A Look at the Yolo District Attorney Race Donations

By Robert J. Hansen

Nearly $200,000 has been donated to candidates for Yolo County District Attorney from January 2021 to March 2022 according to both candidates’ campaign disclosure statements.

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig has the most cash on hand at $91,024 by the end of 2021.

Reisig’s challenger, Cynthia Rodriquez, had $56,834 on hand when this year began.

Both have received donations in 2022 from various donors.

Rodriquez’s donors are from myriad professions from attorneys, professors, health care professionals, and business owners while Reisig has mostly peace officers, prosecutors, and public safety associations.

Among Rodriguez’s donors is Butte College Professor, Sanjay Dev.

Dev is the brother of Ajey Dev, a Davis man who was sentenced to 378 years in prison for the rape and sexual assault of his adopted teenage daughter.

Ajey Dev’s case has been extensively reported by the Vanguard and has been highly controversial as to the validity of his conviction and is currently being challenged based on a pretext phone call that supposedly corroborated the alleged victim’s testimony.

Dev said his entire family voted and supported Reisig in 2006 but no longer believes he is trying to make progressive changes to the criminal justice system and hasn’t been fair.

“He charges my brother with 90 counts which is unbelievable,” Dev said. “I would support any candidate running against Reisig.”

Dev said that the ad from Reisig’s campaign was a direct attack on his brother’s conviction.

“We’re fighting for his innocence as we speak,” Dev said. “I know before an election he wants to bring this up to score points or something, but that’s low.”

Dev said he or his family didn’t donate to Johansson, who challenged Reisig in 2018.

Dev received a phone call from Rodriguez’s campaign and when he met with her before donating, his brother’s case was never discussed.

“I never mentioned anything about my brother because then it’s like me donating for some kind of exchange,” Dev said. I don’t want that, I want my brother free on his merit.”

Ajey Dev has court at the end of April according to his brother.

“I don’t know if she even knows about his case,” said Dev. “She never brought it up once.”

Other donors are Mitchell and Stanley Marubayashi, a physician and lawyer respectively, and each has donated $4,900 to the Rodriquez campaign.

The Grijalvas, Matthew, Airam, and Maria together have contributed $8,100 to Rodriquez’s campaign.

Rodriquez has several attorneys who have donated to her campaign. Suge Lee, an attorney with Disability Rights in California has donated nearly $5,000, Julia Newcomb, a lawyer with the State of California, and Sacramento County attorney Jessie Morris all have supported Rodriquez.

Brett Pedroia, brother of Red Sox’s second baseman and former MVP and Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia, is listed as having donated $3,500 to the Rodriquez campaign.

“The Pedroia family donated to Cynthia,” Pedroia said via email.

In 2009, Pedroia received eight years probation and a year in Yolo County Jail for being convicted of performing multiple sex acts with a minor.

Former State Assemblymember Mariko Yamada and Supervisor Don Saylor’s campaign also have contributed to Rodriquez.

For Reisig, more than $36,000 in donations have come from outside of Yolo County.

Richard Chan, an attorney, donated $4,900 and the Rosenfeld Law Firm donated $3,000; both are from Sacramento.

Another $4,900 came from DDD Partnership, based in Sacramento. San Francisco investor Jackson Gates gave $1,000 to Reisig’s campaign.

Assistant Chief Deputy Ryan Couzens, Yolo Deputy District Attorney Patricia Fong, Yolo prosecutor Garrett Hamilton, and Yolo Investigator Bill Marshal have all donated to Reisig’s campaign.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Johnathan Raven also donated to his boss’s campaign.

Co-chair of the Center of Crime and Justice, Michael Ramos, made a modest campaign donation. Ramos is the former District Attorney of San Bernardino County.

“You are an honest and ethical DA Jeff Reisig,” Ramos said via Twitter. “I am proud to call you my friend.”

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Doug Ose contributed $500 to Reisig’s campaign.

The Sacramento Police Officers Association and West Sacramento Police Officers Association collectively gave $4,500 in support of Reisig’s campaign.

Gregory Padilla Bail Bonds donated $1,000 to Reisig.

Greg Padilla’s son Topo Padilla on Facebook said, “The reality of a safe community is not only to arrest people but to search for justice that will change the ways of those who offend our laws. Jeff Reisig has been fair and firm,” Padilla said. “He has been so innovative in his ways without a ‘fly-b-free’ approach, rather a ‘carrot and a stick.’

The only major donor in the Yolo County DA race to date is Pacific Coast Building Products (PCB) which gave Reisig’s campaign $4,900.

PCB also made donations to Jim Barnes for Sheriff of Sacramento County and Thien Ho for DA of Sacramento County.

PCB made $192,100 in campaign contributions in 2021.

About The Author

Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Robert is covering the Yolo County DA's race for the Vanguard.

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