Another interesting aspect of the lawsuit is that the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office (or at least members of the District Attorney’s Office) publicly accused the Buzayan family of “paying off” the victim in order to get her to drop the charges.
On May 12, 2006, Deputy District Attorney Tim Wallace wrote on the Yolosoap Box, “we prosecutors primarily attempt to punish anti-social intent. Halema knew she screwed up and was unwilling to accept responsibility for it. Sadly, her parents only enabled their child’s deceipt (sic).”
That was followed two days later, May 14, 2006 by fellow Deputy District Attorney Clinton Parish. Parish writes “This was a case that should have been concluded after a court trial, but it was not because the parents were rich enough to pay off the victim.” Moreover, “the vocal minority keep accusing the Davis Police and the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office of some kind of wrong doing. Simply put, there is no wrong doing on our part. The only wrong doing was that of paying of a victim so they would not testify.”
It is unclear exactly what Mr. Parish is asserting here. The case was ostensibly dropped primarily because it was the policy of the City of Davis and the Davis Police Department to avoid criminal prosecution of incidents such as this if the victim is compensated. Officer Ly actually strongly encouraged Buzayan to pay for the damages to the vehicle and moreover strongly implied that if Mr. Buzayan compensated the victim for the damages to her vehicle, the case would be dropped. This exchange is on tape.
So if Mr. Parish is referring to the compensation to the victim for damages as “paying of (sic) a victim so they would not testify” this seems a very misleading description of what took place and why the compensation was given to the victim.
The troubling aspect of the statement by Parish is that it implies more than just compensation. It implies some sort of nefarious act or motive by the Buzayan family. And it does so without much in the way of evidence to back it up. Parish strongly implies a bribe of some sort.
The behavior of the DA’s office, if these allegations against them prove true, is rather appalling. It seems inappropriate that members of the DA’s office would make these types of charges in a public forum. Moreover, it seems inappropriate that members of the DA’s office who are not directly involved in this case are discussing a juvenile matter at all.
All of this will be sorted out come trial time, but if these allegations prove true, the new District Attorney needs to take strong action to control and sanction the members of his department. Hopefully this will serve as a good time to start “cleaning house.” Again, I reiterate all of this is contingent upon a court ruling, but looking at these statements even six month later, I find them to be a rather astounding display of “malice and bravado.”
—Doug Paul Davis reporting