Trial and error

Surf's up, loser.

Surf's up, loser.

While Times-Standard reporters were diligently not reporting word one of the Housing Element discussions, that crack team of reporters did rouse itself long enough to write up this little press release about McKinleyville resident Vernon Weatherford’s alleged DUI crash on Highway 255 near Samoa.

Weatherford had a young mother and her 4-year-old daughter in the car with him when he went ahead and wrapped his rig around a power pole.

The good news is that the child was unhurt, and the 26-year-old alleged douchebag’s pelvis was crushed all to hell, which might be the only thing keeping him from hurting anyone, at least for a while.

Make that a little while. The news release notes that charges anticipated against Mr. Weatherford include driving under the influence and causing injury, being a felon in possession of a handgun, driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence with three prior DUIs in the past 10 years.

Impressive, yes? The guy’s a fucking prodigy. To have accomplished so much at such a young age. His parents must be proud.

But Weatherford is more than just a stack of DUIs. This Sheriff’s Office news release states that he was also arrested in 2004 on charges of torture and false imprisonment.

Does it occur to anyone as odd that a person of Weatherford’s achievements would be in the vicinity of cars, children and power poles, instead of sitting in a cell where he obviously belongs?

Mr. Gallegos, this is where you come in. What this man does next is largely up to you. You have been responsible for prosecuting him since he was 19 years old, and yet here he is, four DUIs and a handful of violent felonies later, still driving around, drunk and with a four-year-old in his car.

It was only a matter of chance that this little girl did not become the next Nicole Quigley. Do your job and stop Weatherford before he becomes the next Jason Whitmill.

[Photo source]

Police chief denies spousal rape accusation, says two were never married

The embattled chief of the Blue Lake Police Department issued a strongly worded statement Sunday night stating that he is “completely innocent” of spousal rape because he is not married to the woman he drugged and sexually assaulted.

David Gundersen, 53, was arrested Friday in McKinleyville on suspicion of drugging and raping a woman identified only as his “wife,” who is said to be a Blue Lake police sergeant.

In Gundersen’s first public statement, he wrote, “I have every confidence that I will be vindicated of these baseless charges, and I challenge those who now seek to smear my name to produce a single shred of proof that I am in any way ‘married’ to the woman I raped.”

Gundersen went on to say that “concealed beneath” the rape accusations is an “elaborately orchestrated plan” to prove a violation of the department’s policy prohibiting nepotism.

“I am fully cognizant of the seriousness of that claim,” he wrote, “and am prepared to provide clear and convincing proof that I am completely innocent of improperly hiring and promoting anyone.”

Reached by phone late Saturday, Jeffrey Schwartz, Gundersen’s defense attorney and part-time Sizzler hostess, said allegations such as this are not uncommon in a small town.

“We don’t have the luxury of six degrees of separation in a population this size,” Schwartz said. “It’s not uncommon to go around hiring, promoting and raping all kinds of people only to find out later that you’re actually married to them.”

But the former deputy district attorney said that in this case that simply didn’t occur. “I’d go so far as to bet a free trip through the salad bar that David is absolved of all charges,” he said.

Gundersen remained in custody on $500,000 bail.

Hey Ken: You know that thing you got handed? Look! It’s your ass!

We haven’t had this much fun with a Times-Standard “My Word” piece since our favorite surfing district attorney signed his name to a column he straight stole from a South Carolina law professor.

Fond memories to be sure, although it should be noted that we at the Humboldt Mirror do not condone plagiarism—except possibly when the county’s top law enforcement official steals other people’s original thoughts because even he knows he doesn’t have any of his own, or when the above gets caught in the act and trips over his dick for the next few weeks explaining how the whole thing was completely “inadvertent.” What’s not to like about that?

Still, the story goes that surfer dude’s “My Word” foray into… uh… literary borrowing was not his first. Numerous current and former deputy district attorneys have long maintained that it was McKinleyville pot doc Ken Miller who penned the DA’s historic “fraud” suit against the Pacific Lumber Company, a document Paul Gallegos signed and submitted as though he were some kinda actual lawyer.

So it comes as no surprise that when the suit bellies up for the third time, and the venerable Times-Standard singes Paul’s butt hairs with a smoking-hot editorial, who should be first out of the gate to weigh in on the case but Dr. Ken Miller?

So rich, so fitting, so… well, lame.

Does Miller mention that after three attempts in two courts, not one judge could find a single applicable law in any of the filings—much less a law that had been broken? Does he note that after five long years, the case never even made it to trial? Does he apologize for the years of division and distraction, for the mass wasting of our tax dollars?

Yes. He’s that kind of guy.

Just kidding!

Instead, he sticks to the script he wrote, trots out the same party lines he himself fed to the DA, and continues to pursue his lifelong passion of dividing Humboldt County into broken little pieces.

He also asks a question we would like to answer: Does anyone doubt Pacific Lumber committed fraud? That’s an easy one, Ken. We do. And joining us are the three respected judges who heard the recent appeal and dismissed out of hand both the legal and factual bases of your complaint.

So when you talk about the “foresight” of the suit with Paul’s name on it, suggesting that its visionary qualities may lead to profound changes in law, we’d like to ask a question of our own: How many lawsuits kicked out of court three times before trial can you name that have paved the way for landmark legislation?

Go ahead, Ken. Do write us a response. But please don’t forget to sign your name.