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The Case Against the Current DA

Chris Crawford, Eureka Reporter Guest Editorial
April 3, 2006
Get Involved Today!VOTERS: OK, what’s next on the docket?

PUBLIC OPINION: It’s People vs. the current DA, your honor.

VOTERS: Proceed.

PO: Our elected district attorney has been in office four years and is seeking another term. We believe he has not paid attention to what the voters think is important. Here is why we think he doesn’t deserve re-election:

COUNT 1 — Pursuing a personal agenda. We submit as evidence a lawsuit filed against the Pacific Lumber Co. in which the DA alleged that PALCO fraudulently entered into the sale of the Headwaters forest.

VOTERS: And what was the outcome of the suit?

PO: It was dismissed for lack of substance, your honor.

VOTER: OK, what else?

PO: COUNT 2 — Pursuing political vendettas. As evidence, we cite the criminal charges filed against Fortuna City Councilmember Debi August alleging that she voted on land-use matters over which she had a conflict of interest.

VOTERS: And what was the outcome of the case?

PO: It was dismissed after a grand jury member disclosed improper procedures by the deputy DA in charge of the case. Ms. August was an outspoken critic of the DA and we feel the DA filed criminal charges in retribution.

VOTERS: That’s speculation, but we’ll take it under advisement. Proceed.

PO: COUNT 3 — Pandering to special interests. As evidence we cite an armed raid on the Stockton Pacific Pulp Mill organized by the DA and conducted over the 2004 Christmas holidays that was based upon interviews with a witness who was not credible. Worse, an Asian buyer was scheduled to visit the mill the next day in an effort by the owners to keep the operation going and to keep the 170 employees working.

VOTERS: And what was the outcome of the raid?

PO: A year and a half later, the previous owners reached a settlement in which a small fine was paid to get rid of the nuisance. There were no substantive health or environmental violations proven and the entire process cost the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in wasted effort.

VOTERS: Even if you convince me that the current DA is unworthy of a second term, I need to know that there is a qualified candidate to replace him.

PO: We have Worth Dikeman, your honor. He’s a highly qualified prosecutor who will pay attention to the people’s business, instead of pandering to special-interest political causes. Mr. Dikeman will spend his energy as DA on street crime, illegal drug sales and prosecutions that really protect the public. That’s why so many law enforcement agencies are endorsing Mr. Dikeman, and none are endorsing the incumbent.

VOTERS: Anything further?

PO: Just one, your honor. It’s an infraction, but worth noting for the record. The current DA has endorsed a local ballot initiative called Measure T that claims to stop outside influences on local elections. Despite this, he hired outside operatives to conduct “push polls” in an effort to convince voters to keep him in office. We think it’s bad form and not worthy of a district attorney.

VOTERS: Thank you for this opportunity to review the record, and we will all issue our ruling on June 6.

(Chris Crawford is owner of Justice Served, a court management firm working with justice agencies worldwide.)

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Humboldt County Leaders Endorse Measure T!

Democratic Party of Humboldt County

Green Party of Humboldt County

Central Labor Council of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local #1684

Building and Construction Trades of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

Carpenters Union Local #751

Operating Engineers Union Local #3 AFL-CIO

Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney

Peter LaVallee, Eureka Mayor

Chris Kerrigan, Eureka City Council

Dave Meserve, Arcata City Council

Harmony Groves, Arcata City Council

Paul Pitino, Arcata City Council

Bob Ornelas, Former Arcata Mayor

Connie Stewart, Former Arcata Mayor

Elizabeth Conner, Former Arcata City Council

Julie Fulkerson, Former Humboldt County Board of Supervisors

... and hundreds of other individuals and local businesses! Join us today!

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Chris Kerrigan, Eureka City Counsel, and Kate Christensen, owner of The Garden Gate, support Measure T! (1 min)


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Larry Glass, owner of The Works, and Dennis Rael, owner of Los Bagles, support Measure T! (1 min)