Opinion By Roger Gitlin – EYE ON DEL NORTE – April 4, 2022
” Don’t worry about it, tell the truth. The truth will prevail.” Those words spoken by former Del Norte Sheriff Randy Waltz to his Smith River landlord Younan and Sandra Dawood re: Randy Waltz official residency speak volumes about the individual who is being indicted for perjury and voter registration fraud.District Attorney Katherine Micks is w r o n g in her zeal to prosecute this man.
The Board of Supervisors are not victims, as soon-to-retire Chairman Gerry Hemmingsen would have you believe. Hemmingsen, ” …we’re hugely disappointed…We feel we’ve been lied to…duped a little, if you,” Hemmingsen wined. With the exception of a single dissenting vote from Supervisor Starkey, neither Hemmingsen nor Howard, Short nor Berkowitz asked any questions about Waltz residency. The October 2020 appointment was rubber stamped.The facts speak for themselves:
* Waltz contacted the Dawoods this past January.
* Waltz posted a $1500 check and it was cashed January 23, with a note promising to be back Feb.7.
* Waltz registered to vote Feb. 8. And moved in to the furnished apartment, and delivered another $1500 check Feb. 28 for March rent.
And he lives there presently.
Felony charges have been filed and arraignment on those charges has been postponed until May 3. Both Del Norte judges recused themselves from this arraignment.
The action by DA Micks is eerily similar to a successful intimidation and removal from office against former Crescent City Vice Mayor Alex Campbell. He was summarily ousted from Office. There are some distinctions between the two matters, of course:
* Campbell never intended to live in a City apartment he declared was his residence and
* Campbell continued to reside at his County address, continuously. He ultimately pled guilty and caries felonies for the rest of his life.
I observe a very dangerous trend sticking its ugly head above the Del Norte horizon. The felony impact for this type of designer crime is way out of whack.
Back to Randy Waltz specious (plausible but wrong) case. Conflating the issues of morale and unsatisfactory job performance by some in the community is no reason to destroy an individual’s reputation, and that is exactly what has happened to Randy Waltz.
The voters have been denied their right to vote thumb’s up or thumb’s down on Waltz. It is disappointing and disheartening to see some in our community resorting to these sleazy, underhanded practices of removing someone from political office for the flimiest of reasons.
Some years back, I brought to the attention of the City. A faux lease involving a City resident on 3rd St. and Master Alex Falman, allowing him to serve on the Council. In fact, he was a recently graduated DN High School student who lived with his mother outside of the City limits. Indeed, I brought this to the aftention of City authorities, but nothing came of my complaint. He served most of the remainder of his term as a student at Cal Poly Humboldt.
Selective Law Enforcement ?
Yes, it would appear so.
The District Attorney world be prudent to drop the Waltz charges’ (with apologies) injustice, and do so expediently.