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Deputy DA agrees to 18 months' probation to settle ethics case

Original post made on Aug 16, 2017

Melissa McKowan, a deputy district attorney for San Mateo County, has been issued a "public reproval" by the state bar in settling a case involving a 2013 email she sent to the father of a child molestation victim.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 4:29 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by Fair enough
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Nice job, Almanac. Good synthesis of material.


Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2017 at 8:13 pm

It's a fair synthesis of material, but what about the tough questions to Wagstaffe like what's he going to do about this?


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 17, 2017 at 6:37 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Wagstaffe isn't going to do anything about this.


Posted by Fair Enough
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 17, 2017 at 6:41 am

Thoughtful analysis on the fallout of the Mckowan Bar investigation over at the William Ayres blog:

Web Link


Posted by Bill
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Aug 17, 2017 at 7:18 am

This prosecutor has been caught red-handed on multiple occasions now stacking the deck against victims for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful without regard to the deviant crime that was committed. It is a sad day in America when such a miscarriage of justice, such a derilicition of duties by a prosecutor and an officer of the court, is met with little more than a slap on the wrist.


Posted by Fair Enough
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 17, 2017 at 11:47 am

The legal paper, the Daily Journal, which is by subscription only, has published a story today on the Mckowan discipline: "San Mateo Prosecutor Disciplined Again By State Bar" by Lyle Moran.

I think because of copyright reasons I am not permitted to post the entire article. Here is an excerpt:

The recent bar charges involved a 2013 email McKowan sent to the father of an Ayres victim while attempting to get the man to testify at the retrial of Ayres.
The statement in question was about Victoria Balfour, an advocate for Ayres’ victims and whose complaints about Ayres helped spur a criminal investigation. Balfour had made several written complaints about McKowan’s dishonesty in 2010 to the San Mateo County district attorney’s office, which was at the time led by current State Bar President James Fox.
“Every agency that has been forced into investigating this case by Balfour has found that her accusations are entirely false and have no bases whatsoever,” McKowan wrote in a May 11, 2013 email to the father of an Ayres victim.
The settlement of the bar charges said that statement was untrue.
McKowan referred a request for comment Wednesday to her attorney, Paul F. DeMeester of San Francisco. DeMeester did not respond to requests for comment.
Balfour called the latest discipline of McKowan vindication.
“The prosecutor has accused me for years of making false statements and that is not true, so I feel very vindicated,” she said Tuesday.
Balfour also said she never would have complained to the bar if the DA’s office had taken her complaints seriously. She provided a letter she received in 2010 from then-Assistant District Attorney Karen M. Guidotti saying Balfour’s continued criticism of McKowan’s performance was not helpful.
“I do not like being told not to criticize someone when there needed to be an investigation,” Balfour said Tuesday.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.


Posted by Gittings
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Any statements from the Board of Supervisors ? Any word as to whether she will be fired?


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Any statements from the Board of Supervisors ? Any word as to whether she will be fired?"

No and I can guarantee she won't be fired. She was doing Wagstaffe's bidding. He won't fire her.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

State Bar of California, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, Chief Deputy Karen Guidotti, San Mateo County Manager John Maltbie, Deputy County Manager Mike Callegy, County Counsel John Beiers, Supervisors Don Horsley, Warren Slocum, Dave Pine, Carole Groom, David Canepa, and the County's Private Defender Program.

This is the short list of supporters of having a Dishonest Prosecutor representing the People of California.

Melissa McKowan is Dishonest period, she should not be able to practice law. The State Bar has done it again, they have let down the public.They didn't charge her for for being dishonest in her response to Karen Guidotti, or her dishonest response to Robert Call.


Posted by Gittings
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 20, 2017 at 8:05 pm

"Prior to the bar imposing discipline in March 2013, the DA’s office in 2012 suspended McKowan without pay and issued her a written reprimand for her actions, according to the bar’s charging document.
San Mateo DA Steve Wagstaffe said Monday his office was aware of the new charges filed against McKowan and confirmed she still worked for the office. “It has been a matter we have been aware of for several years,” Wagstaffe said. “We did our own examination of her actions back then and took appropriate action.”

- From " San Mateo Prosecutor Faces State Bar Discipline Again" by Lyle Moran for Los Angeles Daily Jourbal, April 11, 2017.

" A matter we've been aware of for several years?" Why does this person still have her $300,000 a year job? It has to be something more than just "loyalty." Having ones' employee disciplined a second time by the Bar does not reflect well on the DA.

Santa Ciara DA Jeff Rosen has fired prosecutors for a lot less than this.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 21, 2017 at 8:17 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Gittings:

Welcome to San Mateo County. The most corrupt county in California.


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