Gallegos loses a deputy but gains a potential new scapegoat

Help wanted, and we're not talking about jobs.

As of today, it seems that Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin can add another word to his title: Former.

He and District Attorney Paul Gallegos, whom McLaughlin actively supported in the last election, had what was described as an “ugly” confrontation in the middle of jury selection that ended with McLaughlin quitting his job and walking out of the courthouse.

Conversation must have been interesting around McLaughlin’s dinner table tonight, given that his wife is Assistant District Attorney Kelly Neel. Will McLaughlin tuck it up between his legs and ask for his job back, or will Gallegos’s second-in-command join her husband in the pursuit of new opportunities?

If McLaughlin sticks to his guns, this could be a godsend for Gallegos. He had just about run out of people to blame for his own shortcomings, and it looks like he has at least one new volunteer.

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48 Responses

  1. Has Paul had a forehead transplant?

  2. No, but he had his integrity surgically removed at birth.

  3. I know Ben pretty well. He nutted up some during the election, but I would guess he’s seen the light by now. I wish him the best.

  4. how long is this dude staying in office with all the routine f-ups he does,and with the employees jumping ship faster than the sinking Titanic?Maybe if he smokes enough mariquana his entire voice will disappear and he’ll finally be really worthless and fade off into the dubie clouds.Our worthless demos and greenies candy coated his puckerhole and got him into office and he’s really been an asssss-set to Humboldt.Token and smokem loser.

  5. McLaughlin’s in good company. I haven’t updated the list in a while, but take a look: The Question, really, is Who’s Left? http://watchpaul.blogspot.com/2007/02/question-really-is-whos-left.html http://watchpaul.blogspot.com/2010/04/excuse-me.html

    RE: McLaughlin, the question is what took him so long.

  6. Oh, dang it. I am stuck in moderation again. :(

  7. That business manager he’s trying to blame all his grant problems on learned the hard way, didn’t she?

  8. The most telling comment was the quote from McLaughlin detailing that ….”law enforcement has a thankless job…”, could be that he (McLaughlin) got put in the middle once too often. It is a well-known that the law enforcement community detests the DA, particularily as he has the habit of hanging them out to dry when he fails to successfully prosecute and, well, it simply CANNOT be his fault!

    I daresay that the trial for which they are trying to seat a jury brought these issues to the forefront! It concerns pot, a multi-agency apprehension and less than stellar individuals. Well, he hasn’t wankered a big case since Dave Gundersen was exonerated on appeal!

  9. Thadeus did a good job on the article, IMO.

  10. Hmmmm. Word is that shit hit the fan today in that mockery of an office.

  11. Josie, the trial he was preparing for was a cold or old murder. Joey Miller is the defendant, an unpleasant guy.

    Who is left? And how long will they stay? If too many of them quit and they can no longer iven pretend to effectivley run the office, maybe the AG’s office will take over? But that would take a decision from Moonbeam Brown.

    The country, the state, and the county are in a real mess.

    I wish Ben M. well. Feel sorry for his wife Kelly. And of course none of this is PVG’s fault.

  12. Hmm, when will we hear the “rest of the story”!

    Maybe someone, above the age of 60, can tell me if Humboldt County has ever had a good, decent, honest, dedicated, public servant type DA??? Farmer, nahhhh. DePoali, hell nahhhh, Buffington, F’nahhh, or Feracommie, nahh. That’s as far back as I can remember.

    And here’s a hint, the rest of the story is not going to sound too good for Gag’s administration.

  13. Boy is this getting fun. Gags is too stupid to grasp the concept of “bribery” nor can he understand the term “whistleblower”. DA stands for DumbAss. A great big corrupr dumbass.

  14. An explanation is required here. Either McLaughlin made an unprofessional ego based decision to walk away from a serious responsibility, in which case he’s no loss, or some issue arose which made resignation an ethical necessity. A deputy DA prosecuting a murder case owes the public and the victim’s family the utmost dedication. An elected DA,the same, with the additional responsibility to maintain public confidence in hhe DA’s office. So where’s the problem? McLaughlin and the DA owe the public an honest explanation.

  15. Josephine Blowe said, “It is a well-known that the law enforcement community detests the DA, particularily as he has the habit of hanging them out to dry when he fails to successfully prosecute and, well, it simply CANNOT be his fault!”

    My response: maybe if rogue power tripping law enforcement did not falsely arrest folks so often, the DA would have more effectiveness too. Unfortunately, trust is very thin between elected officials’ offices. Further, with trust, it becomes hard to continue to trust law enforcement when law enforcement fails at the easiest suggestions to make their life less controversial. When law enforcement decides to get-off its “high horses” to stand with the community, then you will notice audio and video devices on law enforcement’s person to accompany law enforcement to every potential site arrest. The wonderful thing is that “writing a report” will no longer be necessary when software can re-transcribe the digital recordings.

    The sad part of law enforcement is – no longer will it be easy to “frame” a community citizen with a falsely drafted and filed police report. The days of corrupt police reports wil be severely hampered.

    HOJ

    PS HumBugs – moderation yesterday seems to have censored some posts that were anything but mean, but actually straightforward and nicely stated; or, is it the truth that the haters are calling on this blog to start deleting through moderation? Maybe there is a good reason, maybe not………I get the feeling the moderator(s) behind this blog too dislike anti-rogue law enforcement types of citizens. So, the thought has been presented for Bugs to answer if Bugs so chooses.

    Is the Humboldt Mirror a “Pro-Cop” blogsite that chooses to power trip on those bloggers who disfavor what is occuring locally with law enforcement boondoggles.

  16. I say it’s odd there are not more comments on this issue.

  17. The public deserves an explanation here. Did McLaughlin quit in temper tantrum, or is there more going on? A prosecutor in a murder case has a high responsibility to the public and the victim’s family, and walking away mid trial is virtually unthinkable. An elected DA should inform the public what is going on with the DA’s office. An elected judge has a responsibility to record how such a thing happens. In this instance the persons and offices involved seem to be saying “Move along, folks, nothing to see here”.

  18. I am not surprised at Paul’s behavior.

    I remember being on a jury for a d.u.i. that one of his deputies was prosecuting and doing well on. All of a sudden in storms his Paul-ness, who proceeds to interrupt his own deputy during questioning of a Highway Patrolman and tries to make the case way more dramatic than it was on its face.

    We felt bad for the Deputy DA and embarrassed by Paul’s obvious take over to try and make himself look good after screwing up so many times near the time of the trial on other matters.. He just makes shit up.

    And I for one do not care if his wife is nice; so what, and why would that justifiy keeping Paul in his elected position?

    Paul is a sick idiotic man who prefers underaged girls (I’ve seen him act really smarmy to teen girls at more than one chamber mixer) to actually procecuting the criminals of our area.

    Toss the bum out!

  19. Gallegos is elected ! He can’t be “tossed out” for being an incompetant manager and a trainwreck of a leader.

  20. What is up with this HOJ freak? Was he deprived of oxygen at child birth or just dropped from a four story building (on his head) at a tender age?

  21. Given the total silence by the Pauliban (Heraldo and SHPII) on this issue, one might assume that there’s something here about Paul that
    leads them to take a “nothing to see here folks” stance. One can’t imagine such a no comment stance if there was a resignation at the NRA or the Republican National Party.

  22. Total silence from Paul’s usual cheering sections. What do they know that they don’t want to talk about?

  23. 6:26 Anon: it’s true, he was elected…and by “toss the bum out” one usually means elect someone else…wake up dude.

  24. That’s the point “Sam”. He can’t be tossed out or just fired. Except for something extreme he will remain in office or power until he is voted out of office or decides not to run for office.

    Wake up Sam! That means he’s in for another 2 plus years !!!!

  25. If people were paying attention, they would know that McLaughlin – and everyone else in that office has been working under IMPOSSIBLE conditions. I’d say he made an ethical choice. Good for him.

    The Grand Jury explained it YEARS ago. Numerous people have tried to tell you. Many people have gone quietly to speak to reporters, requesting anonymity out of fear of retaliation. People have left – GOOD people, valued and seasoned prosecutors. The story has not changed

    Good diligent prosecutors, crushed by the heavy load brought about by mismanagement and losing so many top prosecutors, cannot properly do their jobs when the boss randomly sends in different people for each appearance – remember Paul during the campaign explaining away his transferring people out of their specialties? He said he likes to make sure they know all ends of the business, as if they hadn’t worked their way up. And totally discounting their years of expertise, their knowledge of the law, their knowledge of the players, the sources, the ins and outs of a particular area, whether it was drugs, murders, child abuse or asset forfeiture.

    He snows you with the words of spinmeisters, and the lies pile up.

    I don’t think Salzman can spin him out of this one.

    Poor Richard, his fingers must be getting tired.

  26. I say Rose is pretty much right on the mark !!!!

  27. The word is that both of them have left town fearing retribution. One has to wonder what they know, why they felt they had to leave humboldt and why Gags is so vindictive that he is going after them. Evidently someone threatened to go public and it started a tanrum from Gags. Hummmmmm.

  28. Rose is right. The Grand Jury was right.

    Someone should look at the number of people that have quit since he’s been DA. I bet, its been more than any other office in the County. Were exit interviews done? I bet not one of them has anything nice to say about the DA. Although, most of them would probably clam up. Because unlike the criminals in this town, they fear him and what he could do to their reputations, etc.. Better to just keep quiet.

    He is called the top law enforcer for a reason. To enforce the laws, to effectively and efficiently prosecute criminals and to keep us safe. I ask you this question. IS HE DOING HIS JOB? Do you feel safer today, living in Humboldt County, than you did before he was elected into office? I don’t. Not at all. And it pisses me off.

  29. “We felt bad for the Deputy DA and embarrassed by Paul’s obvious take over to try and make himself look good after screwing up so many times near the time of the trial on other matters.. He just makes shit up.”

    “He snows you with the words of spinmeisters, and the lies pile up.

    I don’t think Salzman can spin him out of this one.

    Poor Richard, his fingers must be getting tired.”

    My Response: So, the DA is the ONLY ELECTED OFFICIAL that makes shit up? So, with 5 PUBLICLY ELECTED County Supervisors actively spinmeistering and lying at times, who are the 5 people stroking their pens too? Let us see, The Publicly Elected Sheriff – who strokes his pen too? The County Assessor????

    Yep, this is a matter of private sector insiders who have jumped-on the bandwagon of certain local agencies to help defend the boondoggles of another agency or few so that the social direction of this community is decided by the biased and prejudiced private sector types running their ruses through elected seats, often engaging in battles among peered elected officials (quietly so much)……..and yet, going back and taking a gander at enough of the previous DA’s in Humboldt County…… one has to wonder if they were soooo good, how come their names don’t get used in the Gallegos discussion as being better and having done much better for the community.

    A list I would request Rose to compile: as many of those socio-economic issues within the various communities that have suffered because of the DA’s actions. I get “lack for prosecution success” as being on that list. How about other thoughts besides names of people who live better lifestyles as a well-connected-to-do-type as compared to the majority of the voting class….. whether or not the well-connected-to-do-type actually works for the DA any longer.

    Of course, funding and resources makes everyone’s life easier, public and private sector. If it is a matter of funding, I’d rather see the DA’s office get the funds for its investigative needs compared to the Sheriff’s Department boots on the ground which is 90% mop-up, non preventative costs while abdicating their job responsibilities over many social issues – this proves the job position must be eliminated when the public employee is only merely playing “dress-up doll” for popular power trippings while not really accomplishing a darned thing except waste fuel and create false data logs – but hey, these employees have a job with pay and benefits, so that must be individual accomplishment.

    Create the “paper game” to retain public employment opportunities with public tax dollars (not private tax dollars coming directly out of the pockets of the public game players). Now, if the Sheriff’s Department would cease and desist from false paperworkings and report fabrications, then the “overly high expectations” to prosecute will diminish – but then, the sheriff’s deputies also prove their unworth to taxpayers when comparisons are distinguished as to WHAT sheriff’s deputies actually do that is harmful in any community.

    For many folks only see one side of the issue as explained by those involved in the issue on one particular side……..I’d hate to be a DA having to deal with rogue and corrupt law enforcers because the public relations is gonna be a killer.

    HOJ

  30. Thank you Rose. And 11:05: Yes, 2 years is a long time, and we need the political will to do it when the time comes. In the mean time; bring all of the falsehoods and f-ups to the light where everyone can see them clearly so there will not be any discussion of what is needed at the time of the next election. ok?

  31. Just who do you think will want to run for DA in this county, and inherit the situation the current DA has created? Go ahead, name three capable, experienced prosecutors who would want the job. Name two. Name one.

  32. Who will run for DA? Who ,might be dumb enough to run after this F’up? Really it’s a no brainer. Jumps out at’ya. Screams me,me,me. Stone cold – no one else even close.Who is the one person in Humboldt who says more and makes even less sense than Gags ? Who is rightous in his own mind and with out gile? Has no qualifications? Hummmmmm!

  33. Sara the Dog?

  34. Anon 5:42 and Dawg 6:50, how about HOJ? He’s about as senseless as you can get and surely without gile………

  35. Ben McLaughlin is an excellent attorney.

  36. Excellent attorneys do not walk out on murder cases. They suck it up and get the job done, then quit.

  37. So Leonidas, do you work for gags? Do you have any idea of what actually happened? Are you politically allined with pro DA groups? Are you just making an uninformed guestamation? Just asking. Ben is an honorable man and a great atorney. I have not spoken to him on this issue bit I will submit to you that your assesment is not totally accurate.

  38. HOJ for DA. He already has justice in his screen name, so he’s got a lead on Gags when it comes to qualifications. We’re dumb enough to put a schmuck in office repeatedly, why not go alll in?

  39. Ben a good attorney? He has problems major problems. So does his wife. Honorable hardly. Caught in a maze corruptness yes. He was gag s best buddy until he melted down. Frankly he and she gets what they both deserve which is nothing. Good luck with that. I agree with the above poster that he should’ve finished his job and then left. So the corruptnest just hit in the face hardly

  40. LOL – Leonidas does not work for Gallegos. Long-time readers of (long lost) Buhne Tribune and Fred know him. Good to see you, friend, :)

  41. The undisputed fact is that McLauglin walked away from a grave responsibility. If you can square that with your claim that he is honorable and a great attorney, the burden falls on you, on him, and on the District Attorney to explain how that act of apparent malfeasance, not to say cowardice, squares with those characteristics. The District Attorney owes the public a full explanation, or one is left to assume a gross failure of leadership, and so does Mr.McLaughlin, or one is left to assume a gross personal indulgence.

  42. Both of those propositions are correct. There is absolutely no leadership in that office. Paul it’s totally incompetent. Ben has no good judgement. The entire office is a train wreck. But there is plenty of pot here. Whoopy. How lucky (screwed ) we all are.

  43. Achilles proably would agree with Leonidas, ala a Trojan Horse War from within!

    HOJ

  44. HOJ is a complete f’g moron.

    Ben is an OK laywer, an OK DDA. No one every trained him right! He was thrown into the big leagues without enough time in the monons!

    Think about this! What if Ben was so pissed off (meltdown, stressed out, overworked, whatever) and he knew he couldn’t do the murder case justice, do it right? If he lost the case the state and the family would not get the justice they deserve. Maybe, just Maybe, Ben did the right thing? Very few know the conditios he was working under, the pressure. Cut the guy some slack, the burden falls on PVG!

  45. Joel Mielke’s real name is Joel Milke. He was a unground comix artist in the 1970’s. If his work is anything like Robert Crumb,…..

  46. Sam – what a frickin loser! Get your facts straight dumbass. When was the last time you saw Gallegos at a mixer? I personally attend almost all of them and I haven’t seen him at any recently. At least within the last year! Ben wasn’t thrown into the any murder cases, he asked, even begged to try them. Ben thought he was so good that he was indestructible! kudos to Paul for letting him go.Many people in the office were complaining of Ben’s cockiness and his condescension. I say good riddance. Gallegos does not owe anyone an explanation why he fired Ben. Especially when t comes to personnel matters. I thought some of you people here were smarter than that. I guess I was wrong.

  47. why have my comments been removed? not anti Gallegos enough?

  48. All this name calling by posters too afraid to attach their real names to their name callings.

    Why?

    Name callers don’t like to be hated, so they stay silently non-transparent…….Name Callers usually are mad because their wrong in the discussion or argument and can’t get any other reaction of merit……..good thing anonymouses don’t count in the real world.

    HOJ

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