Reisig Denies Charges in Lawsuit

reisig-2009Last week the Vanguard broke the news that a Yolo County District Attorney Investigator Randy Skaggs has filed a lawsuit against Yolo County, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, DA Jeff Reisig and Chief District Attorney Investigator Pete Martin for among other things a violation of right to privacy and whistle-blower retaliation.

The key charge was a breach of privacy related to a personnel investigation and the allegation that the DA’s office had initiated this investigation in retaliation for Mr. Skaggs’ involvement in whistle-blowing in a case where he believed the DA’s office had failed to turn over exculpatory evidence.

“The Defendant have initiated retaliatory and frivolous administrative proceedings and actions against the Plaintiff, because he brought to the attention of the DA OFFICE, including the District Attorney, exculpatory evidence relating to other criminal investigations and prosecutions, and that thereafter the DA was forced to turn over evidence to defense counsel.”

According to the claim,

“Following these actions by the Plaintiff, the DA OFFICE began treating him selectively, placing him on administrative leave, proposing to terminate him from the department and initiating various administrative proceedings against him. These actions pretextual, wrongful and in violation of the public policies of the Untied States of America, and were in fact done to retaliate against Plaintiff, and in violation of his constitutional rights under 42 USC § 1983 II (Fourteenth Amendment) and other constitutional rights.”

Now District Attorney Jeff Reisig and his office have responded to these allegations with categorical denial of all allegations brought forth by Mr. Skaggs.

In a statement sent to the Woodland Daily Democrat, Mr. Reisig stated:

“The District Attorney’s Office has not been served with legal notice of any federal lawsuit filed by Mr. Randy Skaggs.  However, as to the allegations previously reported by The Democrat, the District Attorney’s Office would categorically deny any wrongdoing in matters involving Mr. Skaggs.

While the confidentiality of personnel matters prevents this office from disclosing the facts in this matter, all actions taken by this office were lawful and done in order to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system and the District Attorney’s office in our service to the People of Yolo County.  We welcome and look forward to review of these matters as authorized by law.”

In addition, the Daily Democrat also reports that Mr. Reisig claims that his office has not been served with any lawsuit.

The suit comes after a wave of high profile cases and events that have lead to increased scrutiny and criticism of the office.  On Saturday, between 200 and 300 people descended upon Woodland to protest the alleged abuse of power by the District Attorney’s office.  They called on a federal investigation into the nearly four month old shooting of Luis Guitierrez by Sheriff’s Deputies working in conjunction with the Yolo County Gang Task Force.

Friends and relatives of Ajay Dev protested the excessive prison sentence of Mr. Dev stemming from his conviction on 76 counts of sex with a minor and rape.  They were calling for a new trial and argued that the original trial was wrongly decided on thin evidence.

On a related issue, a trial date has now been set for October 26, 2010 for the family of Ricardo Abrahams.  Mr. Abrahams was killed on May 28, 2008 after officers used Taser stun guns and batons before wrestling him to the ground in an attempt to restrain him.  Mr. Abrahams would die not from the Taser the Yolo County Coronoer’s office determined, but rather by positional asphyxiation.  The Attorney General’s office determine that the officers involved had no criminal liability in the case.

The parents of Mr. Abrahams, Davis residents, have now sued the city of Woodland and Taser International for the death of their son.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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  1. Fascinating

    Now Reisig complies with not talking because of confidentiality in personnel matters? A day late and a dollar short IMHO. Reisig knew what Martin did, and probably authorized it. I bet he never disciplined Martin in any way for making that call telling about the initial investigation of Skaggs. If suddenly there is a backdated record of discipline, it must have been a “confidential” disciplinary measure that Reisig felt he should keep under his vest instead of letting county HR know about it! Watch. That is how they will play it out.

  2. Question

    What do the Guitierrez case and Abrahams case have to do with the Yolo County DA? The wrongdoing, if there was any, was on the part of law enforcement. I know the Yolo County DA’s Office was supposed to review the findings of the internal investigation of law enforcement in the Guitierrez case, but that is the extent of the DA’s involvement there. I think you really need to separate out what the DA may have done wrong from what the police may have done wrong. The two are separate entities, that perform different functions. What the DA is accused of is the repeated withholding of exculpatory evidence from the defense at trial. What the police are accused of is “overkill”, literally as well as figuratively speaking.

  3. justice

    If you really want the real facts is people are tired of being treated like a dog. Yolo County justice dept are finally getting a taste of their own medicine in the end God wins and may the jusice dept have mercy upon their soul, Good luck to all human beins who stands up for their rights,It taken Decades of abuse fton the courts and authority but you don’t question why are when. I am a true beleiver we all see why, and we all see when NOW. The authority are human as anyone else they have fault the have evil they thoughts they hold all the power, but when you start cleaning up and you use Mr. Clean it gets slippery when wet and you just may break a leg are a civil rights code. Justice

  4. Anno

    The District Attorney is the person that represents the tax payers. If luis gutierrez was in fact a victim of wrongdoing, Reisig should be prosecuting the Sheriffs department in our name. The problem is, Reisig has a track record of convicting innocent people and “white washing” all wrongdoings and mistakes of law enforcement. The D.A is not going to be left of the hook unless he convicts the officers who are “terrorizing” yolo county.

  5. Lilbopeep

    Randy Skaggs is a straight shooter who was harrassed and terminated when he wouldn’t perjure himself. Reisig is an insecure little man who has serious issues with honesty and taking responsibility. But heck, let’s see them fight it out in court. Should be worth the price of admission at least!

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