Contra Costa DA pulls out of AG investigation

Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson will no longer permit his staff to aide the attorney general’s investigation of a recently reinstated prosecutor, Michael Gressett, charged with the rape of a colleague.

Read the full story by reporter John Simerman here. But here are the first few paragraphs:

In his campaign last year for Contra Costa County district attorney, Mark Peterson railed at how the office investigated disturbing rape allegations against Michael Gressett, a veteran prosecutor whom he supervised in the sex crimes unit. As top dog, Peterson said he would have backed off and let another agency handle it.

Now he has.

“I sent the Attorney General’s Office a letter on Jan. 21 informing them I recused our office in terms of any investigation or involvement in the prosecution,” he said. “Obviously, anybody in our office is free to talk to either side in the case. If somebody is asked to give a statement, they can choose to if they wish. If they’re subpoenaed to testify, I’d expect them to respond truthfully and fully.”

Gressett, 54, returned to the county payroll this week, due back pay and benefits, after an arbitrator ruled Monday that the county failed to justify his July 2009 firing over the rape allegation and five other causes. The arbitrator, Norman Brand, agreed with Gressett that his firing was “tainted by political animosity.”

See Peterson’s letter below.

Peterson letter to AG

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • ralph hoffmann

    If it’s Tuesday, it’s the Board of Supervisors Meeting. This is Item B.1. on their Consent, (or lack of Consent) Callendar, if you get my drift. Let’s see if anything is reported.

  • rewgolfer

    The campaign for DA is over, Peterson won. Both candidates for that office, Peterson and O’Malley, were good candidates. They had a slug fest going on in the campaign, things got a little nasty, but that’s politics. In a heated campaign you get a lot of finger pointing and so forth. I myself supported O’Malley, but I thought Peterson was a good guy too, so did a lot of O’Malleys supporters, and vica versa. The election is over though, so dragging out this campaign stuff is not really appropriate. Peterson will be a fine DA, O’Malley will go back to being a fine criminal attorney. Both these guys have incredible records of public service, I think our county is a better place for having the both of them in it.