Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wagstaffe Double Standard

On KTVU Channel 2 News Feb 23, 2015:

  KTVU -

San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe was on the Channel 2 news at 10pm on Monday night, demonstrating for the public the double standard that he observes in prosecuting crimes:

On the prosecution of Juan Lopez who ran for Sheriff against Greg Munks, and who is accused of watching a prison inmate use a cell phone, DA Wagstaffe has this to say:

"It's simply: If somebody violates the law, they have to pay the consequences."

After DA Wagstaffe's friend Sheriff Munks was busted by the FBI in an illegal brothel in an "Operation Dollhouse" investigation on potentially trafficked and underaged prostitutes, in a  residential area described as "run-down apartments and homes with mattresses on the floors and the stench of cigarettes, urine and feces in the air," DA Wagstaffe had this to say:

"To those who matter, your decades of outstanding work in law enforcement are all that count and your integrity is not in the slightest marked (sic) by the modern media's efforts to make a story out of a non-story. Hard as it is to think now, remember it will by yesterday's news and irrelevant by tomorrow"

Also, don't forget the Wagstaffe Double Standard we mentioned just the other day:

If you're a county employee who engages in sex crimes -- we don't prosecute you or remove you from office (like many of the recent law enforcement officer sex crimes -- including Greg Munks) or we actually do the RIGHT thing (for the wrong reasons?) and allow an outside agency to prosecute -- as in the case of Chief Probation Officer (and longtime juvenile hall employee) Stuart Forrest's large collection of little boy child porn. (By the way -- did you know that he's not locked up anymore? Nor is he on the Megan's Law public list.)

If, on the other hand, you're a county employee who has caused some heartache with the higher ups, because you noticed and want to fix some improprieties, we throw the book at you if you may have had the opportunity to notice that a jail inmate had a cell phone.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Appeal Update and other Screeds

Trust me! I'm a Shrink!
Two items of interest today: One covered by local bird-cage-liners, the other not.

Issue One: The ayres’ conviction appeal; current status –

As things went with the ayres trial, so things go with the appeal of his conviction. The child molester’s shysters told the court that they’d need lots of delays; the court promised that few would be granted; and then the court grants all of the delays.

The current deadline for “Opening Brief” to be filed is now April 20, 2015. The molester’s shysters have also now submitted a few exhibits -- reports from various stages of the incompetency malingering gambit, including reports from two doctors: One from ayres’ stay at Napa, from Dr. Erin Warnick  During the competency trail (which did NOT convince the jurors that ayres was incompetent) Warnick fronted the opinion that ayres was suffering dementia (in the areas that are most frequently faked, when dementia is faked) but she also stated that ayres was definitely inflating the severity of his dementia. She also noted that he was unpleasant, irritable, with poor judgment, poor emotional control, and poor behavioral control (maybe it was the fact that he was grooming an inmate with actual mental deficits for sexual contact that lead her to this conclusion?) Warnick’s scoring of a “Global Assessment of Functioning” test also called into question some of the lower results of one of the other Napa Doctors.

I would assume that the defense is using Warnick’s report because some of her conclusions make her appear less biased than those of other “doctors” at Napa.

Also appearing in the list of reports are the reports from Dr. Simon Tan of Stanford, presented at the time of the “No Contest” plea in the last ditch effort to show that ayres’ alleged dementia had “grown worse” since the competency trial and his subsequent stint at Napa. The judge found that there was nothing new in Tan’s report to indicate that things had deteriorated, and in fact, she said that based on her observations of ayres over time and based on the analysis of entirety of the transcript from a very recent civil deposition, she did not feel that ayres had any change at all in levels of comprehension even dating back to early hearings BEFORE the first criminal trial.

Dr. Simon Tan, PsyD is just another in the line of shrinky-dinks duped by ayres – Perhaps Psychiatrists ARE more talented than Psychologists after all!

Issue Two: Juan Lopez, Deputy Sheriff and one time contender to replace Sheriff Munks via write-in ballot.

Hi! I'm San Mateo County Sheriff Munks: Happy Ending?
Hi! I'm Sheriff Munks; Happy Ending?
As you’ve probably seen in the fishwrappers lately (links to recent articles below), Juan Lopez, a Sheriff’s Deputy, was recently charged with crimes related to the supply of cell phones and drugs to a local prisoner. Charges were also just added relating to his place of residence as it relates to elections, misuse of election funds, etc.. The details are all a bit confused as others (corrections officers) were included in charges as were Lopez’s fiancée, and another Lopez friend or two.

Here are some facts as best I can make them out:

1) There does not appear to be any link between Lopez and the drugs provided to the prisoner. These charges appear to be directed at one or more of the corrections officers.
2) The DA appears to have stated that Lopez didn’t supply the cell phone to the prisoner. But the DA does think that Lopez had reason to know that one had been supplied to a prisoner.

3) Lopez appears to have ownership/financial responsibility for a residence inside San Mateo County (Redwood City) and one outside SMCO (Newark) Lopez claims that the Newark residence is rented to a cousin, and the DA states that Lopez’s fiancée lives in the residence in Redwood City. Fraud charges relate to the assumption that Lopez lives in Newark, but he filed to run as Sheriff (against his boss Munks) as a resident of SMCO. (What do you suppose the odds are that Lopez lives with his cousin rather than his fiancée? -- I know it's a legal point, but to some extent, aren't we reaching here?)

4) Embezzlement charges apparently relate to Lopez’s campaign treasurer (and fiancée) who allegedly used campaign finances for personal use.

My observations:

1) Sheriff Munks was busted by the FBI in 2007 with his undersheriff Carlos Bolanos in an illegal Las Vegas brothel in which some underage prostitutes were involved. Munks has never spoken publicly about the bust other than to say that he thought he was getting a massage, and that he would not be talking about the incident. There was an “actual” massage parlor down the street from where Munks and Bolanos were busted, but the place of the “Operation Dollhouse” bust was actually a residential area, described by the FBI this way: "run-down apartments and homes with mattresses on the floors and the stench of cigarettes, urine and feces in the air"

2) DA Fox at the time of the bust issued an email stating that he sympathized with Munks and Bolanos: 
“Greg and Carlos [--] "I just want to let you both know how sorry I am for what you are going through with the media frenzy. It isn't easy getting beaten up in the media, but hopefully it will all be yesterday's news by tomorrow, If there is anything I can do to help or provide support, please know I am more than willing. Hang in there. Jim”  

3) Current DA Wagstaffe is also “in support” of Munks and in recent articles calls him his “friend.” Wagstaffe also states that he considered his relationship with Lopez to be friendly in his years of dealing with him professionally. As a follow-up to DA Fox's email, Wagstaffe also sent an email to the boys:
“To those who matter, your decades of outstanding work in law enforcement are all that count and your integrity is not in the slightest marked (sic) by the modern media's efforts to make a story out of a non-story. Hard as it is to think now, remember it will by yesterday's news and irrelevant by tomorrow”  
* The emails from DA Fox and ADA Wagstaffe (Now DA) were provided to private citizen and victim's advocate Michael Stogner by San Mateo County Counsel Michael P. Murphy per Stogner's Public Record Request in June of 2008.

UPDATE: On February 23, 2015 in an interview on KTVU Channel 2 News at 10, Wagstaffe confirmed that he did indeed send this email back in 2007, and stated that he stands behind it to this day, and seconds later talked about prosecuting Lopez because it was right to do that when someone breaks the law...

4) Wagstaffe says that his friendship with Munks is no reason to recuse his office from prosecution.

5) When Chief Probation Officer (and longtime juvenile hall employee) Stuart Forrest was busted for possession of large quantities of little boy child porn, Wagstaffe recused his office from prosecution based on their professional relationship – he didn’t even claim to be friends: 

“We asked to avoid the appearance of a conflict. We do not have one but I have served on so many different commissions and committees with him that we want to ensure the appearance of impartiality. That is why we asked an outside agency, the attorney general, to handle it"

My opinions based on presented facts and observations listed above:

Wagstaffe is good friends with a man (Munks) who was busted for apparently reprehensible, illegal sexual behavior -- and was apparently not prosecuted due to his political stature -- inside sources say that all of the Johns had to be released because of Munks' and Bolanos' involvement.

Wagstaffe does appear to have the wherewithal to make intelligent decisions about allowing outside investigation/prosecution when there is potential for professional/personal bias, as indicated by the Forrest case.  And yet, he claims that there is no reason for outside involvement in the Lopez matter, even though Lopez tried to put Wagstaffe’s buddy Munks out of a job, in part because Munks disbanded the special sex crimes unit shortly after his bust, which Lopez seems to have thought was important.

Seems exactly like conflict of interest / personal bias, and retaliation to me. I would NOT be shocked to learn that all of these charges against Lopez were, in fact, trumped-up, unsubstantiated bullshit intended to send a warning to anyone trying to oust Munks.

Another thing to think about:

Wagstaffe never once appeared in the courtroom during the 6 years that the ayres child molestation case was at trial.

Wagstaffe wanted nothing to do with the prosecution of Stewart Forrest for possession of hundreds of child porn images.

Wagstaffe supports his friend Munks who was busted at an illegal brothel that was employing child “prostitutes.”

Wagstaffe constantly declares that lowball sentences for child sex crimes are “reasonable.”

When an older adult male rapes a young teen girl, Wagstaffe frequently calls this a “sexual relationship” in comments to the press.

Why does Wagstaffe keep doing all of this? Maybe Spokeshole Michelle Durand can tell us what the county’s “story” here is?

Recent articles about Juan Lopez in the Almanac News (pdf) and the San Mateo Daily Journal (pdf).

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. After years of  playing demented for the courts, ayres plead "No Contest" and was found guilty of all charges against him on May 16, 2013. ayres was sentenced to 8 years in prison on August 26, 2013. ayres is no longer 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.