Commentary: Serena Case Continues to Illustrate Problems with Yolo County Justice System

This past weekend Former Yolo County Housing Authority Director David Serena was back in Yolo County, this time to join with friends and supporters in celebration after having 19 felony charges of theft and fraud dismissed last month in Yolo County.

It was just the latest blow to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office. Tomorrow, the Gang Injunction Hearings resume and Rick Gore is expected to take the stand yet again, almost a month to the date after he fired off an angry letter. Since that point, case after case has come to our attention. During the course of this week, the Vanguard may report on several of the more disturbing ones to reach our radar. There is little doubt that the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has literally ruined people’s lives over what should have been minor incidents or even cases where the individual was innocent completely.

Fortunately for David Serena he had the resources and the legal team to fight the charges. He is now planning a lawsuit against the grand jury for harassment.

A good article came out in the Monterey Herald a few weeks ago on the Serena Case.

“David Serena, a long-time Salinas activist and former Hartnell College trustee, used the 1987 book “Gringo Justice” by Alfredo Mirandé when he taught Chicano studies at Cal-State Northridge. In the book, Mirandé explores a theory called “mobilization of bias,” which he describes as an orchestration by politicians, the courts, the media, and the police to present a negative image of Chicanos, resulting in a double standard of justice.

So when Serena was charged with 19 felony counts of fraud and theft — charges he was recently cleared of — he said he felt subject to the same phenomenon Mirandé described.

“I never thought I would be in that position,” Serena said Monday. “I was publicly lynched, found guilty without a trial. You know you didn’t do anything wrong, that this is absurd, ludicrous; and you also know that in the history of Chicanos, a lot of them were unjustly accused for political retaliation. And you realize it can happen to you.”

The charges in fact all stemmed from the claim that David Serena had illegally added his live-in girlfriend’s two children to his medical insurance.

The district attorney said Serena had included his girlfriend in his health insurance even though he wasn’t married. His assistant later declared under oath that she’d been the one to check the “married” box, based on a false assumption. Because his girlfriend’s two children lived in his household, Serena said insurance rules allowed him to include them in his coverage.

After two days of testimony at a preliminary hearing earlier this year, Judge Richard Kossow wrote on March 15 that he found no evidence that Serena was not entitled to add the children to his employee dental and health insurance.

“The court does not find reasonable cause to believe the defendant did anything false to induce the governmental agencies and business entities to provide that coverage,” Kossow wrote. “

Serena claims in the Monterey Herald article and he claimed to me on the phone when I spoke to him a month ago that the charges stemmed for a protest involving the death of Juan Nieto who died after a police chase in 1999.

Serena’s troubles began in 1999, when he took a job as head of Yolo County’s housing authority. A few months into his tenure, a 23-year-old man died while in custody of Woodland police. Juan Nieto, 23, had been chased down by officers who wanted to arrest him for buying alcohol for two underage police decoys, and he died in a motel courtyard on Dec. 3, 1999, according to news reports.

Serena, who lived in Monterey County for decades, had been involved in the Chicano movement and was a key figure in high-profile political cases. He was a plaintiff in the lawsuit that forced district elections of judges in Monterey County, bringing Latinos to the bench for the first time.

In Yolo County, Serena said, community members asked him to help organize a rally after Nieto’s death. He put together a 3-mile march that grew to about 500 people outside the Woodland Police Department’s headquarters, he said, demanding an investigation.

The district attorney refused to investigate the matter, so Serena called on other agencies. Eventually, the incident was investigated at the federal level, and in 2002, the family settled for almost $300,000 for Nieto’s death.

Serena believes that incident sparked a political persecution that lasted until he resigned from the Housing Authority in 2006.

According to Serena, soon after the Nieto case, the grand jury began to receive allegations of mismanagement and wrongdoing.

“Soon after his involvement in Nieto’s case, the county’s civil grand jury began receiving allegations of mismanagement and wrongdoing at the housing authority, prompting a six-year investigation lasting through six grand juries — until most of the charges were dismissed by a visiting judge in the 2006-07 report.

“I’ve looked at 20 or 30 reports, and it’s outrageous that grand jury reports would have these kinds of factual mistakes,” said Matt Gonzalez, former San Francisco county supervisor and Serena’s attorney.”

The repeated harassment by the grand jury led to a lawsuit against the grand jury at the time for discriminatory seating practices.

Each year his agency was investigated, Serena was asked about his qualifications and experience, because one of the claims was he was not qualified for the job. At some point, he said, he felt harassed. He began to question why there were very few minorities on the grand jury. The county is 30 percent Latino.

Then, in 2006, only a few days after he filed suit against the grand jury for not seating enough minorities, Serena was charged with the 19 felony counts. “

Although a federal judge threw out Serena’s lawsuit against the Yolo County grand jury, Gonzalez calls it a partial victory.

“His lawsuit changed how they select the grand jury” in Yolo County, he said. “There’s never going to be a disproportionate representation of Latinos again. Ultimately, we showed very disturbing patterns of lack of racial diversity.”

After I published my initial account of David Serena’s vindication, I received a series of emails and comments highlighting problems that Serena had in the YCHA. I would argue that to the extent that there were problems these should have been handled administratively not legally. To the extent that the Grand Jury and District Attorney’s office sought legal redress, it seems odd that they were only able to find one aspect of his tenure that they could charge criminally, and that was based on particularly weak evidence. There is just little evidence that the insurance claims filed by a clerk erroneous should have been charged criminally. The DA was clearly looking for something to pin on him, but they also clearly did not have anything.

Sadly this happens all the time in Yolo County, few have the resources to hire a Gonzalez-Leigh to defend them.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Court Watch

60 comments

  1. It should be remembered that an aquittal does not necessarily mean the person charged was innocent of all charges, just that there was not enough evidence to prove guilt. The lack of evidence can be for all sorts of reasons – innocence of the charges, coverup of evidence, witnesses intimidated into not coming forward.

    Having said that, a man is still innocent until proven guilty in our legal system. So I respect Serena’s aquittal as a showing that there was not enough evidence to convict him on the charges, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    However, it does seem, from what I have heard and read, that there was (and still is) rampant mismanagement at the YHA. Serena needed to go, and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors did have to step in and take over, and have Serena removed for questionable job performance. So while Serena may be crowing at his victory in the courtroom, he should remember that his job performance was less than stellar – he was fired for his poor stewardship – nothing to brag about.

    As for his suit against the grand jury, I did not think that was possible. Normally suits against the gov’t are not permitted, except in very limited circumstances. All the grand jury was doing was trying to carry out their duties as citizen jury members – unless somehow the grand jury was chosen in such a way as to be friends of the DA, or some such thing. Not quite sure I understand how the grand jury could have been sued. If we allow such suits, no one would want to serve on a grand jury.

    I have no problem in making sure there is a selection method that does not pad the grand jury with folks who are all one color/ethnicity, or keeps a particular ethnicity off the grand jury. But was that truly the case here? Or is it perhaps that the only people who signed up happened to be retired white individuals? Are Latinos hesitant to volunteer? I just don’t have enough facts to go on…

    It does seem as if the DA’s office is making poor choices at times on who to prosecute. In Serena’s case, the matter was already being resolved at the administrative level. If the county thought there was criminal activity, I assume they would have alerted the DA to look into it. Was that the case? If not, one has to wonder why the DA decided to get involved in this case at all. Serena was a lousy administrator – and was fired accordingly. It seems as if the matter should have ended there, just as in the Buzayan (spelling?) case. There was no need to pursue that case either, since it had already been settled between the two parties involved. It was a minor fender bender in a parking lot, with very little damage to the car in question. Yet the girl was brought to the police station at night, in her pajamas, without parental escort. She missed out on going to Stanford University, because she had to stay in town for her trial. Ultimately the case was tossed out…

    Yet I know of situations where the DA’s office has to have their arm twisted, to get involved in cases that clearly should be addressed by that office. I, for one, would really like to have a better picture of how the DA’s Office makes those decisions. It seems sometimes like it is a matter of hit or miss, or personal bias, but not very consistent. And thus it gives the public a sense of unfairness, which is not good. I would suggest the DA’s Office could really stand to carry out a public relations campaign, and work on improving its image, much as Landy Black is attempting to do here in Davis. I know some within the police department are skeptical of Black’s approach, but I think it is having a salutory effect.

    To me, the penultimate misuse of the DA’s Office happened under former DA Dave Henderson’s watch. A child was pushed into a train by a gang of three boys. Henderson was too busy on another 12 year old cold case – the murder of two students. Instead of making sure the first case was addressed properly, Henderson gave it short shrift, struck a deal that allowed one of the perpetrators total immunity. That allowed Henderson to pursue the other more high profile case – in which Henderson introduced evidence so questionable, the judge threw it out immediately. In consequence of Henderson’s poor handling of both cases, the second case was thrown out of court (and the real killers were later found), and one of the killers in the first case was given immunity – and ended up committing another murder.

    Obviously DA’s cannot always get things right. Mistakes will be made from time to time, as in any other profession. But the DA has a higher duty to the community than the average gov’t employee, so needs to be extra careful in the choices made. They must protect both the victim and the ACCUSED, which can be difficult at times. But with budget cuts on the horizon, and with ethics in mind, the DA’s Office must be seen to be above reproach, and not capricious in its decision making.

  2. It should be remembered that an aquittal does not necessarily mean the person charged was innocent of all charges, just that there was not enough evidence to prove guilt. The lack of evidence can be for all sorts of reasons – innocence of the charges, coverup of evidence, witnesses intimidated into not coming forward.

    Having said that, a man is still innocent until proven guilty in our legal system. So I respect Serena’s aquittal as a showing that there was not enough evidence to convict him on the charges, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    However, it does seem, from what I have heard and read, that there was (and still is) rampant mismanagement at the YHA. Serena needed to go, and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors did have to step in and take over, and have Serena removed for questionable job performance. So while Serena may be crowing at his victory in the courtroom, he should remember that his job performance was less than stellar – he was fired for his poor stewardship – nothing to brag about.

    As for his suit against the grand jury, I did not think that was possible. Normally suits against the gov’t are not permitted, except in very limited circumstances. All the grand jury was doing was trying to carry out their duties as citizen jury members – unless somehow the grand jury was chosen in such a way as to be friends of the DA, or some such thing. Not quite sure I understand how the grand jury could have been sued. If we allow such suits, no one would want to serve on a grand jury.

    I have no problem in making sure there is a selection method that does not pad the grand jury with folks who are all one color/ethnicity, or keeps a particular ethnicity off the grand jury. But was that truly the case here? Or is it perhaps that the only people who signed up happened to be retired white individuals? Are Latinos hesitant to volunteer? I just don’t have enough facts to go on…

    It does seem as if the DA’s office is making poor choices at times on who to prosecute. In Serena’s case, the matter was already being resolved at the administrative level. If the county thought there was criminal activity, I assume they would have alerted the DA to look into it. Was that the case? If not, one has to wonder why the DA decided to get involved in this case at all. Serena was a lousy administrator – and was fired accordingly. It seems as if the matter should have ended there, just as in the Buzayan (spelling?) case. There was no need to pursue that case either, since it had already been settled between the two parties involved. It was a minor fender bender in a parking lot, with very little damage to the car in question. Yet the girl was brought to the police station at night, in her pajamas, without parental escort. She missed out on going to Stanford University, because she had to stay in town for her trial. Ultimately the case was tossed out…

    Yet I know of situations where the DA’s office has to have their arm twisted, to get involved in cases that clearly should be addressed by that office. I, for one, would really like to have a better picture of how the DA’s Office makes those decisions. It seems sometimes like it is a matter of hit or miss, or personal bias, but not very consistent. And thus it gives the public a sense of unfairness, which is not good. I would suggest the DA’s Office could really stand to carry out a public relations campaign, and work on improving its image, much as Landy Black is attempting to do here in Davis. I know some within the police department are skeptical of Black’s approach, but I think it is having a salutory effect.

    To me, the penultimate misuse of the DA’s Office happened under former DA Dave Henderson’s watch. A child was pushed into a train by a gang of three boys. Henderson was too busy on another 12 year old cold case – the murder of two students. Instead of making sure the first case was addressed properly, Henderson gave it short shrift, struck a deal that allowed one of the perpetrators total immunity. That allowed Henderson to pursue the other more high profile case – in which Henderson introduced evidence so questionable, the judge threw it out immediately. In consequence of Henderson’s poor handling of both cases, the second case was thrown out of court (and the real killers were later found), and one of the killers in the first case was given immunity – and ended up committing another murder.

    Obviously DA’s cannot always get things right. Mistakes will be made from time to time, as in any other profession. But the DA has a higher duty to the community than the average gov’t employee, so needs to be extra careful in the choices made. They must protect both the victim and the ACCUSED, which can be difficult at times. But with budget cuts on the horizon, and with ethics in mind, the DA’s Office must be seen to be above reproach, and not capricious in its decision making.

  3. It should be remembered that an aquittal does not necessarily mean the person charged was innocent of all charges, just that there was not enough evidence to prove guilt. The lack of evidence can be for all sorts of reasons – innocence of the charges, coverup of evidence, witnesses intimidated into not coming forward.

    Having said that, a man is still innocent until proven guilty in our legal system. So I respect Serena’s aquittal as a showing that there was not enough evidence to convict him on the charges, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    However, it does seem, from what I have heard and read, that there was (and still is) rampant mismanagement at the YHA. Serena needed to go, and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors did have to step in and take over, and have Serena removed for questionable job performance. So while Serena may be crowing at his victory in the courtroom, he should remember that his job performance was less than stellar – he was fired for his poor stewardship – nothing to brag about.

    As for his suit against the grand jury, I did not think that was possible. Normally suits against the gov’t are not permitted, except in very limited circumstances. All the grand jury was doing was trying to carry out their duties as citizen jury members – unless somehow the grand jury was chosen in such a way as to be friends of the DA, or some such thing. Not quite sure I understand how the grand jury could have been sued. If we allow such suits, no one would want to serve on a grand jury.

    I have no problem in making sure there is a selection method that does not pad the grand jury with folks who are all one color/ethnicity, or keeps a particular ethnicity off the grand jury. But was that truly the case here? Or is it perhaps that the only people who signed up happened to be retired white individuals? Are Latinos hesitant to volunteer? I just don’t have enough facts to go on…

    It does seem as if the DA’s office is making poor choices at times on who to prosecute. In Serena’s case, the matter was already being resolved at the administrative level. If the county thought there was criminal activity, I assume they would have alerted the DA to look into it. Was that the case? If not, one has to wonder why the DA decided to get involved in this case at all. Serena was a lousy administrator – and was fired accordingly. It seems as if the matter should have ended there, just as in the Buzayan (spelling?) case. There was no need to pursue that case either, since it had already been settled between the two parties involved. It was a minor fender bender in a parking lot, with very little damage to the car in question. Yet the girl was brought to the police station at night, in her pajamas, without parental escort. She missed out on going to Stanford University, because she had to stay in town for her trial. Ultimately the case was tossed out…

    Yet I know of situations where the DA’s office has to have their arm twisted, to get involved in cases that clearly should be addressed by that office. I, for one, would really like to have a better picture of how the DA’s Office makes those decisions. It seems sometimes like it is a matter of hit or miss, or personal bias, but not very consistent. And thus it gives the public a sense of unfairness, which is not good. I would suggest the DA’s Office could really stand to carry out a public relations campaign, and work on improving its image, much as Landy Black is attempting to do here in Davis. I know some within the police department are skeptical of Black’s approach, but I think it is having a salutory effect.

    To me, the penultimate misuse of the DA’s Office happened under former DA Dave Henderson’s watch. A child was pushed into a train by a gang of three boys. Henderson was too busy on another 12 year old cold case – the murder of two students. Instead of making sure the first case was addressed properly, Henderson gave it short shrift, struck a deal that allowed one of the perpetrators total immunity. That allowed Henderson to pursue the other more high profile case – in which Henderson introduced evidence so questionable, the judge threw it out immediately. In consequence of Henderson’s poor handling of both cases, the second case was thrown out of court (and the real killers were later found), and one of the killers in the first case was given immunity – and ended up committing another murder.

    Obviously DA’s cannot always get things right. Mistakes will be made from time to time, as in any other profession. But the DA has a higher duty to the community than the average gov’t employee, so needs to be extra careful in the choices made. They must protect both the victim and the ACCUSED, which can be difficult at times. But with budget cuts on the horizon, and with ethics in mind, the DA’s Office must be seen to be above reproach, and not capricious in its decision making.

  4. It should be remembered that an aquittal does not necessarily mean the person charged was innocent of all charges, just that there was not enough evidence to prove guilt. The lack of evidence can be for all sorts of reasons – innocence of the charges, coverup of evidence, witnesses intimidated into not coming forward.

    Having said that, a man is still innocent until proven guilty in our legal system. So I respect Serena’s aquittal as a showing that there was not enough evidence to convict him on the charges, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    However, it does seem, from what I have heard and read, that there was (and still is) rampant mismanagement at the YHA. Serena needed to go, and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors did have to step in and take over, and have Serena removed for questionable job performance. So while Serena may be crowing at his victory in the courtroom, he should remember that his job performance was less than stellar – he was fired for his poor stewardship – nothing to brag about.

    As for his suit against the grand jury, I did not think that was possible. Normally suits against the gov’t are not permitted, except in very limited circumstances. All the grand jury was doing was trying to carry out their duties as citizen jury members – unless somehow the grand jury was chosen in such a way as to be friends of the DA, or some such thing. Not quite sure I understand how the grand jury could have been sued. If we allow such suits, no one would want to serve on a grand jury.

    I have no problem in making sure there is a selection method that does not pad the grand jury with folks who are all one color/ethnicity, or keeps a particular ethnicity off the grand jury. But was that truly the case here? Or is it perhaps that the only people who signed up happened to be retired white individuals? Are Latinos hesitant to volunteer? I just don’t have enough facts to go on…

    It does seem as if the DA’s office is making poor choices at times on who to prosecute. In Serena’s case, the matter was already being resolved at the administrative level. If the county thought there was criminal activity, I assume they would have alerted the DA to look into it. Was that the case? If not, one has to wonder why the DA decided to get involved in this case at all. Serena was a lousy administrator – and was fired accordingly. It seems as if the matter should have ended there, just as in the Buzayan (spelling?) case. There was no need to pursue that case either, since it had already been settled between the two parties involved. It was a minor fender bender in a parking lot, with very little damage to the car in question. Yet the girl was brought to the police station at night, in her pajamas, without parental escort. She missed out on going to Stanford University, because she had to stay in town for her trial. Ultimately the case was tossed out…

    Yet I know of situations where the DA’s office has to have their arm twisted, to get involved in cases that clearly should be addressed by that office. I, for one, would really like to have a better picture of how the DA’s Office makes those decisions. It seems sometimes like it is a matter of hit or miss, or personal bias, but not very consistent. And thus it gives the public a sense of unfairness, which is not good. I would suggest the DA’s Office could really stand to carry out a public relations campaign, and work on improving its image, much as Landy Black is attempting to do here in Davis. I know some within the police department are skeptical of Black’s approach, but I think it is having a salutory effect.

    To me, the penultimate misuse of the DA’s Office happened under former DA Dave Henderson’s watch. A child was pushed into a train by a gang of three boys. Henderson was too busy on another 12 year old cold case – the murder of two students. Instead of making sure the first case was addressed properly, Henderson gave it short shrift, struck a deal that allowed one of the perpetrators total immunity. That allowed Henderson to pursue the other more high profile case – in which Henderson introduced evidence so questionable, the judge threw it out immediately. In consequence of Henderson’s poor handling of both cases, the second case was thrown out of court (and the real killers were later found), and one of the killers in the first case was given immunity – and ended up committing another murder.

    Obviously DA’s cannot always get things right. Mistakes will be made from time to time, as in any other profession. But the DA has a higher duty to the community than the average gov’t employee, so needs to be extra careful in the choices made. They must protect both the victim and the ACCUSED, which can be difficult at times. But with budget cuts on the horizon, and with ethics in mind, the DA’s Office must be seen to be above reproach, and not capricious in its decision making.

  5. Mr Q has it right, there is a completely inadequate process of reviewing allegations and filtering the important cases from those that are not. It is as if they have unlimited resources to pursue every case that comes their way, regardless of the evidence.

    Other flaws – they attempt to be overly creative (gang injuction)and they routinely over charge – 19felony charges for sending a couple of kids to the doctor is ridiculous. They also play one defendant against another defendant far too often. If two people are involved in a crime they both should pay for it. In Yolo County they let one defendant off (with a slap on the wrist) in exchange for testimony. As a result one defendant is nailed to the cross while the other one walks. The approach is wrong. The practice is not unique to Yolo County, but it is used all of the time. It seems that the Yolo “justice” system has been reduced to gamesmanship.

    Yolo County would have a better Justice system if it put more constraint on the DA’s staff – reduce the size of the organization and force them to focus on real issues.sah

  6. Mr Q has it right, there is a completely inadequate process of reviewing allegations and filtering the important cases from those that are not. It is as if they have unlimited resources to pursue every case that comes their way, regardless of the evidence.

    Other flaws – they attempt to be overly creative (gang injuction)and they routinely over charge – 19felony charges for sending a couple of kids to the doctor is ridiculous. They also play one defendant against another defendant far too often. If two people are involved in a crime they both should pay for it. In Yolo County they let one defendant off (with a slap on the wrist) in exchange for testimony. As a result one defendant is nailed to the cross while the other one walks. The approach is wrong. The practice is not unique to Yolo County, but it is used all of the time. It seems that the Yolo “justice” system has been reduced to gamesmanship.

    Yolo County would have a better Justice system if it put more constraint on the DA’s staff – reduce the size of the organization and force them to focus on real issues.sah

  7. Mr Q has it right, there is a completely inadequate process of reviewing allegations and filtering the important cases from those that are not. It is as if they have unlimited resources to pursue every case that comes their way, regardless of the evidence.

    Other flaws – they attempt to be overly creative (gang injuction)and they routinely over charge – 19felony charges for sending a couple of kids to the doctor is ridiculous. They also play one defendant against another defendant far too often. If two people are involved in a crime they both should pay for it. In Yolo County they let one defendant off (with a slap on the wrist) in exchange for testimony. As a result one defendant is nailed to the cross while the other one walks. The approach is wrong. The practice is not unique to Yolo County, but it is used all of the time. It seems that the Yolo “justice” system has been reduced to gamesmanship.

    Yolo County would have a better Justice system if it put more constraint on the DA’s staff – reduce the size of the organization and force them to focus on real issues.sah

  8. Mr Q has it right, there is a completely inadequate process of reviewing allegations and filtering the important cases from those that are not. It is as if they have unlimited resources to pursue every case that comes their way, regardless of the evidence.

    Other flaws – they attempt to be overly creative (gang injuction)and they routinely over charge – 19felony charges for sending a couple of kids to the doctor is ridiculous. They also play one defendant against another defendant far too often. If two people are involved in a crime they both should pay for it. In Yolo County they let one defendant off (with a slap on the wrist) in exchange for testimony. As a result one defendant is nailed to the cross while the other one walks. The approach is wrong. The practice is not unique to Yolo County, but it is used all of the time. It seems that the Yolo “justice” system has been reduced to gamesmanship.

    Yolo County would have a better Justice system if it put more constraint on the DA’s staff – reduce the size of the organization and force them to focus on real issues.sah

  9. Mr.q was right on. The Buzayan case was not simply dismissed, it was dealt with fairly and the truth was that someone was lying, not the cops. And yes, it should never have gone that far.
    Serena was very fortunate. He is guilty and the race card should never be a factor in any decision of any kind.
    On a tragic note the little dirtbag, JB, killed a guy with a .45 caliber in Sacto. in an argument over a traffic issue. Had he been given time in CYA for murder would that have prevented him from killing again? Probably not, but then someone’s loved one always has to die first before we finally euthanize the scumbag killer.
    DA’s are not perfect but they are the best system going. With the current cuts in budget coming who do you think should be protected most, VICTIMS OR ACCUSED? If a complete breakdown of the country ocurred how would JUSTICE be meted out? What do you think?

  10. Mr.q was right on. The Buzayan case was not simply dismissed, it was dealt with fairly and the truth was that someone was lying, not the cops. And yes, it should never have gone that far.
    Serena was very fortunate. He is guilty and the race card should never be a factor in any decision of any kind.
    On a tragic note the little dirtbag, JB, killed a guy with a .45 caliber in Sacto. in an argument over a traffic issue. Had he been given time in CYA for murder would that have prevented him from killing again? Probably not, but then someone’s loved one always has to die first before we finally euthanize the scumbag killer.
    DA’s are not perfect but they are the best system going. With the current cuts in budget coming who do you think should be protected most, VICTIMS OR ACCUSED? If a complete breakdown of the country ocurred how would JUSTICE be meted out? What do you think?

  11. Mr.q was right on. The Buzayan case was not simply dismissed, it was dealt with fairly and the truth was that someone was lying, not the cops. And yes, it should never have gone that far.
    Serena was very fortunate. He is guilty and the race card should never be a factor in any decision of any kind.
    On a tragic note the little dirtbag, JB, killed a guy with a .45 caliber in Sacto. in an argument over a traffic issue. Had he been given time in CYA for murder would that have prevented him from killing again? Probably not, but then someone’s loved one always has to die first before we finally euthanize the scumbag killer.
    DA’s are not perfect but they are the best system going. With the current cuts in budget coming who do you think should be protected most, VICTIMS OR ACCUSED? If a complete breakdown of the country ocurred how would JUSTICE be meted out? What do you think?

  12. Mr.q was right on. The Buzayan case was not simply dismissed, it was dealt with fairly and the truth was that someone was lying, not the cops. And yes, it should never have gone that far.
    Serena was very fortunate. He is guilty and the race card should never be a factor in any decision of any kind.
    On a tragic note the little dirtbag, JB, killed a guy with a .45 caliber in Sacto. in an argument over a traffic issue. Had he been given time in CYA for murder would that have prevented him from killing again? Probably not, but then someone’s loved one always has to die first before we finally euthanize the scumbag killer.
    DA’s are not perfect but they are the best system going. With the current cuts in budget coming who do you think should be protected most, VICTIMS OR ACCUSED? If a complete breakdown of the country ocurred how would JUSTICE be meted out? What do you think?

  13. Q and anon,

    The charges were dropped and yet you two continue to beat up on Serena. Your posts show exactly why he has a claim against the county for malicious prosecution. Since he has been maligned by the indictment and lost his job as a result he has suffered serious damages to both his reputation and his finances. He will get a large settlement by the time this is over and he desrvses it. The more people like you continue to attack him the more he will deserve in his settlement.

  14. Q and anon,

    The charges were dropped and yet you two continue to beat up on Serena. Your posts show exactly why he has a claim against the county for malicious prosecution. Since he has been maligned by the indictment and lost his job as a result he has suffered serious damages to both his reputation and his finances. He will get a large settlement by the time this is over and he desrvses it. The more people like you continue to attack him the more he will deserve in his settlement.

  15. Q and anon,

    The charges were dropped and yet you two continue to beat up on Serena. Your posts show exactly why he has a claim against the county for malicious prosecution. Since he has been maligned by the indictment and lost his job as a result he has suffered serious damages to both his reputation and his finances. He will get a large settlement by the time this is over and he desrvses it. The more people like you continue to attack him the more he will deserve in his settlement.

  16. Q and anon,

    The charges were dropped and yet you two continue to beat up on Serena. Your posts show exactly why he has a claim against the county for malicious prosecution. Since he has been maligned by the indictment and lost his job as a result he has suffered serious damages to both his reputation and his finances. He will get a large settlement by the time this is over and he desrvses it. The more people like you continue to attack him the more he will deserve in his settlement.

  17. “Serena was very fortunate. He is guilty”

    Interesting comment – I thought all of the charges were cleared.

    “who do you think should be protected most, VICTIMS OR ACCUSED?”

    Both, since a falsely accused person is also a VICTIM!

  18. “Serena was very fortunate. He is guilty”

    Interesting comment – I thought all of the charges were cleared.

    “who do you think should be protected most, VICTIMS OR ACCUSED?”

    Both, since a falsely accused person is also a VICTIM!

  19. “Serena was very fortunate. He is guilty”

    Interesting comment – I thought all of the charges were cleared.

    “who do you think should be protected most, VICTIMS OR ACCUSED?”

    Both, since a falsely accused person is also a VICTIM!

  20. “Serena was very fortunate. He is guilty”

    Interesting comment – I thought all of the charges were cleared.

    “who do you think should be protected most, VICTIMS OR ACCUSED?”

    Both, since a falsely accused person is also a VICTIM!

  21. Serena was guilty of what crime please specify? He was only charged with one specific crime and the judge ruled there was no evidence that a crime was committed.

    Also can someone explain to me who the victim was in the Buzayan case, I’ve been trying to figure that out for over two years.

  22. Serena was guilty of what crime please specify? He was only charged with one specific crime and the judge ruled there was no evidence that a crime was committed.

    Also can someone explain to me who the victim was in the Buzayan case, I’ve been trying to figure that out for over two years.

  23. Serena was guilty of what crime please specify? He was only charged with one specific crime and the judge ruled there was no evidence that a crime was committed.

    Also can someone explain to me who the victim was in the Buzayan case, I’ve been trying to figure that out for over two years.

  24. Serena was guilty of what crime please specify? He was only charged with one specific crime and the judge ruled there was no evidence that a crime was committed.

    Also can someone explain to me who the victim was in the Buzayan case, I’ve been trying to figure that out for over two years.

  25. A falsely accused person is definitely a victim. In Yolo County, he is a victim of a system that prosecutes to further political aspirations through media attention. As a matter of fact, it is my belief that there is a knowledge and/or reckless disregard for who the DA’s Office net falls on. By whatever means necessary, it appears that the DA’s Office will make its “target” fit the crime de jour.
    Public discourse helps to monitor the ” system” by bringing attention to the problems that average citizens have been fighting against without a forum or public support.

  26. A falsely accused person is definitely a victim. In Yolo County, he is a victim of a system that prosecutes to further political aspirations through media attention. As a matter of fact, it is my belief that there is a knowledge and/or reckless disregard for who the DA’s Office net falls on. By whatever means necessary, it appears that the DA’s Office will make its “target” fit the crime de jour.
    Public discourse helps to monitor the ” system” by bringing attention to the problems that average citizens have been fighting against without a forum or public support.

  27. A falsely accused person is definitely a victim. In Yolo County, he is a victim of a system that prosecutes to further political aspirations through media attention. As a matter of fact, it is my belief that there is a knowledge and/or reckless disregard for who the DA’s Office net falls on. By whatever means necessary, it appears that the DA’s Office will make its “target” fit the crime de jour.
    Public discourse helps to monitor the ” system” by bringing attention to the problems that average citizens have been fighting against without a forum or public support.

  28. A falsely accused person is definitely a victim. In Yolo County, he is a victim of a system that prosecutes to further political aspirations through media attention. As a matter of fact, it is my belief that there is a knowledge and/or reckless disregard for who the DA’s Office net falls on. By whatever means necessary, it appears that the DA’s Office will make its “target” fit the crime de jour.
    Public discourse helps to monitor the ” system” by bringing attention to the problems that average citizens have been fighting against without a forum or public support.

  29. A partial victory in his civil suit??? The guy does not even understand the concept of how a grand jury is selected. He thought it was if you have a valid drivers license. Do a little research if you are going to file a federal lawsuit.

    I like the part:

    Although a federal judge threw out Serena’s lawsuit against the Yolo County grand jury, Gonzalez calls it a partial victory.

    “His lawsuit changed how they select the grand jury” in Yolo County, he said. “There’s never going to be a disproportionate representation of Latinos again. Ultimately, we showed very disturbing patterns of lack of racial diversity.”

    False!!!

    No change has been made because there is nothing wrong with the selection process. Gonzales must have been drinking when he stated that. So, what changes were made?? Answer: None

    His Civil suit was a total failure, it actually makes me think he is not educated enough to run an entire agency.

  30. A partial victory in his civil suit??? The guy does not even understand the concept of how a grand jury is selected. He thought it was if you have a valid drivers license. Do a little research if you are going to file a federal lawsuit.

    I like the part:

    Although a federal judge threw out Serena’s lawsuit against the Yolo County grand jury, Gonzalez calls it a partial victory.

    “His lawsuit changed how they select the grand jury” in Yolo County, he said. “There’s never going to be a disproportionate representation of Latinos again. Ultimately, we showed very disturbing patterns of lack of racial diversity.”

    False!!!

    No change has been made because there is nothing wrong with the selection process. Gonzales must have been drinking when he stated that. So, what changes were made?? Answer: None

    His Civil suit was a total failure, it actually makes me think he is not educated enough to run an entire agency.

  31. A partial victory in his civil suit??? The guy does not even understand the concept of how a grand jury is selected. He thought it was if you have a valid drivers license. Do a little research if you are going to file a federal lawsuit.

    I like the part:

    Although a federal judge threw out Serena’s lawsuit against the Yolo County grand jury, Gonzalez calls it a partial victory.

    “His lawsuit changed how they select the grand jury” in Yolo County, he said. “There’s never going to be a disproportionate representation of Latinos again. Ultimately, we showed very disturbing patterns of lack of racial diversity.”

    False!!!

    No change has been made because there is nothing wrong with the selection process. Gonzales must have been drinking when he stated that. So, what changes were made?? Answer: None

    His Civil suit was a total failure, it actually makes me think he is not educated enough to run an entire agency.

  32. A partial victory in his civil suit??? The guy does not even understand the concept of how a grand jury is selected. He thought it was if you have a valid drivers license. Do a little research if you are going to file a federal lawsuit.

    I like the part:

    Although a federal judge threw out Serena’s lawsuit against the Yolo County grand jury, Gonzalez calls it a partial victory.

    “His lawsuit changed how they select the grand jury” in Yolo County, he said. “There’s never going to be a disproportionate representation of Latinos again. Ultimately, we showed very disturbing patterns of lack of racial diversity.”

    False!!!

    No change has been made because there is nothing wrong with the selection process. Gonzales must have been drinking when he stated that. So, what changes were made?? Answer: None

    His Civil suit was a total failure, it actually makes me think he is not educated enough to run an entire agency.

  33. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I’m simply stunned by the blatant racism from my community (I assume) expressed in some of the comments above.

  34. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I’m simply stunned by the blatant racism from my community (I assume) expressed in some of the comments above.

  35. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I’m simply stunned by the blatant racism from my community (I assume) expressed in some of the comments above.

  36. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I’m simply stunned by the blatant racism from my community (I assume) expressed in some of the comments above.

  37. The judge dismissed the suit because there wasn’t a long enough history presented to justify the claim. The grand jury selectors are now on notice that they must be more diverse and are actively looking for latinos. That is probably what his attorney was talking about. And yes, that is a partial victory.

  38. The judge dismissed the suit because there wasn’t a long enough history presented to justify the claim. The grand jury selectors are now on notice that they must be more diverse and are actively looking for latinos. That is probably what his attorney was talking about. And yes, that is a partial victory.

  39. The judge dismissed the suit because there wasn’t a long enough history presented to justify the claim. The grand jury selectors are now on notice that they must be more diverse and are actively looking for latinos. That is probably what his attorney was talking about. And yes, that is a partial victory.

  40. The judge dismissed the suit because there wasn’t a long enough history presented to justify the claim. The grand jury selectors are now on notice that they must be more diverse and are actively looking for latinos. That is probably what his attorney was talking about. And yes, that is a partial victory.

  41. “The charges were dropped and yet you two continue to beat up on Serena.”

    Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that Serena was fired from his job because of his lousy stewardship of the YHA. Someone can be “guilty” of less than ethical behavior in the civil arena, but be innocent of any criminal activity.