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EDITOR BRUCE ANDERSON of the Anderson Valley Advertiser reminds us why the cynicism about the handling of police misconduct cases locally.
"THE REPORT of the Sonoma County investigation of former Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich has been forwarded to Mendo's District Attorney's office. Nobody knows what's in it or what they recommend for what is rumored to be an assault on a woman. PREDICTION: The next thing we'll hear about the case is that Waidelich has hired (Sonoma County) attorney Chris Andrian and a plea bargain is being arranged involving no jail time. The DA will issue no pressrelease. The contents of the investigation will never be public, and when the plea bargain comes before Judge Moorman for rubber-stamping, the Judge will tell the public, “This is NOT to be interpreted as a slap on the wrist!”
I will add my own cynical thoughts.
Why is DA Dave suggesting more investigation might be needed by his office, and whether referring the case to the Attorney General’s Office for independent review and possible prosecution is still being pondered?
The fact of the matter is that DA Eyster played a big role in events that led to the downfall of Waidelich and his former fiancé, Amanda Carley. Eyster cast doubts professionally, and personally on Carley, the former domestic partner of the police chief, a former county probation officer, and a one-time employee in the District Attorney’s Office. The DA’s role was so large that originally he was named in a still-pending civil lawsuit filed by Carley against Waidelich and the county of Mendocino.
Eyster escaped remaining as a defendant by asserting state law protections that he was acting in his official duties. Still, there is little doubt Eyster shut down Carley’s local career by placing her on a secret list of cops no longer allowed to testify in court proceedings because of concerns about their truthfulness. She has since moved to Southern California, achieved a license to be a state investigator, and works within the state corrections system.
Let’s face it. Given the widespread public cynicism surrounding the DA’s sweetheart plea deal with disgraced former Ukiah Police Sgt. Kevin Murray, ‘DA Dave’ needs to recuse himself and do the right thing. He should ask for an independent review and assessment of the former Police Chief’s case for possible prosecution. The public will accept nothing less.