Posts tagged ‘Clark County Prosecutor’

November 4, 2010

Lou Brancaccio and Chicago Bullying Tactics?

by lewwaters

UPDATED after post

Week after week, Republican Brent Boger, losing candidate for Clark County Prosecutor faced the scorn and biased slapping handed out by Vancouver’s bankrupt newspaper, the Columbian. After a reluctant co-endorsement in the primary election, I just can’t recall a kind or even handed word published about Mr. Boger, a Senior Assistant City Attorney.

For whatever reason, Boger lost the race to Democrat Tony Golik.

You would think the Columbian would be happy the candidate they backed easily won the election and move on, but not so in regards to Managing Editor Lou Brancaccio who seems unable to resist taking pot-shots at others in our area.

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October 25, 2010

Boger Calls on Golik to Respond to Allegations of Prosecutorial Misconduct

by lewwaters

A Press Release received today from the Brent Boger campaign calling upon his opponent, Democrat Tony Golik to respond to the allegations of Prosecutorial Misconduct currently pending.

Press Release: For Immediate Release

CLARK COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY CANDIDATE BRENT BOGER CALLS ON TONY GOLIK TO RESPOND TO THE PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

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October 24, 2010

Columbian Remains Mum on Allegations Against Democrat Tony Golik

by lewwaters

In a follow-up release from Clark County GOP’s earlier October 13 notice of serious allegations of Prosecutorial Misconduct against Democratic candidate Tony Golik, running for Clark County Prosecutor, party chair Ryan Hart questions why the newspaper of record for Clark County, does not mention the allegations raised by Seattle attorney Neil Fox in Clark County Superior Court.

Hart mentions the Columbian’s response of “The official position of the Columbian is that they will not report the allegations until the judge has made a ruling.” Apparently, that is their “official position” only when allegations are raised against a Democrat candidate they have endorsed.

Hart rightfully notes the recent revelation in the Columbian of unproven allegations against the conservative group opposing tolling of a new I-5 Bridge to defray the cost of adding light rail to the project, NoTolls.com.

Complaint filed against NoTolls.com

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October 23, 2010

Clark County Needs Brent Boger as County Prosecutor

by lewwaters

November 2 is rapidly approaching and we have several candidates running for various offices. One, County Prosecutor due to our long time Prosecutor, Art Curtis, retiring. I have written before that I support and will vote for Brent Boger, Republican instead of Tony Golik, Democrat.

Party affiliation is not why I chose Boger, but because he continually shows he has ideas to reform and improve the County Prosecutor’s office, while Tony Golik basically sees no problems there, in spite of our violent crime increasing in Clark County recently. As you will see in the video below, Brent Boger, without a lot criminal prosecution experience, realizes there is a great deal more to the office than plea bargaining simple crime cases or even prosecuting crimes in a trial.

Additionally Tony Golik currently is facing allegations of prosecutorial misconduct that if confirmed, could result in a guilty criminal being freed. He continues to make light of it, claiming every prosecutor faces such charges. Not so. While appeals are frequent, allegations of prosecutorial misconduct is not.

Is campaigning to climb the ladder in the Prosecutor’s Office more important to Tony Golik than addressing such serious allegations?

It’s time for a change all throughout local government in Clark County and that change can be with someone from the outside coming in to run the Prosecutors Office.

That someone is Brent Boger

October 13, 2010

Tony Golik, the Columbian and Their Partisan Cheap Shots

by lewwaters

That our friends on the editorial staff at the Columbian prefer Democrats predominantly is no huge secret. While they do endorse a few Republicans from time to time, as they are doing with Dino Rossi against incumbent Patty Murray for U.S. Senator and Ann Rivers in the 18th Legislative District seat being vacated by Jaime Herrera, by and large they usually favor a Democrat candidate.

It is no different in their selection of County Deputy Prosecutor Tony Golik over City Attorney Brent Boger to replace retiring County Prosecutor, Art Curtis. Golik has gained the endorsement of Art Curtis, public unions and several criminal defense attorneys while Boger has gained endorsements from Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, Numerous state legislators and two former Vancouver Mayors.

Both have the backing of numerous citizens and I assume both have good legal records and experience. Golik came out slightly ahead in the primary vote count.

That’s why I see no reason he had to resort to taking cheap shots at Brent Boger with the willing help of the Columbian when they ran the Political Beat blog piece Prosecutor plays detective, tries to find opponent, Deputy prosecutor says opponent hasn’t shown up for debates.

Golik lays claim that Boger is not showing up for scheduled debates and forums. That’s not exactly true, though. Golik fails to mention that Boger fell ill for one and did not agree to another as they had already held Bench and Bar forums 4 times.

Golik is caught playing with the truth and twisting it into an uncalled for cheap shot instead of just running on issues. In all, Boger and Golik have held 7 joint appearances and still have two to go, one before the NAACP and another before the League of Women Voters.

That’s as many appearances as we will receive from the Third Congressional District and the U.S. Senate race combined!

Is this how Golik draws attention away from allegations of his own Prosecutorial Misconduct?

In a Press Release issued today, October 13, 2010 by the Clark County GOP, we read of Seattle attorney Neil Fox filing a motion in Clark County Superior Court to vacate the conviction of a Dino Constance, citing Prosecutorial Misconduct on the part of County Deputy Prosecutor Tony Golik in a case he prominently posts on his personal blog site, “State v Constance Cause No. 07-1-00843-8” that was reported on HERE and HERE.

The Prosecutorial Misconduct cited by attorney Neil Fox includes,

1. Tony Golik did not reveal, as required by law, the full criminal histories, outstanding warrants, and pending criminal charges of four key witnesses at trial.

2. For example, Golik did not disclose that prosecution witness, Zachary Brown, had reached a deal with prosecutors that no contact orders protecting a woman would be dropped. Brown’s testimony was only relevant to the less serious charge of solicitation for assault. Brown’s deal was reached over the objections of Brown’s community corrections officer. Golik was present during a witness interview when Brown mentioned the no contact orders and Golik did not disclose the prosecution’s assistance in getting them lifted. Brown also had pending drug charges that were not pursued, a fact which was not disclosed to the defense as required by law.

3. According to the motion, subsequent to lifting of the no contact orders, Brown assaulted the woman the orders were intended to protect.

4. As a result of the Prosecutor’s office’s failure to pursue the other criminal charges against Brown after giving testimony, Brown was free to commit a rape and kidnapping in Portland, charges to which he pled no contest to last May.

5. In addition to the community corrections officer, other persons questioned the lifting of the no contact orders against Mr. Brown. Those questioning were told the lifting was “going to get pushed through” because Mr. Brown was testifying in the Constance case. As a result of this pressure, another deputy prosecuting attorney withheld information from the Superior Court as to the reasons for dropping the no contact orders.

6. Tony Golik allowed prosecution witness Ricci Castellanos to testify that he obtained nothing from the prosecution for his cooperation in the case. In fact, Castellanos had received monetary compensation from the police “for his efforts.” Golik did not volunteer that information when the issue came up in court.

7. The Prosecutor’s Office withheld discovery and Public Records Act requests for documents for four months while Golik was an announced candidate for Prosecuting Attorney. It took the intervention of the Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor to get the documents released. The failure to disclose these documents may have been motivated by an intention to protect Tony Golik’s candidacy for Prosecuting Attorney.

8. The motion also cites the ineffectiveness of counsel of Constance’s defense trial attorney, Brian Walker. According to state Public Disclosure Commission records, Walker made a significant campaign contribution to Golik’s campaign for Prosecuting Attorney.

While I am not in any position to offer an opinion on Dino Constance’s guilt or innocence, two very troubling possibilities jump out at me right away. First, the prospect of an innocent man being convicted and sent to prison. Second, and possibly worse, the prospect of a guilty person going free due to the alleged Prosecutorial Misconduct on the part of Tony Golik should the conviction end up overturned.

We cannot afford to have a Prosecuting Attorney running the County Prosecutor Office that has such questionable ethics or poor court behavior. We cannot afford to elect someone who throws cheap shots at his opponent while hiding such misbehavior in cases as is alleged by attorney Neil Fox.

As was spoken at the Sermon on the Mount, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

We need a prosecutor who will actually prosecute criminals, not seek plea bargains for violent crime. With 2 young girls murdered in our community in the last few years, we want these animals off of our streets, not gaining early release or softer sentences through a plea bargain.

With the recent revelation of violent crime increasing in Clark County, I am even more convinced now that our best bet to replace retiring Art Curtis is to elect Brent Boger as our next Clark County Prosecutor.

UPDATE: Golik & the Columbian’s cheap shots continue. In an article, Golik, Boger not pulling punches in prosecutor race, the Boger camp is accused of “Nasty campaigning” for bringing up the Prosecutorial Misconduct allegations. Golik is given the opportunity to “refute” the allegations with a mere “Almost every defendant convicted of a crime of this nature appeals and argues some inappropriate action by the state,” and then accusing Boger of becoming an advocate for a convicted felon.

The Columbian does not give Boger a chance to discuss the seriousness of such allegations nor do they quote the Seattle attorney filing the motion. Golik accuses Boger of “an act of desperation,” but it is apparent Golik is who is desperate to marginalize his own alleged misconduct.

Neither Golik or the Columbian discuss Golik’s cheap shots and misinformation of Boger missing face to face events.

Did I mention the Columbian favors Golik?

September 26, 2010

Is the Columbian Promoting Tony Golik on Bethany Storro’s back?

by lewwaters

By now we all have heard of the tragic and infuriating story of 28 year-old Bethany Storro, the woman who claimed to have had acid thrown in her face by an unknown assailant, only to be revealed days later t hat it was all self inflicted.

The community was up in arms over the thought that someone either from the community, or who might have come in from outside the community, would harm one of our citizens in such a manner. Once revealed as a hoax, the community rightfully became outraged over the incident with several calling for her prosecution.

Enter Deputy County Prosecutor Tony Golik, candidate to replace retiring County Prosecutor Art Curtis, who will be stepping down in January 2010 and handing the office over to whoever wins it in the November election.

Golik, a Democrat, wasted no time in grabbing a hold of the case that has incensed the community and has even appeared on national television to discuss it. Clark County Politics has outlined Golik’s attention grab HERE and HERE.

Golik, a very capable attorney I am told, is also very much the politician in seeing political opportunity in latching onto what might be a local high profile case, even though prosecuting and convicting the young lady will change nothing in the community, but will only assuage some angry citizens who are angry over being duped by her.

A true opportunist would be ashamed of themselves for passing up such an opportunity to shamelessly promote their candidacy, as we saw in the lead-up to the August 17 primary election.

And, how much better is it to have the local newspaper of record promoting your candidacy for free?

Although they have yet to openly endorse Golik, there is little doubt in any thinking person’s mind that the ‘left of center’ Columbian will endorse anyone but the Democrat in the general election, evidenced by the favorable coverage they have given him to date.

Since she has admitted to her allegation being a hoax, the paper has wasted little ink running story after story on Ms. Storro. They have run it to the point of readers beginning to show hostility towards the paper for “beating the story to death” and “draining every drop of blood out of it they can.”

Some examples of the latest comments on the story are,

“I am tired of this story everyday, please move on,” “And now that we know what she did to herself, how about moving on. There is other news out there that could/should be reported,” “Enough is enough. You have bled every single drop of blood from this story. This is now becoming the theater of the absurd,” “The lady has mental issues. We get the point. It’s time to move on, Columbian,” “I’ll visit columbian.com in about a week to see if it’s over the Storro fixation,” “Lou you have milked this story enough to the point that it is a complete joke,” and “Is this the story that won’t die?!? For crying out loud, LET..IT..GO!,”

for just a sampling from the community in the over 50 comments left so far.

Why would our local paper continue beating such a story while ignoring others local stories equally as outrageous? Stories like he city council member lashing out at citizens and fellow council members, now facing an ethics violation investigation and the unfolding story of a teen legislative candidate who fooled a lot of people, only to be arrested on drug and other felony charges this week as well?

I think the answer lies within the excess of articles published in the Columbian. Several make sure to mention “Deputy Prosecutor Tony Golik,” but make no mention of “Deputy Prosecutor Tony Golik, candidate for County Prosecutor.”

Also not mentioned in the articles is current County Prosecutor Art Curtis, who although retiring in January, is still the County Prosecutor. Brent Boger, the Republican candidate for County Prosecutor is also not made mention of, not even to inquire what he thinks of the case he might have to prosecute should he win in November.

Shouldn’t quotes on the case coming out of the County Prosecutor’s office be from the County Prosecutor’s spokesperson, if not the Prosecutor himself, instead of a Deputy Prosecutor, who coincidentally, just happens to be running for political office?

How shameful is it that both Golik and the Columbian decides to climb onto the back of a mentally unbalanced person to further a political career, all the while placing real ethics violation and felony crimes on the back burner?

Little wonder violent crimes have increased in Vancouver when the safety and well-being of our citizens is secondary to political opportunism.

I’ll be voting for Brent Boger to see some real changes come to the County Prosecutor’s office. We’ve seen enough opportunism. It’s time for someone committed to the citizens, not their career.

It’s time for someone who cares about the people, not just dancing on their backs to get ahead.

That someone is Brent Boger.

September 13, 2010

Boger Lays Out Plans for County Prosecutor Office

by lewwaters

Brent Boger, running to replace the retiring Art Curtis as County Prosecutor, disagrees with his opponent, Tony Golik that the “Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is on the right track.” To that affect, Boger has laid his plan to improve and streamline the Prosecutor’s Office, also currently facing deep budget cuts.

Boger has released a two part series on his facebook page, HERE and HERE saying,

“The County Prosecuting Attorney job is a powerful one with authority over charging decisions and plea bargains for criminal defendants along authority over the County’s civil legal affairs. The Office has been under the same leadership for nearly thirty years and is in need of a fresh look. I am an “outsider” to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office but have studied its operations and budget. I will make changes to make criminal prosecutions more efficient and cost-effective. These changes will make us safer.”

“Tomorrow, I will discuss the significant drop in Clark County felony case filings with no similar drop in the crime rate or referrals for prosecution from law enforcement agencies.”

And,

“Unlike my opponent, I do not believe the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is on the right track. I will prosecute more cases and the right kind of cases. I will work harder for financial restitution for victims and I will seek legislative changes to fix holes in our criminal laws.”

“Everyone Deserves to be Safe from Crime—I Will be Tougher on Crime.”

“The Prosecuting Attorney’s number one priority must be public safety. Felony case filings have declined nearly 30% in the past five years, with roughly the same violent crime rate and referrals for prosecution from law enforcement agencies. Filings should not fall like that unless referrals and crimes fall by a similar number. As your Prosecuting Attorney, I will find the resources within the current budget to prosecute more crimes, especially violent crimes. I will also find the resources within the current budget to prosecute crimes that have been neglected like elder abuse, fraud, identity theft and misdemeanor crimes.”

“One of the problems often faced by law enforcement is the constantly-changing law related to searches and seizures, confessions, and discovery in criminal cases. I will provide more training to local law enforcement to make sure that cases are not lost due to law enforcement officers not knowing the latest state of the law.”

“Part of public safety also includes restitution for victims. The Prosecutor’s office does not provide adequate collection support to collect restitution owed to victims. I will assign a civil deputy prosecutor to collecting amounts owed from criminals to their victims. This position could be at least partially funded in the collection cost recovery process.”

“Another way to make the public safer is to concentrate resources on the most serious crimes.”

“First-time less serious non-violent crime should have diversion made available to them where prosecution is deferred if they do not offend again. This allows more public resources, including prosecution, incarceration, and court resources, to be devoted to the most serious criminal matters. State law also provides for sentencing alternatives for some crimes which may be appropriate under some circumstances.”

“Current Washington law needs to be changed to provide more protection for the public. For example, Washington law currently allows the release of homeless sex offenders like the one who recently murdered a teenage girl in Hazel Dell. I will work on legislative initiatives to prevent the release of homeless sex offenders and to close other gaps in our criminal justice system.”

A quick review of Golik’s facebook and campaign website revealed no such plans for improvement or addressing any problems, even the budget shortfall the Prosecutor’s office faces.

I have no doubt Golik is an effective attorney, but am troubled with claims of “prosecuting thousands of cases. While politicians often embellish a bit, “thousands” seems a bit of a stretch, although I will grant he has prosecuted several.

He lists 19 cases on his campaign website that he was successful in, but I do not find what his actual conviction rate is. I’ll give him benefit of doubt and assume it’s a decent rate.

In a recent email exchange, a member of the Prosecutor’s Office defended Tony Golik with, “Tony is a Major Crimes Prosecutor…he isn’t part of the admin team at all.” I find this significant as the County Prosecutor, in addition to being an attorney, is also an administrator and must now lead an office with a drastically reduced budget.

There is much more to it that simply prosecuting cases. As said in the Columbian,

“The prosecuting attorney, in charge of prosecuting crimes and handling the county’s civil litigation, supervises 40 deputy prosecutors, including 33 criminal prosecutors and seven civil prosecutors.”

As you can see, there is much more to being a County Prosecutor than just prosecuting criminal cases. I have no qualms with any of the cases I am aware of that Golik prosecuted, but where is his administrator experience? Where is his civil law experience?

There is more to the job than just be slapped on the back by endorsers.

In this day and age of changes needed across the land, I am confident that Brent Boger, who sees some needed changes in our County Prosecutors Office, can lead and implement those necessary changes.

January 19, 2010

Boger Kicks Off Campaign For County Prosecutor

by lewwaters

A small crowd gathered at the Java House Market Place in Vancouver this morning to witness City Attorney Brent Boger as he officially announced his campaign for County Prosecuting Attorney. Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna kicked off the event with his introduction and endorsement of Boger.

After thanking many people who are helping with the campaign and who encouraged him to run, Boger got down to the meat of why he is running for the office being vacated by retiring Prosecutor, Art Curtis in his speech.

Some excerpts, first addressing the $1.8 Million budget shortfall the Prosecutor’s office was hit with,

“One source of savings is better coordination of the resources the county and the cities put into criminal prosecutions. As the campaign proceeds, I will be releasing a proposal for better criminal prosecutorial coordination which will save the public money while increasing prosecutorial effectiveness.”

“We have seen evidence that prioritization in the Prosecutors Office has not always been done with the concept of the best use of the people’s money in mind.”

Boger used the example of the “Water Heater Case” where a citizen was prosecution for the alleged theft of a $150.00 water heat that was removed from a soon to be demolished building and two juries finding him “not guilty.”

Surely there could have been a better resolution.

More importantly, Boger alluded to last year’s murder of 13 year-old Alycia Nipp in Hazel Dell.

Boger said,

“We need to pay more attention to events like the recent tragic death of a young teenage girl in Hazel Dell. She was attacked and savagely murdered by a convicted sexual predator, unemployed and living in abandoned buildings. First, why do we allow such sexual predators to live in such conditions? Second, why were these vacant buildings still standing and available for sexual predators to occupy them? There must be a better way!”

Boger vowed to set up a Public Integrity Unit inside the office to look into allegations of Public Official misconduct and to promote compliance with Public Records Disclosure Laws and open Public Meetings.

To counter potential claims of diverting resources from more serious criminal prosecutions, Boger says, “A public loss of faith in the integrity of its government is a serious problem that we had better deal with now.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Boger reminds us that change will be coming to the County Prosecutors Office regardless of who wins the election, but citing the one best suited to effect needed change would be someone from outside the office that hasn’t been “Involved in the internal and external struggles and controversies the office has had recently.”

Brent Boger has practiced many aspects of law for 25 years now with experience in both private and public sector law.

Brent has practiced in Courtrooms from San Diego to Seattle, including briefing cases before the United States Supreme Court. He has represented the public in criminal prosecutions and defended criminals in private practice. He’s advised local government on management and financial matters. He’s represented property owners victimized by unreasonable government regulation.

Boger let us know,

“I will not be just the Prosecutor for the Lawyers and County government, I will be the Prosecutor for the People, ALL OF THEM.”

Brent Boger is a community-oriented man. I have worked with Brent personally at the Clark County Republican Party and he is a very dedicated person.

In this coming election, I ask you to give Brent Boger a serious look and vote for him as our next Clark County Prosecutor.