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Retired CoCo Sheriff Warren Rupf passes away

Retired Contra Costa Sheriff Warren Rupf

Retired Contra Costa Sheriff Warren Rupf, the county’s own larger-than-life lawman, died earlier today after a two-month battle with a swift and deadly form of cancer.

Rupf told folks about his diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia in early July and predicted then his time could be short. Few might have imagined just how quickly the cancer would strike.

Warren’s wife, Carole, was at his side when he passed away at a Walnut Creek hospital.

Friends and family are working on the details of his memorial service and I’ll post information as soon as it is available.

Rest in peace, sheriff. We’ll miss you.

Read the Sheriff Department’s press release here.

Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Under: Contra Costa County, Law enforcement | 5 Comments »

Lawmakers boycott contempt vote on Holder

The House voted 255-67 today to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for allegedly stonewalling over documents relating to the probe of the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” operation on the U.S.-Mexico border.

But more than 100 Democrats left the House floor to boycott the vote, including several Bay Area lawmakers: Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; Pete Stark, D-Fremont; Mike Honda, D-San Jose; Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma; John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.

Barbara Lee (Dec-2010)“I cannot and will not participate in this hyper-partisan and purely political vote today to hold Attorney General in contempt of Congress,” Lee said in a news release.

“Contempt power should be used sparingly, carefully and only in the most egregious situations. The Attorney General has gone above and beyond in his response to request for information on “Fast and Furious”, an unfortunate operation that began under the Bush Administration and, in fact, was terminated by Attorney General Holder,” she said. “This contempt vote is unprecedented, unwarranted and entirely unnecessary. Gandhi once said that ‘Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good.’ That is why I am standing with so many of my colleagues in refusing to participate in this shameful Republican political stunt.”

Reps. George Miller, D-Martinez; Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton; Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough; Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto; Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose; and Mike Thompson, D-Napa remained on the floor to cast votes against the resolution.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called for the vote with this statement:

John Boehner“It’s important for the American people to know how we got here and to know the facts of this case. The Congress asked the Department of Justice for the facts related to Fast and Furious and the events that led to the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The Department of Justice did not provide the facts and the information that we requested. Instead, the information came from people outside the Department, people who wanted to do the right thing. In addition to not providing the information, the Administration admitted to misleading Congress, actually retracting a letter it had sent 10 months earlier.

“I think all the Members understand this is a very serious matter. The Terry family wants to know how this happened and they have every right to have their answers. The House needs to know how this happened, and it is our constitutional duty to find out. So the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee issued a lawful and narrowly tailored subpoena. We’ve been patient, giving the Justice Department every opportunity to comply, so that we can get to the bottom of this for the Terry family. We’ve shown more than enough good faith, but the White House has chosen to invoke executive privilege. That leaves us no other options. The only recourse left for the House is to continue seeking the truth and to hold Attorney General in contempt of Congress.

“Now I don’t take this matter lightly, and I frankly hoped it would never come to this. The House’s focus is on jobs and on the economy. But no Justice Department is above the law and no Justice Department is above the Constitution, which each of us has sworn an oath to uphold. So I ask the Members of this body to come together and to support this resolution so that we can seek the answers that the Terry family and the American people deserve.”

After the vote, Holder issued a statement which is presented in its entirety after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Under: Anna Eshoo, Attorney General, Barbara Lee, George Miller, Jackie Speier, Jerry McNerney, John Boehner, John Garamendi, Law enforcement, Lynn Woolsey, Mike Honda, Mike Thompson, Nancy Pelosi, Obama presidency, Pete Stark, U.S. House, Zoe Lofgren | 17 Comments »

Contra Costa DA lobbies for gang injunctions

Mark Peterson

Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson is furiously lobbying fellow elected officials for their support of the use of gang injunctions in high-crime areas such as Richmond.

Find links below to video of his recent speech at the Contra Costa Mayors Conference and view his Powerpoint slideshow. (Apologies for the late posting. We have been having technical difficulties with embedding of videos and document links.)

It’s a highly controversial technique in which prosecutors seek a court order that prohibits known gang members from congregating in certain neighborhoods and allows police to arrest the violators.

Contra Costa has never used the technique but Alameda County has had two approved injunctions in the past year and survived legal challenges.

Whether or not Peterson — a new elected district attorney with an eye on making his mark — can cultivate political support for gang injunctions is an open question.

Critics call it an horrific abuse of civil liberties while crime-fighters tout its effectiveness at curbing gang violence.

Its most likely use would be in Richmond, where progressive city leaders will almost certainly oppose it. But Antioch and Concord have had gang-related crime issues, too.

Peterson also outlined during his speech other pieces of his agenda including an anti-truancy campaign.

Click here to watch video.

Click here to view slideshow.

 

 

 

Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2011
Under: Contra Costa County, Law enforcement | 2 Comments »