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

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

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