Saturday, July 1, 2017

TL;DR: Up and Down in Del Norte

Posted By on Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 12:36 PM

click to enlarge Dale Trigg's former office. - PHOTO BY BRYANT ANDERSON/THE DEL NORTE TRIPLICATE
  • Dale Trigg's former office.

Didn’t have time to read this week’s cover story? We understand. Life is hectic enough, not to mention it’s a holiday weekend, right? To help out, here are some takeaways from this week’s cover story, which looks at the rocky history Del Norte County has faced in recent years with the last three district attorneys.

To take you on a little walk down memory lane, here are some highlights — or lowlights, as the case may be — of the tenures of Michael Riese, Jon Alexander and Dale Trigg.

November, 2009: The county's then administrative officer urges Riese to take time off over concerns about his prescription drug use and bizarre behavior in the office. She pens the letter, made public in a March of 2010 Triplicate story, a day after Riese is pulled over for a sobriety test but not arrested. He denies being under the influence.

June, 2010: Riese tries for a third term in office but is narrowly defeated in the primary election for a run-off berth against Alexander who goes onto take the office in November on a “Death to Meth” campaign.

April, 2013: A State Bar Court judge suspends Alexander's right to practice law and recommends he be disbarred for engaging in several incidents of prosecutorial misconduct. The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors suspends him without pay and Assistant District Attorney Katherine Micks takes the helm.

June, 2014: Dale Trigg is elected as Del Norte's next district attorney on a platform touting his fresh perspective and promises to run a principled, drama-free office. He is sworn into office a few weeks later.

November, 2014: Alexander is formally disbarred by the California Supreme Court more than one year after a State Bar judge recommended his law license be stripped. The Review Department of the State Bar Court had denied Alexander's appeal alleging discriminatory prosecution earlier in 2014.

December, 2016: An appellate court upholds a lower court's decision to dismiss Riese's malicious prosecution case. During courtroom arguments by attorneys one month earlier, a judge called Alexander's actions "reprehensible" and said it appeared he had a vendetta against Riese.

June, 2017: Trigg suddenly resigns from office with a few hours of notice, saying county officials failed to address salary inequities despite promises to the contrary. A week later, Trigg is practicing civil litigation at a law firm in Springfield, Missouri, where he started his career 20 years earlier.

And, that’s a wrap. The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors is taking applications through July 28 to fill the district attorney post until the next election cycle in 2018.

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Kimberly Wear

Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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