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:
WE MUST CONTINUALLY EDUCATE OURSELVES ABOUT
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.