Paul Gallegos: Dedication To Public Service – October 25, 2010

Dear Readers,

My office knows that we are the face of government that much of the public sees.  Faith in a system of just laws and fairness requires us to conduct ourselves in an ethical manner.  We cannot play favorites or prejudge outcomes.  Our role is to seek the truth so that justice is served. Our deputies have earned the respect of the legal community and judges because we uphold those values in every aspect of the work, whether in the office or the courtroom.

In my execution of the management of the office, I have demanded of staff to be fair and to treat all people equally with the dignity due to a free people.  For, in the end, we cannot have justice if we allow vengeance to pollute our judicial system. We depend on the certainty of the law to protect our rights, our security and our sense of fairness.  Without that, we will be subject to the whims of individuals who wield power beyond their rights as citizens in a free republic.

As your District Attorney, I have pledged to do everything in my power to ensure that the enforcement of our laws is guided by one principle: that we are all equal.  This is the essential value embodied in our Constitution. Our safety, both as individuals and as a vibrant society, depend upon upholding that value, despite the misguided public discourse that would encourage you to approach the world with fear.

I take pride in the office I have led these past eight years.  Of the staff I inherited from Terry Farmer, 4 continue today, 2 were fired, and the remaining left of their own accord.

One of the Deputies that I was obligated to terminate is running against me in this election.  While I am unable to state the reasons for her dismissal, I can say that the only reasons I would fire someone are if they are dishonest, unfair or incompetent.  If they are any of these they cannot serve the people of Humboldt County by working in the District Attorney’s Office.

The Deputy District Attorney’s job is demanding, stressful and not well compensated.  But our Deputies perform remarkably well by cooperating with each other, sharing tasks, and being aware of one another’s work so that they can help out as needed.  Their days begin before 8AM and do not end until well after 5PM.  Often they take their work home, preparing for the next day’s appearance in court.  We never forget that we serve the public.

The office continues to thrive even though the budget has been cut, there is less staff, and we have increased the amount of filings. Be assured that if we are presented with facts from a law enforcement agency that a crime has been committed and it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then it will be filed.  We never decline a case based on a lack of resources.

This kind of dedication to public service has been successful in bringing the worst violators to justice, whether they be perpetrators of violence, sexual molestation, or predators of the vulnerable among us, or corporate polluters of our environment. We have received awards for our investigative team, our Child Abuse Services, our Domestic Violence unit, including a recent unanimous Proclamation of Appreciation from the Board of Supervisors, and for our work with local tribes.  Our conviction rates and commitment of violent offenders to prison are as high as ever on a budget that is the lowest in a decade.

The future looks good as well. I am creating a special team to specifically tackle cold cases, based on the methods honed by our stellar investigative unit to crack cold cases, like the Huntzinger disappearance. And, as crime has changed along with the changes in our society and technology, our computer investigations unit, which is the only computer investigation unit on the entire North Coast, continues to enable my office and other law enforcement offices to be able to solve cases and bring perpetrators to justice. We continually work to expand these abilities and will continue to set the bar for investigation on the North Coast.

In addition, we are developing our ability to present evidence electronically in court. We showcased this in the Belant case and the Skilled Healthcare case, where we were able to show the judge and jury actual documents so they were able to easily read appropriate passages and come to a just conclusion.  We use state of the art technology to bring perpetrators to justice and will continue to develop our abilities in that arena.

All of our work is aimed at one goal: improving public safety and making Humboldt County a healthy place to live, raise our families and do business.  Please join me in that effort by re-electing me as your District Attorney.  Thank you.

Paul V. Gallegos is Humboldt County District Attorney.

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  1. RAP said:

    Gallegos’s comments about Allison Jackson really illustrated what a sleazy, unethical person he is. In truth he fired her because she blew the whistle on a defense lawyer and Gallegos supporter, who tried to alter evidence. He was found by Judge Feeney, in the Douglas Zanotti trial to have whithheld evidence of the defendants innocence from the jury. It’s time to start cleaning this county up by geting rid of corrupt politicians.

  2. McKinleyvilleKen said:

    Something that the writer above does not choose to mention about her list of former employees.
    A significant number of those people always supported Paul Gallegos’ re-election very publicly. Last election and also this election. I would also guess that most people on the list are no fans of Mr.Gallegos’ current opponent.
    Certainly, every office of the District Attorney in Northern California counties historically have had seemingly large turnovers. Anyone who has ever been to law school could probably tell you why this is true. Often it is simply considered a starter position. Producing a list like this would make more sense if we could know what each person on it is doing nowToday. Or does that make sense?

  3. Rose said:

    Someone oughtta ask Gallegos which ones were fired, and then ask those who were fired for the reasons they were given. I have a feeling Gallegos has opened himself up to a big problem. A very stupid move on his part.

  4. Rose said:

    Paul Gallegos “lost,” fired or drove away a HUGE number of our prosecutors. Many were senior Deputy DA’s – the ones who are qualified to take on the toughest cases. In some cases he claimed it was because he lost grants.

    (Paul Gallegos’ ‘Campaign Manager’ Natalynne) DeLapp said. “We’ve trained him on our dime, [and] he needs to be able to continue.”

    Really? Only a dime?

    Maybe more like a million something, if you calculate his salary, benefits and everything else over the last 7 years…

    And what about all those other people we trained on our dime? The real question is, how many top prosecutors are left in that office?

    All of these are gone:

    DDA Ed Borg
    DDA Worth Dikeman
    DDA Frank Dunnick
    DDA Eamon Fitzgerald
    DDA Heather Gimle
    DDA Paul Hagen
    DDA Nicole Hansen
    DDA Shane Hauschild
    DDA Andrew Isaac
    DDA Allison Jackson
    DDA Harry Kassakian
    DDA Elizabeth Norton
    DDA Murat Ozgur
    Patrick Pekin
    DDA Amanda Penny
    DDA Gloria Albin-Sheets
    DDA Tim Stoen
    Jennifer Strona
    DDA Andy Truitt
    DDA Nandor Vadas
    DDA Rob Wade
    Bill Rodstrom
    Zach Bird
    Jose Mendez
    Jeff Schwartz
    Davina Smith
    Kathleen Bryson

    Investigator Chris Andrews
    Investigator Chris Cook
    Paul’s secretary Gail Dias
    Office Manager Linda Modell
    Investigator Eric Olson
    Investigator Kathy Philp (retired)
    Investigator Dave Rybarczyk
    Investigator Dave Walker
    PLUS from CAST:
    Child Interview Specialist Laura Todd
    Child Interview Specialist Gillian Wadsworth
    Senior Legal Secretary Melissa Arnold
    Alternate Child Interviewer Jennifer Maguire

    and a whole bunch more – all “trained on our dime.” Funny, now it’s supposed to matter?

    And that’s a partial list. A good manager does not have that kind of turnover.

  5. Andrew Isaac said:

    Is the District Attorney implying that Mr. Hagen’s sudden, never-explained involuntary dismissal from the District Attorney’s Office (via CDAA) was because Mr. Hagen was judged by the Humboldt County District Attorney to be dishonest? Incompetent? Unfair?

  6. Robert Benson said:

    I, too, have been the victim of several crimes and you (Gallegos) and your office have not done anything, but make lame excuses and a perjured declaration to cover up one of the crimes. Deliberate indifference to crimes committed by your supporters (Mazzotti’s) is unlawful. You will be brought to justice, though, not in this jurisdiction.

  7. Dave Kitt said:

    I have been a victim of several crimes and you personally and your office haven’t done anything but make lame excuses.

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