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DA Wagstaffe tells KCBS that his office always complies with Marsy's Law

Original post made by Lurker, another community, on Oct 8, 2013

In an astonishing article today, San Mateo DA Steve Wagstaffe tells KCBS that his office is really on top of things when it comes to honoring crime victims and Marsy's Law. Tell that to the family who sued his office and prosecutor Melissa Mckowan in a highly publicized molestation case for violating their Marsy's Law rights in 2010.

Tell that to two parents of Ayres victims whose rights were violated. In 2009, the attorney for a family of a victim wrote to Mckowan, asking that they be notified of each and every hearing in the Ayres case. They were never contacted. And the prosecutor never contacted an in-statute Ayres victim or his mother, in the past four years about the case and never told them he wouldn't be testifying again.

To that end, they are astonished that Wagstaffe would claim the following to KCBS today:

Web Link

In response to this special series, San Francisco’s presiding judge and the state’s chief justice are both recommending reforms. KCBS has also learned that one Bay Area prosecutor, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, is taking it even one step further – training his attorneys to observe a victim’s Marsy’s rights even if the victim doesn’t ask for them to be honored.

KCBS Cover Story Series: Marsy’s Law
“We try to comply with it in every case that we can, whether or not there’s a request,” he explained. “It does not take a request for us to do it, let’s try and make it happen in every case.”

According to Wagstaffe, so few victims invoke their rights under Marsy’s Law that he wants the attorneys in his office to act as if those rights are automatic, if not outright mandatory.

Comments (10)

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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm

We have spoken to the KCBS reporter to set the record straight on Wagstaffe and Marsy's Law, and he asked us to send him information.

To that end, we would be interested in hearing from other crime victims whose Marsy's Law rights were violated by Steve Wagstaffe's office.

Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Hey, Almanac:

What happened to your story, "FBI is Also Looking At DA's Office, Sources Say" Web Link

It's been removed. How come?

Editor's note: Some file links were apparently broken in the transition to the new website. IT says the problem has been fixed. The link above should work. I also found this related article: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm

DA Steve Wagstaffe also failed to tell the KCBS reporter the following: after the Ayres prosecutor was disciplined by the California Bar in March, 2013, a San Mateo Supervisor asked the Ayres victims and their families to write to the Board of Supervisorsabout the violations of Marsy's Law by the prosecutor and Wagstaffe's office in the Ayres case.

When the victims sent in letters, the San Mateo Board of Supervisors were "dumbfounded" by the violations.

They then had a meeting with DA Wagstaffe in April, 2013 about the Marsy's Law violations. Pressure was exerted on Wagstaffe to get better prosecutors on the Ayres case. Wagstaffe at first resisted, but then buckled under pressure.

Given the DA's flagrant disregard of Marsy's Law, it is HIGHLY disturbing that DA Wagstaffe would try to pass himself off as one of its biggest proponents.

Like this comment
Posted by History repeats
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Wagstaffe is obviously feeling some pressure and is trying to get some positive press in areas he has been criticized in and leave him vulnerable in the strong attack that will be mounted against him in the next election. Money is behind it. Big money. This opposition is real and the candidate will surprise people and terrify Wagstaffe.

Thanks for posting the facts to try to make sure this reality distortion campaign won't work.

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Wagstaffe is a [portion removed - argue policy but don't accuse others of criminal behavior) that will say anything and do anything he wants if he thinks it furthers his interests. If the sheeple of this county had any brains they wouldn't have elected him in the first place and they'd be demanding to see his "head on a pike" in the public square.

Like this comment
Posted by Couldn't have said it better myself
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm

I have really nothing to add. Menlo Voter summed it up perfectly.

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm


the definition of Corrupt:

having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

"unscrupulous logging companies assisted by corrupt officials"

synonyms: dishonest, unscrupulous, dishonorable, unprincipled, unethical, amoral, untrustworthy, venal, underhanded, double-dealing, fraudulent, bribable, criminal, illegal, unlawful, nefarious;

Please tell me how this does not apply to Wagstaffe? He has repeatedly shown himself to be willing to act dishonestly for personal gain (remaining in office). You even have documented evidence in your own paper of his dishonesty. There's no conjecture here. By definition Wagstaffe is corrupt.

Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Almanac: In February, 2011, your paper interviewed at least three people about the FBI investigation into Wagstaffe. We told you that the agents were looking at Wagstaffe for covering up crimes by county employees. You took notes. You reported.

The Mercury News did as well: Web Link

Instead of needless and skittish censoring here, your reporters would be well advised to get cracking on that document we gave to you two years ago that documents crimes that were covered up. God knows we've gone out of our way and out on a limb to inform you, but your paper doesn't seem to be inclined to do anything. At least one reporter from the Mercury News did have the nerve to confront one of the people who is named in the document. What are you doing about this?

In fact, I emailed your reporters earlier today, asking why nothing had been done about this document.

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Well editors, what about Lurker sent you?

Like this comment
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2013 at 5:01 am

Yes, there is a relevant matter, as a San Mateo Deputy was arrested recently for child molestation. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

The Almanac editors know which document we are referring to.

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