One significant challenge of my first term as Humboldt County District Attorney was the need to prosecute many serious crimes combined with a shortage of experienced prosecutors. My former colleagues who joined the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office on temporary assignments accepted critical roles in handling cases, providing guidance to younger attorneys and covering essential tasks that required skill and experience:
Paul Sequeira, at the time the Assistant District Attorney for Mendocino County, prosecuted the Warren case. The California District Attorneys’ Association subsequently recognized Mr. Sequeira’s exceptional efforts on behalf of Humboldt County by naming him Rural/Medium County Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year. I appreciate that Mendocino County District Attorney Dave Eyster facilitated Mr. Sequeira’s work for our office and I thank all those in the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office who took on Paul’s workload while he was here.
Andrew Isaac, a senior prosecutor with experience in Santa Cruz and Humboldt counties, prosecuted the Bullock case, handled writs and appeals as well as provided needed assistance with the backlog of cases waiting to be reviewed.
Wes Keat continued working in a part-time position he held under former District Attorney Paul Gallegos. He assisted in reviewing and charging the backlog of cases, reviewing search warrants and helping new prosecutors evaluate and prepare cases for court.
I would also like to recognize here the special contributions during my first term of former Deputy District Attorney Max Cardoza, who had a 35-year career with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office. During my first-term, Max applied his knowledge and experience to efficiently evaluate thousands of misdemeanor cases in early resolution court. He also provided invaluable counsel to all the attorneys in the office.
Additional experienced professionals have joined our Office to make key contributions:
Former California Highway Patrol Commander Adam Jager brings his extensive knowledge and experience to work with prosecutors handling vehicular homicide cases.
Former HSU Chief of Police Lynne Soderburg is providing critical contributions to our team in the prosecution of domestic violence cases.
Former Deputy District Attorney and Deputy Public Defender Andy Truitt has stepped in to apply his years of criminal justice experience to handle the misdemeanor early resolution court.