Kirk Smith Explains DA Peirson's Underhanded Move re Judge Dylan Sullivan

by admin / Sep 04, 2015 / 0 comments
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2015-09-04, 06:09:48  PLACERVILLE CA

 -- CHARLET NALBACH BURCIN of El Dorado Hills wrote:

The Honorable Dylan Sullivan was elected by this county’s voters by an overwhelming majority. For her to be removed suddenly, without warning, from proceedings in Department 7 by District Attorney officials is a travesty of justice.

Do you really think that the voters are going to stand by the District Attorney’s Office’s decision without demanding a clear explanation? You may cite your California Civil Code 170.6 as the reason — bias toward the attorney, district attorney or other party. What is the real reason? Does this have anything to do with Vern Pierson?

I hope the Honorable Dylan Sullivan appeals this “movement” against her so that we as El Dorado County residents are able to get to the truth and to the real story going on behind the scenes.

 -- Then Kirk Callan Smith responded:

Hi Charlet,

Your outrage about Vern Pierson’s spitefully nasty political attack on a distinguished judge is certainly in order. But your suggestion that the judge “appeal” Pierson’s action is not an option. She can’t. The Rule 170.6 “peremptory challenge” does not allow for an appeal, no response of any kind; it operates automatically just by having been filed. The rules of judicial ethics also prevents the judge from making public comment, a fact that makes Pierson’s gutless move all the more despicable. 

The remedies, therefore, have to be pursued by the rest of us. They include such things as the public sending more letters like yours, groups picketing Pierson’s office, starting a recall campaign now made even easier by recent laws, and calling on the Mountain Democrat’s editorial board to insist that Vern Pierson reveal whatever facts he has to support his very vile defamatory smear -- which Pierson cannot do since such facts do not exist -- or for him to withdraw the challenge. Voters deserve an honest, competent District Attorney, not the appearance of a political hack. 

Yes, demand that the Mountain Democrat speak up for the integrity and independence of our local judiciary. This paper has to stop being a mouthpiece for incumbents, to either stop remaining silent about political sleaze or stop wondering why its news pages and subscription numbers continue to decline. This paper, deeply afraid of controversy, sits on a great many important stories, including this one. We can insist on more. 

A number of local lawyers privately call Pierson’s action pure politics and say this drama came about when he continued to find that Judge Sullivan could not be pushed around by his office. The fact that Pierson’s office has considerable discretion when it comes to who to charge and the kind of plea deals that can be made, sadly can make silence a safe choice for any lawyer wishing to pay their bills. Members of the county bar, so small it can seem like a club, have to speak up as well, and very strongly, about the latest Pierson fiasco since it can reflect so poorly on the entire legal community as well. 

The public needs a strong and independent judiciary as well as a prosecutor that operates with the highest standards of the legal professional and not like a political opportunist guided by an aggressive thirst for higher office. and the apparent power of campaign contributions.

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid,” President Eisenhower once said. And if the people of this county want a judicial system that is truly fair and just, free of bias and political taint, it will not come about by silence but rather by vigilance and protest. 

Kirk Callan Smith, Placerville, California