Category Archives: California State Bar

SMC Sheriff Sgt. Irfan Zaidi Qualifies as a Brady Officer. Is He on the List? Who controls the list? Is there even a List?

The law enforcement profession requires integrity and trust and an officer who lies violates that trust and tarnishes the integrity of the profession.

October 3, 2018 at 1:00 PM Millbrae, California, Chinedu Okoki a 36 year old man was walking down the sidewalk on El Camino Real. Within 10 minutes he was Tasered 7 times, sprayed in the face with O.C. spray as six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees were on top of him. He was completely limp, unconscious, and never made a sound again. He died there on the spot in the Custody of the Sheriff’s Office.

San Mateo County Sheriff Sergeant Zaidi was not one of the Six Sheriff Employees involved in the In-Custody Death of Chinedu Okobi. Nineteen days later, On October 22, 2018 he filed an Official Report with the District Attorney’s Office making knowingly false statements.

” I directed Deputy Lorenzatti to remove the metal handcuffs from the suspect which she did, and the suspect was placed on his back. The Fire Department and AMR promptly began CPR.”

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe on March 1, 2019 provided a video that he and his Team produced for the public it can be found on his website. The placing Chinedu Okobi on his back and CPR starts at the 18:50 mark. The video shows Deputy Lorenzatti did Not remove the handcuffs.

SMCSO Deputy Lorenzatti made an official statement on 10/04/2018 3:50 PM. to Inspector Eric Suzuki.

“They were like, well let’s get him on his back and start CPR, So then I, you know helped em, bring him to his back.

Question? “Okay and were his Handcuffs off at that point?”

Answer: No they were still on.

Eng. #37 Mazza Statement: “When decedent was lifted onto the gurney, a police officer cadet or trainee removed the Handcuffs from the decedents wrists.”

AMR #94 Retanubun Statement: “They put the decedent on to a “Mega Mover” when noticed the decedent still had handcuffs on.” “Saw police cadet nearby who assisted them with the removal of the Handcuffs.”

AMR #37 Uhland: “So they laid the decedent on his back with the Handcuffs still on his wrists.”

AMR #94 Pham: “Decedent was on his back with Handcuffs on when he arrived.”

AMR #37 Holman: “When they rolled the decedent over to remove the Handcuffs, she noticed several scrapes on his hands and a few small abrasion on his back.” “She was unsure if the injuries were there prior or if caused by the CPR application.”

According to Wagstaffe’ Video, Chinedu Okobi was placed on his back at 18:26 mark.

CPR starts at 18:50 mark with Handcuffs On and Hands behind his back.

Handcuffs Removed at 28:47 mark after almost 10 minutes of Chest Compressions.

What caused Sheriff Sgt. Zaidi to file this Bizarre False Official Statement?

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe’s Video and Data made public March 1, 2019

LATIMES Article June 6, 2019

Note: 300 Deputies on the list. Sheriff Alex Villanueva, has called the Brady list a “fake list” and says it was the result of corrupt investigations designed to retaliate against certain deputies.

Should deputies’ misconduct be disclosed to D.A.?

Justices seem split on ruling that bars sheriff from giving officers’ names to prosecutors.
By Maura Dolan and Maya Lau
The California Supreme Court appeared divided Wednesday over a ruling that barred the Los Angeles County sheriff from giving prosecutors the names of deputies who have committed misconduct.
During a hearing, the state high court weighed an appeal of a decision that prohibited the sheriff from giving the district attorney the names of deputies with a history of bad behavior, including lying, taking bribes, tampering with evidence, using unreasonable force or engaging in domestic violence.
By law, prosecutors are required to disclose to defendants exculpatory evidence, including information that could diminish the credibility of police officers who worked on a case.
Several justices suggested Wednesday that prosecutors need the information to fulfill their constitutional duty to disclose potentially exonerating information.
That position has been endorsed by defense lawyers, prosecutors and the California attorney general.
Justice Goodwin Liu noted that prosecutors ultimately bear liability for failing to disclose favorable evidence.
If the prosecution is unaware that such evidence exists, convictions — even valid convictions — may eventually be overturned because of a failure to disclose, he said.
“The prosecution can’t take an ostrich-like approach to this very important duty,” Liu said.
But Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye suggested that the Legislature, not the court, might want to take steps to ensure that exonerating information is disclosed to the defense.
She said one possible remedy was to give trial judges sealed lists of law enforcement officers who have a history of misconduct. The judges could review those lists privately in chambers to determine whether the officers’ records were relevant in the case and should be disclosed.
“Doesn’t delivering the list directly to the court under seal … meet the problem without intruding overtly on the officers’ privacy?” she asked.
Justice Ming W. Chin also repeatedly asked whether that path, if carved out by the Legislature or by the court in a future case, could resolve the problem.
The case before the court stems from a lawsuit filed by the L.A. deputies union to prevent former Sheriff Jim McDonnell from turning over to the district attorney about 300 names of deputies with a history of misconduct.
A divided, Los Angeles-based court of appeal ruled in 2017 that the list must be kept secret, even in pending criminal cases in which errant deputies were expected to testify.
The state high court’s decision, due in 90 days, would affect law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
The case pits the privacy rights of law enforcement officers against the constitutional duty of prosecutors to give the defense evidence that might cast doubt on a defendant’s guilt, reduce a potential sentence or diminish the credibility of prosecution witnesses.
That duty stems from a landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady vs. Maryland, which said suppression of evidence favorable to the defense violated due process.
At issue is only whether the names can be turned over to prosecutors, not whether they would become public.
But the presence of the names on a list means deputies could be one step closer to having their disciplinary files scrutinized by a judge and their police work called into question during a court proceeding.
Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar noted that the constitutional duty to disclose evidence favorable to the defense trumps state law intended to protect the privacy of law enforcement officers. He suggested the court could “harmonize” the laws.
He called the case “very challenging,” but also noted that “the Brady responsibility is on the state.”
Justice Joshua P. Groban expressed skepticism about the union’s legal arguments.
“You are saying as long as we can bar the door and keep the law enforcement agency from sharing that with the prosecution, then there is no Brady violation?” he asked the lawyer for the union.
Justice Carol A. Corrigan noted that officers whose names were on a list would have less privacy protection than others.
But she also said that a state law intended to protect officer privacy while allowing some disclosures may be hindering the release of information a criminal defendant is entitled to under the Constitution.
Under the system in place for four decades, defense attorneys and prosecutors may ask a trial judge to review an officer’s personnel file to determine whether there is evidence that must be disclosed.
But without knowing an officer’s history, a defense lawyer may not be able to persuade the judge to undertake a review.
“There are cases in which legitimate and material evidence is eluding their review,” Corrigan said.
Justice Leondra R. Kruger asked whether there were legal safeguards that could be imposed to protect officer privacy after the names were disclosed to prosecutors.
Aimee Feinberg, representing the state attorney general, said courts could issue protective orders to ensure the officers’ names were shielded from the public.
Geoffrey S. Sheldon, who argued for Los Angeles County, said he felt “good” about how the hearing went.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that we will prevail in the case,” he said.
Judith Posner, representing the union, said she couldn’t predict the outcome.
“There were a lot of interesting and probing questions on both sides,” she said.
Police departments in at least a dozen counties, including San Francisco, Sacramento and Ventura, have had a regular practice of sending prosecutors the names of so-called Brady list officers.
California’s strict laws protecting officer personnel files — which underpinned the appellate court’s ruling for the deputies union — were dramatically altered by a new transparency law that opened up records of confirmed cases of lying and sexual misconduct by officers, as well as shootings and serious uses of force.
SB 1421, which went into effect Jan. 1, allows the public to see many of the documents at issue in the L.A. County sheriff’s case.
But the new law does not apply to the broader range of misconduct that could put an officer on a Brady list, including domestic abuse, sexual harassment, racial discrimination and bribery.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who ousted McDonnell in a stunning upset last fall, has called the Brady list a “fake list” and says it was the result of corrupt investigations designed to retaliate against certain deputies.

By Michael G. Stogner

 

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Chinedu Okobi R.I.P. In-Custody Death.

The Taser Part of the story.

October 3, 2018 Millbrae, California Chinedu Okobi died In-Custody of Six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees. Not Five.

October 15, 2018 San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe  said “Two Deputies used their tasers multiple times and Okobi died.” That’s 12 days the DA has had the facts.

Reporter Roz Plater NBC Bay Area News Two Deputies

October 17, 2018 Senior Inspector Bill Massey receives the AXON data for the Tasers from Sergeant Bob Pronske. It shows 7 deployments from Deputy Wang’s Taser 6 with full 5 seconds discharges and the 7th with a 4 second discharge. So that is 1 Deputy with 7 activations.

Now add at some unknown date Rick Decker who’s boss is Inspector Bill Massey and he changes the story to a few activations.

So we went from Two Deputies to One Deputy with 7 activations, to One Deputy with a few activations.

How does this information keep changing?

All reports can be found pages 53-54 on the District Attorney’s website.

By Michael G. Stogner

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Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) gets low marks in Audit.

April 25, 2019
2016-137

The Governor of California
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, California 95814

Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:

At the request of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the California State Auditor presents this audit report of the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP). CJP is the agency charged with investigating complaints about judicial misconduct and deciding whether to discipline California judges for violations of the code of judicial ethics, and our review found that CJP must address the following weaknesses:

  • It does not consistently take all reasonable steps when it investigates alleged misconduct.
  • Its structure and disciplinary processes do not align with best practices.
  • It has not worked sufficiently to increase its transparency and accessibility.

In about one-third of the cases we reviewed, we found that CJP’s investigators did not take all reasonable steps to determine the existence or extent of alleged misconduct, such as inappropriate demeanor or improper delegation of duties to court staff. These missed steps include not speaking with all relevant witnesses, not obtaining additional evidence, and not taking a broad approach to determining misconduct in light of a pattern of allegations. Furthermore, CJP’s structure—as a single entity that both investigates alleged judicial misconduct and makes decisions about the appropriate level of discipline—results in judges facing potential discipline from a body of commissioners that is privy to unfounded allegations of misconduct. CJP also delegates responsibility for evidentiary hearings on alleged misconduct to three judges appointed by the Supreme Court of California, a practice that falls short of the voters’ intent to increase the public’s role in judicial discipline with the passage of Proposition 190 in 1994. Finally, CJP has not taken steps to hold meetings that are open to the public or to accept electronically submitted complaints, despite decades of public scrutiny about its lack of transparency and inaccessibility.

CJP’s operations and structure must change significantly to address the issues that this audit revealed. CJP can change its internal policies to address concerns about the planning and supervision of its investigations. However, changes to CJP’s structure will require an amendment to the California Constitution and CJP will need to inform the Legislature about any related funding needs as it adjusts its practices.

Respectfully submitted,

ELAINE M. HOWLE, CPA
California State Auditor

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SMC District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe making Chinedu V. Okobi recordings public tomorrow.

 

No mention of the Sixth San Mateo County Sheriff Employee Civilian CSO Joseph Gonzales. He participated in the physical takedown of Okobi, He also can be clearly seen deploying O.C. Spray at the 7:18 mark of Wagstaffe’s video.

No criminal charges for San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies in death of Chinedu Okobi.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe has stated he will provide the Video and Audio recordings of the October 3, 2018 Pedestrian In Custody Death of Chinedu V. Okobi. They will be available on the District Attorney’s website March 1, 2019 in the afternoon. He will also announce his charging decision of the 5 SMCSO Employees at an 11:00 am press conference at his office in Redwood City March 1, 2019.

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By Michael G. Stogner

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Filed under #Blacklivesmatter, #SanMateoCountyNews, #SMCJUSTICE, 911, Ann Scheidner, Anne Olivia, Attorney Generals Office, Board of Supervisors, California State Bar, Carole Groom, Chinedu Okobi, Citizen Journalist, Citizens Oversight Committee, City of Millbrae, Community Service Officer Joseph Gonzales, CSO Joseph Gonzales, D.J. Wozniak, Dave Canepa, Dave Pine, David Burruto, Deputy Alyssa Lorenzatti, Deputy Bryan Watt, Deputy John DeMartini, Deputy Joshua Wang, Diane Papan, DOJ, Don Horsley, Google, Jamie Draper, John Burris, John Warren, Judicial Misconduct, Michael G. Stogner, Mike Callagy, Millbrae City Manager Tom Williams, Positional Asphyxia, Prosecutorial Misconduct, Rueben Holober, San Mateo County Clerk to Supervisors, San Mateo County Grand Jury, San Mateo County Manager, San Mateo County Sheriff Office, Sergeant David Weidner, Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, Silicon Valley, SMC, SMCSO Captain Paul Kunkel, Steve Wagstaffe, Those Who Matter, Victim's Advocate, Warren Slocum, Wayne Lee, Yahoo

Great News, Recalled Judge Aaron Persky is asking for donations.

He received almost $900,000 and he is asking for donations to pay for legal fees he caused. He should have resigned, when the recall was first announced to the public.

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LATIMES December 13, 2018

Recalled judge seeks donations
Aaron Perksy says he could be liable for $135,000 in legal fees after fighting ouster.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY Judge Aaron Persky was voted out of office amid outrage over his sentencing of a former Stanford student convicted of sexual assault. (Jeff Chiu Associated Press)
By Hannah Fry
The first California judge to be recalled in more than 80 years, who was ousted from office amid public outrage over a light jail sentence he handed down in a high-profile sexual assault case, is asking supporters for donations to pay off legal fees by the end of the year.
Former Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky faced widespread scrutiny that culminated in a successful recall campaign after he sentenced Brock Turner, a former Stanford University student, to six months in jail and three years’ probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015 behind a garbage bin on the Palo Alto campus.
Persky, who was appointed to the bench by Gov. Gray Davis in 2003, unsuccessfully fought the campaign and was booted from office by voters in June.
In a recent email with the subject line “A Final Ask,” Persky implores his supporters to donate money through his campaign committee, Retain Judge Persky, so that he can use the funds to pay $135,000 in court-ordered attorney fees incurred during his legal fight against the recall. The fees are due Dec. 31.
Persky wrote in the email that his campaign committees, which public records show raised more than $700,000, spent all of their resources fighting the recall effort.
“If my campaign committee is unable to raise the money to pay the amount ordered, I will be personally liable for any balance owed,” he wrote.
Persky waged a legal fight against the recall in 2017, arguing in Santa Clara County Superior Court that, because judges are state officers, California’s secretary of state should have overseen the petition drive to qualify the measure for the ballot instead of the county registrar.
The court rejected that argument and, after the recall election, ordered him to pay more than $163,000 in fees to the attorney representing the recall campaign. The parties later reached a settlement to reduce the bill to $135,000.
Persky wrote that he “pursued the litigation so that Superior Court judges would benefit from the same procedural protections as other state officers who face recall elections.”
Attorney James McManis, whose law firm represented Persky for free during his court battle against the recall, said it’s understandable that the former judge is trying to raise money.
McManis was critical of Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor who is a family friend of the victim and was the public face of the recall campaign, for seeking attorney fees.
“It’s not enough she took his job away and took his pension away and left him out on the street,” McManis said. “She wanted attorneys’ fees too.”
Persky didn’t meet California Public Employees’ Retirement System requirements to receive a pension by the time he left the bench, so he was required to take a lump sum — roughly $892,000 — that he and his employer had put into his pension fund plus interest. It is not clear whether he rolled that money into another fund or cashed it out.
Dauber contends that Persky brought the legal expense on himself when he “made the bad decision to repeatedly file frivolous lawsuits and appeals with the goal of stalling and causing expense.”
“The court has concluded that he should be required to pay for that decision, and we are happy that our lawyer will be getting paid for his outstanding work in defending our constitutional rights, and those of the voters of Santa Clara County,” she said.
hannah.fry@latimes.com
Twitter: @Hannahnfry

Full disclosure I supported the recall of Hon. Judge Aaron Persky from the moment I heard about it. I feel and still do that he should have recused himself from the case at the very beginning. Judge Persky was the captain of the Stanford Lacrosse Team.

By Michael G. Stogner

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Filed under #MeToo, #SanMateoCountyNews, #TimesUp, California State Bar, Citizens Oversight Committee, Hon. Judge Aaron Persky, James McManis, Michael G. Stogner, Michele Dauber, Santa Clara County Superior Court, Silicon Valley, Tax Payer's Advocate, Those Who Matter, Victim's Advocate

Parliament, San Mateo County, RICO, Facebook, Sealed Records, Judge Raymond Swope etc.

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San Mateo County Superior Court Hon. Judge Raymond Swope.

This is nothing new or shocking for the residents of San Mateo County, Iv’e been reporting about this for 19 years. Look no further than Sheriff Deputy Juan P. Lopez, Jody L. Williams and x CEO Vungle Zain Jaffer criminal cases.

Mark Zuckerberg = NO SHOW

Not much coverage in San Mateo County by the 7 advertising businesses, Mark Simon Climate rwc, Jon Mays San Mateo Daily Journal, Dave Price Palo Alto Daily Post, Dave Boyce The Almanac, Clay Lampert Half Moon Bay Review, San Jose Mercury News, SFGATE, etc.

Yesterdays hearings 11/27/2008

Parliament TV

 

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Filed under #SanMateoCountyNews, #SMCJUSTICE, Attorney Generals Office, Bill Silverfarb, California State Bar, Carlos G. Bolanos, Carole Groom, Chris Hunter, City of Redwood City, Dave Canepa, Dave Pine, Dave Price, David Burruto, DOJ, Don Horsley, Heinz Puschendorf, Jody L. Williams, John Beiers, Jon Mays, Juan P. Lopez, Judges, Kevin Mullins, Mark Church, Mark Simon, Marshall Wilson, Michael G. Stogner, Michelle Durand, Mike Callagy, Organized Crime, Palo Alto Daily Post, Prosecutorial Misconduct, RICO, San Mateo County News, San Mateo Daily Journal, Secret/Hidden Search Warrants, Silicon Valley, SMC, SMC Measure W 2018, Steve Wagstaffe, Those Who Matter, Victim's Advocate, Warren Slocum, Whistleblowers, Yes on Measure A 2012, Zain Jaffer

Robert Bernardo & Steve Miller of Hanson Bridgett LLP. Cost Taxpayers.

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Robert Bernardo

There have been many Hit pieces by the Advertising Businesses about San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioner Sabrina Brennan costing the Taxpayers so much money. I have not seen any article about how much Robert Bernardo and Attorney Steve Miller have cost the taxpayers. Lets take the 5 year permit for the Mavericks Surf contest that Robert Bernardo motioned and voted for when it wasn’t on the agenda and who let him behave that way. Hanson Bridgett LLP Steve Miller. That is why he gets paid the big bucks so that this value creating vote doesn’t happen unless it’s on the ballot. What is the total cost to the Taxpayers because of these two gentlemen?

Note: Hanson Bridgett LLP donated $25,000 to the Yes on W campaign.

Sabrina Brennan & Edmundo Larenas refusing a meeting with Hanson Bridgett LLP.

San Mateo County Harbor District and Taxpayers would benefit with new legal counsel.

By Michael G. Stogner

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