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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rick Gore Responds to District Attorney Jeff Reisig's Statement

On Friday, March 7, 2008, the Vanguard received a letter from Senior Investigator Rick Gore of the Yolo County District Attorney's Office. In that letter, Rick Gore accused the District Attorney, Jeff Reisig, of unethical practices relating to several incidents and cases.

Two of the more serious charges includes lying to the Judge during hearings on the gang injunction, and the failure to disclose the results of a gun test during the Halloween Homicide Case.

Jeff Reisig responded by calling the charges "reckless allegations," issuing a full denial, and suggesting that former Deputy District Attorney and candidate for DA in 2006, Pat Lenzi had been responsible for these charges.
"On March 6, 2008, the Yolo County District Attorney's office received notice that former candidate for the office of District Attorney, Patricia Lenzi, and current District Attorney Investigator, Rick Gore, have accused several currently employed prosecutors and investigators, including the District Attorney, of committing unethical acts.

'On behalf of the entire office, including the prosecutors and investigators targeted by these accusations, I deny these false and reckless allegations. I have requested an independent investigation, will be fully cooperative and look forward to the results."
Yesterday for the first time, the Vanguard along with the Davis Enterprise, Woodland Daily Democrat, and Sacramento Bee, has received a statement from Rick Gore.

He writes:
"It is not surprising to me that Mr. Reisig would not admit any wrongdoing. We all see this every day from every politician in a scandal. The rule is “Admit nothing”, “Deny everything”, and “Demand Proof”. After that, the common response is to claim it is politically motivated."
He goes on to argue that it is implausible that he would throw away his longtime law enforcement career based on the grievances of another individual.
"For someone to suggest, that I would throw my law enforcement career away, change my life as I know it and put myself in financial hardship, for someone else’s motivations is ludicrous."
The decision to write a letter was a very difficult one according to Mr. Gore.
"The decision to send this letter was deeply challenging, extremely stressful and one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my life. I made this decision, knowing full well what Mr. Reisig and the people in his inner circle, were capable of doing. I expected to be attacked and to be made the bad guy in this. I did not expect him to blame someone else and use this as an opportunity to take a cheap shot."
He then patently and emphatically denies any involvement of Pat Lenzi.
"For the record, Former DA Lenzi did not write this letter, did not encourage me to send this letter and was in no way responsible for this letter. The decision was mine and mine alone."
He then suggests that the media and investigators ought to look into these charges and then they can determine whether they are really that "reckless."
"I would hope the news media would keep their eye on the ball. This letter is to bring attention to the ethics of DA Reisig. The people of Yolo County need to know who they elected, how he is spending their money and how he is using and or abusing the power they gave him. It is my belief that the DA should be acting in the best interest of the people, not his own best interest.

I find it interesting that Mr. Reisig called my entire letter “reckless allegations”. Being an investigator, I have to think that a worthy reporter would try to confirm one or two facts in the letter. Perhaps a call to Woodland Police to see if a letter was sent by Mr. Reisig stating his authority to send his investigators where he pleased. Or maybe asking the county how many employees have left or been asked to leave since Mr. Reisig’s election."
The Vanguard also spoke with former Deputy District Attorney Pat Lenzi.

"Rick Gore is as honest a man as you will ever meet," she told the Vanguard. "I hope the investigation into Rick's allegations is thorough and professional."

Following Mr. Gore, she also suggested that authorities and the media examine the questions that were raised rather than motivations.
"It is more important to look at the questions Rick has raised and ascertain the level of merit they have than it is to chase after the DAs red herrings. That will only lead you to lose sight of the importance of Rick's actions."
She concludes:
"Rick is willing to put himself out there at risk to his career to do what he firmly believes is the right thing. We can all learn from and maybe even be inspired by his example."
The Pat Lenzi angle never made a lot of sense. Rick Gore was a career law enforcement officer who was two years from retirement. Pat Lenzi was no longer in the chain of command at the Yolo County District Attorney's Office. What benefit was there to Rick Gore to make things up in order to carry the water of an individual who was not in a position to help him? If he was going to act in an unethical manner, why would he not simply carry out the orders of the District Attorney who could give him career advancement?

At the end of the day, I agree with all that we need to let this process play out. We need to have an honest and thorough investigation into the allegations. Stay tuned for the Vanguard as this situation continues to develop.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting