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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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May 9, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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May 9, 2001
 

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4A Wednesday, May 9, 2001 Court Hews m Ely Dave Keller Superior Court Judge Ira R. Kaufman's used legal maneuver that can result in would only consider testimony and oth- "there is simply no Staff Writer June 2000 decision, the [']ring of a public officer, er evidence from the grand jury hear- that an accusation is a A legal ruling that foiled the grand Reichle has contended that Meyer is Lerner contended at the time, anding that resulted in the accusation, ceeding governed" by jury's attempt to dismiss a county a public officer and is eligible to be re- "-.continues to contend, that Meyer was As a result, Reichle was not allowed nal Code. worker who allegedly used drugs and moved from his job through a jury tri- nora public officer, but merely a coun- to present new evidence at the June In his response, alcohol on duty should be upheld., al--an argument designed to refute a ty worker who took orders from the 2000 hearing that led to Kaufman's deci- agrees with that aspect of That is the argument that is being ruling by Kaufman. Plumas County Board of Supervisors. sion. gument. waged by Stephen M. Lerner, the attar- But Lerner is arguing that Meyer Reichle told Kaufman that the grand In his appeal Reichle contended that But the attorney hey for Randy Meyer, who was a was a mere employee with none of the jury.was able to reasonably infer from his office "was wrongfully denied the primary premise of the DA'Sl Plumas County department head. power bestowed on public officers, the testimony that Meyer was actually opportunity to present evidence" at the Lerner states, m part, In a legal brief fried with the Court of A year ago, the Plumas County grand a public officer. June 2000 hearing, ists substantial Appeal's Third District, Lerner's argu- jury fried what is known as an "accusa- But it was Lerner's argument thatReichle is arguing the error occurred man ruled correctly that ment is in response to an earlier brief tion" against Meyer. swayed Kaufman, whose ruling barred because Kaufman incorrectly treated a public officer. filed by Plumas County District Attar- The grand jury alleged that MeyerReichle from civilly prosecuting Mey- the Meyer case like a criminal matter He says that Kaufman hey James Reichle. used, and allowed subordinates to use, er. and dismissed the accusation using ed" to dismiss the Reichle filed papers earlier this year alcohol and drugs during work hours. Kaufman's ruling stemmed from an criminal law procedures. Meyer. seeking a reversal of Plumas County A grand jury accusation is a rarely earlier decision by the judge that he The district attorney states that m i m By Dave Keller Staff Writer Dr. Richard P, Musselman, .. accused of feloniously beating .. a Greenville chiropractor, is . seeking to have District Attor- ney James Reichle and his of- fice disqualified from prose- curing him. In a motion filed in Plumas " County Superior Court April 130, defense attorney Robert J. Zernich contends that the dis- ' trict attorney's office will not be fair to Musselman. But, in response, Reichle is ' opposing Zernich's motion and disputes the attorney's conclusions. Zernich..is arguing that .proof of the office's unfairness ,lies in the DA's relationships "with the sheriffs department and the local newspaper. Musselman is accused in the April 14 assault and bat- tery of John Bergstrand at a Quincy health club. A hearing to determine whether Musselman should be ordered to answer to the two charges, along with one count of burglary, is sched- uled for Friday, May 11. Musselman's motion to throw the DA off the case is on the calendar on the same date. However, the DA's office was expected earlier this week to seek a postponement until later in the month. Zernich is arguing that the prosecuting attorney may be thrown off a case when a con- flict of interest that would pre- vent a fair trial is shown. In the motion, Zernich refers to California cases in which district attorneys have been removed from cases be- cause they could not be fair to defendants. Zernich also states that some of the facts and issues in ern Surf the world wide web Get your own E-Mail address 19.95/mo Additi al fe, es and hook:ui Costs may apply See store for de~Is FEATHE ER Published: Every Wednesday morning by Feather Publishing Co., Inc. Office Location and hours: 555 W. Main St., Quincy, CA 95971. Mailing address: P.O. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971. Office is open Mon.-Fd., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. How to contact us: All departments: (530) 283-0800. FAX: (530) 283-3952. E-Mail plumaspul0@aol.com Web Page http://www.ptumasnews.cem Ownership and Heritage: The Bulletin was established Aug. 11, 1866, as the Plumas National (later changed to Plumas National Bulletin, May 16, 1892) subsequently changed to its present name May 7, 1931, which merged with the Plumas Independent (1892-1945) on June 7, 1945. Published weekly. It is part of the Feather Publishing family of newspapers serving Plumas and Lassen counties. Deadlines: Display Advertising: Thursday 4 p.m. Display Classified: Thursday, 3 p.m. Classified: Monday 10 a.m. News: Fridaysl 3 p.m. Legals: Thursday 4 p.m. Breaking news: Anytirnet To Subscribe: Call (530) 283-0800 or come to the Bulletin office, or use the handy coupon below, or send e-mail to plumaspul0@aol.com Adjudication: The Feather River Bulletin is adjudicated a legal newspa- per by Supenor Court Decree No. 4644 (1953) and qualified for publication of matters required by law to be published in a newspaper. Postal Service: USPS No. 188-550, Penodicals postage paid at (~incy, CA. Postmaster: Send change of address orders to the Feather Rk, er Bulletin, P.O. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971. Michael C. Taborski Publisher Jenette Meneely News Proofre , Kid's Page Editor Tom Fomey Production Manager Cobey Brown Print Shop Manager Pat Whitcomb Bookkeeper Eva Small Composing Manager =mmmimzammm Subscription Order Form Feather River Bulletin P.O. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971 Kevin Mallory Assistant to the Publisher Debra Coates Managing Editor Diane Kleine Circulat bn & Classified Ad Manager Sherri McConneli Disp/ay Advertising Manager Keri Taborski Legal Advertising Department I I I | ~ ~, my ~.~o. to,.___ ye,.~. i | ~l InCoun~$2OPmYQm' ~ OutotStMe$36peryur I 1:3 h, rm v l Name ---------------- I | Acldre~m "'""1 I I I I I I I I I SUSANVILLE I .I those cases mirror the situa- bias stems from the DA's coop- tion in the Musselman matter, eration with the local newspa- Because the alleged victim per, Zernich said. is Plumas County Undersher-He said Reichle was seen iffTerry Bergstrand's brother, giving a Feather Publishing "the district attorney's close journalist a copy of a case association with the sheriffs pleading that the DA intended department precludes the de- to use in court in the Mussel- fendant from receiving a fair man case. and impartial treatment," Zer- "In this matter the district nich says. attorney appears to be releas. Zernich said that ing information to the local Bergstrand has played a role newspaper which is being in the investigation of the of- used against the defendant," fense against his brother, in- Zernich argues. "It is well cluding a visit to the crime known in the area that (the scene, and is close to the DA's journalist) and the district at- office, torney, Mr. Reichle, enjoy a The attorney also says he rather friendly relationship has seen Bergstrand going to that garners him any amount the county courthouse over of fawning news releases on the years to meet with Reich- Mr. Reichle of which one is an le. entire book." Zernich says this concern is In his response to Zernich's underscored by the fact that motion, Reichle argues that Reichle is handling the case-- the removal of the district at- what the defense attorney torney from a case should on- characterizes as "a routine as- ly take place when "such an sault charge"--rather than a action is strictly necessary." subordinate. The DA, who has been the Further, it is troubling that subject of disqualification mo- Reichle helped oversee the de- lions by Zernich on at least fendant's medical exam, Zer- three other occasions over the nich said. years, argues that he can be The attorney called Reich- removed only if Zernich can le's participation "quite odd." show a conflict or the appear- Additional proof of Reichle's ance of one and prove that the conflict is so grave that itcrous," Reichle sai(L would unfairly prevent a fair He also said trial, has been "In other words," Reichle chain of says, "while the conflict may Musselman case. be actual or apparent, the like- Reichle also lihood of prejudice must be re- took the al and demonstrated, and notcause his felony a mere possibility." was on vacation. Reichle also states that theIn addition, law allows the district attar- went to the has hey to aggressively prosecute pervise a defendant if the prosecution but because he did believes the defendant is the guilty of an offense, order to show up. In a sworn declaration at- Reichle also tached to his response, Reich- provided case le also defends the DA office's the newspaper. relationship with the sheriffs The matters department, by Judge "Although relations be- had been assignedt tween the sheriff and the dis- the case, trict attorney are cordial and last week by professional, for counsel tois allowed one leverage a few courthouse challenge of a judge. conversations into a close per- sonal relationship is ludi- A huge shipment has just arrived. Visit us for a great variety of fresh plants. OPEN: Wed.-Sun.: 10:00 am - 5:00 prn Kathy Pricer 352 Plneleaf Drive Meadow Valley. 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