Friday, 02 December 2022

Abelson: Deputy district attorneys support Krones for DA

I would like to start out by thanking our veterans. My grandfather was a World War II veteran in the Navy. He was stationed in the South Pacific. My grandmother lost two of her brothers who were on activity duty in World War II. My father-in-law is a Navy veteran and my husband is an Army veteran.

Susan Krones is not only my boss but she is also an Army veteran, coworker and friend since I began working in the Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

I’ve had the ability to repay our veterans by participating in the Lake County Veterans Court treatment team for many years as the representative for the Lake County District Attorney’s Office. While resources are thin, District Attorney Susan Krones and Chief Deputy District Attorney Rich Hinchcliff have continued to allocate resources to make sure that we have a member of our office involved.

After I passed the State Bar on my first try I started looking for my first legal job. I grew up in the Bay Area. I started my legal career in Lake County under Gary Luck as a deputy district attorney. No one thought I would stay. I’ve never looked back. I have been here for over 20 years. I own a home here and I’ve been raising my family here.

Rich Hinchcliff has been my supervisor since he became the chief deputy. When he takes his rare vacations I often fill in on some of his duties such as putting out schedules and letting the court know what is going on with jury trials and long cause matters with the court. I’ve trained, supported and supervised less experienced lawyers in my office.

I love this county and I love my job which includes protecting the community and the victims of crimes. I’ve been nicknamed the “Hammer.” I’ve been known to do the most trials in the office.

Since 2017 I’ve not taken more than a couple of days off for vacation. With COVID and the changes in the law which has made protecting the community more difficult I have continued to work as hard as possible.

For the first time in my career I’m considering leaving my position and possibly the county.

Life and work was difficult under Don Anderson. I and others had Rich Hinchcliff to protect the office from Anderson’s immoral and incompetent actions. If Anthony Farrington is elected the employees of the District Attorney’s Office will not have the protection from a chief deputy who is as knowledgeable and moral as Rich Hinchcliff will not work for him. He won’t have the support and knowledge of Susan Krones or other senior deputy district attorneys. He is likely to have very few staff left to run the office.

Anthony Farrington does not have a good reputation in the local legal community for competence. He has been known to not be knowledgeable in the law and in legal procedures. In fact one of the few members who is endorsing him is Don Anderson, who has a similar reputation in the legal community.

Anthony Farrington has no idea how to handle a felony case. He has no idea how the criminal justice system works as evidenced by his speeches, website, and misleading political and paid-for fliers.

Anthony Farrington’s most recent letter to Lake County News has particularly aggravated the attorneys in the Lake County District Attorney’s Office. He suggests law enforcement doesn’t support Susan Krones. The real issue is that many in law enforcement are afraid to support anyone out of fear of retaliation.

I’ve known Susan Krones for many years and she is not that type of person. I think the rest of us fear Anthony Farrington because he is not a true believer in the cause but a true believer in himself as a politician.

So as president of the Lake County District Attorney’s Office I’m proud to announce that I personally endorse Susan Krones as do senior deputy district attorneys Art Grothe, Ed Borg, Rich Watson, Nicholas Rotow and Neil Sachs.

This support is a majority of the Lake County District Attorney’s Office so I can officially announce the Lake County Deputy District Attorneys Association supports Susan Krones.

She also has the support of deputy district attorneys who formerly worked with her, Trang Jensen and Sharon Lehrman. She also has the support of Cal Fire Captain Chris Vallerga Jr. and California Highway Patrol Officer Jeremy Jensen.

I personally handled the criminal case in which Antony Farrington was a victim and his stepfather was a defendant. We have a very awesome Victim Witness Division that works hard to help victims, assist them and keep them informed.

I didn’t use their assistance and instead spent my own time trying to explain to Mr. Farrington how the criminal justice system works and how fair a disposition his skilled attorney was offering. This case involved fraud with probate issues and was civilly resolved prior to resolution of the criminal case. This is a case that most district attorney’s offices would not have filed. This was a case that was handled appropriately.

What Mr. Farrington suggests in his most recent letter could only be made possible if we didn’t file 75% of the cases that we do. That is the only way that our statistics could look better. If he had any skill or knowledge like Susan Krones he would know that. Mr. Farrington’s case against his stepfather would never have been filed under his suggested guidelines.

He also has a client who wrote a letter in his support. Our office and Victim Witness went above and beyond to prosecute her offender. I also personally took on the misdemeanor case. In the end we had to dismiss charges as she was unwilling to testify (which I placed on the record in open court).

That case involved a family law restraining order and Mr. Farrington could have taken the offender to court to seek civil remedies yet he did not. Private attorneys usually require payment for services unlike attorney’s in the District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Farrington is an excellent speaker. The problem is that he is either lying or is completely ignorant of how the judicial and criminal justice system works. The information that comes out of his mouth is laughable to those who do know how the system works.

Susan Krones is not a politician. Her heart is in it. Those of us who have worked with her have seen her fight the losing battle of getting better results after the passage of many laws that have made it difficult to protect our community.

She deserves your vote. Please vote for Susan Krones for district attorney.

Rachel Abelson is a senior deputy district attorney and president of the Lake County Deputy District Attorneys Association. She lives in Kelseyville, California.

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