Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Paul Hagen firing redux

Today's Southern Humboldt Independent has a story by Daniel Mintz about the new unit being created by the D.A.'s office to handle environmental and consumer fraud cases. The article quotes Gallegos as saying it could serve the whole north coast, but it's nonspecific as to whether the CDAA will be funding it. CDAA has already replaced Hagen with somebody named Gale Filter, the head of the organization's environmental circuit project and formerly Hagen's supervisor. The headline and the first 5 paragraphs deal with the proposal, but then the article moves into new questions about the Hagen firing. And unfortunately, once again the coverage raises more questions than it answers.

For one thing, I'm confused about the pact of silence around the dismissal. David LaBahn of the CDAA says that the pact was a "mutual agreement." So did Hagen insist on the gagging, or was he pressed into it?

I'd also been confused about the geography of Hagen's jurisdiction, which was Del Norte, Humboldt, and Lake Counties. Why the gap of Mendocino? Well, apparently the Mendo D.A. had informed the CDAA that they no longer wanted his services way back in 1999 - which I believe would have been shortly after Norm Vroman replaced Susan Massini. The Mintz article is bereft of any details of that incident. Mintz quotes Gallegos as saying that the issues between Hagen and his CDAA employer were "long standing" and not related to him. He then urged Mintz to get the story from CDAA which is of course either hiding behind or bound by the gag agreement.

The article then rehashes some of the difficulties of the Stoen cases, and finishes with a quote from Gallegos saying that this new unit may take two years to fully realize.

So what I'm reading between the lines is that CDAA and Gallegos are pointing at Hagen as if he's responsible for the secrecy, without really saying it. So either both are playing a very cynical game of manipulation of circumstances the CDAA muscled Hagen into, or Hagen really screwed up somewhere and agreed to forego a fight if they would keep it under the hat.


The Independent also reported that violent crime went down in Humboldt County in 2005. Odd thing is, the Press Democrat recently reported that crime is up in Eureka - a report that some have already used to slam Gallegos. It seems Eureka residents may have only their own government to blame. Will this be an issue in the city council elections?

Oh Eric

Eureka has their own government to blame (for the crime)? Shame on you. I'm busy for a while or I'd get into it now.


Should I know those initials?

Anyway, I'm not sure if that was irony or not, but in case it's not I'm just pointing out that if Eureka is on a separate trend from the rest of the county, then it's logical to look within the city for the problem.

Of course, it could be Gallegos' fault anyway. Maybe he's diverting all his resources out to all his grower buddies in the outskirts at the expense of the poor working folk of Eureka?
Now that Loco Solutions operatives have intimidated all the third choices out of the Eureka races, how are we to bring any pressure to bear on these issues when the whole election has been reduced to the Balloon Track and nothing else? Two years is two too many to get some real candidates in this town.
Well, letter to the editor. Submit questions for debates. Call up the candidates directly.

Squeeky wheel type stuff.
Eric - wake up. Hagan was forced to sign a gag agreement for severence pay. It is common knowledge around the courthouse. very common knowledge. He can't talk about what happened but the agreement is well known. Can't blame him as he had a wife and 2 kids. He was at will, so no reason was necessary and no screw up either or everyone would know. The 2d and 4th floors are way too small for that one. If he screwed up Gallegos would have clearly let us all know to avoid the scandal. That is what is really pathetic about this. The innuendo at Hagan because no one has the guts to just say that he got cut because Gallegos was pissed and didn't want him there.

Hagan spoke out for what he believed in and it cost him.

The "unit" has another CDAA funded position open to be filled to replace Hagan. Filter currently works for CDAA and is just going to come up every couple of weeks until they can hire someone.

Mendo wasn't on Hagan's plate because he worked for Massinni before she lost and Vroman cleaned house. He refused CDAA's services because he saw Hagan as a Massinni backer - hey sound familiar.
Yeah, I'm going to need more than "it's common knowledge around the courthouse," because Mintz is suggesting something much different. "Common knowledge" is a very dangerous concept.

Facts. Give me facts. Not "common knowledge." At least tell me how it became "common knowledge." It seems that the CDAA and/or Hagen has it wrapped up so tight that not even the efforts of at least 5 local papers can put a dent into it. Maybe you can point Hank, Kevin, Daniel, Heather, or somebody towards some of these courthouse people who share in the "common knowledge" so they can sort it out from "common assumption."
Eric, what do you mean by facts? Something that is reported in the newspapers? They have done a particularly shitty job of reporting when it comes to Paul can-do-no-wrong Gallegos. What's common knowledge around the courthouse is just how shitty he is, and just how bad it is, and just how dishonest he is, and just how badly things have deteriorated under his reign. Those are the facts, the crime statistics reflect it, the lack of child abuse prosecutions reflects it, the loss os the Victim's Witness Unit reflects it, the lack of Domestic Violence prosecution reflects it, the excessive plea bargains reflect it, the loss of staff reflects it. He can't even hire a secretary for god's sake. Those are the facts. But the blind followers bow to the empty promises of Paul Gallegos. People tried to tell you in the last election. They wrote letters, they spoke to the editors of the papers, they brought documents to back up what they had to say. What more facts do you want? What facts will you finally accept?

An environmental crimes unit? Oh joy! Will that be as successful as his economic crimes unit?

Do YOU trust that man to put together a unit that will do anything but further his aims at Palco?

Jesus Christ!
Yeah, because all reporters, editors and publishers in Humboldt County LOVE Paul Gallegos, right?
OH tactical error Mr. Kirk.

Four editors have seen the real Paul.
You can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time. Old adage holds true.
The big story about the Gallegos office is not Paul Hagen. Perhaps Anon 4.56pm knows what the really big story is, and would let us know what the hall talk is. Anon, you know what I'm talking about if you've walked the hall.
I havn't heard the "hall talk", for over a week. What's up? Since you seem to know give us a taste? You can qualify it as rumor. Come on ED.
ED, do you mean the hall talk about Jeff ?
Schwartz is allowed to run for Arcata circus ringleader err councilmember, but if he wins that's another matter so far as his gig goes.
Hall talk about Raven.
Eric, what do you mean by facts? Something that is reported in the newspapers? They have done a particularly shitty job of reporting when it comes to Paul can-do-no-wrong Gallegos. What's common knowledge around the courthouse is just how shitty he is, and just how bad it is, and just how dishonest he is, and just how badly things have deteriorated under his reign. Those are the facts,

No facts presented here.
What is the deal with Raven ? What is Raven, other than a bird?
Maybe we could have a special prosecutor for animal cruelty?
anon 11:31 - the facts we know are that Paul Hagen lost his job, that nobody can talk about it, that he wasn't getting along with Gallegos, that he didn't get along with Vroman, and that there are rumors swirling about the courthouse. Actually, I haven't confirmed that last one.

Everything else at this point is supposition. I can't blame the papers on this one if nobody's talking, but somebody posting here says there are rumors all over the courthouse. Perhaps if he or she shared with one of the above-named reporters the names of people who have told him about the rumor, the truth could be tracked down. So far all we have to show for the theory that Gallegos engineered Hagen's firing (if it was a firing - even that hasn't been confirmed) is Hagen's vote against him for the DP nomination and the timing. If you have more, let somebody know.
Hmmmm. doesn't get along with Vroman, or Gallegos.
Sounds like Paul Hagen is a man of integrity.
They don't want him around.
Most of the posts with rumors are from Rose Welsh.
Rose usually puts her name to her posts. She doesn't seem the secretive type.
Just makes you wonder if it's true? It gives the appearance that he was punished for his lack of support, or preceived lack of support. The silence is tied to severence pay, which a family man would need.
Is the silence tied to severance pay, or was there something Hagen didn't want discussed? The CDAA guy crafted his words to suggest the gag agreement might have been Hagen's idea, saying it was a "mutual agreement." The severence pay theory is the first that jumped into my mind, but if there was some incident in which Hagen really screwed up, he might have an interest in keeping the matter quiet. CDAA, anxious to be free of his contract without challenge, might have agreed for expediency's sake, especially if there were questions about the incident, if any.

The point is, there is nothing in the facts that we have to justify either conclusion, other than the CDAA's guy's implications and rumor of courthouse rumor.

The whole point of my post is to nudge some of the reporters who frequent these blogs into pursuing these questions. But I imagine they've been looking into it. I doubt Mintz was the first to call the CDAA. Now we have courthouse rumor, which somebody here posted about. An e-mail to Hank or somebody with names of people to talk to might get somewhere. Otherwise, the CDAA guy has the last word.
Ok Eric, whatever you say. PG never does anything underhanded, vindictive, or wrong.
I didn't say that. I'm simply saying that if you're going to make accusations like that, you should have facts, not assumptions.

I take Paul at his word because I know him to be an honorable person, and I would continue to believe that even if you convinced me that he's incompetent, which you haven't. I have changed my mind about these things before, and I need evidence, not innuendo.
How come it's FACTS give me FACTS on someting you disagree with or are against but on your issues innuendo is A OK ?
I don't believe I've made any accusations against individuals based so'ely on innuendo, but if I have I was wrong to do it. Any examples come to mind?
did I say specifically individuals?
Okay. Entities. Animals. Minerals. Vegetables. Gods. Whatever.
Thank you, Eric.

I am no fan of Paul's. Most of what I have to say about him is backed up by documents. Some of it is just my opinion or deductions based on those documents, or from talking with people who do know what is going on.

It is sad that so many people are afraid to speak out when so much is wrong.
yes it is Rose. I enjoy the information and documents you put on your blog.
"Rose usually puts her name to her posts. She doesn't seem the secretive type."

Nice ploy. I use it myself. Anonymous today and me tomorrow.
Eric - are you for real when you said:

"The CDAA guy crafted his words to suggest the gag agreement might have been Hagen's idea, saying it was a "mutual agreement."

Hagen's idea of getting severance pay was not talking. It's the other way around. We will give you severance pay not to talk. Or he could have refused the pay and talk. It doesn't occur the way you have twisted it.

Paul has been caught in too many lies to say he was an honorable man. The list is long. DV grants, dispositions bungled and the explanations for them.

Eric - you sound reasonable, why not take your head out the sand on this one and critically review the evidence?
Did you read the article? Look at the way the CDAA guy was talking. These guys are lawyers. They choose their words carefully.

Now, could he be trying to create the wrong impression to deflect criticism? Perhaps. But we don't have any information to make that call.

In most cases it's the employee rather than the employer that has a stake in keeping it under wraps. I suppose you could infer that it's to hide corruption at the CDAA, somebody bought off by Gallegos or something, but again, no facts.

Paul ultimately could not fire Hagen. The most he could do is what Vroman did in 1999, which simply meant that Hagen would not be working in Mendocino County. And I ask again, what is Paul's pull with the CDAA?

Read the article, then come back and tell me that you don't think David LaBahn was implying that Hagen wanted the gag agreement.

I'm not aware of Gallegos lying about grants or dispositions. I've heard the allegations made by Dikeman and his supporters during the campaign, but again, no facts.
"It must be remembered that even the most severely and obviously disabled psychopath presents a technical appearance of sanity, often with high intellectual capacities and not infrequently succeeds in business or professional activities for short periods, some for considerable periods .Although they occasionally appear on casual inspection as successful members of the community, as able lawyers, executive or physicians, they do not, it seems, succeed in the sense of finding satisfaction of fulfillment in their own accomplishments. Nor do they, when the full story is known, appear to find this in an ordinary activity."

--H.Cleckley, "The Mask of Sanity"
A sociopath is often well liked because of their charm and high charisma, but they do not usually care about other people. They think mainly of themselves and often blame others for the things that they do. They have a complete disregard for rules and lie constantly.
Yeah. That's not productive.
"Gallegos has answers for everything. I’ve never met anyone whose answers came so quickly, with such polish – except about his law school(s). He likely sounded the same way when promising to get prosecutors off their anachronistic “at will” status and onto civil service status. It never happened. Indeed, he told them, “Disloyalty will not be tolerated” – a real morale builder.

He sounds great. What progressive doesn’t want to believe in him? But it’s a myth. He’s an intellectual lightweight and self-aggrandizer who tries to please everybody with glib answers.

The Arcata Police do great work. With a mountain of crank in Eureka, a drunk-driving epidemic, and the Plaza reeking of alcohol day and night, they keep Arcata safe and clean. It’s GOT to be a hard job. I know from unimpeachable sources they are as strongly anti-Gallegos as I am anti-Bush. My ex-lieutenant friend talked to the highest-ranked of those sources, then agreed their gripes are legit.

Do we not owe the Arcata PD something? Ought we not at least consider their concerns, before voting?

I think so. I also think they deserve better than a glib orator with a naive perspective on crank, an appalling attitude about a 16-year sentence for a years-long resident child molester and a gift for rodomontade.

We need an ethical, sincere, fair-minded, politically moderate prosecutor, not a self-promoting illusion with big ambitions. Dikeman is all of the former; Gallegos, I’m quite sure, is the latter."

Jim Fahey, The Arcata Eye

"Honorable" Eric? Come on! Connect the dots one of these times! You sound like a progressive robot with no brain just stock and trade answers. Fahey did his homework.
I know him personally, and I know his wife. That's why I find these conversations uncomfortable, although I feel obligated to participate in them if I'm going to maintain a blog that deals with local politics. Fahey's a good writer, but he doesn't know Paul or he would have written that much differently. Whatever you want to believe about Gallegos' competence, believe that he is sincere.
Jeez Eric - he does know Paul well and that is WHY he wrote it the way he did.

Just keep on with the "emperor has no clothes" and say it 100 times. You obviously cannot be objective, so why not leave it to the real journalists like Fahey.
A systematic analysis of the two DA candidates dispels any uncertainty – May 30, 2006
Jim Fahey

"The Eye’s editor initially wrote that he was unsure how to vote in our DA race. I understand his ambivalence. I was ambivalent before speaking with incumbent Paul Gallegos and challenger Worth Dikeman.

Having spoken with both at length, as well as the editor, the cops, a very liberal surgeon I intellectually respect as much as anyone and lots of others, I’m no longer ambivalent.
But instead of writing a long opinion piece slamming one and praising the other, I’ll report what they told me and what I’ve learned. Then I’ll reveal whom I support, and why."
I've read the Eye pieces. The same issue also had some compelling pieces in favor of Gallegos.

Fahey doesn't state that he knows Gallegos in the portion you just quoted. However, I don't claim to be a journalist. And if I was I would probably not cover Gallegos because of my personal bias. I'm not going to go into it, but a few years back Joan did some terrific legal work for my wife, and hardly charged us a thing knowing that we were strapped. This was before I got to know them.

I certainly think Gallegos has made some moves that warrant serious criticism. But I also think that politics around here has taken a very nasty turn since the old guard started losing elections.
"politics around here has taken a very nasty turn since the old guard started losing elections."

Without a doubt. When they were in control nobody asked questions.
Who are "THEY" ? How about some FACTS ? Remember Eric wants FACTS !
Eric only calls for the FACTS when he can't come up with a decent comeback. But there are often major FACTS missing when Eric puts out his own view.

Eric , regarding your 9:56 am comment ! During the radio debate just before the last election, Gallegos said his office "honors all their grants". Check it out. I'm sure the debate was recorded! Then check on the DA's office grants, specifically the grants for domestic violence and drug prosecutions ! If you do that you can answer the question on who is lying ! And you will have the facts! But do you have the guts to check it out ?
So you're saying that he's using domestic violence and drug grants to buy pizzas? Where am I supposed to check on this?
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