Letters to the Editor Aug. 29, 2013

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers August 30, 2013 05:06 pm

Leaders ignorant of DA's failings is embarrassing

The Tripicate’s recent article regarding suspended  District Attorney Jon Alexander’s trying to regain his job even though he cannot currently practice law is absolutely laughable. Let me see if I understand this correctly, Mr. Alexander is claiming that the Board of Supervisors violated his due process rights, and the Brown Act? And, to further the injury, Mr. Alexander is requesting back pay and to be reinstated.

Alexander abused his prosecutorial power by speaking with a criminal defendant about her case without her lawyer present; and after learning from her that she, not her co-defendant, owned the illegal drugs found during their arrest, failed to give that exculpatory evidence to the other defendant’s lawyer; then lied to an assistant DA by saying he had not spoken with the defendant (who had recorded the conversation). This statement came directly from the judge’s opinion. 

At an eight-day Bar hearing last October, witnesses including judges, lawyers, mayors, community leaders, politicians, law enforcement officers, social workers and others testified, some of them to Alexander’s good character.

Who was the mayor at that time? Katherine Murray? I would question the integrity of these character witnesses. And finally who were the community leaders, so I and others can protect ourselves from their lack of understanding of what integrity means.

Bar Court Judge Lucy Armendariz wrote that “they invariably dismissed respondent’s misconduct as either insignificant or not at all unethical. Many did not comprehend its egregiousness.”

Now that statement alone is extremely scary for the people of Del Norte County as it suggest what everyone already knows, there is no law north of the Klamath River and everyone here is in harm’s way from the truth.

Having ignorance in the form of politicians, community leaders, judges, social workers as well as the police force is embarrassing.

I don’t know how the county attorney is in legal research. I hope she is capable of producing the points and authorities needed to persuade the judge that Mr. Alexander is not able to work in the capacity he seeks simply because he is suspended from practicing law, and he is a danger to society as a whole because society cannot trust him, and is now a serious liability to the county.

Judge Armendariz did us all a favor when she ruled he should be disbarred. Let’s keep it that way.

Linda Sutter, Crescent City

Sutter's revenue claims not borne out by numbers

I read the article regarding the Health Care District dropping its lawsuit against Sutter Health without being surprised. In 2011 Sutter Health spent $15 million on legal expenses. When the district reached $150,000, it essentially ran out of money. Score: Goliath 1, David 0.

However, I didn’t come to talk about legal fees. During the many presentations that I have heard regarding the community and Sutter Coast Hospital, the most constant theme has been that Sutter Coast Hospital is losing a lot of money. Even with the cloak of secrecy and lack of transparency, I have been able to research and determine from public records (Form 990) the following financial data regarding the revenue and expenses from 2000–2002 and 2006–2011.

Excess revenue over expenses (or loss stated as ($): 2000: $1,847,355 2001: $3,660,712 2002: $4,285,074 2006: $2,345,655 2007: $4,962,278 2008: $1,231,366 2009: $759,214 2010: $6,545,109 2011: ($2,735,000) For those of you keeping score, mark your scorecards with Sutter Health making $22,901,763 more than it spent. Not bad for a non-profit corporation whose claim is it needs to make changes because it is losing so much money.

It also claims that the Affordable Care Act will cause it to lose even more money. However, Moody’s says that the act is revenue-neutral and the GAO says the upside for hospital systems is a greatly expanded customer base and fewer uncollectible bills to patients.

It’s hard to believe that Sutter Health has the community’s best interest in mind when all decisions are made in secrecy. The latest insult was in the same article as the lawsuit being dropped by announcing that the members of the community on the study committee will remain anonymous. It reminds me of the scene in “Animal House” when Dean Wormer informs the president of the fraternity that it has been on double secret probation. Sounds like it is straight out of the Sutter playbook.

Jim Coston, Crescent City