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Recent Comments

Re: “BREAKING NEWS: Liz Figueroa Investigated for Possible Criminal Wrongdoing

I have no opinion of Liz Figueroa's residence, though frankly it sounds suspcious, but the idea that the San Mateo County DA's office is going to give an objective evaluation of this matter is not well based. Steve Wagstaffe, the Chief Deputy DA in San Mateo, has a kid, Tim Wagstaffe, working as a prosecutor for Nancy O'Malley. Asking him to investigate was just window dressing, it's all been arranged, just as Nadia Lockyer's hiring was arranged by Nancy O'Malley, in violation of both state and federal law.

Posted by boatbrain85fb on 10/20/2010 at 12:33 PM

Re: “Bill Lockyer's Million Dollar Baby

Nacia Lockyer makes much of her job as head of Alameda County Family Justice Center, but was her hiring proper, or even legal? It appears there were violations of both state and federal law involved.

Posted by boatbrain85fb on 10/19/2010 at 5:52 PM

Re: “Letters for June 25

A comment on the letter from Joan Leventis, a local prosecutor who supports her boss Tom Orloff. I don't regard the single sex parties in the DA's office, nor the cigar smoking, nor the cursing, as meaning very much either. But how about the favoritism towards the powerful, particularly those in local government? For instance, the #2 person in the office, Nancy O'Malley, hired the wife of former Attorney General Bill Lockyer as head of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, a mostly DA staffed agency in Oakland. This hiring was rigged, in that, though there were two selection committee to pick the new head, the committees themselves were stacked with DA stafff subordinate to O'Malley and Orloff. Since the DA has the legal right to hire whoever he wants at any time, why all the subterfuge? The answer is that all DA staff are subordinate, under the State Constitution, to the Attorney General, so in essence, O'Malley was hiring her boss' wife, which is not really kosher, (state law forbids elected officials from using their position to financially benefit themselves) and she wanted to hide that under a pretense of an objective selection process. Additionally, there may be violations of Federal laws which govern how the grant money given to ACFJC is spent. I called the US Dept. of Justice employee in charge of the Family Justice Cetner program, and she told me she had not been told that the new head was the wife of the Attorney General. What are the chances she would not have been told that, if O'Malley and Orloff had nothing to hide? Additionally, the ACFJC, meaning Nancy O'Malley and Nadia Lockyer personally, since they are running the place, has put out completely false information on it's web site, to try to claim they are doing much more to fight domestic violence than they actually have. For example, they claimed a huge reduction in murders and suicides related to domestic violence, but the year they used for the "before" comparison was many years before ACFJC even existed, and the year for "after" was the first year ACFJC existed, for only four months. In other words, they lied about one year and greatly distorted the other. Finally, in the same press release/web posting, they claimed to have helped "20,000 victims and their families". This was another straight up lie. I obtained the reports they are required as grant recipients to file with the Feds, and the actual number, not of "victims AND THEIR FAMILIES" but TOTAL people helped, including family members, was about 3,000. In other words, they lied by exxagerating the number by about six times. Since the true numbers given to the Feds were tabulated long before the lying press release, there can not be much doubt the lie was deliberate.

Posted by Steve White on 12/05/2008 at 9:44 AM

Re: “County's Top Cop Is a Scofflaw

I can't see my previous comment, so I want to repeat here, the big problem with this DA is that he does nothing about political corruption. Don Perata's violations of state campaign finance laws, documented in previous Express articles, have never been prosecuted, or apparenlty, even investigated, by Alameda DA Tom Orloff. And as far as I can tell, no reporter has ever asked Orloff about it.

Posted by Steve White on 06/06/2008 at 10:46 PM

Re: “County's Top Cop Is a Scofflaw

A bit of background for those who do not know. Alameda County's DA has a great deal more room to wheel and deal politically than other DAs. This is because, under Section 35 of the County Charter, his is the ONLY county agency where ALL the employees are exempt from the civil service, "merit system" requirements. He can hire whoever he wants, regardless of whether or not they deserve the job. What he's done with this power is hire the family members, mostly children, of local politicos. Tom Bates, Bill Lockyer, Congressman Pete Stark, all had relatives either hired or promoted by Orloff. And there are many, many judge's kids working as DDAs too. You would think that having a kid working in the DA's office would mean a judge would disqualify himself from hearing criminal cases, brought by his kid's boss, but none of the judges do that, and the fact is, nearly all the judges whose kids have been hired are on the criminal calendar, where they are able to return the favor to Orloff in a tough case. If this was a private law firm, rather than the DA's office, bringing a case before a judge whose kid works in the law firm, the judge would have to recuse himself, but in a criminal case, where the stakes can be a death sentence, that is not required. In fact, most of the judges with kids working as DDAs do not even tell the defendants where their kids work. This was always a clear violation of judicial ethics, which required that a judge tell everyone involved in a case, criminal or civil, about ANY reason they might fear the judge would not be impartial. But the judges and DA have gotten away with rigging the system like this for years. Any long time criminal defense lawyer in this County can cite many cases of such nepotism.

By the way, as far as Nancy O'Malley the number 2 DA goes, she is not very trustworthy, and I suspect she will be worse than Orloff when she gets in power. She has been flat out lying on the website for the Alameda County Family Justice Center, falsely claiming dramatic reductions in domestic violence and huge numbers of people helped by that organization. She also engineered yet another nepotism hiring, that of the wife of Bill Lockyer. This was also barely legal under state laws on hiring the family member of an elected official and conflict of interest in the Federal rules, (since Bill Lockyer was California Attorney General at the time his wife was hired, and all DAs are subordinate to the AG, essentially Lockyer's underling hired his wife). Thought O'Malley claimed all this was on the up and up, they kept it all secret from the US DOJ administrators who give out the Federal money.

Posted by Steve White on 06/06/2008 at 10:48 AM

Re: “County's Top Cop Is a Scofflaw

This article is an interesting look at how things are done in the DA's office, but I wish the Express would tie it's great article on Don Perata's many violations of state campaign finance laws to DA Tom Orloff. Orloff has apparently done nothing at all to investigate Perata, and as far as I can tell by reading all the local press, he is not even questioned about this inaction by any media. Ditto for the Oakand City Councilwoman who ripped off the public by paying a friend's kid to be on her full time staff, when the kid was going to school back east, and last but not least, the special treatment of Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, who was given only an infraction for attacking free speech? *(Bate's kid Christopher "Cash" Bates is a DDA, so Orloff really should have recused his whole office, but if he had done that, how could be protect Bates?) All these actions, or inactions, prove that Orloff will not take action against politicians, unless it's some very low level person like that Berkeley rent board guy, who frankly does not matter. Him they can rake over the coals. Also, as far as the "good old boys" network goes, why has no one brought up Orloff's long membership in the Pleasanton Masonic lodge? I don't think they are a particularly sinister organization, but they have been accused of having an official policy of racial and sexual discrimination, until perhaps very recently. I was hoping the plaintiff's attorney would ask Orloff about that, it seemed to tie in very well with the claims in the lawsuit, but apparently they pulled a lot of punchs.

Posted by Steve White on 06/06/2008 at 10:32 AM

Re: “Kay Sorg Arraignment and Plea Rescheduled

I feel I have to comment on something. Though the prosecution is not a civil suit, if the alleged victim wants to get money out of Sorg, and can convince a prosecutor to go ahead with the case, a successful prosecution will do all the work for the civil suit, and an unsucessful prosecution will not bar one. So, there is a powerful motive for any person to lie in this situation, not that I have any opinion at all on the matter because I have no knowlege of it. I could not get the link to the law about keeping alleged victim's names secret, but I am wondering, does the Express know the name, and are they required by law to keep it secret? We have seen so many high profile rape or other sexual abuse cases, where, only because they are high profile, reasons to doubt the accusation came out, that I personally do not approve of this practice the media has of keeping the names always secret.

Posted by Steve White on 07/02/2007 at 7:27 AM

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