State Sen. Steve Glazer to be sworn in. (Again.)

The Bay Area’s newest lawmaker will be sworn in this week. Again.

Steve GlazerState Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, in May defeated fellow Democrat Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla won the special election to succeed Mark DeSaulnier, who was elected to Congress last November.

Glazer was officially sworn in by Gov. Jerry Brown at the State Capitol on May 28, and has cast dozens of votes since. But his in-district ceremonial swearing-in is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, Aug. 27 in the Danville Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave. Former Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, will administer the oath of office and Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson will serve as master of ceremonies.

The event is open to 7th State Senate District residents.To RSVP, contact Glazer’s district office at 925-942-6082 or senator.glazer@senate.ca.gov.


SD7: See Susan Bonilla’s first television ad

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla is launching her first television ad in the 7th State Senate District special election.

The clip includes former Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, saying “Susan Bonilla is an effective legislator bringing people together to get things done.” Contra Costa County District Attoreny Mark Peterson and others then praise her record of balanced budgets, “fixing schools, creating jobs, fighting crime, passing historic pension reform, protecting the Delta and opposing the tunnels.” Miller then returns to say Bonilla “is true to her word and her actions,” hence her support by Democrats, Republicans, businesses, law enforcement and so on.

Bonilla campaign spokesman Patrick McGarrity said the ad started airing today and will keep running through the May 19 election on cable channels in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The campaign’s TV budget “is in the low six figures,” he said.


A few upcoming Bay Area political fundrasiers

Though nobody’s pulling down the kind of $32,400-per-head dough that President Obama would’ve raised for Democrats in Los Angeles on Monday had he not cancelled to deal with Syria, some local, state and federal candidates in the Bay Area have fundraisers coming up.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, will celebrate her birthday with a fundraiser for her 2016 bid for the 9th State Senate District at 4 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 8 in Oakland; the special guest will be former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, now a Cal law and public policy faculty member. Tickets cost $100 for “birthday love,” $500 for “birthday well wishes,” $1,000 for “birthday hugs” and $2,500 for “birthday kisses.”

Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson is holding a “BBQ, Brews, Blues and Badges” event to raise money for his 2014 re-election campaign next Friday evening Sept. 13 at the Pine Meadow Golf Course in Martinez. It’s $50 per person or $75 per couple, or $250 for bronze sponsorship, $500 for silver and $1,000 for gold.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will hold a leadership breakfast at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27 at an Oakland restaurant with special guest Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Springs, the freshman who defeated Republican Mary Bono Mack last year. Two tables of eight seats each go for $2,600 or $1,500; one table goes for $500; but individual tickets are pretty cheap at $50 per person or $35 for seniors, students and disabled persons. Lee also has scheduled a reception for 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29 at a couple of supporters’ home in Berkeley; tickets for that range from $100 to $1,000.

Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, will hold a brunch with special guest Assembly Speaker John Perez at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, before Cal’s homecoming game against Washington State, at a supporter’s home in Berkeley. Individual tickets cost $100 or $250, but co-host status costs from $500 to $8,200.


Judge dismisses rape case against CC deputy DA

A Contra Costa County superior court judge dismissed Wednesday a 13-count indictment against former Contra Costa County deputy district attorney Michael Gressett for rape, ending an ugly chapter in the District Attorney’s Office.

Read the full order to dismiss here. (Beware: It contains very graphic descriptions.)

The judge concluded that the grand jury had sufficient cause to indict Gressett but said prosecutors failed, among other things, to disclose to the jury the fact that Contra Costa County had paid the alleged victim, also a former deputy district attorney, $450,000 in a separate settlement.

The attorney general’s office is prosecuting the case and could attempt to retry Gressett. The woman alleged that Gressett raped her during the lunch hour on May 6, 2008.

The case incited deep divisions within the District Attorney’s Office, particularly during the contentious 2010 campaign for the top seat between Dan O’Malley and Mark Peterson, who ultimately won.


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.





DA: Peterson hits back on O’Malley letter

District Attorney candidate Mark Peterson sent over this response a few minutes ago to opponent Dan O’Malley’s letter of yesterday:

Mr. O’Malley needs to get his facts straight. His claim – that I was somehow responsible for an alleged sexual assault that occurred between two coworkers – is shamefully false, and he knows it. The facts are as follows:

An alleged sexual assault took place between two deputy district attorneys in May of 2008, during the lunch hour, in one of their homes. My opponent Mr. O’Malley, and his supporters in the office, were informed of the alleged assault within just a few days of its alleged occurrence. At no time did Dan O’Malley or the administration inform me, as head of the Sexual Assault Unit, that one of my subordinates allegedly had raped another deputy district attorney.

Mr. O’Malley also claims that I’m responsible for the alleged sexual assault because of what he asserts was inappropriate sexual talk, in the District Attorney’s Office, which allegedly took place during the lunch hour. First, it’s patently obvious that I cannot control people’s lunch hour discussions. Second, during the entire two years that I led the Sexual Assault Unit, not one person complained about inappropriate sexual discussions. No member of the public complained, nor did any support staff, attorney, police officer, or investigator ever complain. Nobody. The Chief of Investigators worked in that same unit during the entire time I led it, and he never lodged any complaint about inappropriate speech. Nor did he ever receive one. Further, the suggestion that sexual banter, even if it did occur, is the cause of a violent rape, is patently absurd. It’s simply an example of how desperate my opponent’s claims have become.

Dan O’Malley, and the failed administration that seeks to turn the keys to the office over to him, hid this alleged crime from me, from the Martinez Police Department, from the public, and from all of the women working in the District Attorney’s Office, for over four months, until September, 2008. I first learned about this alleged rape when the rest of the public did, in late September, 2008, when the alleged assailant was arrested.

Mr. O’Malley is now trying to exploit this incident for political gain; he makes the outrageous claim that I’m somehow responsible for the alleged sexual assault, by virtue of the fact the alleged assailant worked in my unit. He fails to mention that the encounter between the two individuals occurred during the lunch hour, and in a private home. My supervisoral responsibilities hardly included following each and every one of my employees, into their homes, during their lunch hour.

Finally, Mr. O’Malley claims that I was demoted because of this alleged sexual assault. The facts, however, are different: The accused assailant was a political opponent of the District Attorney. After his arrest, an in-house investigation was begun. I suggested to my superiors that an outside agency should investigate the alleged crime, independently, rather than have District Attorney employees do it. This was necessary, as a matter of prosecutorial ethics, in order to avoid the appearance of bias. After I spoke up and challenged this unethical behavior, I was transferred out of the Sexual Assault Unit.

Mr. O’Malley’s disgraceful suggestion – that somehow I’m responsible for an alleged sexual assault – is shocking. The real irony is that he knew more about the sexual assault than I ever did. Nobody – not him, not his buddies within the office who knew about it, nobody in the District Attorney’s office – ever reported the alleged assault to me. But as I said, Mr. O’Malley and his cronies knew about the accusation. They knew about it for 4 long months. During that time, they never called the police. Dan O’Malley and his friends never told the women working in the office that they were possibly working alongside a violent rapist.

Since then, Mr. O’Malley has been seriously inconsistent about when he first became aware of the assault. He was asked to turn over his telephone records to substantiate his claims. He refused. Mr. O’Malley has resisted all efforts to turn over his telephone records, which would shed light upon his involvement. The man who wants to become our county’s chief law enforcement officer refuses to turn over his own telephone records in a rape investigation. Shocking.

When this campaign began, Mr. O’Malley informed me, and others, that he did not agree with the decision to transfer me out of the Sexual Assault Unit because of this incident. Now that he lags seriously behind in the polls, he’s managed to convince himself that the entire event is my fault. Mr. O’Malley also said to me, and to others, that he would never use the alleged sexual assault as a political weapon in this campaign. But, following his serious setback in the June primary, Mr. O’Malley actually commissioned a political poll, in order to see how he can exploit this incident for his own political advantage.

Sadly, it doesn’t end there. In the wake of this incident, and in the ensuing investigation, Mr. O’Malley and his colleagues at his criminal defense firm offered false, fabricated testimony, from a prostitute, against the accused political opponent. In exchange for that false testimony, and while Mr. O’Malley served as attorney of record, they engineered the release of a six-time felon / convicted child molester. After his release, this child molester took part in the attempted home invasion robbery of an innocent family. More than 30 shots were fired. All of these facts are fully documented, at www.thefactsaboutdan.com.

Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight.


Mark Peterson

Candidate for District Attorney