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OFFICE OF THE

DISTRICT ATTORNEY
HUMBOLDT COUNTY
PAUL V. GALLEGOS
DISTRICT ATTORNEY

CONTACT: Paul Gallegos, District Attorney or Tim Stoen, Assistant District Attorney 445-7411 NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE – May 8, 2003

DA FILES COUNTER-ATTACK ON PL’S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS
EUREKA, CALIFORNIA – District Attorney Paul Gallegos today filed a memorandum attacking Pacific Lumber Company’s motion for sanctions as either “incompetent” or “cynically defiant of law.” In addition, the DA quoted incriminating findings by a federal judge in another Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) case showing PL’s knowing use of false documents. In one of these findings, U.S. District Court Judge Louis C. Bechtel stated: “Pacific Lumber’s Chief of Forestry, Ray, Miller . . . replaced the original ‘jet sound survey sheet with another survey sheet that he personally filled out, except Miller changed the new survey sheet to indicate ‘No detections.’” In another of these findings, the federal judge stated: “On the second day of trial, . . . Pacific Lumber revealed for the first time that its two principal survey contractors kept two different sets of survey data sheets for the marbled murrelet surveys . . . .” On February 24, 2003, the District Attorney filed a fraud complaint against Pacific Lumber Company. The complaint charges PL with the unfair business practice of planting false Jordan Creek landslide data, and then fraudulently withholding the corrective data from the Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF). The Director of CDF would have been required to recirculate the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), containing the correct landslide data, to the public. The lawsuit alleges PL’s HCP and Sustained Yield Plan were tainted by the tainted Final EIR on which they were based.

On March 20, 2003, PL’s attorneys sent to the Humboldt County Supervisors the copy of a letter to the District Attorney indicating that if the lawsuit was not withdrawn, “PALCO . . . will ask for sanctions against . . . the County of Humboldt.” On April 23, 2003, PL filed a motion for sanctions against the District Attorney, attaching this letter. The motion alleged that the DA’s lawsuit is barred by various legal doctrines and that the DA did not have sufficient evidence to support its allegations, citing letters from the Department of Fish & Game (DFG) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF). Today, May 8, 2003, the District Attorney filed its response to PL’s motion. In its response, the DA argues that PL’s motion is a “violation of the District Attorney’s absolute immunity.” The DA also argues that the letters from DFG and CDF are “irrelevant to any issue in this lawsuit” because the complaint shows that “every single tree logged pursuant to the Headwaters Forest Project has been wrongfully cut, not just those on unstable slopes.” DFG’s and CDF’s contention that the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) would prevent logging on unstable slopes is false because the HCP itself is tainted by the false Jordan Creek landslide data. “It is interesting,” said District Attorney Paul Gallegos, “that Pacific Lumber Company would choose to disregard the law regarding the immunity of a district attorney in conduct which is part of fulfilling his duties. It is also interesting for them to argue that there is no evidence that PL’s withholding of the correct Jordan Creek data was ‘purposeful’ when they knew of the federal judge’s ruling in the case of Marbled Murrelet v. Pacific Lumber Company. in light of the federal judge’s incriminating findings. The judge’s findings reveal acts of deceptive intent by Pacific Lumber Company which are admissible at trial as uncharged acts.” The District Attorney’s memorandum concludes by asking the Court to “do something meaningful about Defendants’ cynical and outrageous threat to seek monetary damages against ‘the County of Humboldt,’ which has nothing to do with a District Attorney’s filing or maintaining a lawsuit as an independently elected official. This threat shows unconscionable hubris and undermining of the respect for law for which PL and its attorneys should be severely admonished by this Court.” The hearing on PL’s motion for sanctions will take place in the Humboldt County Superior Court on May 20, 2003, at 8:45 a.m.. A copy of the District Attorney’s response, entitled “People’s Memorandum in Opposition to Motion for Sanctions,” can be found at the following website: www.co.humboldt.ca.us.