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District Attorney Dubious Doings — SF Bay Area

with 3 comments


 

OK, I have done it again folks.  I think sometimes all day about what I am going to post, or for some days.  Then I toss it onto a post in the form of links I have previously read, or a close approximation.

We have a race for District Attorney in my area, and the Mighty Dan O’Malley’s posters are visible from the commuter bus lanes and even the highways.  Dan O’Malley running for D.A. in Contra Costa County, and through the Tunnel to Oakland’s East Bay (Alameda County) Nancy O’Malley it seems was a key figure in obtaining a major grant to start something called the Alameda County Family Justice Center. (ACFCJ). 

Now you begin to see the relevance of the topic.  Justice Centers are supposedly where one goes to get help getting some justice, or at least information on how to.  HAH!  Maybe out the door to start with …. D.A.’s of course help prosecute crime, that’s what they do, and we hope that ALL of this is done with due process.

It gets a little upsetting then, to realize that not only is what’s being marketed not making it down to “street level,” when it comes to certain volatile / violent / and criminal / issues that land in family court, but that the head of this major center (a JUSTICE center) might even have been appointed without due process to start with. 

This is a $90,000/year post (it says) presiding over and receiving, presumably, federal grants to help us poor men & wimmen who just can’t get along with each other or figure out how to navigate the justice system on our own.  Or get attorneys who can stick with us through several years of the process, rather than start, then dump when funds run out, which they will….

And, depending on whether the posts I’m going to paste are accurate, it seems Nancy O’Malley also figured in getting a certain wife of a certain Attorney General appointed to be the Executive Director of this.

THIS POST IS GOING TO BE A LITTLE HARSH, EVEN THOUGH THE RESEARCH IS NOT MY OWN.  UNDERSTAND, THESE MAY BE REAL “NICE” PEOPLE, AND MAY GET A LOT DONE.  BUT I’M THINKING IN TERMS OF MY YEARS IN THE AREA (MANY) OF PEOPLE I KNOW GOING THROUGH THIS SYSTEMS, AND STANDING IN FRONT OF, OR HAVING APPEALED FOR (ENFORCEMENT) HELP FROM SOME OF THE SAME D.A.’s, judges, prosecutors, and justice centers.  Most of the individuals I haven’t actually met.  HOWEVER, my point is, when people go and ask some branch of the system to fix itself (pay your taxes, leave it to the experts, and appeal to one of the experts if another area is “off.”) – that’s not simply how things work.

So, unrealistic promises and procedures should NOT be marketed to women, or men, attempting to leave seriously dangerous situations, or with lives, livelihoods, or children at stake.  Or friends and relatives. 

OK, here goes:

Politics in this famous SF Bay Area, at least Alameda County are, in one blog I read — while probably not equal to Chicago’s or New York’s, known for:

Nepotism, Cronyism, Racism and Corruption

The Alameda County District Attorney’s office is also famous for nepotism, cronyism, racism and corruption. D.A. Orloff, did not start this tradition, but he certainly has continued it.

{{Quote is from a blog post dated July 2009,

The Alameda County District Attorney’s office is also famous for nepotism, cronyism, racism and corruption. D.A. Orloff, did not start this tradition, but he certainly has continued it.

It’s the first two that concern me today, although the outside ones aren’t much better.  I note this blog author didn’t say “sexism.”  Hmm…

Here’s a trivia sampler of Keeping it “All in the Family” in these interlocked systems  — generally speaking:

Some people related to VIPs/Judges hired or promoted by Orloff:

1. Nadia Lockyer, wife of Bill Lockyer [former Calif. Atty. Gen] (hired);
 
{{She runs the “Family Justice Center” in Alameda County.  Questionable appointment process}}

2. Lisa Lockyer, daughter of Bill Lockyer [Current Calif. State Treasurer] (hired);
3. Chistopher Bates, son of Tom Bates (hired);
4. Jeff Stark, son of Pete Stark (promoted);
5. Erin Kingsbury daughter of Alameda County Judge Kenneth Kingsbury (Ret.);
6. Paul Hora son of Alameda County Judge Peggy Hora;
7. Paul Delucchi son of Alameda County Judge Alfred Deluchhi (Dec.);
8. Maya Ynostroza, daughter of Alameda County Judge Yolanda Ynostroza;
9. Catherine Horner Dobal, Mother of Alameda County Judge Jeffrey Horner;
10. Jason Chin, son California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin; and
11. Judge Stuart Hing, Son of Alameda County Administrator Mel Hing (Stuart Hing and Kenneth Kingsbury were employed together as D.A.’s by Orloff.

There are other judge’s relatives who are working of did work in the DA’s office, but we are not sure if Orloff hired or promoted them, as we say, nepotism, cronyism, racism and corruption is a tradition Orloff has followed:

12. Mattew Golde, Appointed head of D.A. Juvenile Division in 2007, son of Judge Stanley Golde (Dec.);
13. Ivan Golde, son of Judge Stanley Golde (Dec.); and
14. Amilcar Ford, grandson of Judge Judith Ford.

There are many more judge’s kids who got hired, but I believe they pre-date Orloff.

Note:  It seems, the relationships are already prepared, groomed, in place.

By hiring Chris Bates and Lisa Lockyer, Orloff had the kids of both the local assemblyman, Tom Bates, and the local Senator, Bill Lockyer (later became the Attorney General of the State of California), working for him. He already had the local Congressman’s kid, Jeff Stark, working for him, and he prmoted Stark.

Names to keep straight here:

  • ORLOFF (D.A.) (and Nancy O’Malley, coming up, Assistant’ D.A.)
  • LOCKYER
  • BATES
  • STARK

An Orloff is going to help a Nancy O’Malley stay in place for his position.  In turn (or, also), this same O’Malley is going to help Lockyer’s wife get a prime position that attracts a lot of federal grants (Article 1, below).  A Deborah Stark commenting on Mrs. Lockyer going for Supervisor (January 2010):

 

http://www.ibabuzz.com/politics/2010/01/27/deborah-stark-endorses-nadia-lockyer/

Deborah Stark endorses Nadia Lockyer

By Josh Richman
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 at 12:27 pm in Alameda County Board of Supervisors

Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 2 candidate Nadia Lockyer today announced she has the endorsement of Deborah Roderick Stark, whom she described as “a nationally recognized expert in child and family policy” and a First Five Alameda County Commission member.

The news release delves deeper into both women’s professional bona fides, but doesn’t mention that Lockyer, 38, is the wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, 68, or that Stark, 43, is the wife of Rep. Pete Stark, 78.

The question is: should it?

On one hand, Lockyer might be trying to campaign only on her own qualifications, which seems admirable; on the other hand, her husband’s long political career indisputably enhances her name recognition and political connections. Ditto Stark, to some extent; though she’s certainly a respected child and family policy expert, I find it hard to believe she’s not better known around here as Pete Stark’s wife.

Or is that just because hacks like me keep pointing it out? Does a candidate omit the information with the knowledge (and/or tacit consent) that journalists most likely will report it anyway? And, should we?

OK, back to quoting the first blog above, which charged nepotism, cronyism, etc.

None of this would matter, except that the same kind of favoritism is shown by the fact that Orloff never prosecutes a politician or connected person for corruption unless that person has already been caught by the media, and sometimes not even then.

LET’s GET HONEST’s 2 cents worth:

I’ve lived in these two counties for some time, and I wouldn’t give 25 cents for half of what these people say, especially the D.A.’s.  Why?  I miss my daughters.  ONE sheriff saying no ONCE to either domestic violence (in my home while there) or no, do NOT take those girls because the court order says you can’t — oh my, what a difference this would have made.

Especially on inflated numbers of DV victims “served.”  I’m still looking for a woman — any woman — who after custody switch on hearsay, or overnight, or by any action involving a felony or violation of due process, actually got them back.    Or who, after a restraining order was obtained, then countered by sending the thing to divorce court, actually kept it on and kept custody of and access to  minor children in her home.

For more, continue to google these names &  “Steve White”.  He reports a lot of “stuff” I happen to think smells right, and his manner of reporting includes some research on topics not usually mentioned.  I’ve not met him, but now that elections are up, and several officials proclaiming they are against violence towards women and of course adamantly against child abuse, then we should ask, have the figures dropped recently in these areas?  And what’s up with the funding.

An on-line look only, then cannot tell the whole story.  Another source to be considered is actually walking into the courtrooms, the child support offices, and getting the temperature of an area by living in it, and seeing how incidents are reported in the news, AND by talking with people.  Don’t forget to also talk with poor & homeless people (male & female) who are NOT pressing for justice at this point in time; they might just have given it up as a waste of their time.

Because this will make for a VERY long post, I’m going to start with one article dating back to 2006, and then a separate post, perhaps the google references and another article or so.  I do not pretend to have researched this thoroughly, just wish to call attention to what’s between the lines and the relationships between KEY PLAYERS in the justice system.

ARTICLE 1:  Dec., 2006

(this is a little laborious, but shows how the author thought & acted to get his questions answered).

http://www.indymedia.org/en/2006/12/876740.shtml

Attorney General’s Wife. with no previous experience, Gets Top Job in Alameda County Domestic Violence Center

Steve White 14 Dec 2006 15:36 GMT

This is a very short article and commentary on Nadia Lockyer, wife of Attorney General Bill Lockyer, being given a $90,000 per year job as Executive Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, a job for which she seems to have no special qualifications. The article also questions the propriety of her employment, considering her husband’s position. 
Here is a link to the brochure she put out on her past work and life experience:

 http://www.alamedacountyda.com/nadialockyer.pdf

if that does not work, please type in:

http://www.alamedacountyda.com/nadialockyer.pdf

This brochure actually gave me a very good laugh. Ms. Lockyer spends three pages telling us about herself, (which all boils down to she had a lawyer father who was involved in Hispanic politics, and she is following his path) and talks about little volunteer work things she’s done, but does not tell us her most important qualification for the job, that she’s married to the Attorney General. All she says at the end is, “Ms. Lockyer is married and lives in Oakland”.

The name Lockyer is relatively rare. Ms. Lockyer uses it, rather than her maiden name, it would seem she wants to have it both ways. She wants political people to know who her husband is, but she doesn’t want the public to realize how she got her job. (a job which is a great political platform, this issue of domestic violence is now thoroughly mainstream)

There is not much question that many long time activists in this field wanted the top job. The Center is only ten minutes drive from the Rockridge area which has been a locus for this movement.

I will attempt to find out what intrigues occurred before she got the job, where her salary is coming from and if any ethical rules have been violated, as far as nepotism and special influence by the Attorney General are concerned.

e-mail:: boatbrain@aol.com

add a comment on this article

Variations of Ms. Lockyer’s name, in case anyone wants to Google her

Steve White 17.Dec.2006 04:27

Nadia Davis-Lockyer

Nadia Maria Davis-Lockyer

Nadia Davis Lockyer

Nadia Maria Davis Lockyer

Wife of California Attorney General Bill Lockyer

Wife of Bill Lockyer

Wife of Attorney General Bill Lockyer

Wife of State Treasurer Bill Lockyer

Arranged by the District Attorney’s Office

Steve White 28.Dec.2006 18:37

After speaking to several people involved in the selection process, I’ve been told the main player was the Alameda County Chief Assistant DA, Nancy O’Malley.

This was not a big surprise. Alameda DA Tom Orloff is an old ally of Bill Lockyer. In fact, Orloff hired Lisa Lockyer, his daughter, in her first job out of law school. After many years as a DDA, Lisa Lockyer got a job with NASA.

To understand how it worked, it’s important to look at who was involved in the process. According to the brochure, there were two selection committees. One for initial screening, the other for final interview.

The first committee was made up of the person who wrote the brochure, (unnamed) and three other people. One of the others was Harold Boscovich, he is a DA staffer.

The second stage was a committee made up again of four people. Of those four, two were local DA staff, prosecutors Karen Meredith and Lisa Foster.

With half the votes in the process, the DA could block any applicant in a tie for the ultimate selection. If the writer of the brochure was Nancy O’Malley, as I suspect, that stage was controlled by DA staff as well.

If Lockyer did commit a crime, under Calfornia Govt. Code Section 81700, he seems to have been helped by three or four people in law enforcement.

Selection process was all for show, Nadia Lockyer is DA staff

Steve White 01.Jan.2007 15:47

I have just received a letter from the Alameda County District Attorney’s office which indicates Nadia Lockyer is an employee of that office.

The letter goes on to respond to my Public Records Act request for all info relaated to her hiring. The DA’s office claims all the info is exempt from disclosure, except for a brochure announcing the job. So they sent me a copy of that announcement.

The denial of information was expected. What was surprising to me is that Lockyer is an employee of the DA’s office. I thought the Family Justice Center was an independent entity which worked with the DA, not a subordinate office.

Under the Alameda County Charter, the District Attorney can hire, fire, and promote anyone he wishes, without any need for approval from other branches of county government. (Alameda County Charter Section 35)

The entire selection process seems to have been unnecessary as far as Alameda County law is concerned. There was no need for two selection committees, or even one selection committe.

Therefore, one has to suspect that process, which was pretty much a farce anyway, was either for show, or was intended to create the appearance of complying with Federal rules on spending the Federal grant money given to the project.

The plot thickens. I wrote to Bill Lockyer and told him if there is any basis for it in California law, (and now maybe Federal law) I will be suing him for violating California Govt. Code Section 87100.

Violations of Federal Laws

Steve White 11.Jan.2007 17:10

It seems there was a violation of Federal Laws in the actions taken to get Nadia Lockyer the top job.

The OVW, Office on Violence Against Women, sent me the following letter:
————————————————————————-
Dear Mr. White:

Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding the Alameda County Family Justice Center. All OVW grantees, including Family Justice Centers, are required to follow the Office of Justice Programs Financial Guide, which is available at  http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/finguide06/index.htm. In addition, grantees must follow certain circulars from the Office of Management and Budget, available at  http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/grants/grants_circulars.html.

Thanks again,

Marnie Shiels
Office on Violence Against Women

————————————————————————–

I clicked the first link, which as the first page of a book on guidelines and rules for Federal graants, then went to the chapter entitled “Conflicts of Interest”

Reading that, it seems pretty clear Lockyer violated the Federal law, and presumably this is why they went through the big show of pretending to use an objective process to pick his wife for the job.

These folks knew they were doing something shady from the start.

Further evidence is that everyone involved is trying to duck my Public Records Act requests for more information. More on that in my next post

Phony Statistics put out by ACFJC

Steve White 25.Sep.2007 13:37

The first week of September, 2007, the ACFJC announced a large grant from the US Department of Justice, and in the grant announcement, which naturally everyone was very happy about, they added some statistics on how much good the ACFJC had done so far.

The stats were impressive. They claimed “Since it’s launch” the ACFJC had reduced Domestic Violence (DV) deaths from 26 to 6 in 2005, and, they had provided services to “20,000 victims and their families”.

Both claims were untrue. I checked with the Alameda County Public Health Department, and it turned out there has been a very long term decline in DV deaths, from 26 in 1996, eleven years back, to 6 in 2005. The Center opened in the last half of 2005, in August.

So, that first claim gave the Center credit for something that happened long before it existed. And, by the way the DV death decline is a nationwide phenomena, with the national numbers approaching the same as the county.

As for the “20,000” victims claim, I pointed out to the aide to Supervisor Lai Bitker that I doubted that number was true as well. I had no way to check on it, there was no other agency with hard numbers such as Public Health has for death rates, (actually, the death rates may not be solid numbers either) but I doubted there were that many victims helped. The reason is simple. If you go to ACFJC and just stand outside, watching the people come in, not many do. Not nearly enough for them to have helped 20,000 victims in just two years.

Since the web page has been changed to say, “provided 20,000 services” I think my guess was right there. I think it’s very likely, to get that “20,000 services” number, ACFJC included every time they answered the phone or gave out a brochure. Seriously, stake the place out, you may wait a couple hours before anyone who is not staff comes in.

I don’t doubt they are helping some people, but the claims made should bear some resemblance to reality. There was a big push for the need to centralize DV services in the County, but to me it looks like it could not have made much difference in how many people they actually reach. What is lacking is any kind of cost/benefit analysis. By inflating the numbers, the ACFJC was trying to deceive the public into thinking the benefit was much greater than claimed.

The Alameda County Family Justice Center is one of many local agencies funded by the Federal Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, (OVW).

The center is relatively new, and there was a recent search for the Executive Director. Eventually, Nadia Davis Lockyer was given the top job, which pays about $90,000 per year. (initial pay was $65,000 but extra money was found to make it $90,000. I am researching where the extra money came from)

{{Endquote}}

ARTICLE 2:  Sept. 2009

 
Op-ed: Orloff and Other Oakland Stories 
Clinton Killian
Last Updated on September, 22 2009 at 02:19 PM

  (original link has a nice photo)(style changes — bold, color, etc. –are mine)

Earlier this month, Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff announced his resignation after 15 years in office. He was slated to run for re-election June 2010. In his resignation letter to the Board of Supervisors, he requested that his second-in-command Nancy O’Malley be appointed to succeed him.
 
This caused quite a stir since the District Attorney is an elected office. When the vacancy occurs before an election, the law gives the Board of Supervisors the power to appoint a successor to fill out the unexpired term. This means that there would be no open election and the appointee would not have to face policy questions.

{{Naturally, the domestic violence community women, the family law courts, flourishing as ever, weren’t really notified that we might want OUR issues — like unenforceable court orders, for one — like violation of due process through the entire system, for another — like unfair practices within the child support system, and the grants behind those practices, or like why programs that claim they are to help both “parents” only help one gender of parents, generally speaking (Access/Visitation, etc.).  And much more…  }}

This early retirement and appointing your successor is an old political ploy. It gives the successor a leg up to run for election as an “incumbent” against all challengers. It is one of the ways that the Oakland City Council remained Republican dominated until the late ‘70s. Not to be out done, the Alameda County DA’s office has not had an open election without an incumbent in nearly 100 years, the last one being before 1920. This appears to be the same thing that Mr. Orloff and Ms. O’Malley have practiced.
 
The Board of Supervisors rushed forward with the appointment by holding a perfunctory public hearing and then took a vote. They did not have any type of public selection process whatsoever. That’s right: no public notice inquiring if there was anyone interested in being appointed, no public interviews, no public hearings, no vetting of candidates — nothing. Three of the five supervisors determined what normally all Alameda County voters should get a chance to decide.

After all, no public scrutiny is an Alameda County DA tradition. 
 
Notice there was not not one peep out of the three who voted for this instant appointment. There was no justification of their exclusionary “hurry-up” process. It has to make you wonder why it was so imperative to appoint a successor immediately. The number two person could easily run the office in an interim basis while the Board of Supervisors took 10-20 days to hold public hearings, gather comments, vet applicants and make a public decision. 
 
It would have been nice to hear from the potential District Attorneys about their views regarding prosecution of criminals in Oakland and Alameda County, the use of preventive measures for minor crimes to keep people out of the criminal justice system, targeting violent criminals throughout to remove them from our streets, targeting drug dealers to reduce crime – It would have been great to see democracy in action. 
 
Instead, we had a gang of three make the decision for you, the voter, now and in 2010. Yes, lets’ hope someone shows the gumption to run. Applause should be given to Supervisors Keith Carson and Nate Miley who refused to go along with this charade.  Maybe the Board of Supervisors should write better ground rules for the appointment of elected officials so that there is an open public process.

 
(Carson is African-American, O’Malley is, whattaya think?)
((Of note to me — LetsGetHonest blog author — two of the county supervisors who DID vote for this, apparently (Alice Lai-Bitker & Gail Steele) are outspokenly proclaiming themselves against violence against women, and child abuse.  They have a reputation for this….  )))

The drama and pain and trauma and economic devastation — NEEDLESS, I believe — my particular family (3 generations of at least our kids’ two family lines are now involved, plus some elderly relations to another ex- ex-girlfriend, if you can keep that straight…)  been going through has gone under these reigns, and these individuals’ jurisdictions. ))

 
And the guy Steve White commenting on it again:

Nancy O’Malley’s political scheming

The objections about the appointment process did not seem to include any objections to Nancy O’Malley personally. That’s a shame, because her true character should be made known. One example – when the former head of the Alameda County Family Justice Center quit a few years back, O’Malley rigged the selection for the new one so that Nadia Lockyer, wife of then Attorney General Bill Lockyer, would be sure to get the job. This was not really legal, both state law and federal law were against it, so O’Malley used a ruse to create the appearance of an impartial system. She used two “selection committees” of four person each to chose who got the job, but then stacked the committees with two DA staffers each, in other words, her own subordinates. With a tie vote on each committee, she could block any other candidate from being chosen while she blocked Lockyer from being rejected. This is the way she operates. Worse than Orloff.
By :Steve White On : September, 30 2009 at 01:43 PM

When I think about the salaries of some of these officials, the grants-funded organizations and the salaries of some of those heading them up (some of which I from time to time research) and the simple truths of this system that are NOT told to women separating from abuse, or how the few guided steps they take now may have put entire lives off course for a decade or more —   – – – well, I have an issue with nepotism, cronyism, inflation of “people served” and violation of simple appointment rules for people with this amount of influence in our community.

When I remember how hard I worked to penetrate this bureaucracy, and to find even a phone or a internet access after years in the courts, or how to obtain unemployment after the last job was lost, and how humiliating it is to be in this position for simply seeking JUSTICE and OUT — it’s a little much.

Nothing personal, Orloff, O’Malley, Lockyer (although your agency did “squat” (nothing) for me this decade, and yes, I DID call, more than once over time), Stark, Steele, Lai-Bitker, and so on.

My personal experience with the D.A.’s departments (sheriffs, police, etc.) was it was almost as horrifying as dealing with my ex, to realize armed men were angry with me for expecting a court order to be respected.  I no longer believe that family, civil, and criminal are any more separate than Legislative, Judicial or Executive Branches of the U.S. 

I have been shouted at for seeking help to protect my own children from being abducted, as if I was the problem, and not seeking to solve one, and I called supervisors, and got little to no response.  Go ask someone else…

It would’ve been better to have the “forget you” emblazoned on posters, and move on with life understanding how lawless a land we live in, and plan accordingly.

Next post, I hope to simply put up some more search results on these topics and these people.

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  1. […] ASSEMBLY FLOOR.   MAYBE IT WILL PASS IN TIME FOR FATHER’S DAY, BUT I HOPE NOT.   See “District Attorney Dubious Doings.”   and re:  nepotism, cronyism, racism: olitics in this famous SF Bay Area, at least […]

  2. […] At some levels, this can also be fun. Sometimes you can just get the ball rolling (see “Dubious Doings by District Attorneys” on the Family Justice Center Alliance movement, posted June 2010)or Mrs. O’Malley Goes […]

  3. […] Centers hit San Diego in 2002, Oakland, and London, 2007,” (posted Dec. 2010) and “Dubious Doings by District Attorneys (June 2010)” and “Mrs. O’Malley Goes to Washington: SB-577 Legislating the […]


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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