Friday, August 29, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

State Bar judge admonishes former Yolo judicial candidate

By
From page A7 | October 06, 2013 |

Former Yolo County prosecutor Clint Parish should be admonished — but not disciplined — for making false allegations in campaign mailers during his 2012 judicial campaign, a State Bar Court judge concluded in a ruling announced Friday.

Judge Pat McElroy wrote in the ruling, filed Sept. 13, that Parish’s misconduct “came as the result of a bad decision by a first-time judicial candidate” and caused no significant harm to either the public or his opponent, incumbent Yolo Superior Court Judge Dan Maguire.

The State Bar’s Office of the Chief Trial Counsel is appealing the ruling, which will be reviewed by the bar’s court review department. Reached by phone Friday, Parish said he would not comment until that review is complete. Maguire also declined to comment.

Parish, 42, had been accused of willfully violating the rules of professional conduct while seeking judicial office and faced disbarment as a maximum punishment.

Maguire won the June 5, 2012, election with more than 77 percent of the countywide vote after Parish’s campaign released a pair of campaign mailers linking Maguire to a controversial prison-term commutation, as well as a “sordid case of corporate fraud” at a former law firm.

Neither claim turned out to be true.

“While respondent’s misconduct was reckless, it was not found to be intentional,” McElroy wrote in the 15-page ruling. “If anything, respondent’s misconduct primarily harmed himself, as his controversial advertising put him at the center of a political firestorm and caused him to lose several key endorsements.”

McElroy’s decision was based on evidence and testimony presented during a three-day trial in State Bar Court in San Francisco back in July.

According to the written ruling, the events leading to the controversy began several months before the election, when the director of communications for Parish’s campaign, Kirby Wells, advised Parish to replace his then-campaign consultant with Aaron Park, “who has been described as ‘true believer’ and a ‘flame thrower’ with a right-wing blog.”

With Park on board, Parish’s campaign released a pair of campaign mailers that implied Maguire, a former deputy legal secretary to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was involved in the decision to reduce the voluntary manslaughter prison sentence for Esteban Nuñez, son of former Assembly Speaker and Schwarzenegger ally Fabian Nuñez.

The mailers also claimed that Maguire was part of a “sordid case of corporate fraud that involved payment of bribes in Russia” while working for a Denver law firm in the 1990s.

Maguire responded at the time that he had left the Denver law firm prior to the controversy involving its Russia office — a matter in which the law firm ultimately prevailed — and played no role in the Nuñez prison sentence commutation, which occurred after he took the bench in Yolo County.

In his defense, Parish described himself as a political “neophyte” who relied upon the advice of his campaign consultants as the mailers were being prepared. Parish later fired Park and suspended his campaign activities as his key endorsers — including Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto and District Attorney Jeff Reisig, Parish’s boss — withdrew their support.

Although the ads’ allegations ranged from exaggerated to reckless, and though Parish had a responsibility to determine their accuracy, “the court does not believe that respondent knew or believed they were false when he made them,” McElroy wrote. “Instead, respondent just relied on what Wells and Park were telling him.”

The ruling also noted multiple mitigating factors in the case, including Parish’s lack of disciplinary record, his community service activities and his recognition of wrongdoing, which included an open apology to Maguire during the July trial.

“And shortly after the election, respondent left his position at the district attorney’s office in Yolo County and moved to Tuolumne County,” the ruling says. “Accordingly, the court finds respondent has demonstrated remorse.”

The request for a review of McElroy’s ruling was filed Oct. 1.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

     
    Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Equestrian eventing competition slated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Forum explores local mental health services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

     
    Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Forum

    Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

     
    Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    What if we need MRAP?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

     
    How could tank be helpful?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

    Don’t sentence our police to death

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2

     
    Will Davis see river water?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Travel buddy is getting too fat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils scrimmage with Sac

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6

    Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Technology makes a great car better

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Elaine Dracia Greenberg

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics