On Monday, Maria Grijalva had a knock at her door, and DA Investigator David Marshall delivered a letter. The letter delivered, dated September 17 and signed by Deputy DA Ryan Couzens indicated that their office “is currently reviewing campaign financing and report as it related to your 2016 Campaign for the West Sacramento City Council.”
According to the notice, “we intend to serve the attached Investigative Subpoena” on her bank. They notified her that “we are attempting to obtain your bank records relating to that campaign as described in the enclosed Investigative Subpoena.”
They instructed her, “If you object to the witness furnishing the records to our office, you must file papers with the court or serve a written objection as provided in Code of Civil Procedure…” They add, “If we ultimately do not agree in writing to cancel or limit the subpoena, you should consult an attorney about your interest in protecting his or her rights of privacy.”
The case immediately rang alarm bells with some, because Maria Grijalva was a major donor, who donated over $25,000 to Jeff Reisig’s opponent Dean Johansson.
She explained, “I had been waiting for almost 10 years for someone to run against Reisig. This was/is a rare window of opportunity.”
Ms. Grijalva was very critical of the DA on a number of policies.
When I first met Maria Grijalva it was in Broderick two years ago, and she had families who sons were being prosecuted as adults in trumped-up gang cases that allowed the DA to direct file them as adults. Ultimately, most ended up back in the juvenile system, but not after time in custody, over six months, and pending charges.
She then ran for West Sacramento City Council, taking on the Cabaldon machine, but not faring well at the polls.
She put away some money through shred investment in real estate. Prior to the 2008 crash, she had five rental properties, but lost it all during the crash including her own home. She had to start anew in 2009, purchasing her West Sacramento home. She paid it off completely in 2017 by renting out the bedrooms.
“I got a loan against my house and purchased an outdated house in Rancho Cordova with the loan. I updated the house and flipped it,” she said.
She pulled aside $30,000, wanting to run for County Board of Education. But she decided that “getting rid of Reisig and keeping kids out of jails (was) more important.” With the emergence of Dean Johansson, she explained, “My campaign for County Board of Education suddenly was not important.”
Ms. Grijalva explained, “I donated (this money) because I witnessed Reisig manipulate bureaucratic paperwork (paper tiger) to imprison innocent adolescent boys who were only guilty of petty infractions.”
She continued, “I saw them face million dollar bails for petty infractions and sit in jail for over a year waiting for a trial (I watched hearings get postponed over and over), boys facing strikes, life sentences. I saw these boys age while in jail from a young boy with baby fat still on their cheeks, I saw them grow in height, and also saw the baby fat leave their face as I saw a young angry man evolve.”
Maria Grijalva believes that Jeff Reisig “has used his seat for political gain starting with the gang injunction.”
She says he has a history of being corrupt.
Ms. Grijalva told the Vanguard, “There is a lot of information out there but the community does not know about his corrupt ways; by spending on Dean it is my hope the public becomes informed of what is happening to their neighbors. All families are subject to his tyranny. Reisig is not a public servant. He refuses to speak to the public. He refused our invitations to debate and discuss his policies in an opening setting by the WS & Davis LWV [League of Women Voters], except for the Woodland League (controlled) forum.
“He finds joy in charging adolescent boys as an adults. He doesn’t have any sons, so he has no empathy as a father. His policies are not in sync with the voters. He ignores data and statistics.”
Ms. Grijalva is not the only one feeling the sting of what appears to some to be politically motivated retaliation. Last November, long time Deputy DA Larry Eichele decided to challenge Jeff Reisig, his boss, for the main office. However, about six weeks later he dropped out of the race, citing personal issues.
The Vanguard has now confirmed that Mr. Eichele’s employment with the county has been terminated. He declined comment on the situation, however, a reliable source has confirmed that he has since sold his Davis home and moved from the area.
Mr. Eichele joins a long list of critics of the DA who no longer work for the office. Jim Walker ran against Judge Tim Fall in 2008, and has since left the office. Clinton Parish ran against Judge Dan Maguire in 2012, and has since left the office. Meanwhile, DA investigators Rick Gore and Randy Skaggs came forward with evidence of wrongdoing against the DA, and have long since been terminated from the office.
Ms. Grijalva has vowed to fight whatever is coming from the DA – others have told the Vanguard that this represents a clear conflict of interest and should be sent to the Attorney General’s office for any further investigation.
—David M. Greenwald reporting