Letters to the Editor Nov. 23, 2013

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers November 25, 2013 06:36 pm

Report overlooks Sutter’s high administrative costs

After reading the conclusions of the Camden report on the Sutter Coast Hospital problem in your paper some time ago, several inconsistencies still stand out in my mind.

Each alternative explored by the committee assumed that Sutter Health’s “administrative expertise” was an advantage or that losing it would be a disadvantage. If one looks at Dr. Greg Duncan’s figures showing what huge fees Sutter Coast pays to Sutter Health, one has to conclude that the burden of supporting the corporation’s administration with its mega- bunks salary for its CEO is a definite disadvantage.

The report states that Sutter Coast is losing large sums of money. The expertise that it is paying so dearly for may not be so expert after all and of no advantage. These are the expert administrators that took over the profits that the volunteers in green earned in the gift shop.

The most attractive option considered by the report includes a governing board containing local representation. It does not specify any method of selecting these representatives other than appointment by Sutter Health.

Those who warned that the committee report would be an echo of Sutter Health’s propaganda were apparently right.

Dale Watson, Crescent City

Failure to prosecute Riese shameful failure of system

After 39½ years as a police officer, I have never been more ashamed of the criminal justice system than after reading the Nov. 14 Triplicate article, “DA’s Office drops Riese DUI Charges.”

In September 2011, I went to work as a part-time Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office investigator. I worked with a great chief investigator — a great partner — and a real, people/mission, justice-dedicated DA as my boss. In December 2012, he assigned me, with totally autonomy, to conduct a follow-up investigation of a Crescent City CHP DUI arrest.

I started my career as a CHP officer, and this arrest made me proud. I have experience with CHP, as an alcoholic beverage control investigator, an analyst with the Office of Traffic Safety, a supervising investigator with the Medical Board of California, a parole agent, a secretary of state Investigator, a Division of Investigation  investigator and finally a Department of Justice special agent.

I saw immediately that the assigned case might involve more than just a DUI. The Del Norte DA’s Office had recused itself. I sought a prosecutor from multiple county DA’s offices. Shasta County stepped up and filed the DUI case. All Del Norte County had to do was protect Shasta County from a possible lawsuit.

I presented evidence to the state Attorney General’s Office and request its prosecutorial help. It was concerned that its filing may appear political or retaliatory and declined, but did not tell me to discontinue the investigation.”

My back against the wall, I played my final card. On July 1, 2013, I advised the Del Norte DA’s Office that I believe I have enough probable cause to seek an arrest warrant and multiple search warrants. On July 2, 2013, I’m ordered by acting DA Katherine Micks to cease and desist. I resign on July 31. 

The coup de grace is having the DUI case dismissed because of money, not viability. My only hope is that, under oath, before a grand jury or judge and jury, I can present the evidence collected during my investigation.  

Shasta County requested a standard contract for special prosecutors. Who in Del Norte got it? Why didn’t it get to the county attorney and/or the Board of Supervisors? Who, other than the DUI suspect, benefited? Who finally authorized the DUI dismissal?  Why?

 Cleopheus Davis, Crescent City