so and so’s. It seems to be OK for lawyers to lie, and do it on a regualar basis.

  20. Give it up, Anonymous 12:21. It sounds like you’ve got the goods.

  21. Humbug, as far as these two major goofs by the DA on Fernadale arrests go I am at a loss. It doesn’t take a real sharp legal mind to realize those two arrests or prosecutions were losers from the very beginning. Pushing bad cases makes bad case law for the people/prosecution.

    One can only assume that there was some pressure from somewhere to push them.

  22. How much incompetence and unlawful behavior are people willing to put up with from Gallegos and his gang of thugs? Unfortunately, I don’t think the voters of Humboldt County would oust this piece of shit even if he was spraying bullets from an Uzi on the courthouse steps!

  23. Humbug someone does know something interesting, several somebody’s.

    You could be smelling something very interesting.

    I do totally agree with Men Killer 8:22 am

  24. Paul Harvey, the bits you have pointed out clearly establish one thing: this whole kerfluffle was completely unnecessary, because they had the defendant on tape admitting driving. The DA managed to parley a triable DUI case into a dismissal and an appellate finding of misconduct. Great job!

  25. What can you expect from a ship of fools. Unethical fools too. Yep, all they had to do is play the tape instead of violate constitutional rights and commit misconduct.

    Guess that lands Cox on the “Brady list” since it has to be disclosed. Guess that gives the lawyers a state bar suspension. Then they take an ethics course get reinstated and do it all again.

  26. If stupidity and poor judgement were valuable, Gallegos would be sitting on a mountain of treasure.

  27. Hey Bugs, you forgot about Arnie Klien. The Judge Watson admonished him in the Davis trial and the court of appeal stated that he committed prosecutorial misconduct. The case was saved by Judge Watson.

    THE PEOPLE, v. MATTHEW C. DAVIS, Defendant A121549

  28. Arnie Klien took a case to trial? WTF? Does this mean he actually read a report from start to finish?

  29. No. Klien still f’d the case up. Davis was supposed to get 2 15 to life sentences but Klien was too dumb to read the sentencing statute and gave the wrong on to the court so the guy got 5 yrs 8 months instead. Another example of just a really bad lawyer.

  30. Well I’ve got egg on my face, I have been hoping for a big fat shark bite to put us our of our DA-misery. Even chumming where he surfs would not help, even Great White’s have a more decerning palette than to bite the piece of shit known as Gallegos.

    I remember when Rose posted about this on her blog. There is no moral high ground when you are dealing with Law Enforcement or the DA’s office and to pretend otherwise is to actually treat the Sub-Standard as adequate journalism.

  31. Graphics Department or Bugs. Tough to choose who outdid themselves. Okay you can fight over the prize, a case of PBR and a prog free week.

  32. Josephine – most of law enforcement does hold the moral high ground – they don’t like dirty cops and they don’t like the dirty DA.

    They have to deal with him, they know he’s worthless, and they find it frustrating. Disheartening and infuriating.

    I don’t know what’s wrong at the Times-Standard. I had high hopes when Kimberly Wear took over. She was a fine reporter and had a head on her shoulders. There were signs of awareness, but they sank beneath the waves long ago and we got the shitty endorsements opining that Gallegos needed MORE time to grow into the job.

    More an more people are personally feeling the effects of having a lousy DA. Eventually it will achieve critical mass. What’s being mentioned here is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Believe me – there’s more. And lots of it.

  33. Most if not all normal folks know how dishonest this DA is and how unethical and lazy his attorneys are. Pot rules in this county and he brought that to bear on us with his being bought and paid for by the growers and the far left who he let’s use his office to go after their perceived enemies.

  34. The times standard has a hard time getting the obituaries right. The T/S wouldn’t know real journalism if it crawled up it’s backside and laid an egg.

    As an example todays issue. The front page story about EPD chief Garr Neilsen by Thadeous Greenson. That is an example of journalism?! Thadeous quotes Garr Nielsen, Larry Glass, Mike Jones, and recently promoted EPD sgt Adam Laird. Unbelieveable.

    Larry Glass and Mike Jones are no longer on the council, and there is good reason for that. I wonder why Thadeous didn’t interview the sitting mayor, sitting council members, or the least respected officer/sgt on the EPD? Makes you wonder if Thadeous even left his office to write this one? Or maybe Garr or Larry Glass wrote it for him?

    Makes me wonder if Garr promised Thadeous a job at the police department like he did Heather Mueller?

    Whether Thadeous was duped or is part of the hoax who knows. It would appear that todays article has one purpose and one purpose only, to make Garr look good to the unsuspecting public when he actually has some serious problems.

    Can anyone recommend some honest work for Thadeous?

  35. Anonymous at 8:21,

    Thadeous Greenson has principally been assigned to write press releases, apparently. He must have the ultimate work-from-anywhere job, as long as cell coverage allows him to receive instructions from Glass, Nielsen, and Gallegos. He “phones it in” all right, after it’s been phoned in to him.

    In the rare instance where Nielsen and Gallegos are at odds–the recent arrest of an EPD officer–poor Thad must have felt like a child whose parents are arguing.

  36. How is the latest lawsuit against Garr going? I do wonder why Mr. Greenson didn’t ask about that?

    However it’s going the city is on the hook for Garr’s actions again. Could that be the reason the city is allowing Garr to continue on?

    It would be very informative if the public were to learn how Garr spends the city’s money. Is that public information?

    It would also be very informative if the public were aware of the number of complaints the city has had about Garr’s driving! Complaints from Eureka, Humboldt County, and beyond. From citizens and law enforcement agencies.

    I had hoped thinks would change with Garr Nielsen once his sugar daddy Larry Glass was kicked to the curb by the voting citizens of Eureka.

    Eureka deserves better.

  37. Anyone interested how many times Garr has been caught sleeping in his car on H St.? Or traveling from Humboldt Hill at 7:30 am? Or driving his city car on totally personal business. Why hasn’t the City put a stop to that crap?

  38. What really matters is what the CURRENT councilmembers think about the Chief. Seems to me that they have not been impressed with a number of items that the past Council voted on. Who the hell cares what a lame ass and two lame ducks think. Why the complete absence of comments from the current council and management Thad? Why not get a comment from other law enforcement folks? Garr is a tool, but Thad is a bigger tool for being used by both the police chief and the DA.

  39. Come on Thad !

    Can’t you write a balanced well investigaged article on Chief Nielsen and Erin McBride’s impending Federal Harrasment lawsuit?

    The people of Eureka deserve it…not this fluffy crap that you and your editors are trying to spoon feed us as news on how great Garr is. GET TO THE REAL STORY…it’s out there you just need to make a few calls!

    DO I need to show you how.?

  40. Balance? Investigation?

    Did you read today’s piece o’ crap editorial? Is that what passes for logic? 420 event somehow becomes equated with the City of Bell and freedom of the press? WTF?

    The City of Bell happened under the nose of the press because they didn’t know what they were listening to at the council meetings. I’d wager a bet the TS reporters don’t understand our local gov’t either. As evidenced by this Garr fluff piece. Pfftttt

  41. Can the graphics department put a penis on a picture of Thad and Salzman? They can be holding hands with Garr and Gags. Priceless.

  42. Since this came out McLaughlin has piped down on the blogs. Wonder what’s up with that? Why does he and Cox still have county employment? I guess the only qualifications to have a job with this DA is to be suspended from the state bar association or be found by state courts to be unethical by intimidating witnesses. Hey, isn’t that a CRIME? Oh yeah, it is.

  43. Help,( attorneys needed here) ASAP, Give me a E-mail?

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