Deputy DA Makes Outrageous Claims Against Buzayans

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One of the truly extraordinary aspects of the pending Buzayan lawsuit is how many different parts of the law were alleged to be broken and how many different public and private agencies and organization are alleged to be involved. Last week, we covered some of the lawsuit that was aimed against the Davis Enterprise, but there is far more to the lawsuit than just this.

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

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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28 thoughts on “Deputy DA Makes Outrageous Claims Against Buzayans”

  1. davisite

    If these allegations against the Yolo DA’s office are affirmed by the trial, Souza, Asmundson and Saylor’s public response should be quite interesting to watch. Saylor’s public response will be especially entertaining as his recent overt pandering to the law and order crowd to garner their support for future office comes back to bite him.

  2. davisite

    If these allegations against the Yolo DA’s office are affirmed by the trial, Souza, Asmundson and Saylor’s public response should be quite interesting to watch. Saylor’s public response will be especially entertaining as his recent overt pandering to the law and order crowd to garner their support for future office comes back to bite him.

  3. davisite

    If these allegations against the Yolo DA’s office are affirmed by the trial, Souza, Asmundson and Saylor’s public response should be quite interesting to watch. Saylor’s public response will be especially entertaining as his recent overt pandering to the law and order crowd to garner their support for future office comes back to bite him.

  4. davisite

    If these allegations against the Yolo DA’s office are affirmed by the trial, Souza, Asmundson and Saylor’s public response should be quite interesting to watch. Saylor’s public response will be especially entertaining as his recent overt pandering to the law and order crowd to garner their support for future office comes back to bite him.

  5. Doug Paul Davis

    It will indeed be very interesting to watch how they respond–Saylor and Puntillo (who is obviously no longer on the council) made comments to the effect that they thoroughly reviewed these complaints and found them to have no merit.

    If indeed a court of law finds this case to have merit, I would expect that there would have to be some consequences for some of the members on the council. I would hope.

    However, there are two things working against that. One, this is likely to drag on long past anyone’s attention span and possibly past the point where either Souza or Saylor would have any political accountability.

    Second, unfortunately, the history of such suits is that they rarely result in systematic changes in the department.

    One other thing of note is that I could probably write a story every day for about a month just based on the information in the complaint filed by the Buzayan’s attorneys. I’ve so far written two pieces and I’m trying to cover stuff that has not been reported on. There was a lengthy public give and take last spring on the arrest itself that I likely won’t rehash. But there are a number of other substories that I likely will touch on because I find them very revealing.

    The DA’s office released some tapes to the paper but not all. And we can speculate on the reasons for that. There is some pretty damning stuff that has not yet come to public light on this case.

  6. Doug Paul Davis

    It will indeed be very interesting to watch how they respond–Saylor and Puntillo (who is obviously no longer on the council) made comments to the effect that they thoroughly reviewed these complaints and found them to have no merit.

    If indeed a court of law finds this case to have merit, I would expect that there would have to be some consequences for some of the members on the council. I would hope.

    However, there are two things working against that. One, this is likely to drag on long past anyone’s attention span and possibly past the point where either Souza or Saylor would have any political accountability.

    Second, unfortunately, the history of such suits is that they rarely result in systematic changes in the department.

    One other thing of note is that I could probably write a story every day for about a month just based on the information in the complaint filed by the Buzayan’s attorneys. I’ve so far written two pieces and I’m trying to cover stuff that has not been reported on. There was a lengthy public give and take last spring on the arrest itself that I likely won’t rehash. But there are a number of other substories that I likely will touch on because I find them very revealing.

    The DA’s office released some tapes to the paper but not all. And we can speculate on the reasons for that. There is some pretty damning stuff that has not yet come to public light on this case.

  7. Doug Paul Davis

    It will indeed be very interesting to watch how they respond–Saylor and Puntillo (who is obviously no longer on the council) made comments to the effect that they thoroughly reviewed these complaints and found them to have no merit.

    If indeed a court of law finds this case to have merit, I would expect that there would have to be some consequences for some of the members on the council. I would hope.

    However, there are two things working against that. One, this is likely to drag on long past anyone’s attention span and possibly past the point where either Souza or Saylor would have any political accountability.

    Second, unfortunately, the history of such suits is that they rarely result in systematic changes in the department.

    One other thing of note is that I could probably write a story every day for about a month just based on the information in the complaint filed by the Buzayan’s attorneys. I’ve so far written two pieces and I’m trying to cover stuff that has not been reported on. There was a lengthy public give and take last spring on the arrest itself that I likely won’t rehash. But there are a number of other substories that I likely will touch on because I find them very revealing.

    The DA’s office released some tapes to the paper but not all. And we can speculate on the reasons for that. There is some pretty damning stuff that has not yet come to public light on this case.

  8. Doug Paul Davis

    It will indeed be very interesting to watch how they respond–Saylor and Puntillo (who is obviously no longer on the council) made comments to the effect that they thoroughly reviewed these complaints and found them to have no merit.

    If indeed a court of law finds this case to have merit, I would expect that there would have to be some consequences for some of the members on the council. I would hope.

    However, there are two things working against that. One, this is likely to drag on long past anyone’s attention span and possibly past the point where either Souza or Saylor would have any political accountability.

    Second, unfortunately, the history of such suits is that they rarely result in systematic changes in the department.

    One other thing of note is that I could probably write a story every day for about a month just based on the information in the complaint filed by the Buzayan’s attorneys. I’ve so far written two pieces and I’m trying to cover stuff that has not been reported on. There was a lengthy public give and take last spring on the arrest itself that I likely won’t rehash. But there are a number of other substories that I likely will touch on because I find them very revealing.

    The DA’s office released some tapes to the paper but not all. And we can speculate on the reasons for that. There is some pretty damning stuff that has not yet come to public light on this case.

  9. Rich Rifkin

    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.”

    Wrongdoing is one word.

  10. Rich Rifkin

    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.”

    Wrongdoing is one word.

  11. Rich Rifkin

    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.”

    Wrongdoing is one word.

  12. Rich Rifkin

    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.”

    Wrongdoing is one word.

  13. davisite

    Dunning’s column yesterday spoke of a Saylor fund-raiser.. No mention of the reason for this fund-raiser so I assume that it is to fill a campaign war chest for his run at higher office in two years. Does anyone doubt that he sees himself as a “short-timer”, a military term for those whose elistment is almost up and has little commitment or interest in their current duties? Historically, Davis voters have held their noses and voted for previous councilmembers for higher office who had sacrificed Davis’ priorities to political ambition.
    As long as we do not hold our council representatives to account
    when they run for higher office, we will have this political disconnect between the Davis voter and those whom they elect to their city council to represent Davis’ interests.

  14. davisite

    Dunning’s column yesterday spoke of a Saylor fund-raiser.. No mention of the reason for this fund-raiser so I assume that it is to fill a campaign war chest for his run at higher office in two years. Does anyone doubt that he sees himself as a “short-timer”, a military term for those whose elistment is almost up and has little commitment or interest in their current duties? Historically, Davis voters have held their noses and voted for previous councilmembers for higher office who had sacrificed Davis’ priorities to political ambition.
    As long as we do not hold our council representatives to account
    when they run for higher office, we will have this political disconnect between the Davis voter and those whom they elect to their city council to represent Davis’ interests.

  15. davisite

    Dunning’s column yesterday spoke of a Saylor fund-raiser.. No mention of the reason for this fund-raiser so I assume that it is to fill a campaign war chest for his run at higher office in two years. Does anyone doubt that he sees himself as a “short-timer”, a military term for those whose elistment is almost up and has little commitment or interest in their current duties? Historically, Davis voters have held their noses and voted for previous councilmembers for higher office who had sacrificed Davis’ priorities to political ambition.
    As long as we do not hold our council representatives to account
    when they run for higher office, we will have this political disconnect between the Davis voter and those whom they elect to their city council to represent Davis’ interests.

  16. davisite

    Dunning’s column yesterday spoke of a Saylor fund-raiser.. No mention of the reason for this fund-raiser so I assume that it is to fill a campaign war chest for his run at higher office in two years. Does anyone doubt that he sees himself as a “short-timer”, a military term for those whose elistment is almost up and has little commitment or interest in their current duties? Historically, Davis voters have held their noses and voted for previous councilmembers for higher office who had sacrificed Davis’ priorities to political ambition.
    As long as we do not hold our council representatives to account
    when they run for higher office, we will have this political disconnect between the Davis voter and those whom they elect to their city council to represent Davis’ interests.

  17. Rich Rifkin

    Doug,

    I assumed the mistakes were from the original.

    While I am picking nits and playing grammar teacher, I should add that this sentence has three other problems beyond “wrong doing.”

    1) “paying of” in place of “paying off;”
    2) the missing comma before “so they;” and
    3) the singular-plural conflict between the clauses.

    If there was one victim, the sentence should read: “The only wrongdoing was that of paying off a victim, so he would not testify.”

    If there were multiple victims, the sentence should read: “The only wrongdoing was that of paying off the victims, so they would not testify.”

    The singular-plural conflict is a common mistake, but one that a lawyer ought not make.

    Many people incorrectly use “they” in place of “he” for a third person neutral pronoun, and that is what leads to the error.

  18. Rich Rifkin

    Doug,

    I assumed the mistakes were from the original.

    While I am picking nits and playing grammar teacher, I should add that this sentence has three other problems beyond “wrong doing.”

    1) “paying of” in place of “paying off;”
    2) the missing comma before “so they;” and
    3) the singular-plural conflict between the clauses.

    If there was one victim, the sentence should read: “The only wrongdoing was that of paying off a victim, so he would not testify.”

    If there were multiple victims, the sentence should read: “The only wrongdoing was that of paying off the victims, so they would not testify.”

    The singular-plural conflict is a common mistake, but one that a lawyer ought not make.

    Many people incorrectly use “they” in place of “he” for a third person neutral pronoun, and that is what leads to the error.

  19. Rich Rifkin

    Doug,

    I assumed the mistakes were from the original.

    While I am picking nits and playing grammar teacher, I should add that this sentence has three other problems beyond “wrong doing.”

    1) “paying of” in place of “paying off;”
    2) the missing comma before “so they;” and
    3) the singular-plural conflict between the clauses.

    If there was one victim, the sentence should read: “The only wrongdoing was that of paying off a victim, so he would not testify.”

    If there were multiple victims, the sentence should read: “The only wrongdoing was that of paying off the victims, so they would not testify.”

    The singular-plural conflict is a common mistake, but one that a lawyer ought not make.

    Many people incorrectly use “they” in place of “he” for a third person neutral pronoun, and that is what leads to the error.

  20. Rich Rifkin

    Doug,

    I assumed the mistakes were from the original.

    While I am picking nits and playing grammar teacher, I should add that this sentence has three other problems beyond “wrong doing.”

    1) “paying of” in place of “paying off;”
    2) the missing comma before “so they;” and
    3) the singular-plural conflict between the clauses.

    If there was one victim, the sentence should read: “The only wrongdoing was that of paying off a victim, so he would not testify.”

    If there were multiple victims, the sentence should read: “The only wrongdoing was that of paying off the victims, so they would not testify.”

    The singular-plural conflict is a common mistake, but one that a lawyer ought not make.

    Many people incorrectly use “they” in place of “he” for a third person neutral pronoun, and that is what leads to the error.

  21. Doug Paul Davis

    Perhaps we should send our DA’s back to grammar school. Maybe they can enroll in a linguistics class with Lamar. 😉

    Not that I have any room to talk particularly when my copy editor is out of town or otherwise indisposed.

  22. Doug Paul Davis

    Perhaps we should send our DA’s back to grammar school. Maybe they can enroll in a linguistics class with Lamar. 😉

    Not that I have any room to talk particularly when my copy editor is out of town or otherwise indisposed.

  23. Doug Paul Davis

    Perhaps we should send our DA’s back to grammar school. Maybe they can enroll in a linguistics class with Lamar. 😉

    Not that I have any room to talk particularly when my copy editor is out of town or otherwise indisposed.

  24. Doug Paul Davis

    Perhaps we should send our DA’s back to grammar school. Maybe they can enroll in a linguistics class with Lamar. 😉

    Not that I have any room to talk particularly when my copy editor is out of town or otherwise indisposed.

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