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Bar warns Wagstaffe to cut out the misconduct

Original post made by Deep throat on Oct 16, 2013

The Almanac has been forwarded documentary evidence establishing that San Mateo D.A. Steve Wagstaffe received a LETTER OF WARNING from the California State Bar in 2010.


The Bar disciplined Wagstaffe with this warning based on a complaint it received about prosecutorial misconduct.

This revelation raises some important questions:

1. Why hasn't Wagstaffe disclosed to the public that he received such an extraordinary disciplinary warning? I have to believe the public has a right to know.

2. When is the Bar going to move from warnings to actual disbarment? Just how many warnings and complaints have to be issued?

3. Are the resident taxpayers Wagstaffe prosecutes for misconduct entitled to a warning also? Hardly. Like our congress exempting itself from ObamaCare, apparently Wagstaffe fancies himself as above the law.

Comments (21)

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Is this true Alamanac? If so, please print/post it. The citizens of this county deserve to hear what a corrupt man we have in the most powerfull law enforcement position in the county.

If true, it doesn't surprise me in the least.

Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

The Bar needs to be advised ASAP that Wagstaffe lied to KCBS on October 8, 2013 when he said that his office sends out advance notice to crime victims about Marsy's Law. He neglected to mention that the victims of Dr. Ayres and their families sent numerous complaints to the San Mateo Board of Supervisors in April of this year about violations of Marsy's Law by prosecutor Mckowan on that case and that Mckowan has not bothered to contact an in-statute Ayres victim or his mother since July 2009 - a complete violation of Marsy's Law. The Board of Supervisors confronted Wagstaffe about the prosecutor's violation in a closed meeting.

Wagstaffe's false statements to KCBS: Web Link

Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

To Menlo Voter:

Yes, it's true. A copy of the official letter from the California Bar about Wagstaffe has been sent to the Almanac reporters as of today.

Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Anyone else experience Wagstaffe lying to the press about their case? If so, we would like to hear from you here.

Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Citizens have bent over backwards to give documents to the editors and reporters at the Almanac on this matter. It's up to the Almanac to step up to the plate and do its civic duty.

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm


makes one wonder if Wagstaffe is holding a club over the Almanacs' head, doesn't it? We used to refer to this in law enforcement as, "having wood on someone." Wonder what "wood" Wagstaffe has on the Almanac or its staff?

To the Almanac: if you publish the truth and Wagstaffe sues for Libel, the best defense is the truth. It sounds as though you have the truth on your side.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2013 at 8:09 pm

What about other media? Have other publications been given the same info? If so, then they'll scoop The Almanac.

Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm

A victim of Dr. William Ayres who had submitted a complaint to the California Bar concerning misconduct by the prosecutor on the Ayres case, Melissa Mckowan, received a reply today stating that his "complaint expresses legitimate concerns." However, the Bar told him that the matters he complained about were "within the prosecutorial discretion of the District Attorney."

This victim has already tried to complain to WAgstaffe about Mckowan. He never received a response. Not surprising- in a 2010 molestation case Wagstaffe actually made a series of false statements to the press in an effort to cover for Mckowan. Wagstaffe never responded to the family who complained in that case, either.

The Almanac has been made aware of Wagstaffe's false statements to the press. But one has to wonder why they are not doing anything.

This has been said in another thread but bears repeating here: anyone who has been on the receiving end of false statements by Wagstaffe on cases needs to file a complaint with the Bar.

And to the Almanac reporters: when are you going to address the document some people went to great lengths to give you in 2011 that concerns Wagstaffe and law enforcement?

Posted by Lurker , a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2013 at 8:33 am

Some families of inmates have come forward to say that in private meetings with Wagsgtaffe, he acts all sympathetic and says, "No way he should be in prison. I will do everything I can to get him out." He even VOLUNTEERED to one family that he was personally going to call the head of the Northern California Innocence Project to get help for them.

Then the families say he then goes to the parole boards and fights tooth and nail to keep these same inmates in prison. And he never called the Innocence Project as he promised.

This is not normal behavior by a DA and actually very sadistic.

Either the DA wants the inmate to stay in prison, or he doesn't. Can anyone imagine the pain he has caused these families with his false promises that he never had any intention of keeping?

And to the Atherton Almanac: please do not delete this post. I have all of the documentation from the families themselves.

If there are other families of inmates who have experienced this with Wagstaffe, they need to file a complaint with the California Bar immediately

Posted by Lurker , a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2013 at 9:01 am

Any relatives of inmates who have also been on the receiving end of false promises by Wagstaffe - ie "I will do everything I can to help get the inmate out" only to work behind the scenes to make sure he stays in- are also strongly encouraged to contact the Northern California Innocence Project and the ACLU in addition to filing a complaint with the Bar.

Be as specific as possible when describing your conversations with Wagstaffe. Did he for instance, promise to contact the Innocence Project, but then never did, as he did to one poor family?

One family called Wagstaffe's bluff after they hired a nationally known, high profile forensic pathologist to help their case. The pathologist looked at the evidence and believed that the San Mateo coroner had made an egregious mistake.

But when the family tried to get Wagstaffe to speak with the nationally known forensic pathologist, Wagstaffe panicked and said, "Oh, he's just trying to get attention."

Hmm. So on the one hand Wagstaffe is telling the family that he will do everything he can to help the inmate get out but then refuses to speak with a very high profile experienced pathologist who could actually help make this happen?

Atherton reporters: please do not delete this. We have all the documentation from families and their interactions with Wagstaffe and also with the forensic pathologist.

Posted by Lurker , a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2013 at 10:11 am

Families of inmates should contact Human Rights Watch as well. There's an office in Los Angeles.

Posted by Lurker , a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

If any inmates were threatened, they need to contact the California Bar and the Innocence Project.

Posted by Lurker , a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2013 at 9:25 am

Um, Almanac: it's very frustrating when a number of citizens send you documents and nothing ever happens. In February 2011, a document that was confirmed as true by two high ranking members of the San Mateo law enforcement, was sent to you. Nothing happened. We sent it again to you in January 2013. Phone calls were also made to you in September, 2013 on another matter. We were told that someone was going to get back us but no one did

A citizen also sent you documentation about the Bar warning in October. Nothing came of it.

We have sent and sent and sent documentation to your news organization, but you very, very rarely doing anything about it . You're giving us the runaround when you delete information on the forum that we have tried to give you, but nothing comes of it.

Posted by Lurker , a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

DA Preliminary Report on Deadly Officer Involved Shooting Complete

Web Link


Wagstaffe has been told that he will receive those reports the first or second week of December. He told Patch, "Once I receive them, I'm a pretty decisive person. A decision will be made within a week."

"I'm a pretty decisive person?"

In what universe? There are dozens and dozens of instances where he has told one story to families of criminal defendants and crime victims as well as to the press and attorneys, only to go behind their backs and do the complete opposite.

If Mr. Wagstaffe were truly a decisive person, he wouldn't have to pretend to be sympathetic to those whose side he is NOT on ,in order mask his decisions that he knows will make him enemies. By trying to have it both ways, he's made more enemies.

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 16, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Speaking of Wagstaffe protecting cops, whatever happened to the deputy(s) that stole the musician's instrument and threw it into someone's driveway? I'm betting nothing.

Posted by Lurker, a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2013 at 2:42 am

Menlo Voter:

According to this story, officer Brandon Hatt is on administrative leave and may be collecting a salary. The trial has been delayed. He claims to be not guilty despite being caught on video stealing the instrument.

Web Link

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 17, 2013 at 8:51 am

Hatt's probably counting on the DA's office doing a lousy job prosecuting him so he won't be found guilty. Read: the fix is in.

And he still has his job? Most of the departments I'm familiar with wouldn't be waiting for the outcome of a trial, especially given he was caught on video. He would have been disciplined already.

Posted by Huh?, a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2013 at 10:42 am

Disciplined? A cop is caught on video committing a crime and isn't fired already? A good summary of what's wrong with this county. Wagstaffe figures that by delaying things, people will forget and he can sweep this under the rug and protect the dirty cop's job. Thanks for remembering.

Posted by relax, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm

It is not against the law for Wagstaffe or any law enforcement agency to lie to the press. On the other hand, it may be illegal for Wagstaffe to reveal priviliaged information, which has fortunately not happened here.

Posted by Lurker , a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm

To Relax:

Ah, but it is against the ethics RULES of the California Bar for a district attorney to lie about the facts of a defendant's case to the press, which is why the Bar sent Wagstaffe a WARNING and why they are keeping a file on him.

I wish someone from the press would go back and fact check Wagstaffe's statements to them about defendants over the years. A family of an inmate just sent us a 2004 article from the San Mateo Daily Journal where Wagstaffe made up outrageous false statements both about the inmate and the facts of the case.

Posted by Lurker , a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

[Post removed. We have no way of knowing if this is true.]

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