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home : opinions : opinions August 20, 2014

2/7/2013 5:00:00 PM
TIMES EDITORIAL: District Attorney Paul Zellberbach owes Blythe more than an apology

Many of us have often wondered why local politicians and others that appear to have obvious conflicts or act in ways that defy any sense of morals or ethics, continue to function on behalf of themselves and their benefactors with seeming immunity. The truth became clear when Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach publicly admitted that Blythe is just a dumping ground for political exiles and those considered a threat to him.

In a Jan. 24 Dan Bernstein column published in Riverside's The Press-Enterprise concerning the transfer of "star prosecutor" Michael Hestrin out of the DA's homicide unit, Zellerbach is quoted as saying: "If this were politically motivated, he'd (Hestrin) be in Blythe or trying misdemeanor cases."

While there have been times we have questioned the depth of talent in the local Blythe DA's office, Zellerbach seems to have confirmed our worst suspicions - that he's short-changing Blythe when it comes to justice for valley residents.

Since Zellerbach won office almost three years ago, we've seen an investigation come to an end because he promoted the investigator to the west end of the county. We've seen a deputy DA, who said she was not representing any agency, spend 10 minutes in a public meeting siding with board members while at the same time DA sleuths were investigating those board members' actions.

Sadly, we can't expect the more selfish of our public officials to act with any conscience when the agency charged with policing them suffers from the same moral lapses.

Understandably, Blythe is not among the more glamorous or wealthiest cities in District Attorney Zellerbach's domain, but it's still home to residents of Riverside County - residents he took an oath to protect equally under the law.

For Zellerbach to refer to our community as a place of exile and banishment shows how little he knows about Blythe.

While some people "have to live here" and whine and complain about what Blythe doesn't have, most of us live here because of what we do have; namely clean air, safe streets and neighbors we know and trust.

What we don't need are elected officials and their cronies who rape the community for whatever they can, lying, cheating and promoting agendas that enrich themselves and their compatriots while using our tax dollars to scheme and inflict vengeance on their personal enemies.

This type of crime is rampant in Blythe and it's something the more exploited among us had hoped the Riverside County District Attorney's office would step in and correct.

Don't anyone hold his or her breath because it's obvious the same game is being played out in the DA's office.

Zellerbach owes Blythe more than an apology - he owes us justice - and if he can't provide justice for one of Riverside County's smaller communities, then step down and hand the keys over to someone who can: maybe someone like Michael Hestrin.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Article comment by: Aj McKay

Good Ol' Blythe Citizens. Same story, different day. Who pushed the "repeat" buttin? lol

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Article comment by: Johnny Ringo

People, let's get back to the title of the article. Zellerbach owing Blythe an apology. Mr. Zellerbach needs to show his face in town and publicly apologize to this community. There are many dedicated individuals in this community that devote their days to convicting criminals and providing justice in this community. To refer to Blythe as less than other parts of the county or as road therapy is JUST WRONG! Let's get off the hospital band wagon and focus on the real problem the man who was elected by the citizens of Riverside County, that has spit in Blythe's face. We are still waiting for an apology Mr. Zellerbach!

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Article comment by: @ No board meeting tonight

Maybe they took some bad medicine.

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Article comment by: @@@ Just Me

One thing you neglected to say is that, in "public speaking" it is, indeed, appropriate for the speaker to maintain eye contact with his/her "audience". However, you neglected completely the Robert Rules of Order "rules", and that says persons speaking are not making a public speech they actually are addressing only the board, and therefore should be facing them. There's a reason for that, but of course, you and your buddies on the board and MEC prefer that you people go there to spew their propaganda to the gullible public. In REAL meetings, these Roberts Rules are used to keep order. You and your group actually prefer to get people all riled up emotionally, because then their thinking mechanism shuts off, and they are less able to see what is actually going on. Had to laugh at your assertion that people "willfully and freely" speak their minds. HA! When people actually do that, will they ALL get their tires slashed, as I understand Surely you're kidding.

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Article comment by: I am Tired, too

You have it backwards. I know that is hard to take, your being to welll- informed, and all. You have heard the one about the pot calling the kettle black? Stupid is as stupid does. I have never seen such blatant evil being ptacticed (excepting the intimidation and bribery rampant in Obama Land, of course). Why not take the plsnk out of your own eye and leave the speck in the eye of those who really see what is truth?

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Article comment by: Poor Babies

PVVT needs to hire a pooper-scooper for these comments. They tell me a new form of very deadly flu is going around. It attacks three people at a time and seems to hit people whose immunity to honesty, integrity, and caring is especially strong. Stange stuff. Certain associates are at risk and the only known cure is for victimd to come clean, stay away from the local hospital, and move to a much colder climate before you wind up in a climate MUCH MUCH hotter where there will be weeping and gnashing of

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Article comment by: No board meeting tonight

Heard through the grapevine Sam Burton was sick so Sahlolbei's other two followers Trina Sartin and Sandy Hudson got sick also that way there would not be a quorum. Quite convenient all three sick at the same time? It just two of them were sick there would still be a meeting but Sahlolbei could not control it.

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Article comment by: @ @ just me

You are 100 percent correct in your assesment of the ADA at the meeting and many of the other speakers did the same thing. It is a basic rule of public speaking to talk to where everyone in the room can hear, to make eye contact and if using a source for your information to show it to all those in the room. I guess by the standards of the naysayers here that the ex CEO and the CFO are all out of line also since they do the same thing when talking at the meetings. It is obvious that this "story" was just another pathetic attempt by the PVVT to put those that disagree with their views in a negative light to the public. Just look at the results from this past november and you will see that the people of this town see right through the personal agendas of the PVVT and have seen the reality of the situation. I for one am tired of people getting accused of taking bribes, being corrupt, ignorant or any other term the naysayers like to use against those that freely and willfully speak their mind for only one reason, they care! Look at those speaking out and ask yourself, what do they really have to gain, besides being lambasted by our local "newspaper"? Many of these people are people that have fought for this community for years and hopefully for many more years to come. This is just pure intimidation by the PVVT! The same dirty trick they like to accuse everyone else of.

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Article comment by: just me@just me

your talking out your (deleted) cause you as well as the mec and three blind mice know better..The D. A. hasn't been here long enough to know every thing....I have gone to meetings, all I learned was the board along with the attending mec dr.(deleted)..the president cant control the meetings and only certain people get talk and I don't care to listen to..Thanks for the invite but no thanks..

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Article comment by: @ JUST ME

You should attend the Board meetings and get educated. It seemed that ADA occasionally turned to the audience while talking because they were behind her and could not hear her. ALSO, it seems that this article was about Riverside County DA but it was side tracked to Blythe ADA since her opinion did not match PVVT. That is the SAD way, but routine for PVVT, to silence its critics or whoever it does not agree with.

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013
Article comment by: @Concerned Citizen

FYI. Yes, she did, as did several others, address the audience, and for more than the standard 3-minute time limit. That is exactly the concern Bob Weete was addressing - to the board. No parliamentary procedure to protect the rights of citizens, and prevent any campaign speeches. This board refuses to follow any normal rules unless it suits their needs. The chair would not even allow one of the board members to place an important item on the agenda, because she and her pals did not want to hear it. Check the rules. That is wrong.

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013
Article comment by: Im your huckle berry

"For Zellerbach to refer to our community as a place of exile and banishment shows how little he knows about Blythe."

Come on down to Blythe and I'll show you a Banishment. All city boys do is run there mouths, Dont know when to stop.

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

It appears from the many comments that some support the new deputy DA and others do not. She the same as anyone else has a right to address the Board. It is said by others that she has experience with even a larger Board than this one. Not knowing if the comments are true or not I will comment to them and not her. First the size of a Board has nothing to do with experience or your expertise, all Special District Boards follow the same statutes with a few exceptions. Second if it is true and I quote "She, like a couple of others, were "instructing" the audience, and she mostly talked TO the audience."
Anyone speaking at a Public Board meeting is to address the Board and not the Audience. This if true shows a lack of understanding or experience especially on the part of the Board President.

Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Article comment by: just me

@just me and Bob Vasco..I'm sorry I should have been a little more clear with my comment..I really don't know how pvvt is getting the information ..How ever they are getting it, I like it..I didn't mean to degrade their work..I love their editorials.I believe pvvt .before I will trust or believe any one at pvh.And I agree if we end up at pvh that could be the end for us...sorry for the misunderstanding

Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Article comment by: @ ??

Actually that was not her first board meeting. She had attended meetings before that and it was not the first time she had spoken at one. The first time she ever spoke up at a meeting she said that she had been following the going ons at the hospital for a while and that she had been on numerous, much larger boards than the healthcare district board for a while and was surprised at the legal counsel that the board was getting under the old legal group BB&K. BB&K by the way happens to be the same firm that represented the City of Bell, CA during its years of corruption. She stated that the board should review their options in regards to legal counsel. The ADA is a resident of the district and is entitled to her opinion as a citizen just like the rest of us. The fact that she disagrees with the PVVT does not give the "Blythe Enquirer" or as they call themselves the PVVT to seek revenge against her. That is what this waste of space in the paper is really about! SAD PVVT and the rest of the sheep

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