Monday, October 25, 2010

Santana, Vasquez goes federal

by Tom Nadeau

Despite more than two years of filings and cross-filings, charges and counter-charges, motions and denials, court dates and canceled court dates, the issues involved in People v. Santana, Vasquez are now every place except at trial.

The visiting judge has continued People v Santana, Vasquez #08-825 to an indefinite time while 3rd Appellate District look at writ #C066008, filed by attorneys both for Jesse Santana and David Vasquez.

Those pleading documents were filed Sept. 13. Answers to those were subsequently filed by the state Attorney General’s Office which took over the case after the Yuba County District Attorney stepped aside.

No date certain has been set on when the 3DCA will rule in the matter, or for that matter, comment on it.

How it got there ...

Meanwhile, Yuba City attorney Mark Steidlmayer has taken the Santana, Vasquez cause to heart. He has asked the US Attorney’s Office in Sacramento to look into the propriety of the original grand jury indictment and Yuba-Sutter officials’ involvement in handling the case.

In a nutshell, Steidlmayer alleges that political motives led the Yuba County District Attorney Pat McGrath – conspiring with other officials – to trump up the allegations in order to secure the appointment of another to a judicial appointment Santana was competing for.

Steidlmayer raised the issues in a fat file of documents he presented to US Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner earlier this month.

Wagner was appointed USA for the Eastern District of California by President Barack Obama on November 6, 2009. He is said to be well experienced in so-called “white collar crime.”

The Sacramento office of the Eastern District serves 23 Northern California counties, including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sutter, Trinity, Tehama, Yolo, and Yuba.

There are a total of 46 civil and criminal assistant USAs in Sacramento. They are supported an administrative staff of 53.

The Eastern District federal courthouse is located at 501 I St., Sacramento. Seven US District Judges and four US Magistrate Judges sit there.


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