During a 90 minute debate of the Stanislaus DA candidates by the Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce, the incumbent candidate found herself on defense on a range of topics. Candidates Patrick Kolasinski, Steven O’Conner and John R. Mayne each came prepared with very specific issues and charges that exposed the intensity of 2018 race for District Attorney.
The tone of the debate was set early during Steven O’Conner’s opening statement where he stated “My vision is of the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts, Ms. Fladager needs to step down.”
Mr. O’Conner continued throughout the debate to address high profile and controversial issues that have peppered DA Fladager’s tenure as district Attorney. When the candidates were asked if they thought the DA’s Office was politicized, his response was direct. “There have been many high-profile cases that were brought for political purposes, AJ Pontillo, huge case, big deal – not guilty. Carmen Sabatino, the Mayor, make a huge deal, not guilty – these are political prosecutions.”
The most shocking part of the debate was when Prosecutor John Mayne revealed a policy put forth by DA Fladager, stating “basically the office has a rule, that the senior prosecutors cannot allowed to tell the younger prosecutors, that the person they are prosecuting are innocent of the crime, were not permitted to do that. This leaves us in a difficult situation. Most ethical situations are simple, I get a case of a guy, he is charged with a crime that he did not commit… what happens here is, when we need to get the information to younger prosecutor that the person is factually innocent, and you have to find ways so the person is not dragged through the system unnecessarily, but it becomes a difficult situation that is unnecessary…”
DA Fladager characterized her policy by basically saying that sometimes grizzly prosecutors tell the younger that all their cases are terrible cases, but we want our younger prosecutors to learn and not be told their cases are bad.
At this point Patrick Kolasinski stood and said “At this point I am honestly very disturbed about what I just heard now from Ms. Fladager – We don’t want to tell young prosecutors that their cases are bad, because it will take away from their enthusiasm from prosecuting case where the people are not guilty, or the evidence is not there? Let that sink in for a moment, what you just heard from the District Attorney of Stanislaus County…”
Mr. O’Conner then took the microphone and stated “I want to second what Mr. Kolasinski just said and that I am deeply offended about what was just said. There in an implication that you might have an innocent person, and have an experienced person who’s been around the block a few times and been through it, but ya know what, for training our attorney we are just going to let this person sit in jail, and go to trail and think about maybe going to prison if they lose – because it’s important that people learn… that’s not an appropriate teaching method, it’s a method that is sadistic towards the defendants in our County…”
EDITORIAL NOTE: THIS ADMISSION OF WILLFULLY PROSECUTING INNOCENT PEOPLE FALLS RIGHT IN LINE WITH THEIR NEFARIOUS PRACTICES OF WITHHOLDING EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE IN CASE AFTER CASE.
The Frank Carson case was a subject of discussion through the debate, discussing everything from the case’s lack of merit, the unwarranted imprisonment of Mr. Carson, the unwarranted involvement of his family, the length and cost the of the trial to a accusations of a conflict of interest. “Ms. Fladager tried to kill Mr. Cason in my opinion” referring to the year and half incarceration inside a punishment cell.
The entire debate can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/pattirrigator/videos/10156266798852801/
It appears the chickens have come home to roost for Birgit Fladager during this election cycle.…