Friday, March 15, 2013

In Brief: Bar investigation into ayres Prosecutor

The California Bar investigation into ayres prosecutor McKowan has concluded, and there is a small bit of information (and some misinformation) about it written in this rather inadequate article over at The Almanac Online (pdf)

I don't have time to discuss it much at the moment, but may have some thoughts this weekend. I've attached an acrobat version of the article to protect some of the early comments, as the editor appears to be biased and inconsistent in their deletions, so you never know what will stay and what will go.  There are some points of note in the comments, so make sure you read them. (Check the acrobat file!)

william hamilton ayres was arrested on April 5, 2007 on charges relating to his molestation of many young boys while he was alleging to provide psychiatric care to private patients as well as referrals for evaluation from the juvenile court system in San Mateo County. ayres has been delaying his way through the system free from custody until this latest gambit to skirt prosecution by playing demented for the courts. ayres is currently under the conservatorship of his daughter Barbara Ayres of Sacramento, CA

ayres has had significant interaction over the years with local politicians on boards like the "Children and Families First Commission,"  including the DA who was serving when prosecution began Jim Fox and Assemblyman Rich Gordon. In fact, Gordon nominated ayres for a lifetime achievement award for his "Tireless effort to improve the lives of children." ayres has also been vocally supported during his criminal trial by local head-shrinkers like Bart BlinderEtta BryantMel BlausteinHarry CorenTom CieslaRobert KimmichLarry LurieMaria LymberisRichard ShadoanCaptane Thomson, and Harold Wallach.


  1. Prosecutor Mckowan had to admit to the Bar that she had considered misconduct. No small deal.

    The Bar says that there have been only two cases where crime VICTIMS have brought complaints against prosecutors in the last twenty years.

    The fact that this prosecutor was sued for lying to the court in another high profile molestation case in 2010 shows a disturbing pattern. Why hasn't she been fired?

    And what is the law exactly, that prevents DA Wagstaffe from talking about how they disciplined the prosecutor?

    Over in Santa Clara County, DA Jeff Rosen has been very open with the public as to how he disciplines prosecutors who have committed misconduct. He's never tried to hide behind some rule that doesn't even exist.

    Too bad Ayres wasn't tried by Rosen's office.

  2. Seems that article hit most of the important points but I was left feeling like there was no ooomph behind the report. I like to think if I were a reporter on any of the Bay Area papers or TV news desks I would be apoplectic over this story and the open to plain view apperance of willful misconduct on the part of SM DA's office and apparent collusion, as indicated in their own words, with the defense at the expense of the complainants.
    I'm mnot delusional Its been nearly 50 years since I was abused and I can't even get an unambiguous acknowldgement that I was even there and no one willing to dig up any of the evidence that does still exist, but here we have more than enough evidence as shown in this blog and the record itself and what do we get but faked incompetence and intentional dogging of the case!

    I look forward to reading the BA report when its posted.

    1. Actually, the report missed most of the important points by not spending any time in detailed interview with Balfour.

      Not the least of which is the fact that both the Bar and the DA have apparently admonished Balfor under threat of law that she is not to discuss the outcome of the investigation, and that the statute that they site applies to THEM but not to her.

  3. At the March 6, 2013 hearing, Ayres' lawyer stipulated to the judge that he had filed to get a copy of the Bar complaints against the prosecutor.

    The judge said that if anyone else in the DA's office had a copy of the complaint, then Ayres' lawyer could get a copy.

    The judge asked the prosecutor several times whether anyone in the DA's office had a copy. Mckowan avoided answering the question. The
    judge reprimanded her and told her to answer the
    question. Then Mckowan said that no one else in the DA's office had a copy of the complaint.

    However yesterday DA Wagstaffe told the Atherton
    Almanac that his office was conducting a parallel investigation into Mckowan on the same issues that
    the Bar was looking into. How would Wagstaffe
    know what the Bar was investigating her for unless
    he had a copy of the Bar complaint?

    Somebody is lying here.

    Wagstaffe was really stupid to tell the reporter they'd done their own investigation on the Bar complaint issues.

    It will be all that much easier for Ayres' lawyer to get the Bar complaint as well as information about the internal investigation into Mckowan.

    If Mckowan lied to the judge on this issue, then she is in serious trouble.

    1. You stole my thunder on this one. ;) But, I wasn't going to get to it for awhile, so I'm glad you mentioned it here!

  4. Is Ayers catholic? Maybe he can use a mental health defense. From The Independent;

    "A South African cardinal has said paedophilia is not "a criminal condition", but a psychological illness."

    1. ayres has claimed to have been raised Episcopalian. No... wait.. Scientologist.... no... Episcopalian.

      Yeah... Episcopalian.

      Did you not read about what ayres has been doing for the last couple of years?

      ayres' Mental Health Defense

  5. The Palo Alto Daily Post has a story out today ( no link, not available on-line.)

    Headline: "New Plot Twist in Child Molest Trial."
    By Breena Kerr


    "A San Mateo County prosecutor will retry a molestation case, despite an internal investigation into allegations that she committed professional misconduct during the trial."

    For those who live in San Mateo County, I would suggest start raising a ruckus, perhaps starting with making a complaint to the only Board Supervisor who has spoken out publicly on behalf of the victims.

  6. This stinks to high heaven!

  7. It is extremely rare that prosecutors who commit misconduct are punished at all. Out of 707 complaints of prosecutorial misconduct over an 11 year period - only SIX prosecutors were disciplined.

    Report: Prosecutorial Misconduct Often Unpunished in California

    Posted: October 5, 2010 6:32 pm

    Judges in California are “casting a blind eye to prosecutors who place their thumbs on the scale of justice,” according to a report released yesterday by the Veritas Initiative, a new investigative arm at the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University Law School.

    The report, “Preventable Error: A Report on Prosecutorial Misconduct in California 1997–2009,” examined 707 cases in which courts had found prosecutorial misconduct in the 11 year period. Of all of those cases, only six prosecutors were disciplined.

    Maurice Possley, an award-winning journalist who worked on the study by the Northern California Innocence Project, told the Los Angeles Times, “Prosecutors aren’t held accountable. Absent that, why should they change their habits?"

    The misconduct covered in the report ranged from failing to turn over evidence to presenting false evidence in court. As a response to their research, the Northern California Innocence Project is calling for legal reforms requiring courts to report all findings of misconduct to the state bar, which they currently are not required to do. When a court decides the misconduct was harmless, those cases often go unreported.

  8. In an October 2011 Mercury News story about the Bar investigation into the Ayres prosecutor, a California Bar spokesperson said that the Bar could recall only TWO complaints brought by CRIME VICTIMS against prosecutors in a twenty- year period.

  9. Who fed the false information to Mercury News reporter Josh Melvin about the results of the Bar probe, before the probe had even been completed ?

    This Mercury News story by Josh Melvin was published on February 26, 2013, before the Bar had completed its probe.

    "McDougall said he plans to ask that the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office be recused from the case. He points to the State Bar of California's investigation into McKowan prompted by complaints from Balfour and others, including alleged victims in the Ayres case. That investigation, which remains open, pitted the prosecutor against witnesses who would presumably testify at a retrial.

    The probe revealed that some witnesses from the Ayres case had made false accusations against McKowan in the state bar probe."

    The Bar probe did NOT reveal that some witnesses had made false allegations.

    It found that Mckowan had committed misconduct !! So who fed this false information to the reporter? If anyone in the DA's office gave it to him , then they are in trouble.

  10. "If I were the defense, I'd want us off the case too," said Karen Guidotti, the chief deputy district attorney. "We're committed in seeking justice for Dr. Ayres."

    No justice for the victims, only Dr. Ayres?