7.31.2008

TS - Gundersen's wife alleges misconductby law enforcement

☛ TS Gundersen's wife alleges misconduct by law enforcement

In a letter sent to a variety of agencies Wednesday, former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's wife is accusing the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office and the Sheriff's Department of civil rights violations, police coercion, false imprisonment and conspiracy

Gundersen was arrested Feb. 8 on suspicion of spousal rape, and now faces a total of 31 charges, including 24 counts of spousal rape with the use of an intoxicant and a charge of forcibly raping a second victim. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts and remains held in the Humboldt County Jail on $1.25 million bail.

From the outset, Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton has contended the investigation and charges took root in an ongoing and bitter custody battle between Gundersen and his ex-wife. Gundersen's wife's letter, which she said she mailed Wednesday to the Humboldt County Grand Jury, the Attorney General's Office and the United States Attorney's Office, echoes that claim.

In the five-page letter, Gundersen's wife, Jane Doe 1, wrote that she told an investigator on the day of Gundersen's arrest that she hadn't been raped and, at times, contradicts the testimony she gave under oath during Gundersen's preliminary hearing.

Reached Wednesday, District Attorney Paul Gallegos said he doesn't see Jane Doe 1's letter having any impact on Gundersen's case.

”Those agencies that have received this, if they feel it's appropriate they will investigate, and they will have all the information,” Gallegos said, adding that his office hasn't committed any of the offenses alleged in the letter. “(Jane Doe 1) is a victim and she's been victimized, but not by us.”

Clanton declined to comment for this story.

In the letter, Jane Doe 1 claims that she “sarcastically” answered investigators' questions during an interview on the day of Gundersen's arrest, that investigators would not let her leave and that, prior to Gundersen's preliminary hearing, “numerous threats were made including arrest.” She claims was told she didn't have the right to not testify in the case.

Jane Doe 1 also states her belief that Gundersen's ex-wife was behind the entire investigation.

”I believe (his ex-wife) set me up,” she writes.

According to the letter, Gundersen and his ex-wife hold a lot of animosity toward each other after a bitter divorce and an ensuing battle over custody of the couple's two children.

Jane Doe 1 states that Gundersen's ex-wife, an employee with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, told her in 2001 that she believed Gundersen had raped her while the two were married -- claims the ex-wife has also made to a court investigator, DA investigators and, most recently, on the stand in a pre-trial hearing in Gundersen's current case.

”Over the years she said things to me, to the effect that Dave would eventually rape me too,” Jane Doe 1 writes in the letter.
According to the letter, things started to come to a head on Jan. 28, when Jane Doe 1 claims Gundersen's ex-wife called her and said she had repeated her rape allegations to her divorce attorney Joan Gallegos -- the wife of District Attorney Paul Gallegos.

”(Gundersen's ex-wife) told me that Joan told her she had discussed the rape with her husband Paul and that he would be willing to prosecute Dave for rape if she wanted,” Jane Doe 1 writes. “(Gundersen's ex-wife), knowing that I wanted a separation from Dave due to our own marital problems, told me that we could use the fact that the (district attorney) was willing to press charges on Dave to get him to leave the county. (Gundersen's ex-wife) and I spoke many times this same day because I was not OK with her blackmailing him.”

Reached Wednesday, Joan Gallegos said she had no discussions with her husband about any rape allegations against Gundersen prior to his Feb. 8 arrest. She added that she only represented Gundersen's ex-wife for several months before stepping down after Gundersen's arrest because of the potential for a conflict of interest.

In the letter, Jane Doe 1 writes that on the morning of Gundersen's arrest she spoke to Gundersen's ex-wife on the phone regarding some photographs Gundersen had taken of Jane Doe 1 while she was asleep. When, later that morning, Jane Doe 1 stopped by the McKinleyville substation where Gundersen's ex-wife works, Gundersen's ex-wife asked her to speak with Lt. Dave Morey, according to the letter.

”I spoke briefly with Lt. Morey regarding an appropriate police response in the event I needed assistance,” Jane Doe 1 writes, adding that the conversation was brief because she had to make it to an appointment with her psychiatrist.

After the appointment, Jane Doe 1 writes, she received a message from Lt. Morey and agreed to meet him at the main sheriff's station. When she arrived around noon, she writes, Morey and two other detectives interviewed her. She claims Morey told her that Gundersen's ex-wife told him of her allegations and that Morey was concerned Gundersen was doing the same thing to Jane Doe 1.

”Knowing that these were (Gundersen's ex-wife's friends), I began answering their questions sarcastically,” she writes. “They asked me if (I) took a sleeping aid at night (and) I told them yes. They asked me how many times I thought Dave has had unconsensual sex with me and I replied 365. During the next six hours they told me they thought Dave was homicidal and suicidal ... . I asked to leave numerous times and they told me no.

”... Seeing that this was getting out of control I told them of (Gundersen's ex-wife's) plan,” Jane Doe 1 writes. “I told them I wanted her to respond so she could explain the situation.”

After returning from taking a blood test, Jane Doe 1 encountered Gundersen's ex-wife, who told her Gundersen was going to be arrested and that “this needs to happen,” according to the letter.

”At this point, I was very confused and extremely emotional,” she writes. “I asked to get my anti-anxiety prescription out of my vehicle, they told me no. (Gundersen's ex-wife) offered me a Valium and I took one. I tried several times to tell the deputies that Dave had not raped me. They said if I was under the influence of a sleeping pill, I was unable to give consent and that constituted rape.”

When Jane Doe 1 was asked to take a sexual assault exam later that day, she refused. In the letter, she claims she told a Sheriff's Department investigator “that Dave had not raped me, that I knew what rape was and that I had not been raped.”

During Gundersen's preliminary hearing, Jane Doe 1 testified that Gundersen had non-consensual sex with her once a month in 2006 and 2007 while she was so intoxicated with the sleeping aid Lunesta and/or other drugs that she could not consent. She also testified, under both direct and cross examination, that the statements she made to law enforcement Feb. 8 were true and that she had been honest with investigators.

Jane Doe 1 also testified during the preliminary hearing that she confronted her husband after finding nude photos he had taken of her while she slept. During that confrontation, she testified, she asked Gundersen to stop having sex with her while she slept and told him that she considered it rape. She then testified that Gundersen did not stop the practice, and that she told (Gundersen's ex-wife) that he was raping her.

Jane Doe 1 also testified that she fears Gundersen and that the former police chief had threatened to “take her fishing” if she went to law enforcement with rape allegations.

But, in the letter, Jane Doe 1 strikes a markedly different tone, saying a court order preventing her from speaking with her husband has been “extremely hard on both of us.”

Jane Doe 1 writes that she learned from her psychiatrist after the preliminary hearing that the effects of Lunesta are light and not so intoxicating as to make her unable to give consent. She also reiterates her belief that this whole case has spawned out of Gundersen's custody battle with his ex-wife.

”I have told the DA, Paul Gallegos, several times that I believe this was a conspiracy between he, his wife, and (Gundersen's ex-wife) in an attempt for (Gundersen's ex-wife) to gain full custody of the kids,” Jane Doe 1 writes. “Her plan worked. Dave was arrested on Feb. 8 and she had an order of full custody on the 11th.”

Joan Gallegos said the conspiracy allegation simply doesn't make sense, as neither she, her client nor Paul Gallegos have benefited in any way from the case.

For his part, Gallegos said the case will simply have to play out in court.

”I've seen what she's written, but I don't know the motivation behind it or the actual author of it,” he said. “We understand she's afraid and we understand the dynamics of these types of cases.”


Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/31/2008 01:31:09 AM PDT

The whole story: Links to all coverage on this case

ER - Doe 1 speaks out, files complaint

Doe 1 speaks out, files complaint

One of the Jane Does involved in the trial of former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen filed a citizen complaint against the Humboldt County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices Wednesday.

The complaint, authored by Gundersen’s wife (Doe 1), alleges that the HCSO and District Attorney’s Office violated her civil rights, falsely imprisoned her on Feb. 8, coerced a statement out of her that day and conspired to imprison Gundersen.

“There’s a whole other side to this story,” Doe 1 said in an interview Wednesday. “I just thought I need to get this out.”

Gundersen faces two trials for allegations pertaining to two Jane Does. In all, he faces 31 charges, including 24 counts of spousal rape.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges and sits in the Humboldt County jail on a $1.25 million bail.

As a result of Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson’s decision to allow testimony from Gundersen’s ex-wife Monday, and other compounding events since Feb. 8, Doe 1 said she felt the truth needed to be told.

“I’m the only person who can do that,” she said, “because David can’t be heard.”

In the four-page complaint sent to the Humboldt County Grand Jury and both the California and U.S. Attorney General’s Office, Doe 1 wrote how a custody battle turned into a conspiracy against her husband.

“I felt I was entrapped and coerced,” she said. “I think someone else should review this.”

Gundersen’s ex-wife couldn’t be reached for comment before deadline.

Much of the complaint described in detail what Doe 1 had testified during Gundersen’s preliminary hearing in April, which included how she “felt coerced” into giving statements about non-consensual sex by her husband during a seven-hour interview on Feb. 8 that she couldn’t walk away from.

The District Attorney’s Office had to subpoena Doe 1 to the stand, as she had no intention on testifying.

Doe 1 added in the complaint that she answered questions “sarcastically,” such as telling the three HCSO investigators interviewing her that Gundersen had non-consensual sex with her 365 times when asked if he ever did.

During the preliminary hearing, Doe 1 testified that Gundersen had non-consensual sex with her at least once a month between 2005 and 2007.

As Doe 1 testified before, she had no intention on pressing any charges against Gundersen and merely wanted to talk about police assistance if anything got out of control between the two.

Doe 1 also wrote about events leading up to that encounter with law enforcement.

Sometime in December 2001, Doe 1 wrote that Gundersen’s ex-wife told her that he had raped her and it would happen to her as well.

Events happened in the summer of 2007, Doe 1 wrote, moved Gundersen to file for full custody of his children. At that point, Gundersen’s ex-wife hired Joan Gallegos, wife of Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos, to represent her in the family matter.

By the time Jan. 28 rolled around, Doe 1 wrote she wanted a separation with Gundersen.

On that day, Doe 1 wrote that Gundersen’s ex-wife told her she could use Paul Gallegos’ willingness to prosecute Gundersen for allegedly raping her in the past as a way to get rid of Gundersen — this after Joan Gallegos allegedly talked with him about it.

“I believe this was a conspiracy between (Paul Gallegos), his wife and (Gundersen’s ex-wife) in an attempt for (Gundersen’s ex-wife) to gain full custody of the kids,” she wrote. “Her plan worked.”

When contacted, Paul Gallegos said he wouldn’t comment on the contents of the complaint, because he felt it would be inappropriate to do so at this point.

Joan Gallegos, who stopped representing Gundersen’s ex-wife after he was arrested, said she had nothing to gain from asking her husband to prosecute Gundersen and in the process lose a client.

“I would never make those kinds of assertions to a client, period,” she said. “I avoid conflicts, I don’t look for them.”

Complaint aside, Doe 1 said it’s been emotionally difficult these past few months since Gundersen’s arrest.

“It’s been really hard on our family,” she said.

After being placed on administrative leave from the Blue Lake Police Department, she resigned following the conclusion of a lawsuit settlement. Gundersen’s contract was terminated, along with the entire department.

An emergency protective order has also prevented her from talking to Gundersen, especially about their homes in foreclosure, which she said is cruel.

With the jury selection process moving forward in Gundersen’s trial and this complaint in the mail, Doe 1 said she doesn’t know what the next step is.

“I have faith that this is all going to work out,” she said.

(John C. Osborn can be reached at josborn@eurekareporter.com, or at 707-269-7445.)


By JOHN C. OSBORN , The Eureka Reporter
Published: Jul 30 2008, 11:39 PM

7.29.2008

Salzman's Kerrigan letter(s) and the reaction

More of Salzman's Web of Lies, not part of the expose, but a significant example nonetheless...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Friend,

I am writing because we need your help to protect Humboldt County's natural beauty and our way of life.

Renner Petroleum oil executive Rex Bohn is going to spend big bucks in an attempt to defeat Eureka Councilman Chris Kerrigan. Why? Because last March Kerrigan stood up to Calpine, which wanted to build a massive, job-killing liquid natural gas plant on Humboldt Bay.

Rex Bohn is trying to pass himself off as a regular working man. The reality is this: Rex Bohn is a reactionary oilman out for revenge. He is trying to convince voters that we should undermine environmental protections and seduce out-of-town corporations to move to Humboldt.

Make no mistake. Rex Bohn has an extreme agenda. No matter where you live, we have to stand up for Humboldt County by standing up for Councilman Kerrigan. Please take moment now to make a contribution by clicking the
link below:

paypal link


Here's a few facts on Rex Bohn:

-Rex Bohn is out for himself. Humboldt gasoline prices are some of the highest in the county. Yet Rex Bohn refuses to say what the role of his company, Renner Petroleum, is playing to keep gas prices so high. Rex Bohn lobbied for the Calpine liquid gas plant on Humboldt Bay but refuses to say what sort of deal his company, Renner Petroleum, cut with Calpine.

-Like PL, Rex is running a mean and sleazy campaign. This week his surrogates started going door-to-door to lie about Chris Kerrigan personal life - just like PL did to Paul Gallegos.

-Rex wants to create tax loopholes for big out of town corporations rather than helping existing Humboldt business to grow. Rex is part of the old boys'˙ network that wants to get rich quick by bringing in companies like Calpine and by allowing developers to convert farm and timberland into five acre monster home sites in a way that would destroy Humboldt's scenic beauty and way of life.

Rex Bohn must be stopped. We can stop him, but not without you. We need your help to get the word out through TV and newspaper ads. Please make a contribution:

paypal link

Few politicians in Humboldt County better represent the best of both old and new Humboldt County than Chris Kerrigan. Consider the following:

-Kerrigan has guts. Like Paul Gallegos, who stood up to Pacific Lumber, Chris Kerrigan stood up to Calpine and its allies, PL and Rex Bohn.

-A Humboldt native, Chris Kerrigan is a honest and intelligent young man - „ and a hard worker. He is working his way through school at the College of the Redwoods.

-As chairman of the Redwood Economic Commission Kerrigan was instrumental in creating over 700 good local jobs and directing $6 million of investments to local businesses. Kerrigan has created a smart plan for a kind of economic development that creates good local jobs while protecting Humboldtâ•˙s scenic beauty and quality of life.

On March 2 the citizens of Humboldt County said no to PL's attack on District Attorney Paul Gallegos, 62% to 38%. Just a few weeks later we said no to Calpine's attempt to install a liquid natural gas plant on Humboldt Bay â•„ a project that would have killed fishing, crabbing and tourism jobs.

Now it's time we started saying something yes to our vision for the future. Yes to protecting the majesty of Humboldt's natural
environment. Yes to smart growth that creates good jobs. Yes to making Eureka a model of development for the whole county.

And yes to Councilman Kerrigan.

We need your help to protect Humboldt County and our way of life. This is a key race for ALL of Humboldt County -„ not just residents of Eureka. People are volunteering for the campaign and making contributions because they know that this is a crucial moment.

Click here to make a contribution: www.chriskerrigan.org or mail your check to the address below.

For our families and for our future-

Richard Salzman
Friends of Chris Kerrigan
P.O. Box 6341
Eureka Ca 95502
707.407.7347
***

Then the apology - of sorts:
Date:
Fri, 8 Oct 2004 14:45:03 -0400 (EDT)

From:
"Friends of Chris Kerrigan"   Add to Address Book
To: ______________
Subject: Friends of Chris Kerrigan Message
Dear Friends,

Welcome to the all new, friendly, factual, fundraising, format.

Thanks to you all who have given so generously to support Chris Kerrigan's re-election to Eureka City Council. If you would like to contribute now online, please go the web site  http://www.ChrisKerrigan.org, and click on the donation button.

Even Tom Cookman, said it best on KINS community Comment, ”The Eureka City Council race between Chris Kerrigan and Rex Bohn is going to shape the course of local politics in Humboldt County for years to come. There is a lot more at stake than the council seat.”

I agree, there is a lot at stake. And I admit, in my passionate support of Chris Kerrigan, I may have erred in judgment and perhaps the use of hyperbole in my private email, intended to bring the issues to your attention. I stand by the essence of my previous observations. I do, however, regret the fact, that in attacking me over the pilfered fund raising letter in the press, the Rex Bohn camp has been somewhat successful in keeping the important issues out of the public eye. I ask each and everyone one of you to focus on these issues, because this election will deeply impact the heart of the place we call home.

Chris has worked four hard years to put Eureka on the forward  path. It is our job to keep him on the council. He must continue his work for the future of this community. Make no mistake, Rex’s supporters wish to return to the thrilling days of yesteryear. They won't take “NO” for an answer! If you doubt it, read the guest editorial in the Eureka Reporter. An out of town energy industry player tries to reintroduce LNG into our town.

Since we're sticking to the facts about Rex, He did personally, send that letter of support to the voters, endorsing Calpine’s LNG processing

I pulled a few quotes from the Lumberjack to illustrate my points, but please, don't take my word for it, go to the Lumberjack online and read Rex's! It's worth the effort http://thejack.humboldt.edu/modules.phpop=modload&name=PagEd&file=index&page_id=522

"...The city should be open to any and all prospective businesses. You need to embrace everything that comes to town,”

“Taking inventory of land does not mean that more surveys and tests should be conducted, as he sees both as a waste of time and money.”

“Studies drive me nuts,” Bohn said. “Just build it and show me if it works.”

“I could be a liaison for outside business,” Bohn said.

According to the Jack, “Bohn had been thinking about running for the council position in the past and felt that now was the right time because incumbent Chris Kerrigan had not made any contribution to the community that Bohn could see.”


Rex and his friends have ponied up over $70K for Rex to get out their message.

We have a great TV spot ready for air. It is positive, and on target, speaking to the Kerrigan record in creating good local jobs. There is no mention of Rex and the gang. Chris gets to put his vision of Eureka's future to the people. We need your help to buy air time for this vital message. Please give what you can.

Donate now on line at http://www.chriskerrigan.org or send a check to Friends of Chris Kerrigan po box 6341 Eureka Ca 95570.

Tell everyone you know to support Chris...then tell everyone you don't know.

Yours for a brighter future,

Richard
--
To unsubscribe from: Friends of Chris Kerrigan, just follow this link:
http://www.ourhumboldt.org/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi?f=u&l=Kerrigan&e=______________.com&p=17619___
Click this link, or copy and paste the address into your browser.

***

The aftermath:

Times-Standard Editorial:
Article Last Updated: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 6:11:52 AM PST

A vote against the politics of personal attack

Sometimes, in covering or observing a local community, you have to step back from what's happening and just take a deep breath.

The 4th Ward Eureka City Council race is one of those times.

Rex Bohn, community volunteer and a Renner Petroleum manager, is challenging incumbent Chris Kerrigan, who is experienced and personable, for the seat. They should debate the issues, campaign for what they believe in, and let the best man win.

But a recent e-mail, on behalf of the Kerrigan campaign, has left many shaking their heads in our community.

Last week, Richard Salzman, a Trinidad resident representing himself as part of Friends of Chris Kerrigan, sent an e-mail to hundreds of people asking for financial and other support for the Kerrigan campaign.


There's nothing wrong with that. As campaign manager for District Attorney Paul Gallegos during the recent DA recall election, Salzman -- who also opposed the recent proposed Calpine project -- proved himself to be articulate, tenacious and effective in political matters.

But the e-mail went a step beyond what we usually find in Eureka council contests, and indeed seemed more in line with the overtly and overly emotional appeals seen in the DA recall and Calpine battles.

Consider these examples, and we quote:

"Rex Bohn is a reactionary oilman out for revenge."

"Like PL, Rex is running a mean and sleazy campaign."

"Rex Bohn is out for himself."

Rubbish.

We've seen no evidence of revenge, meanness or self-centeredness about Bohn. The only real sleaze we've seen so far is the aforementioned e-mail sent out on behalf of Kerrigan -- which he has said he knew nothing about ahead of time, and which certainly seems out of character for the councilman.

But this editorial is not about supporting Rex Bohn or Chris Kerrigan, or even about Richard Salzman, who appears to have gotten a little carried away in his campaign enthusiasm.

It's about how we choose our elected leaders, and if we're willing to support the politics of personal attack as the nasty new standard in local elections.

We don't believe Eurekans want that kind of politicking in their town, whether they support Bohn or Kerrigan.

After all, it's a council race, not the final battle for Middle Earth.

The DA recall was, we hoped, an anomaly. But whether a one-time phenomenon or not, the conquer-or-die, win-at-all-costs hysteria seen in the recall -- and in the national presidential campaign -- can only serve to hurt us in the long run.

If we devote most of our energies to fighting among ourselves on the North Coast, to squabbling, insulting and tearing each other down, there won't be the energy, the vision, the strength found in unity and reasoned compromise, to lift this region into a better future.

As Salzman said, correctly, in kicking off his e-mail:

"I am writing because we need your help to protect Humboldt County's natural beauty and our way of life."

Who would disagree?

We need everybody's help, to overcome the real challenges facing us over transportation, employment, intelligent development and other issues.

But we won't get there by bashing the other guy over the head.

Let's hope for a reasoned, productive and civil debate over the 4th Ward seat and all the other campaigns facing us this political season.

That's what many of us say we want. Now's the time to prove it.
***

Eureka Reporter Editorial
9/22/04
Kerrigan Should Dump Salzman, Apologize To Bohn

The e-mail recently sent out by Chris Kerrigan campaign adviser Richard Salzman is despicable.

At the least, Kerrigan should have disavowed the outrageous e-mail and dumped Salzman as a campaign adviser for writing such scurrilous allegations.

What is really needed is for Kerrigan and Salzman to apologize to Rex Bohn, who is challenging Kerrigan for the Fourth Ward City Council post.

We urge Eureka residents to read in this issue the appalling e-mail sent by Salzman. He makes scandalous accusations. If the City Council election weren’t so serious to the future of this city, Salzman’s contemptible claims would be hilarious.

For example, Salzman says a vote against Bohn is a vote against Pacific Lumber. How did PL get brought into a Eureka City Council election? What childishness.

Salzman disgracefully says that Bohn is running a mean and sleazy campaign, but we have not found that to be true. Salzman should look in the mirror.

Salzman shamefully claims that Bohn is out for himself. He says this about a man who has dedicated his life to serving the community. Bohn’s charitable works are many. He is a community-spirited man who has helped many organizations over the years. One of his biggest accomplishments was helping to spearhead the drive to establish Redwood Fields in Cutten. That’s hardly out for himself.

Kerrigan has four years with which to run his campaign on. He should stick to that and avoid campaign advisers like Salzman, because it is not worthy of a councilman to have an adviser wage such a sleazy, mudslinging effort at Bohn.

We, as a community, cannot tolerate a campaign based upon smear, vitriol and name-calling.

***

But the damage was done.

Clark's fundraising letter

The text of this fundraising letter must be carefully examined. In the first place, it is not accurate. If the guy is going to start out his campaign with falsehoods, it does not bode well for the Citizens of Eureka.

This was sent out via Salzman's listserve.... In a message dated 7/24/2008 12:04:58 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, info@georgeclark.org writes:



Dear Friend:

I am writing you today to ask for your assistance. Since I have announced my intention to run for City Council, I have been heartened by your expressions of support. Now with Democrat Linda Atkins (Times-Standard, Eureka Reporter) joining with me to run for Eureka's City Council, we have the first opportunity in 150 years to form a progressive voting majority for the citizens of Eureka!

As you know, this election is of utmost importance for the future of Humboldt County. We are running a campaign based on bold New Directions that address the problems we face with the economy, energy and climate directly while standing up for Working Families and insisting that preserving our Quality of Life drive economic development.

As we have seen in previous elections the right-wing developers will raise thousands of dollars to fund my opponent. In 2004, they spent over $150,000 in an attempt to unseat Chris Kerrigan, and in 2006 they spent nearly that amount in an attempt to defeat Supervisor Bonnie Neely. Often this money is raised in $1,000 chunks from big developers who are able to write those checks.

While these figures may seem like an exorbitant amount of money -- and they are -- together we can counter their advantage with grass roots democracy. By following the lead of Barack Obama and other progressive candidates, we can keep up with the big donations by having more people, like you, donating smaller amounts on a recurring basis.

It is essential we get our message of change out to the voters of Eureka, and doing so requires time, effort and money.



I need you to make a small contribution of $10, $25, $50, or more today, whatever you can afford. If you can't afford to donate today please do sign up to volunteer.

And don't forget today, Thursday, July 24th at 6pm, I'll be rolling out my "Going Local" economic development platform. The event will take place at our headquaters, 322 F Street in Old Town, Eureka. All are welcome to attend and for a little more incentive, my wife Kyoko will be serving her famous Japanese Green Tea Cake and light refreshments.

For more information, or to RSVP, feel free to call (707) 443-3777 or email. Together we can create a better Eureka and Humboldt County!

In Solidarity,

George Clark
Candidate for Eureka City Council

7.24.2008

LINKS TO GUNDERSEN COVERAGE

☛ TS Blue Lake police chief arrested for alleged rape 2/9/08
☛ ER Blue Lake Police Chief arrested on suspicion of rape 2/9/08
☛ TS DA: Allegations stem back a couple years, may have been continual occurrence 2/10/08
☛ ER Blue Lake police chief accused of multiple assaults 2/11/08
☛ TS News spreads quickly in sleepy Blue Lake
☛ KMUD Daniel Mintz interview with Gallegos. Click on KMUD Local News, 6:00 pm edition, Monday, February 11, 2008 6:00 pm
☛ TS No charging decision made in Gundersen case, says DA 2/12/08
☛ TS Attorney: Gundersen claims 'false'
☛ TS Gallegos sticks to his guns regarding investigation into Blue Lake police chief
☛ ER Defense attorney announced for Blue Lake Police Chief 2/13/08
☛ ER Blue Lake residents speak out against police chief 2/13/08
☛ TS Gallegos sticks to his guns regarding investigation into Blue Lake police chief 2/13/08
☛ TS In tense meeting, council puts off action on jailed police chief 2/13/08
☛ TS Gundersen hit with 12 counts of rape
☛ TS Gundersen pleads not guilty to 12 rape charges 2/14/08
☛ TS Town's council left out of loop 2/14/08
☛ TS Gundersen custody battle goes back 10 years 2/14/08
Gundersen's ex-wife, who works for the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office as a legal office assistant, is represented by Arcata attorney Joan Gallegos, the wife of Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos. Attorney Christopher Metzger represents Gundersen in that matter.

Paul Gallegos said Wednesday he does not think his wife's position as Gundersen's ex-wife's attorney will have any bearing on his decision whether to personally handle Gundersen's prosecution.

☛ ER Police Chief denied release from jail — $500,000 bail stands 2/15/08
☛ TS Judge denies police chief's release 2/15/08

WEEK TWO
☛ ER Gundersen: No stranger to bumpy roads 2/16/08
☛ MP Rape Case Proceeds Against Blue Lake Police Chief 2/19/08

AND MORE
☛ TS Gundersen faces additional charges. 2/27/08 (link is dead, story was updated)
☛ ER Blue Lake explores police options 2/27/08
☛ ER Four new charges against Gundersen 2/28/08
☛ TS Gundersen faces new charges of kidnapping, possessing a machine gun 2/28/08
☛ TS Blue Lake changed policy to allow Gundersen, wife to work together 2/28/08
☛ ER Gundersen’s attorney: Gallegos to face difficulty upholding burden of proof2/29/08
☛ TS Court documents shed light on Gundersen case 2/29/08
☛ TS Gundersen's lawyer: A 'witch hunt' 2/29/08
☛ ER Judge more than doubles Gundersen’s bail to $1,250,000 3/1/08
☛ TS Judge raises Gundersen's bail to $1.25 million 3/1/08
☛ TS Gundersen, alleged second victim were living together, report says3/4/08
☛ TS Investigation report: Gundersen's ex-wife also alleges drugging, rape 3/4/08
☛ TS Blue Lake's gun arsenal called shocking 3/5/08
☛ TS Feds eye firearms in Gundersen case (w/ video) 3/07/08
Both state and federal law are fairly clear about possessing a submachine gun or a pistol with a silencer: It's illegal in California, and illegal in the United States without a special permit from the ATF. Under California law, the penalty for possession of a machine gun is an unspecified prison term, up to a $10,000 fine, or both. For possession of a silencer it's the same.

But state law allows a law enforcement agency to buy machine guns, and for officers to have them and silencers -- as long as they use them in an official capacity and within the scope of their duties. In fact, there is no limit on the number of submachine guns an agency can have, said California Department of Justice spokesman Abraham Arredondo.

The Use of Firearms section of the Blue Lake Police Department Manual does not make any reference to submachine guns or silencers

☛ TS Expert: Rape victims can be forced to take witness stand 3/10/08
☛ TS Blue Lake's police chief quandary 3/13/08
☛ ER DA mistake violates victims’ rights 3/14/08
☛ TS Gundersen hearing pushed to April 3/14/08
☛ TS An evolution of law: Spousal rape recently prosecutable 3/23/08
☛ TS Blue Lake to set public meeting date to discuss police issues 4/08/08
☛ TS Blue Lake ends Gundersen's employment 4/10/08
☛ TS Gundersen's wife gets immunity 4/11/08
☛ TS Gundersen preliminary hearing continued 4/12/08
☛; ER Gundersen hearing moved ahead for third time 4/12/08
☛; TS Blue Lake's remaining officers placed on leave 4/15/08
☛ TS BLPD evidence storage facility burgled 4/15/08
☛ TS Blue Lake's city council: irrelevant 4/19/08
After getting the go-ahead from its self-insurance pool, the Blue Lake City Council has decided to terminate Police Chief Dave Gundersen as of May 5. This decision comes two months after Gundersen was arrested on 19 felony charges.
This implosion of the Blue Lake Police Department has its chief charged with raping his co-habitant, the department's second-in-command. She's been on administrative leave with pay for months. Two other officers and a clerical worker are also drawing full pay for sitting idle in City Hall while the sheriff is being paid to patrol the streets. The general fund is hemorrhaging red ink. Citizens are agitated and activated. Media are covering council meetings. Council members face hard decisions.

THE HEARING
☛ TS Gundersen alleged rape victim testifies in hearing 4/21/08
☛; ER First Witness Testifies at Gundersen's hearing 4/22/08
☛ ER Log of the Testimony, Gundersen's hearing 4/22/08
☛ TS 'Jane Doe 2' tells court of rape by Blue Lake chief 4/22/08
☛ TS EPD reportedly didn't follow up on 1999 rape report 4/22/08
☛ ER Both “Jane Does” testify, immunity deals criticized 4/23/08
☛; TS Defense questions alleged rape victim 4/23/08
☛; ER Jane Doe “felt coerced” into making statements 4/24/08
☛ ER Gundersen's hearing transcripts 4/24/08
☛ TS Key witness in Gundersen case says testimony coerced 4/24/08
☛ TS Experts: Little impact from coercion charges in Gundersen case 4/24/08
☛ ER Doe 1: ‘I don’t think I would have ever come forward’ 4/24/08
☛ TS Police chief's wife feared he'd hurt her 4/25/08
☛ TS DA investigator believes EPD didn't follow up 1999 rape claim 4/25/08
☛ TS Gundersen held to stand trial 4/30/08
☛ ER Gundersen to answer to 19 charges 4/30/08
☛ TS Blue Lake police chief held for trial 5/1/08
☛ TS Gundersen faces 14 new counts 5/14/08
☛; TS Court dismisses civil action against Gundersen 5/27/08
☛ ER Gundersen to go to trial in July
☛ LA Times Police chief’s arrest jolts town 6/4/08
☛ TS Gundersen trial pushed back to July 6/20/08

LEADUP TO THE TRIAL
☛; TS Gundersen attorney wants change of venue 7/2/08
☛ TS Gundersen's attorney seeks to dismiss charges 7/3/08
☛ TS Judge hears motion to dismiss Gundersen charges 7/10/8
☛; ER Judge to consider change of venue for Gundersen trial 7/10/08
☛ TS Gundersen trial jury selection slated to begin 7/14/08
☛; ER Two charges against Gundersen dismissed 7/15/08
☛ TS Judge dismisses three charges facing Gundersen 7/15/08
☛ TS Gundersen turns down plea deal 7/16/08
31 counts, including 24 charges of spousal rape with the use of an intoxicant, forcible rape of a second victim with a firearm enhancement, attempting to dissuade a witness, violating a court order and possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with an attached silencer and reduces it to one count of spousal rape and another of forcibly raping a second victim.

The TS reports that Gundersen, who is facing 28 felony charges, turned down a plea deal that could have landed him in prison for anywhere from nine to 26 years, attorneys said in court Tuesday.

”We rejected it in its entirety,” Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton said of the deal, in which Gundersen would have pleaded guilty to one count of spousal rape and another of forcibly raping a second victim. “Our position is that the defendant has no criminal liability.”

☛ ER Juror questionnaire ready as selection process begins 7/16/08
☛ TS Jury selection underway in Gundersen case 7/17/08
☛ ER Former police chief now faces two trials 7/22/08
☛ TS Gallegos asking for Gundersen's ex-wife to take stand 7/23/08

BLOGS:
Heraldo - Blue Lake Police Chief Arrested for Rape
Mirror - Police chief denies spousal rape accusation, says two were never married 5/10/08
The Wasp - Gallegos the Sneak 5/13/08
The Wasp = Correction/Update
Mirror - Police chief pleads not guilty to spousal rape, requests Valentine’s Day conjugal with wife 5/14/08
The Wasp - Gold stars for Thad and John...but something's amiss
Fred: What???
Fred: Prosecutions
SoHum Parlance - Blue Lake police chief denied OR
BEHIND THE BLUE WALL blog has a post on the Gundersen matter.
Mirror - Blue Lake slips motto contest into city council agenda 3/5/08
Mirror - Gallegos hires Mandrake the Magician to erase memories of alleged rape victims’ names 3/18/08
Mirror - At this point, we would definitely consider a name change 3/26/08
Blue Lake cans Chief Gundersen 4/9/08
Mirror - Blue Lake City Council shows some sack 4/10/08
Mirror - Blue Lake’s entire police force now on paid administrative leave 4/15/08
Mirror - Gundersen got way more action than previously believed 5/13/08
Mirror - Confirmed: Gundersen attorney desperately seeking venue change 7/7/08

BACKGROUND/PAST HISTORY
☛; ER Gundersen: No stranger to bumpy roads The story of Gundersen's previous arrest and its outcome.
☛ Legal Defense Fund http://www.porac.org/ldf/articles/february%201%201998.html
Adelanto Showdown: Officers vs Council February 1998
☛ From the Lunesta site Opening paragraph:

First posted 2/16/08
Updated on an ongoing basis - click here for updated version

TS - Feds eye firearms in Gundersen case

☛ TS Feds eye firearms in Gundersen case (w/ video) 3/07/08

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is involved in an investigation into Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen and the stash of high-powered submachine guns found at the department during a February search.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos said the agency has been informed and has a hand in the investigation.

”Whenever you have firearms involved in a case, there is going to be some ATF involvement,” Gallegos said.

The ATF will be considering whether there are federal firearms violations regarding the possession, sale or transport of the three types of submachine guns allegedly found in Blue Lake, or the submachine gun, the pistol fixed with a silencer or other weapons reportedly found in Gundersen's home.

Both state and federal law are fairly clear about possessing a submachine gun or a pistol with a silencer: It's illegal in California, and illegal in the United States without a special permit from the ATF. Under California law, the penalty for possession of a machine gun is an unspecified prison term, up to a $10,000 fine, or both. For possession of a silencer it's the same.

But state law allows a law enforcement agency to buy machine guns, and for officers to have them and silencers -- as long as they use them in an official capacity and within the scope of their duties. In fact, there is no limit on the number of submachine guns an agency can have, said California Department of Justice spokesman Abraham Arredondo.

The Use of Firearms section of the Blue Lake Police Department Manual does not make any reference to submachine guns or silencers.

Any machine gun may be imported by a licensed importer -- H&K is a German manufacturer -- for sale to a law enforcement agency, wrote ATF Senior Special Agent Nina Delgadillo in an e-mail. There is no federal limit on the number or type of machine guns a police agency can possess, Delgadillo also wrote.

No records of 10 H&K UMP 9mm submachine guns found in the search of the Blue Lake department were filed with the state, while other guns there were state-registered, according to the District Attorney's Office. Whether a police department is strictly required to register a submachine gun when it comes into the department's possession is unclear.

Melva Paris, records supervisor for the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, said when the sheriff's department purchases firearms, they are immediately registered into the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, or CLETS.

”We purchase them, and then when we get them they have to go into the CLETS system as an 'institutional weapon,'” Paris said. “(The Department of Justice) has to know who those weapons belong to.”

That's all done with good reason, according to James Broder, a former FBI agent and U.S. State Department employee who now works as an expert witness.

”Obviously, it's done so they can identify them and trace them if they are involved in a crime in the future,” Broder said, adding that agencies want to be able to track officers' lost or stolen weapons, or prevent their use by rogue officers. “The whole key is identification, that's why we do this stuff -- so you can identify the firearm in the event it is used for an illegal purpose.”

So far, Gallegos has charged Gundersen with two gun crimes. They are related to the H&K MP5 submachine gun reportedly found in a safe in his garage and the pistol with a silencer. Gallegos alleges Gundersen was in unlawful possession of both under violations of penal codes related to individuals.

Gundersen has also been charged with 12 counts of spousal rape, one count of kidnapping with the use of a firearm with the intent to rape -- in connection to another alleged victim -- threatening a witness and other crimes.

He has pleaded not guilty to all 19 counts and is currently being held in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on $1.25 million bail.

7.23.2008

TS - Gundersen custody battle goes back 10 years

☛ TS Gundersen custody battle goes back 10 years 2/14/08

Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen faced allegations of raping his ex-wife as part of a heated custody dispute nearly 10 years ago, court records show.

Gundersen's ex-wife claimed in 1999 court records that her then husband put drugs in her food or drink so she couldn't resist his unwanted sexual demands.

Gundersen now faces 12 counts of raping his current wife while she was drugged or intoxicated. He pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges filed on Wednesday.

Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton said Tuesday he believed the chief's Friday arrest in McKinleyville had its origins in the family court case.

Gundersen denied the claims of his ex-wife to Humboldt County Court Investigator John Buffington, according to a court report on Nov. 3, 1999. It was part of an ongoing custody dispute over the Gundersens' two children.

”As to the drugging of Mrs. Gundersen, it is difficult to know who is lying to me,” Buffington wrote. “But it is clear that one of the two is lying to me.”

Gundersen's ex-wife, who works for the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office as a legal office assistant, is represented by Arcata attorney Joan Gallegos, the wife of Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos. Attorney Christopher Metzger represents Gundersen in that matter.

Paul Gallegos said Wednesday he does not think his wife's position as Gundersen's ex-wife's attorney will have any bearing on his decision whether to personally handle Gundersen's prosecution.

Gundersen and his ex-wife were married in 1990 and separated in 1998.

While the court file documents a number of disagreements between the couple over years, and some that involved Gundersen's current wife, the drugging and rape allegation is not mentioned again in any of the unsealed documents in the file. His current wife is on leave from her position as a sergeant with the Blue Lake Police Department.

The family law case is still pending.

The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 02/14/2008 01:27:14 AM PST

Ts - Gallegos asking for Gundersen's ex-wife to take stand

☛ TS Gallegos asking for Gundersen's ex-wife to take stand 7/23/08

If District Attorney Paul Gallegos has his way, David Gundersen's ex-wife will testify when the former Blue Lake police chief stands trial for allegedly raping his current wife with the use of an intoxicant.

Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson is expected to hear arguments Friday on a motion Gallegos filed with the court seeking to admit testimony of alleged sexual offenses against his former wife.

How Watson rules could indicate whether he will allow evidence to be presented during the trial regarding an ex-girlfriend's accusations that Gundersen forcibly raped her at gunpoint while the two were living together in 1999.

Those accusations are the basis of a forcible rape charge filed against Gundersen.

On Monday, Watson ruled the forcible rape charge will be tried separately from 30 other charges Gundersen faces, which include 24 counts of spousal rape. It remains unclear whether Watson will allow Gundersen's ex-girlfriend, Jane Doe 2, to testify when Gundersen stands trial for allegedly raping his current wife, Jane Doe 1.

Jury selection is underway in Gundersen's first trial, in which he is expected to face the spousal rape charges and six other counts, including possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with an attached silencer. Gundersen has pleaded not guilty to all charges and remains held in the Humboldt County jail on $1.25 million bail.

In his motion to make the testimony of Gundersen's ex-wife admissible, Gallegos cites California Evidence Code Section 1108, which essentially states that in cases where the defendant is accused of a sexual offense, evidence of prior sexual offenses can be admissible if the judge finds its probative value to be higher than its risk of prejudicing the jury.

Generally, that's an uphill battle for the prosecutor, according to University of California Hastings School of Law professor David Levine.

He said “evidence of prior bad acts,” as it is often called, is generally ruled inadmissible for the simple reason that just because somebody did something in the past doesn't mean they did it again, or will do it again. So, Levine said, in most cases, the probative value of such evidence is low, while the risk of prejudice is high.

But, Levine said there are some exceptions.

If someone was convicted of committing a string of bank robberies while wearing a red hat, and is now standing trial for a bank robbery in which the perpetrator wore a red hat, a judge would be more likely to make admissible the “evidence of prior bad acts” because they fit a paradigm or established method of operation.

In this case, Gundersen's ex-wife has made accusations -- first during her and Gundersen's divorce proceedings in 1999 and later to District Attorney's Office investigators looking into the current case -- that Gundersen put sleeping drugs in her food or drink so she couldn't resist his unwanted sexual demands.

She later told DA investigators she felt Gundersen may have raped her one to five times while she was drugged.

Gundersen denied the accusations made during the divorce proceedings to Humboldt County Court Investigator John Buffington, who later wrote in a report: “As to the drugging of Mrs. Gundersen, it is difficult to know who is lying to me. But it is clear that one of the two is lying to me.”

Whether those allegations are enough to establish a paradigm or an established method of operation will be up to Watson.
”It really is a judgment call on the part of the judge,” Levine said. “The general rule is that it won't come in. But, there are exceptions and it really depends on the closeness of the fit between the two circumstances.”

As to Watson's ruling Monday to split the charges concerning Gundersen's ex-girlfriend from those concerning his current wife, Levine said it is not unusual or surprising because the counts contain different types of alleged offenses reportedly committed under different circumstances.

Gundersen's defense attorney Russell Clanton agreed. He said Watson made a very careful analysis of the law and came to the right decision. Gallegos simply said he had to move on with his case.

”We have to accept rulings from the court, move on and plan accordingly, so that's exactly what we're going to do,” Gallegos said.

Gallegos wouldn't comment as to whether he would file a motion to make Gundersen's ex-girlfriend's testimony regarding the alleged forcible rape admissible during the spousal rape trial.

Levine said it would be unusual for a judge to grant such a motion after ruling to sever the counts, but it was up to the discretion of the judge and the possibility could not be ruled out.

”This isn't the usual case -- that's for sure,” he said.

Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/23/2008 01:27:55 AM PDT

Related coverage, with links

☛ TS Blue Lake police chief arrested for alleged rape 2/9/08
☛ ER Blue Lake Police Chief arrested on suspicion of rape 2/9/08
☛ TS DA: Allegations stem back a couple years, may have been continual occurrence 2/10/08
☛ ER Blue Lake police chief accused of multiple assaults 2/11/08
☛ TS News spreads quickly in sleepy Blue Lake
☛ KMUD Daniel Mintz interview with Gallegos. Click on KMUD Local News, 6:00 pm edition, Monday, February 11, 2008 6:00 pm
☛ TS No charging decision made in Gundersen case, says DA 2/12/08
☛ TS Attorney: Gundersen claims 'false'
☛ TS Gallegos sticks to his guns regarding investigation into Blue Lake police chief
☛ ER Defense attorney announced for Blue Lake Police Chief 2/13/08
☛ ER Blue Lake residents speak out against police chief 2/13/08
☛ TS Gallegos sticks to his guns regarding investigation into Blue Lake police chief 2/13/08
☛ TS In tense meeting, council puts off action on jailed police chief 2/13/08
☛ TS Gundersen hit with 12 counts of rape
☛ TS Gundersen pleads not guilty to 12 rape charges 2/14/08
☛ ER Police Chief denied release from jail — $500,000 bail stands 2/15/08
☛ TS Judge denies police chief's release 2/15/08

WEEK TWO
☛ ER Gundersen: No stranger to bumpy roads 2/16/08
☛ MP Rape Case Proceeds Against Blue Lake Police Chief 2/19/08

AND MORE
☛ TS Gundersen faces additional charges. 2/27/08 (link is dead, story was updated)
☛ ER Blue Lake explores police options 2/27/08
☛ ER Four new charges against Gundersen 2/28/08
☛ TS Gundersen faces new charges of kidnapping, possessing a machine gun 2/28/08
☛ TS Blue Lake changed policy to allow Gundersen, wife to work together 2/28/08
☛ ER Gundersen’s attorney: Gallegos to face difficulty upholding burden of proof2/29/08
☛ TS Court documents shed light on Gundersen case 2/29/08
☛ TS Gundersen's lawyer: A 'witch hunt' 2/29/08
☛ ER Judge more than doubles Gundersen’s bail to $1,250,000 3/1/08
☛ TS Judge raises Gundersen's bail to $1.25 million 3/1/08
☛ TS Gundersen, alleged second victim were living together, report says3/4/08
☛ TS Investigation report: Gundersen's ex-wife also alleges drugging, rape 3/4/08
☛ TS Blue Lake's gun arsenal called shocking 3/5/08
☛ ER DA mistake violates victims’ rights 3/14/08
☛ TS Gundersen hearing pushed to April 3/14/08
☛ TS An evolution of law: Spousal rape recently prosecutable 3/23/08
☛ TS Blue Lake ends Gundersen's employment 4/10/08
☛ TS Gundersen's wife gets immunity 4/11/08
☛ TS Gundersen preliminary hearing continued 4/12/08
☛; ER Gundersen hearing moved ahead for third time 4/12/08
☛; TS Blue Lake's remaining officers placed on leave 4/15/08
☛ TS BLPD evidence storage facility burgled 4/15/08

THE HEARING
☛ TS Gundersen alleged rape victim testifies in hearing 4/21/08
☛; ER First Witness Testifies at Gundersen's hearing 4/22/08
☛ ER Log of the Testimony, Gundersen's hearing 4/22/08
☛ TS 'Jane Doe 2' tells court of rape by Blue Lake chief 4/22/08
☛ TS EPD reportedly didn't follow up on 1999 rape report 4/22/08
☛ ER Both “Jane Does” testify, immunity deals criticized 4/23/08
☛; TS Defense questions alleged rape victim 4/23/08
☛; ER Jane Doe “felt coerced” into making statements 4/24/08
☛ ER Gundersen's hearing transcripts 4/24/08
☛ TS Key witness in Gundersen case says testimony coerced 4/24/08
☛ TS Experts: Little impact from coercion charges in Gundersen case 4/24/08
☛ ER Doe 1: ‘I don’t think I would have ever come forward’ 4/24/08
☛ TS Police chief's wife feared he'd hurt her 4/25/08
☛ TS Gundersen held to stand trial 4/30/08
☛ ER Gundersen to answer to 19 charges 4/30/08

☛ TS Gundersen faces 14 new counts 5/14/08
☛; TS Court dismisses civil action against Gundersen 5/27/08
☛ ER Gundersen to go to trial in July
☛ LA Times Police chief’s arrest jolts town 6/4/08
☛ TS Gundersen trial pushed back to July 6/20/08

LEADUP TO THE TRIAL
☛; TS Gundersen attorney wants change of venue 7/2/08
☛ TS Gundersen's attorney seeks to dismiss charges 7/3/08
☛ TS Judge hears motion to dismiss Gundersen charges 7/10/8
☛; ER Judge to consider change of venue for Gundersen trial 7/10/08
☛ TS Gundersen trial jury selection slated to begin 7/14/08
☛; ER Two charges against Gundersen dismissed 7/15/08
☛ TS Judge dismisses three charges facing Gundersen 7/15/08
☛ TS Gundersen turns down plea deal 7/16/08
31 counts, including 24 charges of spousal rape with the use of an intoxicant, forcible rape of a second victim with a firearm enhancement, attempting to dissuade a witness, violating a court order and possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with an attached silencer and reduces it to one count of spousal rape and another of forcibly raping a second victim.

The TS reports that Gundersen, who is facing 28 felony charges, turned down a plea deal that could have landed him in prison for anywhere from nine to 26 years, attorneys said in court Tuesday.

”We rejected it in its entirety,” Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton said of the deal, in which Gundersen would have pleaded guilty to one count of spousal rape and another of forcibly raping a second victim. “Our position is that the defendant has no criminal liability.”

☛ ER Juror questionnaire ready as selection process begins 7/16/08
☛ TS Jury selection underway in Gundersen case 7/17/08
☛ ER Former police chief now faces two trials 7/22/08
☛ TS Gallegos asking for Gundersen's ex-wife to take stand 7/23/08

BLOGS:
Heraldo - Blue Lake Police Chief Arrested for Rape
Mirror - Police chief denies spousal rape accusation, says two were never married 5/10/08
The Wasp - Gallegos the Sneak 5/13/08
The Wasp = Correction/Update
Mirror - Police chief pleads not guilty to spousal rape, requests Valentine’s Day conjugal with wife 5/14/08
The Wasp - Gold stars for Thad and John...but something's amiss
Fred: What???
Fred: Prosecutions
SoHum Parlance - Blue Lake police chief denied OR
BEHIND THE BLUE WALL blog has a post on the Gundersen matter.
Mirror - Blue Lake slips motto contest into city council agenda 3/5/08
Mirror - Gallegos hires Mandrake the Magician to erase memories of alleged rape victims’ names 3/18/08
Mirror - At this point, we would definitely consider a name change 3/26/08
Blue Lake cans Chief Gundersen 4/9/08
Mirror - Blue Lake City Council shows some sack 4/10/08
Mirror - Blue Lake’s entire police force now on paid administrative leave 4/15/08
Mirror - Gundersen got way more action than previously believed 5/13/08
Mirror - Confirmed: Gundersen attorney desperately seeking venue change 7/7/08

BACKGROUND/PAST HISTORY
☛; ER Gundersen: No stranger to bumpy roads The story of Gundersen's previous arrest and its outcome.
☛ Legal Defense Fund http://www.porac.org/ldf/articles/february%201%201998.html
Adelanto Showdown: Officers vs Council February 1998
☛ From the Lunesta site Opening paragraph:

First posted 2/16/08 Updated on an ongoing basis

TW - Jury selection underway in Gundersen case

Jury selection underway in Gundersen case 7/17/08

Jury selection got underway Wednesday for the trial of former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen, the first step in what's expected to be a long, arduous process.

Gundersen, who was arrested Feb. 8 and now faces 28 felony charges, remains held in the Humboldt County jail on $1.25 million bail. The charges include allegations of spousal rape, forcible rape of a second victim and possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with an attached silencer. Gundersen, who has pleaded not guilty, made a brief public court appearance Wednesday.

He sat next to his attorney, Russell Clanton, dressed in slacks and a dress shirt.

A flock of potential jurors were called in and spent the morning filling out hardship questionnaires designed to determine if spending eight to 10 weeks hearing the case would cause them an undue financial or personal burden. Based on the forms, prospective jurors were either excused or retained, with a small number who gave ambiguous answers being called before Judge Bruce Watson for more information.

The retained jurors were then asked to fill out a questionnaire -- prepared by Clanton and District Attorney Paul Gallegos -- seeking to weed out potentially biased jurors from the pool.

Of the 10 potential jurors questioned before the judge, six were excused due to hardship concerns, three were asked to fill out the second questionnaire and one was excused for bias after telling the court he felt Gundersen was guilty.

Gallegos said filling a jury for a long trial is generally more time consuming due to hardship concerns.

”The longer the trial, the more you lose because it has a bigger impact on their lives,” he said.

The case is likely to lose some more potential jurors after they fill out the second questionnaire, which asks a litany of personal questions seeking to uncover potential prejudices.

The 11-page questionnaire begins by asking potential jurors about their personal histories, including questions about their education and employment histories, marital status and experiences with crime and law enforcement.

Then, the questionnaire moves into questions more pertinent to Gundersen's case.

”The defendant is the former police chief of Blue Lake and Trinidad. Is there anything about this fact that affects your ability to remain impartial?” it asks.

The questionnaire then asks jurors about their views of the Eureka Police Department and if they believe “law enforcement would alter the truth in order to protect a fellow officer.”

Those questions may be in reference to Jane Doe 2, who testified during Gundersen's preliminary hearing that she first reported her allegations that Gundersen raped her in 1999 to the EPD shortly after the alleged offense. She testified her report was never followed up on.

There are also some questions regarding Jane Doe 1, Gundersen's wife, whom the defendant faces 24 counts of allegedly raping while she was under the influence of the sleep aid Lunesta or other drugs. The questionnaire asks potential jurors a series of questions about sleep aid usage.

Potential jurors are also asked if they would be comfortable hearing testimony describing sexual acts, what they have read about the case, if what they have read has affected their opinions of Gundersen's innocence or guilt and their opinions of Gallegos and Clanton.

It also includes a list of potential witnesses in the case, and asks potential jurors to circle the names of people they know.

On Tuesday, Watson deferred any ruling on Clanton's motion for a change of venue until jury selection is underway. If at any point during the jury selection process Watson believes the court won't be able to impanel an impartial jury, he could grant the motion. In that case, the trial would be held in another county or a jury from another county would be brought in to hear the case locally.

Jury selection is scheduled to continue today.

Jury questions:
* Do you believe law enforcement has a greater duty to follow the law than a civilian? If yes, please describe:
* Who do you believe should have control over the strategic and tactical missions of a police department?
* Will your ability to remain impartial be compromised if you hear testimony of sexual habits you find disagreeable? If yes, please explain:
* Have you read anything about this case? If yes: What have you read? Where did you read it? When did you read it?
* Would you be more likely to find the defendant guilty or innocent because of the fact of the media's coverage of this case? Yes, No, Possibly, No effect.
Source: Questionnaire given to prospective jurors

Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/17/2008 01:16:30 AM PDT

7.22.2008

TS Ltr - "Hogwash, Mr. Gallegos."

TS - Letter to the Editor

On July 11, District Attorney Paul Gallegos appeared before Humboldt County's Code Enforcement Task Force and shared what the press reported as “his frustrations about” a “mutant” structure where he has no authority over code officers, yet all the responsibility for their actions in the field” (Eureka Reporter, 7-12), and he isn't “comfortable with deputizing code enforcement investigators if they are not his employees” (Times-Standard, 7-12). As is often the case with Mr. Gallegos, the truth is otherwise.

For over seven years I was employed by the California District Attorneys Association as a “circuit prosecutor,” in which I was deputized by elected district attorneys in three counties, including by Gallegos. As my legal authority flowed from these elected DA's to me, at all times I answered in my actions as a deputy DA directly to them. On numerous occasions I pointed out this fact to my supervisors in Sacramento, who sometimes felt that they, as my employer, could direct me in my exercise of the DA's authority.

Mr. Gallegos seeks to have it both ways. He has deputized these peace officers, who act under his authority as code enforcement officers, yet claims he cannot control them as his deputies. This is hogwash. The solution is obvious: Insist that these deputies operate subject to his oversight or remove their authority.

It remains unfortunate that our chief law enforcement officer refuses to take responsibility for his actions, placing blame elsewhere. Citizens should rightly expect leadership and honesty, not platitudes and excuses.


Paul Hagen
Eureka
***

Update: July 22, 2008 Well! That drew a response from the long dormant Salzman Communications Director, once again struggling to defend Paul Gallegos. What don't you know? The Emperor's clothes are spun of the finest silk! With 24 karat gold embroidery on the hem, and the finest jewels on the bodice. Can't you see it? If you can't, according to the chief deceptor Michael Twombly, you must be a "disgruntled" ex-employee. One who was FIRED thanks to Gallegos. Michael Twombly must be the last rat on this sinking ship. Looks like he's trying to thwart anyone running against his boy.

Hagen should do his homework - Letter to the Editor

Mr. Hagen's screed about the District Attorney's problems with Humboldt's code officers (Hogwash, Mr. Gallegos) a is little but a disgruntled ex-employee's self-serving run-up to challenging Gallegos in the next DA election.

Mr. Hagen's circuit prosecutor position with the DA's Association in years past is not comparable to the “mutant structure” in which Gallegos has no legal authority over code enforcers, but as DA has official responsibility for their irresponsible, dangerous and provocative activities.

This is an obviously intolerable position for any district attorney and needs to be fixed.

In fact, Gallegos states that that deputies must either operate responsibly under his authority or lose their deputy status under the DA's office.

This seems pretty reasonable.

Mr. Hagen needs to do his homework before throwing his hogwash hat in the ring.

Michael Twombly
Bayside


Scared, Mr. Twombly. So quick to jump to the defense. Of the utterly indefensible.

7.16.2008

TS - Gundersen turns down plea deal

Gundersen turns down plea deal

Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen, who is facing 28 felony charges, turned down a plea deal that could have landed him in prison for anywhere from nine to 26 years, attorneys said in court Tuesday.

”We rejected it in its entirety,” Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton said of the deal, in which Gundersen would have pleaded guilty to one count of spousal rape and another of forcibly raping a second victim. “Our position is that the defendant has no criminal liability.”

After Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson asked for a progress report on settlement discussions, District Attorney Paul Gallegos said he had offered the plea deal and Clanton said the defense declined it.

The defense, Clanton said, would only be agreeable to a deal in which Gundersen would plead guilty to one of the misdemeanor counts he is facing in exchange for dismissing the remaining 30 charges.

Watson asked Gundersen if he had been informed of the plea bargain discussions and if Clanton had accurately represented them.

”Yes, sir,” replied Gundersen, who sat next to Clanton during his brief court appearance Tuesday clad in a red jumpsuit.
Gundersen, who was arrested Feb. 8 and remains held in the Humboldt County jail on $1.25 million bail, again pleaded not guilty to all charges Tuesday after Gallegos filed amended charges with 31 counts, including 24 charges of spousal rape with the use of an intoxicant, forcible rape of a second victim with a firearm enhancement, attempting to dissuade a witness, violating a court order and possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with an attached silencer.

Jury selection was slated to start Tuesday, but was pushed back until today in order to allow Clanton and Gallegos time to put together a jury questionnaire that would probe potential jurors on their general ability to hear the case fairly. Watson also asked court staff to put together a hardship questionnaire for potential jurors and, in doing so, estimated the trial would take up to 10 weeks.

Watson also heard oral arguments regarding two motions Clanton filed last month seeking a change of venue and to have the charges of spousal rape tried separately from the charges of forcibly raping a second victim.

Watson essentially put the change of venue motion on hold, saying he would wait to see if it looks like an impartial jury can be seated in the case before ruling on the motion.

On the second motion, Clanton argued that the spousal rape charges concerning Jane Doe 1 are inherently different than the forcible rape charge regarding Jane Doe 2. The alleged acts are separated by seven or eight years, involve two different victims and two distinct sets of circumstances, Clanton argued.

Clanton also argued that Jane Doe 2 is an unreliable witness and, consequently, the forcible rape charge is much weaker than those concerning Gundersen's alleged conduct with Jane Doe 1.

”I've been a defense attorney for years and I can honestly say I don't think I've ever seen a case with such a weak set of facts brought before a jury,” Clanton said of the forcible rape charge.

He said the potential for prejudice in trying the charges together is “just overwhelming,” as the stronger Jane Doe 1 charges would likely buttress the weaker Jane Doe 2 charge in the jury's eyes.

In response, Gallegos argued that the charges are related as they both involve “the use of another person's body against their will for one's own sexual gratification.”

Further, Gallegos argued that if the charges were tried separately, the evidence would be admissible anyway.

Watson took the matter under submission, but did not say when he would issue a ruling.

After Tuesday's court appearance, Clanton said he was glad Watson checked in on settlement talks because it helps ensure both sides are communicating about the case. However, Clanton said he and Gallegos are far apart in plea discussions and reiterated that the only plea Gundersen would accept is a misdemeanor charge, and that would only be to avoid a trial in which the defendant faces virtually a life sentence if convicted on all charges.

”That's the only thing we would ever plea to,” Clanton said. “There is no chance in the world we would plea to anything that involves felony culpability. He has no criminal liability in any of this.”

Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/16/2008 01:30:31 AM PDT

7.15.2008

ER - Two charges against Gundersen dismissed

ER Two charges against Gundersen dismissed

The Humboldt County Superior Court dismissed two of the 26 counts of spousal rape charged against former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen in a ruling filed Monday.

The court also upheld a ruling from Gundersen’s preliminary hearing that reduced a kidnapping to commit rape charge, with a firearm enhancement, to forcible rape with said enhancement — one of two charges that involve Jane Doe 2.

The ruling came in response to a motion filed by Russell Clanton, Gundersen’s defense attorney, to dismiss all the charges against his client during a hearing on July 9.

News of the ruling came Monday morning at the start of Gundersen’s trial, with two motions awaiting a decision by the new presiding judge, Superior Court Judge W. Bruce Watson, and the expectation that the jury selection process will be a long one.

The charges against Gundersen have varied over the months, as the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office tacked on more and as judges reduced or dismissed some.

Gundersen is now being charged with 24 counts of alleged spousal rape with an intoxicant, along with seven other charges, including two related to firearms, for a total of 31 charges.

Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles, who originally presided over the case, dismissed two counts of spousal rape with an intoxicant charged against Gundersen after reviewing transcripts from his preliminary hearing in April.

Miles said in her ruling that the time period discussed by both the prosecution and defense went as far as 2007.

During the preliminary hearing, Jane Doe 1 testified that Gundersen had non-consensual sex with her about once a month between 2005 and 2007.

Since two of the counts of alleged spousal rape against Gundersen occurred in January 2008 and February 2008, she dismissed both of them.

As for the charge against Gundersen of kidnapping to commit rape, Miles agreed with Superior Court Judge John T. Feeney’s ruling that there was insufficient evidence to hold him to that charge.

“While the evidence shows that Jane Doe was forcibly moved from the front room to the bedroom ... the evidence does not show that this movement substantially increased the risk of physical harm (over and above that) necessarily present in the commission of rape,” Miles wrote in her ruling.

Although Clanton thought Miles’ decision was accurate, he believed there were other counts that could have been dismissed.

He said he still has two pending motions for the court to consider: one requesting a change of venue and another asking to try the charges pertaining to Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 separately.

Due to the expected length of time of the trial, the availability of courtrooms and Superior Court Judge Paul Cissna being disqualified, Watson will now preside over the trial.

The jury selection process, which District Attorney Paul Gallegos said could take three to four weeks, begins this morning.

He said he would like a pool of at least 70 jurors, 12 of whom would eventually hear the case.

A pool of jurors will be asked if they have any hardships that may interfere with the trial, which is expected to last about a month.

Those that move on will be individually questioned to determine if there are any pre-established biases to the case. The possible corruption of the juror pool due to extensive media coverage was among the reasons Clanton requested the trial be conducted elsewhere.
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Same day TS Judge dismisses three charges facing Gundersen
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TS - Judge dismisses three charges facing Gundersen

TS Judge dismisses three charges facing Gundersen

Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles dismissed three of the 33 charges facing former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen in a written ruling issued Monday.

Miles dismissed two of the 26 spousal rape charges as well as the charge of transporting a second victim for the purpose of rape. She left room for District Attorney Paul Gallegos to file a lesser charge, saying evidence presented during Gundersen's preliminary hearing supports a charge of forcible rape with a firearm enhancement.

After reading Miles' decision, Gallegos notified the court of his intent to add the forcible rape charge to his case against the former police chief.

Gundersen, who was arrested Feb. 8, will now face 31 charges, including 29 felonies, assuming Gallegos adds the forcible rape charge. He has pleaded not guilty and remains held in the Humboldt County jail on $1.25 million bail.

In a motion filed with the court June 27, Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton sought the dismissal of all the charges facing his client, arguing there was not enough evidence presented during Gundersen's preliminary hearing to support them.

In her ruling, Miles agreed on two of the counts, finding the prosecution failed to present evidence to warrant holding Gundersen to stand trial on charges that he raped his wife with the use of an intoxicant in January 2008 and on Feb. 7, 2008. Miles found sufficient evidence to hold Gundersen to stand trial on the other 24 counts of spousal rape, one count for every month in 2006 and 2007.

After Gundersen's preliminary hearing, Judge John Feeney reduced the charge of kidnapping or transporting a second victim for the purpose of rape to forcible rape, but Gallegos said he respectfully disagreed with the court's decision and re-filed the count as initially charged. In her ruling Monday, Miles agreed with Feeney.

”The court finds that the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing does not show such a state of facts as would leave a person of ordinary caution and prudence to believe and conscientiously entertain a strong suspicion of the guilt of the defendant of an aggravated kidnapping,” Miles states in the ruling. “The court agrees with the magistrate that the evidence is sufficient to support a charge of forcible rape under Penal Code section 261(a)(2), and the firearm enhancement.”

If Gallegos files the new charge, Gundersen will face a total of 31 counts: 24 charges of spousal rape with the use of an intoxicant, forcible rape of a second victim, attempting to dissuade a witness, violating a court order, acting unlawfully with department records, possessing a controlled substance without a prescription and possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with a silencer attached.

Clanton said Monday he felt Miles' ruling was accurate regarding the actions she took, but that he obviously felt there were other actions she could have taken but did not. For his part, Gallegos said he agreed with the ruling.

Jury selection, which was slated to begin Monday, was also pushed back a day and is scheduled to begin this morning.

The case was moved to Judge Bruce Watson's courtroom because Miles' courtroom is currently occupied with an ongoing trial.

The court suggested having Judge Timothy Cissna hear the case, but Clanton issued a preemptory challenge on the grounds that Cissna is prejudiced against he or his client, leaving the case in Watson's hands.

That means Watson will also be left to rule on two motions filed by Clanton late last month seeking a change of venue and to have the spousal rape charges tried separately from the count concerning a second victim.

Generally, courts wait to hear change of venue motions until the jury selection process begins and potential jurors are questioned for possible bias. Gallegos said he expects jury selection to begin today with jurors filling out hardship forms and questionnaires regarding media coverage and other issues that may create bias toward the case.

Gallegos said he expects jury selection to take around one month.

Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/15/2008 01:27:41 AM PDT
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Same day ER Two charges against Gundersen dismissed

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