Attorney general says no for now on Arkley-Glass case
Article Launched: 10/05/2007 01:40:09 PM PDT
State Attorney General Jerry Brown's Office has refused a request by the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee to take over the investigation into the flap between Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass and local businessman Rob Arkley.
A letter from the office states, “Any request at this time appears premature”.
A Sept. 12 letter from the HCDCC to the Attorney General requested that office “take the lead in the investigation and prosecution of this alleged violation.”
It is alleged that Arkley shoved Glass and threatened to destroy him if he failed to support Arkley's Marina Center project. Arkley, in turn, has claimed that he was merely reacting to comments Glass has made about his daughters.
In a letter to the Humboldt Democratic Central Committee dated Sept. 26, Senior Assistant Attorney General Gerald A. Engler advised the committee his office would “respectfully decline your request to intervene.”
The letter states, “First and foremost, the district attorney is the elected prosecutor of Humboldt County. The law maintains a strong presumption that the district attorney -- not the attorney general -- will handle prosecutorial matters within the county.
Only in extraordinary cases where an actual conflict of interest makes it unlikely the district attorney can fairly prosecute the case may the district attorney be recused. A mere appearance of conflict is insufficient to warrant recusal.”
In the initial letter, HCDCC Chairman Milt Boyd wrote that it is more than just the serious nature of the allegations that caused the committee to ask the Attorney General to handle the investigation.
”Due to political conflicts, Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos will no doubt want to recuse his office from prosecuting the matter,” Boyd wrote.
Arkley made donations to Gallegos' recall campaign chest and Glass said he thought Gallegos had supported his election campaign.
In response to the letter from the Attorney General's Office, Boyd said the reply “clarifies the legal process involved” and added, “the allegations made in this case are unusual and serious and we appreciate this prompt and clear response from Attorney General Brown's office.”