by Eric Alfaro
Rick Gore, a Yolo County District Attorney investigator, has resigned from his position. Gore has also apologized for making accusatory statements of District Attorney Reisig’s unethical behavior. This resignation comes at a moment when the District Attorney’s office has been caught in a number of unflattering positions.
According to reports, Gore voluntarily resigned and retracted statements that were delivered to District Attorney Reisig in a letter on March 5, 2008. That letter delivered to Reisig was also forwarded to the Yolo County Counsel, the office of Yolo County Human Resources, the State Bar of California and the Attorney General’s Office of California.
“However, these bullying techniques did work on many and you got many people to write these personal character attacks against her. We had many closed-door discussions about your campaign in your office doing working hours. I remember saying hi to DDA Lenzi in the hallway and you later called me a traitor and told me I was scared of her.
Gore went on to comment on Reisig’s alleged unethical behavior:
“One major disagreement you and I had was when you tried to hide and conceal discoverable evidence about a material witness and refused to discover evidence during an on-going murder trial.”
These accusation against Reisig, serious by all accounts, culminate with alleged acts of coercion. Gore states that Reisig forced him to sign an affidavit in favor of a gang injunction he did not agree with. Gore goes on to comment the obligatory signing of the affidavit:
“I was called in by DDA Linden a few days later, and was told [Reisig] had ordered me to sign this injunction and I had no choice. Knowing I could be fired for not following this order, I signed it after changing some of the language.”
The resignation and apology from Gore comes at a very controversial time in the District Attorney’s career. Randy Skaggs recently filed a law suit against Reisig for whistle-blower retaliation and for violating the right of privacy. Skaggs alleges that District Attorney Reisig retaliated against him for bringing to Reisig’s attention, exculpatory evidence, evidence that would have proved someone’s innocence.
The connection between the Skaggs case and the Gore incident raise many questions about the District Attorneys recent public behavior–Skaggs’ and Gore’s alleged claims of obstruction of Justice would have naturally been detrimental to Reisig’s legitimacy and public image. Aside from these statements, protesters have focused on Reisig’s conviction track records–they claim are discriminatory and corrupt.
The connections between the three pressure points, Skaggs, Gore and protesters, have received little to no coverage with the local media. The nature in which this public statement of apology was released comes as nothing short of suspicious.
The District Attorney’s press release was distributed to major news services in the area; Reisig stated to the Daily Democrat, “I believe this retraction, along with the findings of the county’s independent investigation released last year, have vindicated those in the District Attorney’s Office affected by Mr. Gore’s allegations”.
An important question to ask is, why does this revelation come with the resignation of Gore? The climate in Yolo County has not been favorable to prospects of a Reisig 2010 re-election campaign run. This behavior seems more like the staple of a career politician and less like the mark of a District Attorney.
Could the District Attorney merely be cleaning up his office and track record for a 2010 campaign run? The logic behind the press release does not add up. Why would Gore’s apology be disclosed in such a public manner–especially when Gore himself had accused Reisig a year earlier, of coercing him into committing acts he did not consent to?
Eric Alfaro is a UC Berkeley political science graduate from Woodland. He will be a periodic contributor to the Vanguard.