Today the Atherton Almanac updated their story about the FBI investigation . The gist of it is that the FBI investigation is not limited to the police in Atherton and extends to others who work in San Mateo County.
Here are their newest additions to the story: http://www.AlmanacNews.com/news/show_story.php?id=8288
The FBI is interviewing Atherton residents and others about town matters, according to a former employee who said he was interviewed recently. But the federal law enforcement agency's interest apparently goes beyond the town's borders, according to another person who was interviewed and who contacted The Almanac.
A reliable source who also was interviewed by two FBI agents and who contacted The Almanac said the agents' interests extended to "a number of people who work for the county." The person spoke on condition of anonymity.
Don't miss the comments section below the story.
Hmmm. A poster mentions WS. Hopefully, we'll have some new readers. I wonder just how far outside the borders of Atherton this investigation might reach?
For those of us who don't live in San Mateo County but are alarmed by what is going on there, I have to say it's encouraging news that finally, an agency like the FBI is investigating.
From our perspective, the misconduct goes far beyond Atherton. Bear in mind that in addition to a lawsuit by a man named Jon Buckheit against the Atherton Police for false arrest; for falsifying a police report and against San Mateo DA Steve Wagstaffe for refusing to turn over his police report (Buckheit just won a statement of factual innocence against the County) , there are a number of other citizens who have filed suits in federal court against the San Mateo District Attorney's office and the county.
Noteworthy lawsuits include the one filed by the Cevasco family against the San Mateo DA and prosecutor Melissa Mckowan ( who as Websleuths readers are well aware- is the prosecutor on the Ayres case ) for lying to a judge and fraud. Their lawyer is Nina Salarno Ashford of Crime Victims United. Salarno Ashford also represents the family who has a lawsuit against Schwarzenegger for reducing the sentence of the son of the politician in a murder case.
- Also, San Carlos resident Mark Adams- whose case bears some similarities to Buckheit's - is now going for a statement of factual innocence. His case was covered in the press a week ago.
It's good to see that citizens are fighting back. The San Mateo DA's office is not used to being challenged, and now that they are, they are not conducting themselves in a manner that is becoming. Quite frankly, they've been arrogant.
One citizen who wrote to the San Mateo DA's office to point out egregious prosecutorial misconduct by prosecutor Melissa Mckowan on the Ayres case received a letter from the DA, advising the citizen not to publicly criticize the prosecutor, as it "would accomplish nothing."
If anyone who is reading this blog believes they are a victim of police or prosecutorial misconduct in San Mateo County, they need to speak up. Contact Renee Batti at the Atherton Almanac. She is asking that victims get in touch with her. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, contact the FBI or the Attorney General's office or the Northern California Innocence Project. Write to the Justice Department in DC.
Speak out, and fight back!
This isn't good news for the Ayres victims who have civil cases against him. Last week a judge signed an order staying the cases until the completion of the criminal trial. And given that it looks iffy for another criminal trial, this isn't good.
Case CIV467741 - CLARK DOE VS JOHN DOE 1 ET AL
02/08/2011 ORDER GRANTING STAY OF CASE PENDING CRIMINAL TRIAL OF JOHN DOE 1, SIGNED BY JUDGE FREEMAN ON 02/04/11 FILED.
WTH-We cant stop fighting, even if the noise we make is a small one.
People of San Mateo, take notice. He has been given no reason to stop this behavior. He has to be file sharing or reliving all of this somewhere.
This is very sad for everyone involved with this. What a horrible way to have it end, if this is it. I have seen civil cases go before the criminal ones. I think the judge is wrong to put them on hold. Way to avoid the obvious. This sickens me.
Although San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe has told reporters that his office never hired Ayres to evaluate boys, that is indeed a false statement. Ayres testified in his own deposition that when a prosecutor named Marta Diaz worked in the DA's office, she hired Ayres to evaluate young boys. We have a feeling she wasn't the only one....
That said, there's a growing belief among victims and parents of victims that the Ayres case needs to be taken out of the hands of San Mateo County. Some are asking that the Attorney General's office take over the prosecution.
The Executive Editor of the San Mateo County Times, Glenn Rabinowitz has said that there is a decided "ambivalence" on the part of the San Mateo District Attorney's office about trying and winning the case.
Ayres evaluated hundreds of boys in the juvenile courts as well. Can you imagine the slew of lawsuits that would follow if Ayres was convicted? Why didn't San Mateo County do as they did in Alberta in the case of molester Dr. Aubrey Levin, who evaluated young men for the courts? They actually went back and contacted everyone who had been evaluated by Levin to see if they had been molested.
San Mateo doesn't seem at all curious about its own role in sending boys to Ayres.
I think the parents of Ayres victims are correct in asking the Attorney General's office to take a look at this case.
The conflict of interest is insurmountable.
The chickens always come home to roost, don't they?
The press is officially announcing it: The San Mateo District Attorney's office is under investigation by the FBI.
Excerpt from today's Atherton Almanac: http://www.almanacnews.com/news/show_story.php?id=8312
FBI focuses on Atherton, DA's office, sources say
by Renee Batti
This is an expanded version of a previously published article.
The FBI is interviewing Atherton residents and others about matters involving the town of Atherton and the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, according to sources who told The Almanac they had been interviewed.
Former finance director John Johns said he was interviewed about his experiences with the town of Atherton in late January by an agent in the San Francisco office of the FBI.
A reliable source who contacted The Almanac after being interviewed by two FBI agents said the federal law enforcement agency is seeking people who have information about possible misconduct, or who have witnessed possible misconduct, by the District Attorney's Office. The source spoke on condition of anonymity.
As a result of the FBI investigation into the San Mateo DA's office, this might be an opportune time for those who are unhappy with the DA's handling of the Ayres case to request that the case be prosecuted by the California Attorney General's office.
Last edited by Mercyneal; 02-15-2011 at 04:22 PM.
Thanks for the update Mercyneal. It's too bad the Ayres case got this far before the investigation. I have serious doubts that anything will happen, even if they transfer it out of San Mateo. I will take a long time to get everyone up to speed, and he isn't going to last forever. jmo of course.
I agree that Ayres is not going to last forever (although he might surprise us). However, if the AG takes up the case and it can be proven that Ayres did abuse, even if he's not sent to prison, the victims would have recourse.
I'm watching this very very carefully as three of our adopted sons were in foster care in San Mateo County in the mid-80s through early 90s. When the eldest repeatedly complained about abuse in a particular foster home, each was marked unfounded. Now that he's an adult and can fully verbalize what went on, it is so clear that there was some major cover-up going on.
I do believe that the very reason we were offered an extremely generous adoption assistance stipend, without much advocacy on our part, for this child is directly related to facts well known to the county. And to be clear, to my knowledge, our sons were not seen by Ayres. Ayres name, however, does come up in a document as someone the county was recommending that one be sent to for evaluation. From what I've read, Ayres fancied cognitively bright Caucasian boys. Thank goodness our sons are black and have some special needs.
I wonder just how embarrassing the Tarquin Thomas case has proven to be to San Mateo County. Thomas was just sentenced to 108 years for rape and child pornography involving a number of boys, including one placed across state lines for adoption. San Mateo County would have been the supervising agency for that child.
Note: While checking on the length of the sentence right now, I noticed that boychat has an article about the sentence. One would think this would be a deterrent.
Whoah--I don't remember ever seeing this before:
More molestation charges for foster dad
January 16, 2008
"...Shortly after the boy arrived here [San Mateo County], prosecutors say Thomas began adoption procedures and molesting his future son. Tarquin also reportedly had the boy pose nude with other adults....."
And what other adults would that be? Have they been identified? Thomas' circle of friends and business associates is known. So who are these other adults? Did they drop these charges? Anyone know about this?
Thanks, Miss Izzy.
As stated, some Ayres victims and their parents have contacted the California Attorney General's office and the California Bar and requested that the case be tried by the Attorney General's office.
Now, with the FBI investigation into San Mateo DA Steve Wagstaffe and his office, coupled with the fact that Wagstaffe's own office used Ayres as well as the juvenile courts, having the case tried by the AG's office seems like a very good idea.
Today's San Jose Mercury News: "Sources Say FBI is asking Questions about San Mateo District Attorney's Office"
The FBI has interviewed several Atherton residents in recent weeks, but the focus of its investigation may include the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, The Daily News has learned.
According to one person who was interviewed by the FBI but requested anonymity, the federal agency is interested in speaking with other people who have information about misconduct or have witnessed misconduct related to the district attorney's office. That could include former or current employees of the office, as well as people whose cases have been represented by it.
These victims never ever had a chance. I wonder if Marc Klaas has been brought up to date?
If anyone - and this includes Ayres victims and their families- has any information about misconduct by the San Mateo District Attorney's office, they can contact editor Renee Batti at the Atherton Almanac, email@example.com or Bonnie Eslinger at the Mercury News: firstname.lastname@example.org. If your complaint is valid, they will be able to help you get in touch with Peter Carpenter, the citizen who got the FBI involved.
New story today in the San Jose Mercury News about the lawsuit against Ayres prosecutor Melissa Mckowan. This involves another child molestation case.
"Mother Sues San Mateo County DA for Dropping Child Molestation Case."
This story doesn't go into all the details. But suffice to say, the family was eager to have the child testify and had taken the child on a tour of the courtroom.
In the lawsuit, prosecutor Mckowan is charged with actions that some of you who have been following the Ayres case might recognize.
Remember how Mckowan said she contacted the doctors who trained with Ayres in Boston and at Yale but they said they never talked to her and that she has made false statements about what they said, in conversations they say never even took place?
Well, the family who is suing Mckowan has charged that Mckowan did the same thing in their case. For example, the family says that prosecutor Mckowan falsely claimed to the court that she subpoenaed expert child molestation witness Megan Lemar to testify for the prosecution. In truth, the family has a signed statement from Lemar saying that she was NEVER contacted by the San Mateo District Attorney's office.
And for those who are following the Ayres case, you may recall that prosecutor Mckowan made a false statement to the mother of an Ayres victim during the trial that victim's advocate Victoria Balfour was in cahoots with Ayres lawyer and in fact before the trial had volunteered to testify for him in exchange for room and board?
Well, in the case for which Mckowan is being sued, in their lawsuit, the family charges that prosecutor Mckowan made a wildlly false allegation to the court that one of the other reasons she didn't want to try the case was because the family was concerned that the child's therapist would blackmail the family and according to Mckowan "switch sides" if the child was allowed to testify. The family is stunned by this bizarre blackmail allegation, as they continue to use the therapist. They have submitted to the court a signed declaration from the therapist herself, stating that this is false.
What many people - and now the press -don't understand is why the San Mateo District Attorney's office continues to defend the prosecutor. In other DA's offices, the prosecutor would have been fired for such unethical misconduct.
On a positive note, the Northern California Innocence Project is monitoring this situation, as are other federal and state agencies.
I dont understand-why would you knowingly torpoedo your own case? Dont they track their wins in San Mateo? I mean, isnt that an incentive? You know, one more bad guy put away. Does she have personal issues regarding sexual abuse?
Yes, the prosecutor does indeed have her own personal issues regarding sexual abuse. She has sent emails and personally told a number of prosecution witnesses that she has personal issues regarding sexual abuse.
OK-well that is pretty obvious. But on which side of the fence does she have issues? Personally, I find her behavior pretty sadistic.
Those who are following the Ayres case will be interested in comments on the Atherton Almanac story about the FBI investigation into Steve Wagstaffe and the San Mateo District Attorney's office. There's a lot that's being said by citizens who have dealt with Steve Wagstaffe, and it ain't pretty.
Ayres worked at Boston Children's Hospital from 1959-1963.
Child psychiatrist Dr. Donald Lee Rife, who was caught molesting boys in three states, worked at Children's Hospital from 1964-1966.
Sounds as if Children's Hospital was quite the stomping ground for perv doctors.
Great Find, Believe09.