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Friday, May 23, 2008

Gore and Lenzi Respond to District Attorney's Office

Earlier this week, the human resource officials investigating the complaints by the District Attorney's Senior Investigator Rick Gore, dismissed all charges for lack of evidence.
"Every material allegation made by Rick Gore was not substantiated. It was not substantiated that Jeff Reisig was or is engaging in unethical practices. There is no indication that Rick Gore was subjected to a hostile work environment, that he was retaliated against for exercising his rights, and/or that he was discriminated against on the basis of a legally protected category."
In response District Attorney Jeff Reisig issued a lengthy statement claiming vindication.
"I am grateful that this matter is now closed and that all of the individuals who were wrongfully targeted have been vindicated and now afforded an opportunity to respond... I am looking forward to getting back to work for the citizens of Yolo County."
At the same time, both Reisig and his employees continued to make allegations against former Deputy DA Pat Lenzi.

As reported in the Woodland Daily Democrat on Wednesday:
"In that same statement, officials at the DA's Office reiterated their belief that Gore's public accusations were in part orchestrated by former deputy DA Patricia Lenzi.

Lenzi ran an unsuccessful and, at times, bitterly worded campaign against Reisig in 2004.

DA investigator Peter Martin said in a prepared statement that Lenzi called him the evening before the allegations were made public to "discuss" Gore's letter, which he characterized as an effort to "undermine" and "embarrass" the District Attorney's Office, which employs nearly 120 people and handles around 8,000 cases annually.

"I was quite shocked to discover that Pat Lenzi was actively involved with Mr. Gore in pursuing these accusations," Martin said in the statement. "I thought she had moved on with her life after losing the election and resigning from the District Attorney's Office in 2006."
The Daily Democrat reported as well, "Neither Gore or Lenzi could be reached for comment as of Tuesday evening."

In fact it became clear that the Daily Democrat did not have current contact information for either.

Both Lenzi and Gore have now issued responses to report and to the DA's office response. These responses are reprinted here in full and without editorial comment.

Response by Rick Gore

I received a copy of the same report provided to the media that was prepared by Yolo County. I am disappointed with their report, lack of findings and continue to stand by my letter. It is not surprising that a Yolo County directed and controlled investigation would not find any allegations against their Department Head substantiated. After all, if they admitted to wrongdoings of Mr. Reisig, they would be accepting and admitting liability for his actions. Financially and legally, that would not be prudent. From my first dealings with County Counsel on this matter, it has been clear that they were adversarial with me about my letter. I would describe County Counsel has being as helpful as a rattlesnake in a dark room, on this matter. To put this investigation in perspective, if I were allowed to hire an attorney to conduct this same investigation, keep my investigation secret and then get the media to release my report of my findings, does anyone have any doubt that my report would be very different from the county’s report.

As for Mr. Reisig’s comments about his staff being accused only displays his unique way of deflecting my letter by trying to make it about other employees and politics with a former Deputy District Attorney. My letter was about Mr. Reisig and is consistent efforts to undermine checks and balances of the system, to grab more power from other law enforcement agencies and to enhance his political career, by whatever bully means he deems necessary. He makes it difficult for anyone to stand up for what they think is right or anything against his political agenda.

The comments posted by some employees are very “company line” responses, which I am sure, were reviewed and approved by Mr. Reisig. Since a few of these people are “at will” employees and serve at the behest of Mr. Reisig, I would not expect them to say anything negative about the person who could release them from their job without cause. Which is exactly the reason that Mr. Reisig had many positions changed to “at will” shortly after his taking over the office.

It is unfortunate that so many other people have had to have their names mentioned and dragged into this. This has never been about accusing other employees of anything, this is about Jeff Reisig. I am confident that anyone that was mentioned in my original letter or may done things that were questionable, were acting on direction or orders from Mr. Reisig. Although Mr. Reisig is a good young lawyer and an exceptional politician, I have never accused him of being unwise. The only complaints that the county substantiated were the ones where I had copies of emails from Mr. Reisig, so it would be hard for them to deny those. Mr. Reisig is smart enough to know that in order to survive his unethical practices he must not put things in writing, limit his witnesses to his behavior and he has to keep himself isolated with others so he can claim “plausible deniability” or “have someone else to blame.” Since most of my complaints happened between Mr. Reisig and me with no other witnesses, it is easy for him to say it never happened. So, many of the “not substantiated” findings were because these things happened between Mr. Reisig and me in a private setting. I might add that these private meetings were by Mr. Reisig’s design and not by accident. The angst of all these issues are with Mr. Reisig not anyone else.

I do wish the media would give a more balanced view of this investigation. I think it should be noted that no one in this investigation was questioned under oath, asked to sign a statement under penalty of perjury or sworn under penalty of perjury. I was the only one required to talk about my letter, under oath in open court. For me to testify under oath that I was ordered by Mr. Reisig, via DDA Linden, and then for the county to make a grand finding, in this extended and complete investigation, that this was “not substantiated” seems suspiciously odd. For the people out there that want to critically think and evaluate this, Mr. Linden nor Mr. Reisig took the stand and challenged my testimony. We call this a clue in law enforcement.

The County also found that Mr. Reisig did not order or direct me to only serve one person in the first Gang Injunction. If anyone would care to pull the record of Mr. Reisig’s testimony, in front of the California Appellant Court, I am sure they would find that Mr. Reisig told the court that he did in fact only serve one person since that is all he was required to do by law. The court disagreed and overturned his injunction. I am sure this is just another small oversight of the county’s complete investigation. Another shameful finding of the county is that Dave Henderson did in fact have to order Mr. Reisig to discover the gun flash test during the Halloween Homicide trial. Then the county made the finding that the test was not discovered because of my objections. In all my years, I have never had to go to the District Attorney because a Deputy DA was trying to withhold evidence from the court and the defense. The fact that this incident had to be elevated to the District Attorney, Dave Henderson, and he had to order Mr. Reisig to turn it over, is pretty good proof that this evidence was being concealed and was not going to be discovered without my objections. This appears to be another missed opportunity in the county’s investigation. I could go on with each of the county’s findings, but as the county said, it would moot, they found what they wanted to find.

Another fact about press releases that most people are not aware of is that all press releases from the DA’s office are written and or approved by Mr. Reisig. Therefore, everyone who reads the Jeff Reisig prepared press releases should analyze those articles as a political tool for Mr. Reisig to get “his” message out, the way he wants it perceived. I would again ask the people of Yolo County to critically evaluate press releases and understand they were written by Mr. Reisig and simply reprinted by the local news media. I would challenge anyone out there to find an article about the DA’s Office where Mr. Reisig admitted a mistake or accepted some responsibility for doing something wrong. You will not find it since it would not be in Mr. Reisig’s political interest to release one of those and the media normally only prints what Mr. Reisig gives them.

Lastly, the finding about Mr. Reisig’s speech did not impact the investigation seems minor and probably unclear to most. So people understand what this was about and what kind of man Mr. Reisig is, I would like to explain it a bit. When the county’s investigation started, I was ordered not to discuss the investigation and was told everyone else would be ordered not to discuss it. After I received this notice, the next day, Mr. Reisig had a mandatory meeting with every DA employee. In this meeting, he called me ignorant and made other disparaging comments about me to every employee in the office. In these comments, he accused me of interfering with and impacting the CHP murder trial and tried to connect me to the grief of the wife of the slain officer. Anyone could see that this was a warning and a message that if anyone else spoke out against Mr. Reisig, this is what they could expect. I contacted county counsel and HR and expressed what a cowardly and despicable act I thought this was by Mr. Reisig. People want to talk about dirty politics; it does not get much lower than that. The county’s response to me was Mr. Reisig has the right to do what he did. Of course, the county did not see this "public bashing" as retaliation for my letter. Since I know the county’s position on this matter, I would like to ask the people that elected Mr. Reisig to ask themselves a question. You have read, in the recent press releases from Mr. Reisig, all the grand accolades about Mr. Reisig and his ethics. For a man to use his position and power to compel his entire staff to a mandatory meeting, in a county building, where county employees are compelled to be there and then use this meeting to publicly make disparaging comments about me and my letter and infer that I am to blame for the grief of a slain CHP officer and doing this while knowing that an investigation is about to be initiated appears disgraceful at best. His actions to use a death of an officer and the grief of his spouse, for his political benefit shows a real lack of character. I ask the voter’s is this behavior really the actions of a honorable man, who is ethical, trustworthy and who has nothing to hide? I think not, but I would ask everyone to make his or her own conclusion.

My advice to anyone else who sees or knows of inappropriate conduct in Yolo County is to embrace the conduct, support it and be a good “team player”. If anyone expects honest support from Yolo County, I believe they will be sadly mistaken. This would explain the sudden loss of many senior people that have left the office since Mr. Reisig took office.

Response from Former Deputy District Attorney Pat Lenzi
Dear Mr. Reisig:

You have recently issued press releases, and you and your staff have given statements to the press regarding Rick Gore that have included false allegations about me. These pronouncements by you and your office have been published by several local media outlets including, but not limited to, the Davis Enterprise, Woodland Daily Democrat, and the Sacramento Bee.

I requested that you immediately issue a retraction of the false allegations against me that you, your office and/or staff have issued in the matter pertaining to Rick Gore. I demand that you cease and desist from any further attempts to defame me and malign my character.

In order to provide you with accurate information such that you may base your retraction on facts, I offer the following:

- I did not write Gore's letter.

- I did not call the D.A.'s office regarding Gore or his letter

- I did not speak to Pete Martin regarding Gore or his letter. In fact, I have not spoken to Investigator Martin since shortly before I left the D.A's office nearly two years ago.

- I did not call anyone at, or associated with, the Yolo County D.A.'s office to "plead Gore's case."

- I did not go to the Attorney General's office with Rick Gore, or on his behalf.

Furthermore, I have no record of any calls or any contact of any sort from any reporters prior to the most recent news stories in the paper surrounding Rick Gore. I find statements to that effect objectionable.

Finally, I am not a candidate for office. I am a private citizen now. Those who continue to force my name into press releases and publications, using false statements about me that are libelous and are defamatory to me show a reckless disregard for the truth. This must cease immediately.

In addition to you issuing a retraction, I would appreciate an apology as well.

Pat Lenzi
---Doug Paul Davis reporting