Wesson Names Nancy Bohl To Speaker's Commission On Police Conduct

Sacramento - Assembly Speaker Herb J. Wesson Jr. (D-Los Angeles/Culver City) today named the final set of commissioners to the Speaker's Commission on Police Conduct, which he created in July in response to the videotaped beating of a handcuffed youth.

The appointment of Assemblymembers Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) and Lou Correa (D – Santa Ana), psychologist Dr. Nancy Bohl, law enforcement training expert Sgt. Pat Gomez, youth advocate David Kakashiba, attorney R. Samuel Paz, and psychologist Dr. Sandra Smith bring the current number of commissioners to 25. The Commission’s five subcommittees will hold public hearings across the state over the next three months.

"My goal from the beginning was to create a balanced panel of experts from academia, law enforcement, psychology and other related fields," Speaker Wesson said. "And I am confident these latest appointees will help us reach our goal in California—that there will be zero incidents of police abuse and zero tolerance when incidents occur. One incident is too many."

The Commission will review past research and recommend legislation that addresses issues of police training, community policing, police accountability and the use of force. The Speaker hopes that the work of the Commission will foster a stronger bond between law enforcement and the citizens they protect through mutual respect and understanding.

Assemblymember Chu represents the 49th Assembly district in Southern California. She graduated with a bachelor's degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and served as a faculty member in the psychology department in the Los Angeles Community College District for twenty years. When racial tensions surfaced in local schools, Dr. Chu broke new ground and built new bridges between communities by establishing a conflict resolution-training program for students. Prior to becoming a member of the California State Assembly, she served on the Monterey Park City Council for thirteen years starting from 1988 to 2001, and served as Mayor of the city three times. Chu was an U.S. Department of Commerce appointee to the Race and Ethnic Advisory Committee of the U.S. Census Bureau and she currently Chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Hate Crimes.

Assemblymember Lou Correa represents California's 69th Assembly District in Southern California. He holds a degree in Economics from California State University, Fullerton; and both a Jurist Doctorate and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to becoming a member of the California State Assembly, Correa was an investment banker, a real estate broker and a business consultant. Long active in community affairs, Correa served on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Community Development Council, the county's anti-poverty council, and on the California Small Business Board. Recently, he received the Legislator of the Year award from the state's leading crime victim advocacy organization, the Crime Victims United of California.

Dr. Nancy Bohl has been providing psychological services to law enforcement officers for the past 19 years. She has worked with agencies such as the FBI, the Secret Service and the San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Department. She is currently serving as Director of "The Counseling Team," an emergency counseling team in Southern California. Bohl is an adjunct faculty member of San Jose State University, Riverside City College, San Bernadino Valley College, and a frequent lecturer at the FBI Academy.

Sergeant Pat Gomez has over 21 years of law enforcement experience and currently is the Director of the Professional Peace Officers Association. He trains and supervises deputies who teach topics such as use of force, anger management, tactical communications, critical decision-making and use of less lethal weapons. He is the past President of the Sheriffs Relief Association.

David Kakishiba, of Berkeley, currently serves as the Executive Director of the East Bay Asian Youth Center, a private non-profit community organization serving the interests of children, youth, and their families. In 1999, he was awarded the Charles Bannerman Memorial Fellowship in recognition of his long-time service to and advocacy for children, youth, and families. David has also served as an appointee to various local government boards and commissions, including the City of Berkeley Police Review Commission. He moved to the East Bay in 1977 to attend the University of California, Berkeley, and began working for the East Bay Asian Youth Center in 1980.

R. Samuel Paz has practiced law in Los Angeles since 1974, working on high profile cases such as representing victims of the LAPD Rampart scandal. He has served in a number of community and legal organizations including the National Police Accountability Project, the Hispanic Advisory Council to the L.A. Police Commission, the ACLU and the Mexican American Bar Association of L.A. County.

Dr. Sandra Smith is a clinical psychologist from Oakland, California with a practice focussing on individual, couple and family psychotherapy. She has received a BA from Howard University in Washington D.C. and a Masters and Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. She has worked as an organizational consultant for the private sector and government on such issues as cultural diversity, communication and work-place violence. Dr. Smith performs psychological screenings of applicants for police officers, firefighters, communication dispatchers and probation officers

With the addition of these seven commissioners, the Commission will be composed of the following members:

Speaker of the Assembly Herb J. Wesson (D – Los Angeles/Culver City), Commission Chair

Assemblymember Jerome Horton (D – Inglewood), Commission Chair
# Assemblymember Wilma Chan (D – Oakland)

# Assemblymember Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park)

# Assemblymember Lou Correa (D – Santa Ana)

# Assemblymember Marco Firebaugh (D – Cudahy)

# Assemblymember Jay LaSuer (R – La Mesa)

# Assemblymember Ken Maddox (R – Garden Grove)

# Assemblymember Gloria Negrete-McLeod (D – Chino)

# Tom Anderson

# Dr. Nancy Bohl

# Erwin Chemierinsky

# Sgt. Pat Gomez

# Alice A. Huffman

# Ted Hunt

# Earl Ofari Hutchinson

# Rev. Norman S. Johnson, Sr.

# David Kakashiba

# Joseph D. McNamara

# Maribel Medina

# R. Samuel Paz

# Constance L. Rice

# Laurie Smith

# Dr. Sandra Smith

# Police Chief Arturo Venegas, Jr.

Each commissioner will sit on at least one of five subcommittees. The Commission will gather the subcommittee reports early next year and recommend legislation for the 2003 legislative session.


District attorney ends bid for reelection

Redlands Daily Facts, 2002-03-15
By Chris Nguyen Staff Writer

District Attorney Dennis Stout is giving up his bid for a third term as the county's top prosecutor.

Stout announced his withdrawal from the race for district attorney a week after he finished second in the primary election, behind Deputy District Attorney Mike Ramos, who won 42.7 percent of the vote.

Stout won 35.3 percent of the vote, and a third candidate, defense attorney Frank H. Guzman, garnered 21.9 percent.

Both Ramos and Guzman had attacked Stout's handling of the investigation into corruption in the county.

Stout and Ramos were headed for a runoff in November, and while Stout has publicly stepped out of the race, state law requires that his name remain on the ballot.

In a prepared statement, Stout said further pursuit of the position he's held since January 1995 would be futile.

"After much soul searching last weekend, and analyzing the results of the primary election, I arrived at the conclusion that further prolonging the district attorney's race would be pointless," he said.

"The voters have given me the message that they desire change," he said. "With that in mind, I am withdrawing from the campaign today and will no longer expend time or effort in seeking re-election to a third term."

Ramos said Stout's decision is appropriate.

"Mr. Stout saw the writing on the wall," he said.

While Stout plans to stop campaigning, Ramos said he will not.

"We need to continue to go out and make contact with people," Ramos said. "It will be nice that it won't be an adversarial campaign."

Ramos said Stout will help familiarize him with the district attorney's position by including Ramos in top-level management meetings.

"I have been preparing myself for this job for years," Ramos said.

County supervisors said Stout's decision is honorable and wise.

"He and his office have been through a lot, and this is the right thing to do," Supervisor Bill Postmus said.

Supervisor Dennis Hansberger also said Stout was right to step aside, but added that he had expected Stout to fight harder to be re-elected.

In the months leading up to the March primary, Stout trailed Ramos in fund-raising.

Ramos brought in five times more campaign money than Stout did between January and June of last year, according to county records. Ramos collected $78,413 to Stout's $15,619.

While both men are Republicans, Ramos this week was endorsed for the nonpartisan post by the county's three Democratic state legislators.

Stout's backers included State Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte of Rancho Cucamonga and police officers associations from Ontario and San Bernardino.

Stout's achievements as district attorney have been overshadowed by a scandal involving former Rialto Councilman Ed Scott, who ran against Supervisor Jerry Eaves in 2001.During his campaign, Scott told members of a task force consisting of the Sheriff's Department, the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles that top district attorney's officials offered to help him defeat Eaves, whom they were investigating.

In January 2000, authorities began recording Scott's conversations with Stout, Assistant District Attorney Dan Lough and Chief Investigator Barry Bruins.

An internal investigation concluded that the conduct of Lough and Bruins was inappropriate but not criminal. Stout demoted both men after transcripts of the conversations were made public.

Lough and Bruins have alleged that the investigation, which they claim was politically motivated, destroyed their careers. They also criticize Stout for refusing to oppose release of the transcripts.

Brulte, a longtime supporter of Stout, said the District Attorney's Office made a mistake, but Stout took the blame for it.

"It's not news when the district attorney does his job well. It is news when the DA makes a mistake," Brulte said. "People in politics understand that one mistake can wipe out 100 huge successes."

In October, Lough and Bruins sued the county, Stout and nine other defendants for defamation and violating their civil rights.

On Thursday, Lough and Bruins said Stout led a successful administration but they criticized his handling of the Eaves case.

"He's come to the realization that the community will not tolerate that kind of behavior," Scott said.

Stout's administration also has been excluded from the corruption task force because of information leaks before the scandal over the District Attorney's Office's involvement with Scott.

Those leaks led authorities to question whether the District Attorney's Office should participate.

Ramos said he plans to make the office more involved with the ongoing federal and local corruption investigation in San Bernardino County.

"We're going to work together," Ramos said.

Staff Writers Andrew Silva and Felisa Cardona contributed to this report.District attorney ends bid for reelection.