Lawyer course

Government lawyer faces penalties for lying about search he swore he had nothing to do with

of just another mundane day in law enforcement department

The cops lie. Cops lie so often it’s not even news at this point. The only people who remain shocked by these revelations are the increasingly small segment of the population who have actually considered, at some point in their lives, buying a fainting couch.

Cops lie because cops can almost always get away with it. And it’s not just the cops. This is the whole punishment aspect of the American judicial system. Lies are often unquestioned. When they are, courts often label the lies as “contradictory” or “misleading” statements. On rare occasions, the courts will go so far as to label these lying government employees as “uncredible.”

But they are still liars. And while cops have the most opportunity to lie, so do prosecutors. And, at least in this case [PDF]it looks like a federal court actually wants to hold a prosecutor accountable for his lies.

A prisoner in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit against a California women’s prison has filed a motion saying her cell was recently searched and court documents belonging to her were removed by prison staff. An attorney (Derrek Lee) working for the California Attorney General’s office met with the prison warden and filed a statement on the warden’s behalf with the court.

This affidavit said:

I am employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) as the Director of the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona, California.

I have reviewed the Court’s order (ECF #62), seeking the merits of Caruso’s claim (W-25086) that documents related to his trial were removed from his possession. Plaintiff specifically alleges that the documents were removed by possession on or about January 31, 2018. Consistent with the Court, I and CIW staff take allegations of this nature very seriously.

At the direction of the Court, I have reviewed Plaintiff’s allegations and have reviewed unit logs and cell search logs dated January 1, 2018 to determine if Plaintiff’s allegations are substantiated. Each time a cell search is conducted, staff are required to complete these documents explaining the reason for the search and the items confiscated. With respect to inmate Caruso, there is no record of a cell search, nor any record of documents, legal or otherwise, that were confiscated from her cell.

But that’s not what really happened. And the attorney for the AG knew it, because he helped with the search he was now pretending didn’t happen. The complainant was taken from her cell to the prison “litigation coordinator”. While there, she was told that the attorney general’s office wanted to talk to her about a document he had accidentally released to her. While she was in the Litigation Coordinator’s office, her cell was searched and documents were confiscated. Following this incident, Derrek Lee drafted a statement for Warden Hill to sign and submit to the court.

The attorney for the AG doubled down on his lies following this revelation.

On April 29, 2022, the defendants filed a supplemental brief addressing these allegations. According to the supplementary brief, a search of the plaintiff’s cell took place and a document which the defendants produced upon discovery was confiscated and destroyed. However, the defendants allege that the search took place on November 29, 2017, not around February 2018, and that the document was confiscated because it was a confidential personal file that should not have been presented. to the applicant. Additionally, the defendants allege that it was Deputy Attorney General Mohmoud, not Derrek Lee, who initiated the search.

This new set of lies has also been refuted.

On May 6, 2022, the plaintiff submitted a copy of an email dated November 29, 2017 to Bystrom in which Derrek Lee asked [prison litigation coordinator] Bystrom to establish a call with the plaintiff that day. Derrek Lee also requested that a member of the ISU be present (or online).

On May 10, 2022, the defendants provided an email from Deputy Attorney General Mohmoud to Lt. Spinney dated November 29, 2017, in which she attached a copy of the personnel file she wanted confiscated and stated that she would appreciate an update on whether Lt. Spinney was able to locate him. Derrek Lee received the email.

Running out of lies, Derrek Lee (no longer working for the state AG’s office) is forced to face the truth. The court is definitely unhappy to have been rattled for months by the government’s lawyer.

The parties now appear to agree that a search of the applicant’s cell took place on November 29, 2017 and that a document was extracted from the applicant’s cell. Additionally, attorneys from the Attorney General’s Office, including Derrek Lee, were aware of and participated in the search. Despite this, neither the director nor Derrek Lee informed the Court of the search when they responded to the Court’s order requesting information about the documents allegedly taken from the plaintiff during this lawsuit..

Lawyers representing the jail defendants (along with Derrek Lee) have had 21 days to satisfactorily explain to the court why they should not face penalties for deliberately misleading the court. Given the events detailed here, it is hard to believe that they will be able to respond with anything that will reduce the court’s anger to a boil and allow them to continue to fight these prisoners’ allegations without the burden Sanctions.

Unfortunately, the penalties in cases like these are limited to a small list of remedies, but the court performs an important duty here by simply calling both the misconduct and the government lawyer behind it, who will act as its own form of deterrence. And that’s just another data point showing that the government is more than willing to cheat to secure gains.

Filed Under: california, california attorney general, derrek lee, research