Saiers spew

A few things didn’t make today’s story on Judge K. Peter Saiers being booted from the bench.

Saiers also referred to the 4 foot 10 defendants as “Pip” and “Squeak” outside the presence of the jury, attorneys and public. San Joaquin County Deputy Public Defender Vicki Delph – one of the two defense attorneys in the Alfaro case  – repeatedly asked for evidence to be suppressed, prompting Saiers to say: “You take a paranoid pill this morning or something?” The 3rd DCA picked up on this.

Private Stockton attorney Douglas Jacobsen, who said in today’s story that he’s writing a letter on Saiers’ behalf, was the second defense attorney in Alfaro: “I think it would be a shame, obviously, if we were to lose him as a judge. He’s very valuable and a very good judge.”

Here’s the official line from California Administrative Office of the Courts spokesman Philip R. Carrizosa:

Upon completion of pending matters, Judge Saiers’s participation in the Assigned Judges Program will terminate on July 2, 2010.

Deputy DA Ted McGarvey was the prosecutor on the case when Saiers said all of this. McGarvey said he is going to write a letter on the judge’s behalf. Saiers’ comment was “obviously” inappropriate, McGarvey said, but the prosecutor explained that the tone in which Saiers made the comments comes off quite differently from how it appears in print. That’s a common sentiment I heard from attorneys, who laugh off Saiers’ comments.

Chief Deputy DA Dan Bonnet said this of Saiers:

He’s a very intelligent judge. I have sometimes been surprised by some of the comments he’s made in public. Despite that, we’re sorry to see that he leaves us under these circumstances. I’d much rather see a judge retire on his own terms. I certainly think that Judge Saiers has given a lot of service. The citizens should be applicative.

Deputy DA Thomas Testa noted:

Judge Saiers was the judge in the 1980 trial of Blufford Hayes Jr. And now Saiers is overseeing Testa’s Rosetta Jefferson et al. case where defense attorneys allege juror misconduct. Testa gave Saiers nothing but praise, saying that he does a “remarkable job”; is knowledgeable and friendly; jurors love being in his courtroom; works hard; “Even when he ruled against us he did it with grace and charm,” Testa said.

It should be noted that Chief Deputy Public Defender Miriam Lyell, quoted in today’s story, was the defense attorney on the high profile Rolex theft trial of Cleveland Enmon, which played out in Saiers’ courtroom.

Private defense attorney Kristine Eagle said Saiers is willing to take any case they throw at him:

He’s such a great resource for the court. I’m distressed we’re not gong to have him… He tries things all day long. We have one more incredibly valuable resource that’s being taken away.

Saiers also told me in our interview that he reached out to Justice Consuela Callahan of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She told him that it would be against the federal judicial cannon to send a letter on his behalf, but Saiers said that he sent word to Chief Justice Ronald George that Callahan is gunning for him.

For background: I profiled Saiers upon his retirement in 2005. He upset some folks in 2006 for setting bail after jurors found Robert Gay guilty of killing his wife. Here’s a story about his battle with the DA’s office in 2007. Lest we forget the “kangaroo court” controversy. Saiers explains what caused him to doze off amid the Rolex doc case earlier this year.

This story is the first time I’ve been able to use the word “asshole” in our family newspaper.

This entry was posted in San Joaquin County Superior Court and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.