Newell’s personal baggage will get the once over

DA Cliff Newell Happy warrior?

DA Cliff Newell
Happy warrior?

District Attorney Cliff Newell’s personal baggage figures to get the attention TSA gives somebody on its watch list now that attorney David Alkire has announced his candidacy to restore “personal integrity and professionalism to the leadership” of the office.

David Alkire Deputy DAs back him

David Alkire
Deputy DAs back him

Alkire kicked-off his campaign by announcing he has the endorsement of the bargaining units that represent Nevada County’s deputy district attorneys and deputy public defenders. “They chose to endorse my candidacy over their own boss,” he told The Union. “Frankly, it’s a sad commentary.”

Alkire, who has apparently been honing his sound bites, was just getting warmed up.

“Ordinarily, you’d expect an incumbent to run on his record.  This incumbent will have to run away from his record. He’s been in office seven years. If he was going to do things right, we’d know by now.”

Newell has accumulated baggage during his time in office that makes him vulnerable to an aggressive candidate.  The biggest baggage–a steamer trunk, if you will–is his connection to Gold Country Lenders, whose principals have been charged with multiple counts of fraud, criminal conspiracy, and elder abuse after the county was forced to hand the case off to the state.

The DA and his former wife borrowed $260,000 through Gold Country, but struggled when the bottom fell out of the real estate market. The Sacramento Bee took a look at Newell’s dealings with Gold Country and concluded in a editorial that “he showed an appalling lack of discretion” that “irreparably damaged his ability to administer fair and impartial justice.”

Newell dismissed the Bee’s coverage as “the worst form of yellow journalism” and said, “The article had no substance. It was full of allegations and loose connections.”

In response to Alkire’s charges, Newell said in a statement, “Our record speaks for itself. We continue to effectively prosecute crime, not withstanding dramatic cuts  in resources from the state and locally.”

He also took a swipe at the deputy DAs who endorsed Alkire, saying, “We have made demands that all employees work to their full potential; most do but some may be resentful for being held to that standard.”

If nothing else, staff meetings should be interesting between now and election day.

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3 Responses to Newell’s personal baggage will get the once over

  1. Bonnie McGuire says:

    Wonderful observations. You reminded me of the Sacramento Bee investigation and recommendation that the D.A resign…and former lender Hastert’s letter to the editor from prison that his biggest mistake was not to lend money to the D.A. Too funny, but not so funny to all those who lost their savings. They’re still waiting for some kind of closure as the wheels of justice slowly squeak and creep down the legal track.

  2. Barry Pruett says:

    Newell rightfully had the Attorney General’s office try the case, as he had borrowed money from Gold Country. It is called ethics. When he and his wife borrwed money, Newell had no way of knowing that the lenders were doing illegal activities. It is noteworthy to point out that nobody has ever said that Newell did anything wrong. He borrowed money and the lender later turned out to be the bad actor. This could have happened to anyone and in fact happened to a lot of folks. Blaming Newell is petty politics and simply trying to score political points and start a fire where there is none. Cliff has done a good job by prosectuing criminals on a limited budget and worked diligently with the supervisors to keep costs under control…Kudos to Cliff Newell.

  3. To each his own, based on experience. I’m glad to have had the experience listening (with others) for three hours to what one victim went through to get something done. Amazing what that individual accomplished.

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