Saylor Highlights Importance of DA’s Race at Indivisible Yolo Event

Supervisor Don Saylor at a Vanguard event in 2018

by Robert J. Hansen

Woodland, CA – Yolo County Board of Supervisor Don Saylor spoke about the importance of this year’s district attorney election to members of Indivisible Yolo and volunteers at a phone bank event for Cynthia Rodriguez on Sunday.

Saylor started by saying that every crime committed has an impact on its community and the individual who commits the crime.

“Any crime hurts us in some way,” Saylor said. “The question is not though, how can we be as hard as possible on criminals and how can we establish controls that prevent any possible criminal activity because it can’t be done.”

The question is how can we be smart in dealing with injuries against our community, persons, and property and what’s the role of the district attorney, according to Saylor.

“I think the district attorney has to be in touch with the community they serve,” Saylor said.

Saylor said that he is pleased that Cynthia Rodriguez has decided to run for Yolo County District Attorney.

“Cynthia is so in touch with the lives of people in Yolo County,” Saylor said. “Her life experience in her career includes being a deputy public defender. And she worked making sure that peace officers who had violated their trust were held accountable.”

Rodriguez understands the fairness and ethical treatment of all people, Saylor said.

Saylor said there is a case to be made that it’s time for a change in Yolo County.

“Jeff (Reisig) has a mantle of progressive reform philosophy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stack up with where he’s been,” Saylor said.

Yolo County voters voted in favor of Props 36, 47, and 57 and it has a strong interest in revising and reforming bail practices.

“Mr. Reisig has been in opposition to all those measures,” Saylor said. 

The Los Angeles District Attorney, George Gascón, was sued by his deputy DAs for policy related to bail reform.

Reisig, the President of the California District Attorney Association (CDAA) filed an amicus brief in favor of the lawsuit against DA Gascón.

“That is quite something,” Saylor said. 

Saylor said that he hears from people often about offenses leading to unreasonable charges and jurors who didn’t see why the case was worth being at trial.

“There are people that we know who have been or had family that had been charged with offenses that are just outlandish,” Saylor said. 

Saylor shared how Yolo Sheriff’s deputies were sent to Rodriquez’s home because a volunteer put up campaign signs before the allowable date. The deputies told her she had better follow the law.

“Anyone who has been around a campaign understands that such matters are trivial and usually only require a phone call,” Saylor said. “These acts are intimidating. They’re use of the district attorney’s office to intimidate members of our community.”

In 2021, an audit found the CDAA siphoned nearly $3 million intended for public-advocacy litigation and used it to fund training and lobbying.

Saylor said that is consistent with what he sees happening in Yolo County.

Saylor reviewed the Yolo DA’s budget and a key finding was a $12 million fund balance, yet they were requesting $2 million in county general funds to support their ongoing operations.

“I took great issue with that and asked a number of questions,” Saylor said.

One of them was why the DA had $9 million in a fund called consumer and protection fraud fund.

“I think the DA is squirreling away funds using his office for telling a story that he wants to be told,” Saylor said. “Shining a veneer of reform across the whole operation meanwhile continuing to charge the residents of Yolo County for criminal activities that are trumped in excess of what a reasonable person would find.”

Reisig has politicized campaign contributions from Brett Pedroia to Cynthia Rodriguez. However Saylor said if the role of campaign contributions are to be discussed, then it would be worth noting Reisig’s contributions.

“Many of the campaign contributions that went to Mr. Reisig this last year were from people who work in his own office,” Saylor said.

The Sacramento Police Officers Association was another donor and roughly $36,000 in campaign contributions came from outside Yolo County.

“Now what in the world are they interested in, in Yolo County’s district attorney race,” Saylor said. “I’m told $36,000 come from outside Yolo County. Why are these folks interested in a DA race in Yolo County?”

Greg Padilla, owner of a bail bond company, also donated to Reisig’s campaign.

“The bail bonds folks have a strong interest in DAs who are not interested in reforming bail. What is bail? It’s extortion money from those who are least able to pay,” Saylor said.

For many reasons, Saylor thinks it’s time for a change. He thinks it’s time for someone who is in touch with Yolo County values.

“In no way does this mean that we should turn a blind eye toward criminal activity,” Saylor said. “But I think, in proportion, we need to find ways to understand what we’re doing in crime and punishment in Yolo County and what a significant role of the person who sits in the district attorney’s office is.”


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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2 thoughts on “Saylor Highlights Importance of DA’s Race at Indivisible Yolo Event”

  1. Matt Williams

    Don Saylor and I don’t always agree on issues, but I believe he has squarely hit the nail on the head with his comments here.

    I would very much like to hear from Jim Provenza and Gary Sandy on this important election contest.

  2. Alan Miller

    “I think the DA is squirreling away funds using his office for telling a story that he wants to be told,”

    That is quite a statement.  Not that I’m doubting it.  I don’t know Don Saylor to say outrageous things, so if he says it I’m prone to believe he’s pretty darn sure it’s true.  Given Reisig blew it over the pedophile accusations, this is another nail in the coffin from my point of view.

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