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DA Wagstaffe asks Board of Supervisors to Approve bringing on Al Giannini to help prosecute the Ayres case

Original post made by Lurker, another community, on Apr 19, 2013

In 2010, in their eye-opening report on Prosecutorial Misconduct in California, the Northern California Innocence Project singled out San Mateo prosecutor Al Giannini as one of the worst offenders of prosecutorial misconduct in the State of California. His misconduct has led to reversals or mistrials in three cases since 2009 - more than almost any other prosecutor in the state

Yet, now San Mateo DA Steve Wagtaffe is asking the Board of Supervisor to approve bringing on the just-retired Giannini to help prosecutor Melissa Mckowan - herself recently disciplined by the California Bar - to assist in the Ayres case. Shows what Wagstaffe thinks about the Ayres case: not much.

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District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe is asking county supervisors to approve rehiring a just-retired homicide prosecutor to aid in the trial of William Hamilton Ayres, the former prominent child psychologist whose prosecution for molesting former patients has stretched over several trials and led to a formal California State Bar reprimand of the primary attorney.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will consider Wagstaffe’s request for up to $83,241.60 to re-employ former deputy district attorney Al Giannini as second chair to prosecutor Melissa McKowan in the trial beginning May 13. The rate is equivalent to the hourly rate of his former position, according to Wagstaffe.

Comments (11)

Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 8:09 am

From Mercury News story, 4/16/11: "Report Finds Prosecutorial Misconduct in Bay Area"

"But critics, including some prosecutors named in the study, claim the Innocence Project fails to carefully research the cases in its haste to skewer deputy district attorneys.

"Like Holocaust deniers and people who believe we never went to the moon, they have an agenda, and no fact is ever going to get in their way,'' said San Mateo County prosecutor Alfred Giannini, who the study describes as a "multiple offender.''

Giannini was cited last year for misconduct in a murder trial that led to the conviction being set aside, according to the study. It was the third case in which courts have found his conduct has led to a reversal or mistrial since 1999. He disputes either
the courts' findings in all three cases or the Innocence Project's summary of those opinions."

Posted by Interesting
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 8:13 am

Wagstaffe is trying to get a "win at all costs" prosector signed on to this case. Normally crime victims like that type of prosecutor. More neutral people mindful of civil liberties and the constitution don't since America's legal system is supposed to be based on "it could happen to you and then what would you want'.

What this decision shows is that Wagstaffe acknowledges McKowan is unsuited for this prosecution. Instead of continuing this charade, and asking the supervisors for money SMC doesn't have for continuing to cover for his mistakes, Wagstaffe should remove McKowan (something I thought would go without saying after she was cited for misconduct) and appoint another existing prosecutor (i.e, no additional taxpayer money) for the trial.

Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 11:22 am

In 2005 I hand delivered a letter to San Mateo County District Attorney James P. Fox asking him to instruct prosecutor Al Giannini to stop lying to the jury in a murder case. He lied about evidence and he lied about his witness.

I do not recommend San Mateo County taxpayers reward him.

I support Wagstaffe's idea about adding to the team, just not his selection.

If SMC had a Single Point Data Base the BOS could have just put in Al Giainnini's name and would have found my letter.

Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

No, the San Mateo DA's office should NOT be trying this case at all. The DA's office hired Ayres to evaluate juvenile boys.

Judge Robert Foiles who has made many recent decisions on the Ayres case, was the San Mateo prosecutor on a case involving a juvenile who was tried as an adult. This former juvenile recently came forward to say that Ayres had sexually assaulted him in this court-ordered session.

Many inmates who were convicted in San Mateo County and molested by Ayres as juveniles, were put away by Steve Wagstaffe. Do you think he wants to see those cases overturned?

This case needs to be removed from San Mateo County ASAP.

Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

To Interesting:

Kathleen Ridolfi, head of the Northern California Innocence Project and whose report singled out Giannini as one of the worst offenders of prosecutorial misconduct in San Mateo County, has just passed on the information about Wagstaffe trying to rehire Giannini for the Ayres case, to reporter Tracey Kaplan at the Mercury News.

Bringing in Al Giannini, who has seen at least three cases of his reversed since 2009 because of misconduct, may be yet another ploy by DA Wagstaffe to keep Ayres out of prison.

Think of the lawsuits against the County if there is a conviction. This case has dragged on for six years- because of incompetence and unethical behavior by the prosecutor and by Wagstaffe's refusal to do anything about it.

In the United States, every other pedophile doctor in the last decade has been convicted in LESS THAN A YEAR after the arrest. Of course, those pedophile doctors didn't do work for their local district attorney and judges, as Ayres did for the San Mateo DA's office, San Mateo judges, probation and juvenile hall.

Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm

According to a San Mateo Supervisor, the Board will most likely vote to confirm Al Giannini tomorrow. However, a third prosecutor, a male, is also being brought on board for the Ayres case.

Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Board approves Al Giannini unanimously. Meanwhile at this same meeting today, Don Horsley praises Wagstaffe and Karen Guidotti for their efforts to help crime victims.

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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Apparently a THIRD prosecutor has been added to the Ayres case: Peter Lynch. He has been a prosecutor in the San Mateo DA's office since 1987. He is currently in charge of training and evaluation.

Has Lynch been added to make sure prosecutor Melissa Mckowan doesn't commit any more ethical violations that would result in more discipline by the California Bar?

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm


more likely is that Wagstaffe can spread the blame across three prosecutors when they blow this case instead of only two already compromised prosecutors. What a lame excuse for a DA this county has.

Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2013 at 7:06 am

Menlo Voter: Come to think of it, I agree with you. If Wagstaffe had wanted to win this case when Ayres was first arrested in 2007 (six years ago!!) he would have been on an experienced and ethical prosecutor with no history of disciplinary problems.

Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2013 at 9:44 am

20 seconds to approve it.

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