DA: O’Malley responds to Concord police statement

Contra Costa District Attorney candidate Dan O’Malley sent out this press release a few minutes ago in response to an Oct. 12 statement from the Concord Police Association about his candidacy:



Response from DA Candidate and former Judge Dan O’Malley

I am saddened that a Concord Police Officers’ Association board member recently chose to criticize me for representing a victim of domestic violence. I would like to clarify several inaccuracies in his letter to you. I know and trained many, many Concord Police Officers during my twelve years as an instructor at the local Police Academy and a deputy district attorney at the District Attorney’s Office, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the working cop on the street.

I admit that I represent a VICTIM of Domestic Violence, however, I never reached out to any news agency on this topic for political gain. In fact, it was Lisa Vorderbrueggen of the Contra Costa Times who contacted me, and asked the following question: ‘Why does a victim of Domestic Violence need a lawyer to advocate for her?’ In a thirty minute discussion, I expressed my views regarding society’s treatment of women and who are victimized by batterers and sex offenders.

We must continually educate ourselves about domestic violence. My comment was not a criticism of the outstanding law enforcement officers in Contra Costa County. Rather, it stemmed more from my personal experience that the more I know, the more I realize there is to learn. My goal is to provide forums and multi-disciplinary trainings to promote ongoing awareness and education for all professionals responding to violence against women. Many of the Concord Police Officers appreciate these efforts of on-going training to understand the subtleties of violence against women and girls.

In fact, while the officer was writing his political hit piece of me, his colleagues who specialize in domestic violence reached out to the Alameda District Attorneys’ Office, requesting specialized training on the intricacies of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Training is a good thing. Collaborating with our Advocate partners, such as STAND For Families Free of Violence, allows all law enforcement professionals to do our jobs in the best way we can. In fact, I was honored just two months ago by the Family Stress Center (STAND’s partner) for my work towards the prevention of family violence. Just last week, two of the most prominent victims’ rights groups in California, Citizens for Law and Order, and the Crime Victims Action Alliance, honored me with their endorsements for District Attorney.

POST provides ongoing law enforcement training in domestic violence and CDAA provides DV training for Prosecutors. I support both statewide organizations wholeheartedly.

While I have the utmost respect for the working police officers of the Concord Police Department, it is unfortunate that the Union leadership of that department is elevating politics over the needs of victims of violent crimes. All of us in the law enforcement community should be able to agree that every day we need to strive to become better advocates for victims. It is when we think we have nothing to learn that we need to learn the most.

Regarding their endorsement of Mark Peterson, I will invite them to investigate the following facts:

• Under Mark Peterson’s watch, the Contra Costa District Attorneys’ Office was brought to shame when a young female Deputy DA was allegedly brutally raped.

• Peterson turned a blind eye because his good friend and direct subordinate was the alleged rapist.

• The investigation yielded a sex scandal involving the now infamous “Anal Sex Club” that had been occurring in Peterson’s division.

• That’s why he was demoted and that’s why Mark Peterson is in no position to call himself an advocate when it comes to protecting women from sexual or domestic abuse.

I will always side with the victim. Period. Maybe that’s why 95% of police officers support me.

Dan O’Malley

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • Jim

    Well said Mr. O’Malley. I hope that everyone reads your letter and takes time to reflect on how victims are treated in the system and how truly courageous they are to come forward when then have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse. I have followed this election closely and am continually appalled by the cavalier attitide of Mr. Peterson and his supporters towards the victims of crime. Time and time again they have trashed the victim of the Gressett case as if this is a political game. Some, I fear, are the few district attorney’s that support Peterson in the office. They have no qualms attemping to argue slanderous things about the victim and torpedo an active case where a grand jury of 18 people found sufficient evidence to warrant going to trial. None of us were there, and so no one should comment on the weight of the evidence. That is why we have a trial. When a DA obtained a conviction on the extradition case that Mr. Peterson botched many years ago, notice they Peterson supporters tried to hold it against you as if this was a conspiracy. Sadly, what they failed to acknowledge was the pain and suffering that Peterson’s failure as a supervisor caused and how that family continued on until they finally had their day in court. Peterson should have been quoted as saying something about the victims and justice. Instead, it was all about him and making excuses for his inadequacy as a supervisor. I was particularly troubled by the statement of the victim’s grandmother that Peterson threatened to dump the case if she complained to the Times. Imagine being a victim and knowing that the cavalier attitude towards victims of crime reflected by Peterson and his supporters is the prevailing attitude in power when a crime happens to you. You would not want to go through the type of castigation that has occurred on these blogs and in articles by Peterson supporters. We should be beyond that. All law enforcement and the public at large should take pause at your thoughtful comments. They all have something to learn. They should all remember that they represent the victims of crime, not polticial parties or the ambitions of one individual to hold a political office so that he can excercise his power to curry favor to his friends in spite of the rights of victims. I hope the voters read your letter because it makes it abundantly clear why the law enforcement agencies and the district attorneys support you for District Attorney. You have your priorites straight. And you have won my vote.

  • One concerned citizen

    This letter is why all of Contra Costa law enforcement has rejected the big Concord busines machine that backs Mark Peterson and has supported Dan O’Malley. Dan O’Malley, not Mark Peterson, truly believes in the mission of the Distirct Attorney…standing up for those who have been victimized.

  • BFlynnfam

    Jim, you have hit the nail on the head here. I hope Dan’s letter is published in the Times as a Guest Commentary in the same manner Sgt. Krieger’s letter was. I believe the Concord POA letter first appeared here before it made the paper. That only seems fair.
    Dan’s letter was well written and shows why he has widespread support throughout the law enforcement community. Jim, 80% of the hardworking DA’s currently in the office (like Ms. Schonfeld who won the Bautista Case this week) support Dan for the very reasons mentioned in the letter. The letter clearly shows that Dan cares deeply for the needs of crime victims in our community. As a DA and a judge he showed his commitment to victims. Victim’s rights groups have noticed also and support him in this election.
    Dan also does not run away from responsibility. He acknowledges that he still needs to continue learning to be a better servant. Dan is not the type of guy that likes to toot his own horn. It makes him uncomfortable, so he needs others to do it.
    In short, Dan is just a likable person. Real down to earth kind of guy. He is a leader, but never has to tell you that he is one. For instance, what gets little attention in this election talk is the many years Dan taught classes at the police academy to many of our current law enforcement officers. I imagine these law enforcement officers had an opportunity to observe Dan up close to see what his feeling were about crime, criminals, and victims of crime. They also were able to see Dan O’Malley the man. The bottom line is the cops simply like him and respect him. The numbers speak for themselves. The number of police agencies supporting Dan O’Malley is compelling when you consider Peterson has been a DA for the past 25 years working with these same agencies and O’Malley hasn’t been in the DA’s office for 10 years. That is simply embarassing for Peterson.
    The problem voters are faced with here is that the road ahead for the next DA will be difficult. With a stormy financial forecast for the next few years, we need a leader with widespread support throughout the county, and an ability to work well with county government leaders to keep the office properly funded to protect the safety of the public. We need a leader that can work well with our law enforcement partners to find ways to continue to work effectively in these lean years ahead. Dan is that man. Dan’s overwhelming support by law enforcement, and bipartisan support of local politicians distinguish him as the only man suitable to run the DA’s office over the next several years. Please vote for Dan O’Malley for district attorney!

  • BFlynnfam

    Ms. Vorderbrueggan, is there any chance that Mr. O’Malley’s letter can be published in the Times as a guest commentary and response to the Concord POA letter? I believe that letter had already been published in the Times? If so, that seems fair.

  • Rick K.

    Mr. O’Malley is now re-inventing himself as a “VICTIM” (his use of capitalization) attorney. I’ve heard that he really is a criminal defense attorney. Maybe he should be seeking the Public Defender’s office instead. He never really answers Ms. Vorderbrueggen’s underlying question, ” ‘Why does a victim of Domestic Violence need a lawyer to advocate for her?’” If the current D.A. (who has endorsed O’Malley) is doing such a terrible job for victims that they need to hire outside lawyers like O’Malley, then why hasn’t O’Malley publicly refused to accept the current D.A.’s endorsement? If O’Malley really cared about victims, he would have very, very publicly called upon the current D.A. to improve its treatment of victims. But then again the status quo is a lot for profitable for O’Malley and his type of attorney, so don’t expect things to improve for victims if he wins. He’s just using the “victim” angle to win some votes, especially from women. To twist his slogan, O’Malley is “a politician, not a prosecutor.”

  • ordinary joe

    I read the concord police letter in the times and I immediately thought it was fishy. Concord PD trashing a former DA and Superior Court Judge and supporting their very own Concord City Council member was clearly self serving. Shame on you Concord PD.

    Mr. O’Malley’s response and explanation puts the quote in context, it also makes me appreciate his passion for victims. It also makes me want to vote for him. We need more people like him in office, people who care and actually have passion in what they do. Thanks for setting the record straight.

    (I’d also like to see Dan’s response in the paper.)

  • Oscar F

    Yawn, Rick.
    Dan O’Malley continues to plough on like a respectable member of society. He has a breadth of experience that makes Mark Peterson drooling with envy.
    Someone had better just poke Peterson in the eyes and tell him to let go.

    If there’s one thing you can take from this campaign, it’s that Mark Peterson doesn’t care in the slightest who he lies, cheats, stomps on to win the “prize” because that’s all it is to him. A game. Playing with peoples lives, disrespecting victims, mistreating his coworkers.

    But rest assured, Contra Costa, that he won’t be stopping at District Attorney. This far right wing Republican has his eyes on Sacramento. My guess that it’s Desaulnier… so Martinez will do for the time being. It’s a trial run (pun intended) for his real domination in Sacramento.

  • Kenny Powers

    Hey Rick K,

    You heard that O’Malley “really is a criminal defense attorney.” What’s the problem with being a criminal defense attorney? Did you know that O’Malley was a District Attorney for many years and then was elected Superior Court judge? He only left the bench so that he could run for DA. A sitting judge can not run for any elected office. Your initial statements show your true colors and takes away any credibility of your argument. In fact your whole post is idiotic and it clearly shows your ignorance and lack of pure knowledge in general.

    Go to DanO’Malley.org and find out who he really is.

  • Jason

    I second the comments asking Lisa to publish this letter as a sound rebuttal to the tacky, rude nonsense attacking Mr. O’Malley’s responsible, classy character. We need more people out there to take on the incompetents of Concord PD and not sit back to watch them throw petty insults around.

  • Vern

    Mr. O’Malley will now advocate for whomever is paying his bills: defendant; victim; kitty cat. Fine, he is an attorney – a simple point that Mark Peterson just points out to show that Mr. O’Malley is not a judge nor is he a “professional prosecutor” as he claims. Mr. O’Malley has not been a DA for over a decade. When he was a judge he was notoriously poor on victim’s rights – especially domestic violence. Mr. O’Malley did not believe in the zero tolerance policy and did not want to sign restraining orders when the victims came into court (with their batterers) and recanted or claimed everything was now going to be all right.
    As far as Mr. O’Malleys’s “facts.” Even if it turns out to be true that one DA raped another, that occurred between two adults at another location – Mr. Peterson was never alleged to have been present or knew about this. Second, Bob Kochly, Brian Baker, Paul Sequeria, and admittidly Dan O’Malley and his firm were made aware of the rape complaint in May ’08. None of them said a word – no one alerted Mr. Peterson or any of the women in the office until the end of August ’08. So who really turned a “blind eye?” Clearly Mr. O’Malley and his endorsers. Mr. Peterson was demoted when he complained about how our office was handling the investigation – can you say scapegoat?

  • Common Tater

    A criminal defense lawyer who says, “I will always side with the victim.”

    There seems to be some bit of logic missing there.

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    I have no jurisdiction over the selection of content on the editorial page, but I will forward the letter to the editorial page editors. Usually, the author must request it directly. Lisa v.

  • Breg

    There you go again, Dan! How quickly you forget that it was YOUR cronies in the office, Robert Kochly (the one who is designating you as his successor) and Paul Sequiera (the #3 person in the office) who did NOTHING after you and your office brought the alleged rape to their attention! FOUR MONTHS while your firm’s client worked with that alleged rapist! How did you help your victim then, Dan? For FOUR MONTHS YOU and your cronies said and did NOTHING while an alleged sexual predator had full access to all the female employees in the office. This is beyond the pale!

    Just shameless, Dan, shameless! Do you and Robert Kochly and Brian Baker and Paul Sequiera ever even think about this case as you sit together at AT&T Park, yukking it up and having a few beers? You don’t mention anywhere that it was your cronies who did nothing and should be held responsible for that mess. The people that (other than Kochly, who is retiring) you will absolutely positive not remove from their positions, when it was their terrible judgment that gave the office such a black eye.

    Those that really want to investigate the facts should read the three very illuminating pieces of investigative reporting done by the East Bay Express. Go, read those articles, and decide for yourself.

    Ms. Vorderbrueggen, the scope of Mr. O’Malley’s response far exceeds that of the Concord PD piece. If you include those specious and hypocritical allegations at the end of Mr. O’Malley’s press release, please, as an unbiased journalist, provide the real facts to your readership. This response, in particular, shows Mr. O’Malley’s desperation to get the position and willingness to say whatever he thinks he needs to say to get the office. For him to completely overlook his friends’ involvement in this fiasco is a window into his character.

  • Steve Marston

    Why did it take O’Malley 9 days to respond? Hope that’s not an indicator of how he’d handle issues inside the DA’s office. But, then again, he’ll hopefully never get the chance. The fact that he makes clearly false and misleading accusations against Peterson. Shouldn’t Dan be siding with Gressett who is in need of a criminal defense attorney? Mark was demoted because he stood up to his bosses and challenged them – twice – to do the right thing and have the Gressett case investigated outside of the DA’s office, which they finally did. Mark is the honorable man. Dan isn’t a “retired” judge. He quit five years ago to run for DA – now!?! Or IS he retired and collecting a pension, already from his five years on the bench? Hmmmmm. Dan’s desperate to win. His letter demonstrates that. He’s running to be something. Peterson’s running to do something. If he really cared about prosecuting criminals in Contra Costa, why didn’t Dan go back to the DA’s office after he “retired” from the bench? In the words of Arsenio Hall, “it makes you go hmmmmmm”.

  • BStevens

    This is horrible. The fact that Mr. O’Malley would stoop to character assassination of his opponent, whom he’s going to be working with should he be elected, is just wrong. He knows the facts. But he’s willing to sling mud because he wants to win. Desperate Dan. Doing anything to get elected. Disappointing Dan is more like it. Didn’t he just say or write something the other day complaining about about Peterson was attacking him, but he was running a positive campaign? Well, not so much, now, huh, Dan?
    The end of a campaign shows the character of a candidate. Dan’s character isn’t looking real good, now, is it?

  • JB

    Although Peterson likes to say that he was demoted for political reasons, that’s simply not true – he was demoted because the investigation into the Gressett case revealed that extremely poor supervision of the office he was supposed to be leading. How is it “honorable” to allow cases to be neglected and misfiled? Attorneys within the office will tell you that he was simply not around and not engaged in how that department was being run, and that the victims in the Sexual Assault department cases were not being treated in a respectful manner. Where’s the honor in that? The mother of the victims in the now-infamous Elido Gonzalez case (who really is the only one here who has first-hand information on how cases in that department were handled under Peterson’s “supervision”) reported being treated very badly by Peterson and Tavenier.

    And by the way, in regards to all of the talk about “cronies” in the office – let’s not forget that Peterson and Gressett were very good friends in and out of work. The complaints with Peterson’s handling of the rape investigation are not related to him wanting a fair and independent investigation (as he would have you believe), they are related to him interfering with that investigation on behalf of his buddy. Again, not seeing much “honorable” behavior here.

  • BFlynnfam

    Dear Lisa V.:
    Thank you for the response.

  • Breg

    “I will always side with the victim. Period.” Except when an alleged rape victim comes to him and makes allegations against one of his former co-workers in the office that would make his cronies in the DAs office look bad and expose the cowboy culture that has existed since his dad was DA. In that case, after he alerts his cronies in the DAs office to this hot potato that is dropping into their lap, he will sit on his hands and watch as his cronies in the DAs office do nothing to help his office’s client and let her twist in the wind. Victim’s advocate, my eye!

  • Rich

    The Concord Police Officer Association leadership is not standing with law enforcement in this race. The Law enforcement community is backing Dan O’Malley for District attorney – overwhelmingly, not Mark Peterson. As many know, Peterson’s principal backers in his campaign are Concord Disposal and some wealthy developers. Thus, the Concord POA is turning thier back on the law enforcement supported candidate, Dan O’Malley, and instead aligning themselves with Mark Peterson, the garbage and development backed candidate. It’s really embarassing for the Concord POA leadership, they are “standing tall” with the garbage and development community, rather than teaming up with thier brothers and sisters police officers across the couunty. Many are now saying the Concord POA leadership takes orders from Concord Disposal. I mean everybody knows Mark Peterson takes orders from Garaventa, I guess the Concord POA does now too. The Concord POA needs to do some soul searching, I think.

  • Oscar F

    Are you freaking kidding me?!?!
    Have you had your head buried in the sand for the last thirteen months?

    This is not a character assassination of Mark at all. He is a man of little respect for people, for victims and certainly not responsible enough to accept the consequences of his own actions. He is the LAST person you want as DA.

    So don’t feel bad for the good ol’ boy Mark Peterson. You really ought to know what he has done in the lead up to this and why it was in O’Malley responded the way he did. Dan has a right to speak out in his defense.

    And besides, find out just who’s running his offensive and foul smelling campaign. Heaven help Contra Costa is you all are so easily led. Never has a campaign really come down to good v evil quite like this before.

    Vote for O’Malley!

  • Elwood

    After O’Malley wins on 11/2 will the weasel (Peterson) continue to work in the DA’s office?

    That would be awkward, now wouldn’t it?

  • Jim

    Why does Peterson keep referring to the “good ole boys network”? I don’t get it. Peterson was promoted to supervisor by Kochly who he continually bashes. Was he golfing or going to games with him? Doesn’t his relationship with Kochly (who he supported and endorsed for DA after finishing a distant third in the primaries) make him a good ole boy? I guess if you get demoted by the Good ole boys it gives you status as incompetent supervisor under the good ole boys. This is nothing but political rhetoric by Peterson. He, not O’Malley was a good ole boy. Sorry Mr. Peterson it does not sell to claim you are absolved of that connection merely because you got demoted for being a horrible supervisor. It just makes you a liar and someone who will distort the truth to their political advantage.

  • Ms Guzman

    Rick K,

    I agreed, Dan O’malley should run for Public Defender against Jeff Adachi in San Francisco…it’s a perfect fit for an Defense Attorney!!!

    Adachi and O’malley will be perfect, they are both liars as they both are story-tellers…

  • Frank Hall

    Today we voted by mail for DAN OMALLEY for DISTRICT ATTORNEY and urge you to do the same. After carefully reading both candidate’s statements, we concluded that Dan will lead the D.A.’s office with the same natural integrity as during his six years as Superior Court Judge before retiring to run for D.A. Dan, a modest man, has humbly noted that his single greatest strength is his ability to bring people together. A good Judge does that in the courtroom; a good D.A. does that in his entire office. Dan’s opponent will be only divisive, as his partisan political campaign has shown
    On Nov. 2nd, will Mark Peterson fool most of the voters? Mark states, “I’VE MANAGED A $150 MILLION BUDGET AND OVER 500 EMPLOYEES,” referring to his 14 years as one of five on the Concord City Council. He sang the same song, which could only be described as an exaggeration, eight years ago. Mark’s continued misstatement, to fool the electorate, is an outright lie and must be so recognized.
    Mark was the Supervisor of the D.A.’s Sexual Assault Unit for two years, during which the Butt Club reportedly came into being, a culture where demeaning, foul, language was tolerated, and Mark’s pal and past campaign contributor, Michael Gressett, was given free rein. Mark managed that Unit and he failed miserably. He cleverly says that he had no knowledge of the club and culture, and what Gressett did, “Off property, on his own time,” (at lunch during a workday), was not Mark’s responsibility! Then he writes to the voters, “Scandal and neglect have marred the District attorney’s Office.” Will Mark fool the majority with this Teflon attitude on Nov 2nd?
    Mark also engages in political pandering, stating, “I’ll rein in excessive pensions,” which is a county controlled function; beyond the power of the D.A. He mentions Phillip Garrido, knowing some political votes will be gained on an issue that everyone supports, but one that has little to do with the D.A.’s office.
    Mark is a polished, partisan, political professional who gives public servants a bad name. If the voters elevate him to D.A., Concord’s power brokers, who installed him to the council 14 years ago, will be thrilled, but the rest of the county will suffer. We have never had a politician as our D.A. Let’s not elect one now.

  • John W

    Re: #25

    Ballot mailed in. Voted for Peterson. Sorry, O’Malley fans.

    That said, I get a kick out of the continued attack on O’Malley as being “a criminal defense attorney.” I have several reasons for choosing Peterson, but that is not one of them.

    Yes, I’m sure Dan and Mark will get along just fine if Dan is elected. Ehhhh, not likely! I’ve seen Peterson in action in the courtroom. I suspect he would do exceptionally well as a defense attorney.

  • Vote for Dan O’Malley! This letter is lengthy because it contains specific information that some would not write about in a public forum, but it is worth your time to read. My name is Jack Harris and I retired from law enforcement after 24 years, having been a Sergeant in Pittsburg PD, an Inspector in the Contra Costa County DA’s Office, and having gained work experience from a multitude of different law enforcement positions. I have now been a private investigator and criminal defense investigator for 18 years. I have also been a police association president during some of the most politically charged times possible for police officers, and know first hand that police associations, like many employee groups, don’t always speak for the majority.

    These are reasons and encouragement for everyone to take the time to vote, and to vote for Dan O’Malley. These are examples of why ethical and criminal corruption, and cronyism, are real in Contra Costa County. This is also my response to the CPOA letter this month by Sgt. Jeff Krieger and their endorsement of Mark Peterson.

    It is significant that the Concord Police Officers Association (CPOA) is the only police association in the county to have endorsed Peterson, and that Peterson is a Concord City Councilman. Politics often has a bearing on which Police Associations endorse which candidates, but Peterson’s inability to have more than one of the County’s estimated 19 Police Associations (CCCDSA included) endorse him, is unusual and probably very significant. It is emphasized that all of the other Police Associations endorsed O’Malley.

    The CPOA letter is unprofessional, lacks common sense, and does not logically seem representative of most of the officers in Concord PD, nor in any law enforcement agency. The letter ridiculously and blatantly relies on O’Malley being a criminal defense attorney as a reason not to vote for him.

    The letter says nothing of importance! It merely reiterates the belief among a few that prosecutors, their investigators, and the police are the good guys, and that defense attorneys and their investigators are the bad guys. In actuality, some of the best defense attorneys have made the best prosecutors and DA’s, and some of the best prosecutors have made the best defense attorneys. I also know with certainty that some of my retired law enforcement friends have become excellent criminal defense investigators, some of which have returned to law enforcement and done equally well.

    The term, “Attorney at Law”, has an inherent, easily understandable, and obvious meaning, the emphasis being on the words “at Law”. All lawyers, whether prosecutors, defense attorneys, or otherwise, are expected to be honest, competent, professional, and to always represent their clients, whether the State of CA or private parties, in a manner consistent with advocating the complete truth. This is extremely important in criminal law, because peoples freedoms are at stake. If a person is so prejudice or naive to believe that law enforcement is either always right, or always wrong, then they are dangerously wrong, and need to never be a juror. Some people never understand this until they or someone close to them gets charged with a crime, and this can happen to the best of us. Criminals are not comprised solely of street and gang thugs, they exist in every walk of life and profession, and at all levels.

    The fact the CPOA “takes serious exception” in reference to O’Malley’s comments about police and prosecutors understanding domestic violence victims and perpetrators, indicates that the CPOA believes that the police are the only authority on the subject, and that how dare a non law enforcement type have any opinion regarding this issue. However, because O’Malley’s actual stated opinions regarding domestic violence are based on his legal experience as a Superior Court Judge, Deputy District Attorney, and criminal defense attorney, which is far more experience then that of Peterson, and because his opinions regarding domestic violence are shared by most law enforcement administrators, who consistently mandate training in this area for their personnel, and from my own experience have done so since at least the early 1970s, it is obvious that the CPOA picked an ineffective topic for their letter.

    O’Malley’s actual statements: “When (Horowitz) called me, I said I would help out because many law enforcement officers and seasoned prosecutors don’t understand the subtleties of the larger issue,” O’Malley said. “As a society, we often blame the victims rather than focus on the crime. We say she shouldn’t have had a drink. We say she shouldn’t have been out at midnight. We say she should not have worn provocative clothing. But we should be teaching the batterers not to batter. We should not blame the victim.”

    Don’t tell me that the excuses stated above by O’Malley have not been told to victims of domestic violence by police officers, because I know this has occurred from both my experience as a police officer and as a private investigator. And also don’t tell me that teaching batterers not to batter is not a priority in law enforcement, the courts, and in the organizations that do exactly that, teach batterers not to batter.

    CPOA version of O’Malley’s statements: [M]any law enforcement officers and seasoned prosecutors don’t understand the subtleties of the larger issue [of violence upon women] “… [W]e should be teaching the batterers not to batter. We should not blame the victim.”

    The CPOA distorted the context by leaving out the rest of what O’Malley said, which was: “As a society, we often blame the victims rather than focus on the crime. We say she shouldn’t have had a drink. We say she shouldn’t have been out at midnight. We say she should not have worn provocative clothing.”

    You can read the full story regarding these statements at:


    Based on cases I have worked as a private investigator, domestic violence victims, and victims of other crimes, are sometimes also told by the police that there is nothing the police can do to help them, with or without an explanation, or that the police have to witness an assault in order to arrest the suspect.

    The CPOA’s obvious attempt to slander O’Malley because he and his partners “vigorously” defend people charged with crimes, including domestic violence defendants, is nonsense. All attorneys, whether working for the prosecution, defense, civil or otherwise, should work as vigorously as possible for us, and are typically paid very well to do so.

    CPOA Letter: “If you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence or spousal abuse “… [t]he attorney’s at O’Connor, Runckel and O’Malley “… will vigorously defend you to make sure your rights are protected.”

    The CPOA letter reflects poorly on the CPOA , Concord PD, the City of Concord, and on City Councilman Mark Peterson, regarding the mind set and training of their police officers, and in the case of Peterson, the DA’s Office. People are still innocent until proven guilty, and it is the jury, not the CPOA or Peterson, that makes such a determination. Peterson knows better than this, and if not then he should not be an attorney, let alone the DA.

    The last pertinent sentence in the CPOA letter is: “Victims’ rights enjoy a top priority in every one of our criminal investigations”.

    No one can honestly say that every victim’s rights in a criminal investigation are given top priority. Even with the best of intentions, this is not consistently possible. Add to this that some police officers will “kiss off” cases in order to avoid the time required for a thorough investigation and report, and it is a certainty that the rights of all victims are not given priority. I was a street sergeant for several years, I knew several other supervisors and watch commanders, and most would probably agree that one of their most important functions regarding cases reported was making certain that investigations were properly conducted and reports were properly written, particularly when supervising certain officers who had displayed a pattern to the contrary. They would probably also agree that the term, “Kiss Off”, is a common term used when a police officer intentionally fails to take appropriate action.

    O’Malley has significant experience as a prosecutor, judge, and defense attorney, and such diversified experience relative to being the DA far surpasses that of Peterson. Peterson has obviously tried to win votes by portraying O’Malley as a weak candidate because O’Malley has defended people charged with crimes. The Peterson Camp though escalates and distorts the truth here by using the term, “Dan O’Malley Defends Criminals”, apparently not caring that those charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty, and that these comments portray Peterson himself as a right wing extremist who would make a better dictator than DA.

    A small percentage of law enforcement and the public will always strike out at criminal defense attorneys and investigators, as if they were immoral and unethical liars and cheats who would do anything to win their cases. I have found the exact opposite to exist in Contra Costa County, not among the majority, but definitely among enough to make these remarks. I believe that the vast majority of law enforcement personnel are honest, professional, ethical and hard working. I also believe though that the there remains significantly less honest, professional, ethical and hard working law enforcement personnel, who have climbed the latter and are now in control of the actions of others.

    Example: Consider the history of the Pittsburg Police Department, and how the a police administration patterned itself after a Mafia Godfather and his lieutenants and soldiers, having held meetings where the Godfather and his servants exchanged kisses, and then laid out plans for achieving and retaining power by ruthlessly assassinating the characters of those who opposed them. Consider the allegations of search warrant tips offs in drug cases and other cases, some having been reasonably proven. Consider that persons suspected of organized and other sophisticated crime, were ignored, inclusive of organized crime groups like the Hells Angels. Consider that if you worked narcotics and in some way indicated an interest in such activities, that you might find yourself assigned to meaningless surveillance in downtown Pittsburg for the purpose of arresting people for drinking alcohol in public, or working in the downtown substation with orders not to leave. Consider that in order for an administration like this to survive, that it had to be comprised of easily manipulated people, and that the best way to do this was to hire misfits. Consider that some of us believed that such an evil police administration would eventually lead to more serious misfeasance and crimes, even murder, being committed by Pittsburg Police Officers. Now research the murder of Cynthia Kemp by former Pittsburg Police Officers Eric Bergen and George Elsie, who along with two civilians also committed a number of armed robberies.

    Of extreme importance, understand that the Contra Costa County DA’s Office had an opportunity to put an end to this Police Administration, by prosecuting the Chief of Police for lying to their Office during the DA’s investigation of the Police Department in 1982, which most certainly would have resulted in the Police Chief’s firing, and eventually the rest of his group. The DA did not prosecute, dirty politics reigned, and Cynthia Kemp wound up dead in an execution manner, her body mutilated with multiple gunshots, because all four of the responsibles agreed to take part.

    We need a DA who will take immediate and thorough action when informed of suspected illegal and or grossly unacceptable behavior by law enforcement, or among anyone else who might otherwise enjoy protection and immunity because of their political and or financial stature. Additionally, particularly in cases involving public servants, we need such cases publicized for two reasons: first, so the public will be informed and then be able to provide whatever information they have related to the investigation being conducted, and second, so that the public will be informed of the outcome of the case. The latter helps clear the investigated person(s) names (s) when no further action is to be taken, but it also alerts the public to further criminal and or civil actions to be taken. In cases where responsible person(s) are criminally convicted and or civilly held liable, public dissemination of this information is absolutely necessary because it serves as a deterrent for other public servants who are prone to violate the law. Politicians have taken significant steps in the last 25 plus years to conceal their dirty laundry from the public. This is wrong because the public has every right to be informed of the dirty laundry that emanates from government agencies. When I attended the police academy, which was 40 years ago, we were taught that law enforcement personnel stood on a pedestal. We were taught the reason for this was that if you fell of the pedestal, it was intended for you and your agency to suffer public humiliation, thus creating a strong example for other law enforcement personnel to solemnly and wholeheartedly abide by their Sworn Oath and the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.

    I support O’Malley for DA because the cronyism and lack of professionalism in the DA’s Office is appalling and an insult to the public. Cronyism and corruption have been rampant in the DA’s Office, and throughout County and Local Departments, particularly in certain law enforcement agencies, for many years. If O’Malley is elected and ends this problem in the DA’s Office, other administrators in the County will be forced to do the same or risk the DA’s Office doing it for them.

    Although O’Malley’s broad experience base would be an asset to him serving as DA, his personality would be an equally important asset. He is open minded, and I don’t see this in Peterson. As a civilian, I’ve had the unfortunate experience of trying to get information regarding unsolved homicides investigated by the DA’s Office, and because this information indicated a probable investigative disregard of this information by a local police department, I was met with some of the most disrespectful, antagonistic and insulting behavior that I have ever encountered from a prosecutor. I won’t vote for Peterson when I believe that he probably would not have the courage to take on law enforcement when appropriate, or for that matter something deemed politically incorrect.

    Considering the obvious existence of “The Good Ole Boy Network”, O’Malley was a Deputy DA for 12 years, and Peterson has been a Deputy DA for 25 years, including promotion to Assistant DA, and significant supervisory responsibilities. What has Peterson been doing about “The Good Ole Boy Club” for the last 25 years? He hasn’t run for DA until now, and the problem is still there! O’Malley has significantly less exposure to the problem of cronyism in the DA’s Office then does Peterson, and therefore hasn’t yet had an opportunity to deal with it.

    Don’t assume that because O’Malley’s father, Bill O’Malley, was the DA during the previously described investigation of Pittsburg PD, that this should have a bearing on my support of O’Malley. Based on having later worked as a DA Inspector, I found that the DA Inspector responsible for the Pittsburg PD investigation was ethically corrupt, and therefore I can’t overlook the strong possibility that he distorted the truth on behalf of Pittsburg PD during his investigation. I know that he did so when I reported illegal conduct in the DA’s Office to him as a DA Inspector.

    The use of the term “cronyism” is sometimes a light hearted and cowardly way of saying corruption. Corruption has existed and been ignored in this County for many years, and the DA is responsible for putting a stop to it. My employment as an Inspector in the DA’s Office was ended by firing me in order to protect the cronyism and corruption that existed. I had reported to the Chief Inspector, who was also responsible for the DA’s investigation of Pittsburg PD, that a Senior Inspector had illegally seized a large amount of money while serving a search warrant, and then lied about the grounds for the seizure in his report. It made no difference that this incident, a crime, and serious civil rights violation, was witnessed by two Inspectors. It made no difference that I had worked at a good level of performance for 362 days of my year long probationary period, and may have been promoted to Senior Inspector in the next few days. It did make a difference that my actions jeopardized “The Good Ole Boy Network” and their interests, and I was therefore discharged within 24 hours of being interviewed by the Chief, with there being no legitimate investigation conducted.

    From the standpoint of expense to the taxpayers, it also made no a difference when the County paid $375,000 to settle my wrongful termination lawsuit, along with probably at least the same amount for their legal defense fees. Because I speak from experience regarding cronyism and corrupt politics in this County, I add that it also made no difference when the City of Pittsburg paid $675,000 to settle my wrongful termination against them, along with paying over a million dollars in legal fees. My point here is that cronyism and corrupt politics needlessly costs the taxpayers allot of money.

    I was diversified in law enforcement, and remain so as a private investigator, having been a criminal defense investigator in many cases, and also having investigated cases for the purpose of criminal prosecution in cases that were ignored by law enforcement. Don’t take the word “ignored” as a personal attack on law enforcement, because such ignorance, which is often based on dishonesty and or incompetence, exists in all legal professions, ie., among private investigators, law enforcement officers, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, judges, in the White house, and even in God’s House. My point here is that there is no “Holier Than Thou” Profession.

    Peterson portrays a prosecutor who will be hard on crime, but Peterson is also a politician by his own professional choice. Prosecutors who throw everything on the wall and file charges for the sake of good publicity, are extremely costly to the taxpayers. An extremely important measure of a good DA is not in all the charges he files, but in the convictions obtained. The remarkable number of dismissals and not guilty verdicts in the County are evidence that the Prosecutors responsible for filing the charges in these cases had ulterior motivations for doing so. We should ethically not tolerate such conduct, and we definitely can’t continue to afford to have our taxes pay for such conduct.

    Dan O’Malley’s broad base of experience as a judge, prosecutor and private attorney makes him by far the most qualified candidate for DA.

    Thank you, Jack Harris

  • Joe M.

    Democrats should think twice about voting for O’Malley. As Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) fights to save her seat, “Dan O’Malley for District Attorney” has given $350.00 to Republican Abram Wilson to oust her!

    See Wilson’s campaign finance filing with the California Secretary of State: http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1317990&session=2009&view=received .

    Why should Democrats vote for Dan O’Malley for D.A. when his own campaign committee is funding the Republican challenger in a close local Assembly race?