Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


My Photo
Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Betro, redux?

"People felt I was too aggressive in some of the things I did downtown. That was part and parcel of some of the things I'm good at, making things happen, so that was a really tough experience."

---Former Ward One Councilman Dom Betro to Press Enterprise

"He is a man of vision, but he's inflexible in his vision, and in my experience you could not disagree with him on one point and work cooperatively with him the next day. If you disagreed with him, you were banished forever."

---Councilman Mike Gardner who defeated Betro in the 2007 election, to Press Enterprise

"I was taught in law school that a good prosecutor has more power and discretion to do the right thing than anyone else in the criminal justice system. Under Pacheco's thumb, that is no longer true. Some of his deputy district attorneys daily express regret that they are not allowed to do what they believe to be fair and reasonable. They are controlled by managers who are controlled by Pacheco."

---Former Riverside County District Attorney's office prosecutor, Kelton Tobler in an op-ed piece in the Press Enterprise.

Unemployment rate in the Inland Empire hits 14.3%.

The Press Enterprise profiled former councilman and potential future mayoral candidate, Dom Betro who now is busy doing other things. I guess they thought a profile was overdue given that Betro's been pretty active in the "local view" section lately expressing his views on issues involving the downtown, the downtown and...the downtown.

They read like campaign speeches or rebuttals against everything Gardner (as in Mike Gardner, the grass-roots candidate who replaced the once-grass-roots candidate) but given the lack of variety or versatility in their content, they serve as reminders to everyone why Betro failed to get reelected. Want a hint? Look at Gardner's quote included above for the answer.

But here's what others had to say.


"I think he's willing to take risks and venture into new areas," said Paul Zellerbach, a Superior Court judge in Riverside County who has been on Family Service's board of directors for about 20 years.

At other nonprofits where Zellerbach is a board member, he said, "They just try to get along, just maintain the status quo. Dom is never satisfied with the status quo."

An example of Betro's approach, Zellerbach said, is the purchase of the YWCA building. He was able to combine public and private resources to buy the building, and the income from expanding child care will help pay the mortgage.

Not everything he has touched has turned to gold. While his strategy seems perfectly suited to his role as a nonprofit CEO, it didn't translate as well to the political environment of Riverside elected officialdom.

After serving one term on the City Council that ended in 2007, Betro lost to Mike Gardner by seven votes.

That's the one thing that the article mentions almost in passing is that Betro only served one term on the council. And the squeaker of an election that sent him to the sidelines in the autumn of 2007 did shock many people at the time even though informal polls done by pretty much all the political campaigns in that ward showed Betro and current councilman, Mike Gardner virtually tied after earlier polls had given Betro a 10-point lead.

Still, the election wasn't decided for about three weeks as it took that time to do the initial count of every single ballot cast including the provisional ballots and then there were the recounts done at the Riverside County's Voters' Registrar office. What every count done showed was that the election came down to a handful of votes which decided the victor and who would represent Ward One for the next four years and Betro wasn't on the winning side.

So how did one of the most successful grassroots campaigns in history which led to an upset victory in 2003 result in a candidate who only lasted one term? What happened when people who participated in that exciting and historical campaign instead began either running against him or campaigning for anyone else but him?

'Masters of Their Eminent Domain'

Well, one thing that happened was that Betro's infrastructure including campaign his fund raising began to look less and less like grass-roots and more like what had outlined the campaign coffers of other city council members and that was sizable checks received by development firms based in counties outside Riverside. Developers like Mark Rubin and Alan Mruvka, for example who donated to Betro's reelection campaign.

(excerpt, Inland Empire Weekly)

Such was the case with the city’s acquisition of businesses on the downtown block bordered by Market and Mission and 1st and 3rd streets. In lawsuit after lawsuit filed November 2, the city moved to condemn a dozen parcels of land to make room for Raincross Promenade, a tony housing project by LA developer Mark Rubin. This action, one of the largest and, at an estimated $5.4 million, one of the most expensive condemnation efforts in the city’s history, resulted in dozens of merchants and their employees being forced to find work elsewhere.

Rubin, incidentally, is listed by Betro as a key endorser of his council re-election bid.

Across the street, business owners—scared out of their wits by what any fool could clearly see coming—quickly sold out to Beverly Hills developer Alan Mruvka, who wants to build 125 residential and live/work units between 1st and 3rd streets along Market.

“We didn’t really have a choice, did we?” says Lee LeMunyan, the co-owner of Bader Motors, who sold his property to Mruvka and shut down the business in May. “The city doesn’t want older businesses here. They want new businesses for a new tax base—then they’ll be happy. Wherever we go after this, I can promise you it won’t be Riverside.”

Mruvka, incidentally, donated $500 to Betro’s re-election bid. A company called CityWorks, LLC—listed as the developer of Maric College in Riverside and holding the same post office box address as Mruvka—contributed $1,500 to the Betro campaign. Mruvka and CityWorks also donated a total of $1,000 to Riverside Councilman Steve Adam’s re-election effort.

If you read Betro's campaign disclosure statements which like all of their kind are public records, you can see the evolution that Betro took from being the ultimate grass-roots candidate to succeed in winning a coveted spot on the city council dais to the darling of the developers and the engine which runs the downtown, the Greater Chamber of Commerce. Both the Chambers and the Riverside Downtown Partnership pretty much control the downtown area which is good if you're a business that either organization wants in its midst. But if you were one of the businesses which were seized and/or threatened by Eminent Domain by the city's Redevelopment Agency (i.e. the City Council) and handed off to a developer, then the Chambers and the RDP are not your advocates (even if like the Partnership, they're collecting business tax from your earnings to pay for past pedestrian mall improvements) nor are they your friends. Talk about taxation without representation!

The irony is that after taking all that business tax from businesses including those seized by the Redevelopment Agency, to improve the downtown pedestrian mall, what wound up happening? The city wound up shelling out over $11 million to improve the mall, beginning with its infrastructure. One of several key examples of improvements done by City Hall which have to be done more than once (and paid for more than once) because interior improvements and not infrastructure replacement came first. After all , what good does it do to make a street more decorative if you have to rip it off not long after to install new plumbing, sewer lines and electrical equipment?

So perhaps before joining either organization, as a business owner, you'd better check with their boards and make sure they like your business because before you know it, they could be announcing their support of the seizure of your business through Eminent Domain. They like Betro (including in a recent op-ed piece) blamed these businesses for the lack of exterior improvements not mentioning that the exterior improvements done for the businesses on the pedestrian mall were paid for by downtown businesses including those having their land seized so the city could hand the land off to developers. That wasn't mentioned anywhere in the op-ed piece nor was it mentioned that the businesses received exterior improvements for a second time paid for by the city.

The improvements have been a mixed blessing for businesses who have lost revenue while construction is taking place in their midst, but how much money on exterior improvements was paid for by business taxes from the RDP on say, Market Street for example and did the city also shell out $12 million for similar exterior improvements (and infrastructure repair and replacement) on Market Street as it did for Main?

No, instead the lack of exterior improvements were used by the Redevelopment Agency to claim "blight" ( a vaguely defined term from the Redevelopment Agency's glossary if there ever was one) and used to take land away from these businesses.

And guess what? At least two developers who did business downtown with the city acting as a middle-man in property negotiations for them, dumped money into the campaign coffers of elected officials including Betro.

The Redevelopment Agency's entrenchment in the redevelopment of downtown while using the tool of Eminent Domain became a topic of contention which would be placed front and center in the 2007 Ward One election. The business and financial relationships (through campaign contributions) between elected officials and developers would be under a spotlight. And the businesses seized and/or threatened by Eminent Domain would have a notable face: The Kawa Market.

Actions like this one alienated a lot of Betro's foot soldiers in his first successful campaign even if much of his inner circle remained intact for a while (and campaign inner circles don't tend to be closely connected with the foot soldiers anyway). And without foot soldiers, there's no such thing as a successful political campaign. It's like having a house built and then removing its foundation. Picture what would happen in that situation and you can see what happened in Betro's reelection campaign and ultimately, why his career in the city council ended when it did, probably a lot sooner than he and his inner circle had anticipated or hoped.

Counting your Chickens Before They Hatch

After all, he had been featured prominently in the Inland Empire Magazine as having mayoral ambitions while still serving out his first term on the city council. Think about it, you've been on the dais for three years and you're flirting with rising up to the level of the somewhat prestigious, albeit relatively powerless position of mayor before your first term's expired.

But Betro wasn't the only elected official featured in the magazine. Another former city councilman, Art Gage, was featured as his competition as the magazine clearly didn't factor in the fact that incumbent, Ron Loveridge would decide to run again in 2009. What do they have in common? Well, the fact that they are both former council members who were looking ahead at the mayoral office while their grasp on their city council seats were more tenuous than apparently either politician realized. They assumed that their reelections the following years were givens, that their votes would be there when they needed them and that their reelection would serve as a stepping stone to a successful run for the coveted seat of mayor. But assumptions can be a long way from reality and that's very much the case in politics.

As history has shown, voters instead of reanointing them gave them pink slips while opting for new leadership. Councilman Rusty Bailey, who was recruited by some of the same people who backed Betro in both elections, was a recipient of monies from many of the same developers including Doug Jacobs who also contributed money to his opponent, Gage. He was seen by some political watchdogs as a developers' darling in grass-roots clothing.

What happened to Betro and Gage is reminiscent of an old Aesop's fable about a dog who has a bone in his mouth and catches his reflection in a body of water. Of course, he thinks he's looking at another dog with another bone and decides that his own bone's not enough. He wants both of them. So he grabs for the other bone but in the process, he loses the one inside his mouth and watches as it drops into the water, lost forever leaving him with nothing.

Gage and Betro weren't the only ones to learn that harsh lesson as another former city councilman, Frank Schiavone learned that as well when his decision to run for county supervisor while still serving out a term as a councilman helped erode his support within his own ward which voted overwhelmingly for his opposition for supervisor and cast enough votes to oust him as councilman the following year.

Riverside is Part of the Downtown

[One of Riverside Downtown's ambassadors, otherwise known as a parking meter]

But one of the issues that cost Betro the election was his focus on the downtown area of Ward One at the expense of other neighborhoods like Northside who often felt like they got the short end of the stick. And the wealth of Betro op-ed articles, albeit on downtown issues, serves as a reminder of his single-minded focus on that area. The candidates who opposed Betro in the election (and there were three of them) tended to come from other neighborhoods besides the downtown.

Now some people might think that downtown is the center of Riverside, not to mention Ward One but voters in that ward especially those outside the downtown area tended to view the focus on the downtown as a negative thing and even residents who lived downtown felt that suddenly redeveloping it was a negative thing, forcing sudden and dramatic changes on an area which hadn't seen much change in the past several decades, and without much public input. This isn't the same as viewing redeveloping downtown as necessarily being negative but the imposition of drastic redefining of downtown within their midst.

Not to mention the controversy over parking meters, whether or not to have them, and if so, what kind to have and should there be a popularity contest to see which one individuals like without giving them a third option of "none of the above" when it came down to two different models.

But still, positive or negative, the attention was focused on the downtown leaving other neighborhoods in Ward One feeling neglected by Betro until the election year when he thrust himself onto leadership positions on issues pertaining to two of the city's parks, Tesquesquite (which formed the starting point of Gardner's own campaign) and Fairmount Parks. During the summer of 2007, he headed two task forces which addressed improvements and renovations of the two parks including the controversal proposal to swap some of the acreage for commercial and residential development use.

All of these issues came to a head in Election 2007, parts one and two, and not in ways that favored Betro or his camp.

'If you disagreed with him, you were banished forever.

Gardner's quote about Betro might be that of a competitor against his opposition but actually describes Betro pretty accurately. Yes, he had vision but if you didn't share it, he did as Gardner said, he banished people from his circle forever. He didn't have the flexibility that's often required in elected officials especially those who do have a vision.

Was Betro aggressive? Yes.

I don't think that anyone who followed his campaign for or against would argue against that. Was it always a good thing? No, it wasn't and as it turned out his aggressiveness that he holds onto as his number one positive attribute hurt him at the voting polls, on the campaign trail and even on the dais more than it helped him. Aggressiveness is a double edged sword for Betro. He sees it as his greatest strength, as a sign of success. Others saw it as his downfall as an elected representative.

Betro was also on the receiving end of two ethics complaints filed under the code and process that was instituted after voters passed a ballot initiative to establish both and to put it in the city's charter. His tendency to lose his temper when faced with criticism or challenges to his statements were the underscore of the complaints lodged against him as were several outbursts that he engaged in during political forums staged to allow voters a chance to listen to candidates share their opinions and disagree with each other on civic issues.

But what sounded outstanding in theory was very much watered down in reality as several city council members (most notably those who received complaints) figured out how to manipulate the process. One way to do this was to have City Attorney Gregory Priamos serve not as an adviser to the process (in his advisory role defined by city code) but to serve as the deciding body in terms of the outcome of the complaint. Instead of having the Mayor's Nomination and Screening Committee do the actual screening of complaints, that job was assigned to Priamos who naturally refused to accept complaints involving council members which makes sense when you remember that his number one job responsibility is to protect the city council and the mayor.

From what, he can't exactly say but it's a natural extension of that responsibility to protect your direct employers to find the means to disqualify complaints that really should have been forwarded to the Mayor's Nomination and Screening Committee. Not that this committee seemed to know how to handle complaints either. The only complaint the committee ever heard allowed its members to put on a rather eye-opening display of why the city council is unable to police itself when investigating or deliberating over ethics complaints. They spend the entire time castigating the complainant and backing the elected official long before they vote on the outcome. And then after the official meeting ends, they continue to castigate the complainant bringing the quality of the proceedings down a couple of notches further, telling everyone in attendance that even on their worst day, they could never be as bad as [insert name of complainant].

Not to mention that the Governmental Affairs Committee which reviews the process annually (and is set to do so next month) met during the summer months of July to quietly change the language governing that city officials had to be serving as city representatives to be eligible for complaints. The vote to change this language was done while Priamos had been in the process of rejecting an ethics complaint filed against Betro (who also served on both the Governmental Affairs and Mayor's Nomination and Screening Committees). So that showed that elected officials were very proficient at preventing or thwarting complaints filed against their dais mates.

Unfortunately, the fairness of the ethics complaint process while in the hands of the city council as the judiciary body on complaints will never be there because the alliances and unity of elected officials on the dais will always be paramount to their abilities to fulfill this responsibility as shown in the brief history involving ethics complaints filed involving city council members.

In fact, Schiavone who chaired the Governmental Affairs Committee during several of its annual reviews of the process failed to follow the written protocol (in a resolution passed by the city council) which required notifying the mayor and the officers of all the city's boards and commissions ahead of time about the meeting held to conduct the annual review. Last year, he forgot to do this leaving the mayor demanding to know why he wasn't invited and forcing the annual review to have to be conducted twice.

Schiavone also failed to recommend proper protocol for filing complaints against board and commission members putting in writing that these complaints went to the Mayor's Nomination and Screening Committee after being filed when actually these complaints go first to the chairs of the involved board or commission for resolution.

But Schiavone did get one CPRC commissioner to spend three hours with Priamos undergoing some strange sort of "ethics" training, with the bulk of it culminating in a statement made by Priamos to said commissioner that he or she should run for office. Said commissioner is actually thinking about it.

At any rate, if you have ever been on the receiving end of a Betro yelling match, it's not an experience you will quickly forget. At a community meeting, Betro told attendees in late 2006 that the city's plan to implement audits of the police department's handling of its Strategic Plan after the dissolution of the stipulated judgment was back on track and about to be finalized when at the time, it was still in limbo and would be for six more weeks. So he starts yelling and I've been called worse things than having a grown man scream about my losing my credibility, simply for asking him to offer some proof that what he said about the implementation of the strategic plan was true. I thought it was a bit odd wondering why he wasn't being exactly honest with people who supported him, but then again, this isn't the blog that the politicians particularly like. In fact, most of the people who like it go down to City Hall to pay utility bills or get building plans approved or perhaps to attend a meeting once in a while. When I was warned by someone else that City Hall didn't particularly care for me or my blog or my personality, I just shrugged my shoulders because my interests were never in being a member of that club, just to write about it like the 99% of those in Riverside who watch what's going on, who look from the outside in an insiders' world and occasionally scratch our heads at it all.

But watching that particular power struggle between a department head (who actually wanted to do the right thing), the city manager (who didn't want to carry out a direct order) and the city council (who wanted to focus on summer vacation), was interesting if a bit disconcerting.

Certainly, the community and the police department deserve better than someone who gave information which wasn't accurate although having talked with every person involved in that perplexing situation, it was hard to sort all the accounts out of why the plan to implement the police department's strategic plan had gone so awry but essentially, the root cause was that the police chief has very little power to move it forward on his own even though he's a department head because he's also an "at will" employee of the city manager's office. The other root cause was that the city council is unable or unwilling to get the city manager to actually carry out its instructions unless it's on an issue near and dear to its heart and sad to say, the strategic plan and its role in defining the police department's future just wasn't such an issue.

But has much changed since Betro's been voted off the dais in that regard? In light of recent events, it's very hard to say. Then again, every two years is election year in Riverside and provides an opportunity or two to redefine the city's leadership and thus its direction.

'Off with the Incumbents!'

Betro's loss in Election 2007 was one in a series of ousters of incumbents which included Gage in 2007 and Schiavone in 2009. Another councilman, Ed Adkison declined to run for reelection in 2007 and Councilman Steve Adams barely squeaked his way to a second term that same year beating out former mayor, Terry Frizzel by about 13 votes. Adams is unlikely to run for a third term when he comes up again in 2011.

With the ouster of these councilmen during their respective election cycles, city residents saw the abrupt ends to two voting quartets, GASS (Gage, Adams, Adkison and Schiavone) and BASS( Betro, Steve (Adams), Schiavone and Adkison). All five candidates were backed at some point by the Riverside Police Officers' Association which began running and financially backing political candidates in 2001 who opposed the then-newly created Community Police Review Commission. Their targets were several seats occupied by council members who had voted for the ordinance that put the CPRC into action in the winter of 2000.

Adams, Adkison and Schiavone were endorsed by them at least in all their successful elections, while Betro (who said he supported the CPRC) was the union's choice in 2007 while running against former CPRC commissioner, Gardner. While the RPOA enjoyed great successes in election cycles winning three out of four seats in 2003, it has failed to back winning candidates in four races in 2007 and Schiavone in 2009.

One of the factors cited in Schiavone's loss earlier this year to challenger, Paul Davis was that several neighborhoods that had turned out for him in his other elections opted for Davis because of Schiavone's publicly acknowledged role in controversial changes to the CPRC's investigative protocol for officer-involved deaths that took place beginning last autumn. While not as significant in other neighborhoods as the DHL scandal was, it played a role in others.

Speaking of the police department, not much has been said in recent months about Strategic Plan II which Chief Russ Leach said at public meetings (before he disappeared again), would be activated to succeed the original Strategic Plan which sunsets in December. It was intended to be the blue print for the next five years of the department's development and was to include input from city residents.

But is the silence due to the reality that it's very hard for a police department to conceptually move forward when cuts in its labor force on both the civilian and sworn side (through freezing at all levels) have a tendency to prevent that action?

Maybe the police chief and his command staff can work on it when they're not manning watch command shifts to accommodate vacations for their lieutenants.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors took their longest vacation in a decade.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

"The board typically will not meet as frequently in the summer," he said. "It just depends year-to-year on what the workload is, the availability of board members and the need for them to meet."

County records show that the board took a four-week recess last August and a three-week break in August 2007. For at least eight years prior, the board did not recess for any longer than two consecutive weeks in the summer, according to documents.

Board Chairman Jeff Stone set this year's schedule, officials said. An aide at his office said he was on vacation and could not comment and that Stone's chief of staff was present but would only answer questions by e-mail. The newspaper declined.

In past years, the county has scheduled recesses, but then met anyway if an urgent matter presented itself, said John Field, chief of staff for Supervisor John Tavaglione.

Development activity has slowed and the county is avoiding new spending in the current economy. All that makes for fewer pressing decisions that would compel the board to meet, he said.

Supervisors in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties scheduled four-week recesses this summer, and San Diego County is not set to meet for five consecutive weeks. But Los Angeles, Orange and Imperial counties are not taking more than two weeks off consecutively this summer, according to online agendas and calendars.

But one supervisor is calling it a career and stepping down due to health problems. And he's already got a replacement in mind.

The new San Bernardino County assessor is doing his best to make people forget his predecessor.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Draeger, who had been working in the treasurer-tax collector's office, was brought back to the assessor's office in November after the retirement of Assistant Assessor Harlow Cameron. Since then, Draeger has been running the day-to-day operations of the office, which include setting property values for taxation purposes.

In November, Postmus had just returned from 12 weeks of medical leave and was fending off demands from the supervisors to explain what was going on at the assessor's office and rumors of drug use.

Draeger had been working for a decade as the chief of the county's tax collection division, but had 23 years previous experience at the assessor's office. A colleague in the assessor's office recommended to Postmus that Draeger return to run the office.

Although Draeger was aware of the allegations swirling around the office at the time, he met with Postmus and felt he could work with him, he said.

"I thought I could bring a stabilizing effect to the office," he said.

San Bernardino just passed its annual budget but is already in financial trouble again.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Now, five of San Bernardino's 11 development areas are running deficits, for a cumulative shortfall of nearly $10.5 million, city records show. Covering the deficit will leave about $10 million in reserves, Marzullo said.

Estrada acknowledged that she supported shifting expenses when the economy was strong and the agency was flush with cash.

"We can't keep doing the same thing we were doing 10 years ago," she said.

One possible alternative, Estrada said, would be to seek support from the Inland Valley Development Agency, responsible for the redevelopment of the non-aviation portion of the former Norton Air Force Base.

Jim Morris, the mayoral chief of staff, called such an approach "repeating the mistakes of the past."

A former Riverside prosecutor beseeches someone to run against his former boss Rod Pacheco in the election next year.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

The DA's office was already tough under Trask. The more Pacheco clinches his control, the more excessive it becomes. He overuses the three-strikes law on crimes that are not serious or violent. Despite the death penalty's exorbitant cost, he sets the bar lower for death than any prosecutor I have ever known.

It's one thing to fairly punish criminals and protect the public. It's another thing to strain courts and jails and county resources to the breaking point with inhumanly harsh policies.

A qualified replacement would recognize that the DA's office is staffed with good, hardworking people who need a tough but fair leader. He or she would have extensive legal experience. And he or she would continue Pacheco's emphasis on victims' rights but avoid his political posturing.

We don't need a politician who constantly positions himself to run for higher office. We don't need someone who blames everyone else for the failing criminal justice system. We need a good DA.

Population growth and not enough judges are only part of the problem in our courts. The state judicial task force sharply criticized Pacheco's policies and failure to "acknowledge his responsibility" as another part of the problem in its August 2008 report, as did the grand jury's report in May 2009.

Pacheco's response? In essence, it's not him; not his policies; not his fault. It's the overloaded judges and attorneys who continue cases they couldn't resolve because Pacheco wouldn't be reasonable; they're the ones to blame. He either doesn't get it or doesn't care.

Pacheco wrote his own article blaming the judges for the downfall of the court system in Riverside County.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

While this "solution" would certainly reduce the number of cases and make things easier and more convenient, it bears no resemblance to justice. The sole purpose of our system is to redress all wrongs, not just some.

Should we have a criminal justice system based on the comfort and convenience of defense lawyers and some judges or should it be a system that dispenses justice and redresses the wrongs, large and small, done to thousands of victims? It should be an obvious choice.

Though some criminal defense attorneys have complained, their sole professional obligation is to the criminals they represent, and not victims, society or justice. They will not make us timid in our dedication to justice and the community we serve.

Our vigorous prosecution has had incredible benefits for the people we serve. According to the Department of Justice, our county is now the third safest medium-to-large county in the state when it comes to violent crime. In the past two years alone we have seen a violent crime rate decrease of 16 percent. Today we enjoy the lowest violent crime rate in our modern history. We have never been so safe.

Our larceny and property crime rates have also significantly dropped for the first time in years. Furthermore, our office's prosecutors have never been so effective with a 93 percent conviction rate, second in the state. Ten different murderers were convicted recently as charged at trial.

Though our court system is struggling, we are willing to do all that is necessary to restore it, short of compromising justice. Justice is too important to be sold or traded away, and our commitment to it includes a duty to defend it although some opposing voices are loud and harsh.

One wonders what Pacheco has to complain about involving the judges given that three former prosecutors, Jack Lucky, John Molloy and Michael Rushton are currently judges on the same courts. Rushton who's had at least two cases come back to him in recent years involving his expulsion of Black and Latino jurors and Molloy who presided over a murder case where his office sat on a DNA test for 18 months that exonerated the defendants (who were released during the trial four years after their arrests) in the interest of "justice" probably aren't going to be that deferential to defense attorneys.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older