NEWSMAKINGNEWS.COM

SMOKE AND MIRRORS 
IN THE MARIN COUNTY RECALL OF 
DISTRICT ATTORNEY PAULA KAMENA


By Virginia McCullough

On February 27, 2001 the Marin Independent Journal featured an article by Richard Halstead entitled "Kamena Recall Supporters Gather Near Civic Center".  This article talked about 20 supporters of the campaign to recall Marin District Attorney Paula Kamena staging a demonstration near the Marin Civic Center. The article stated: "The rally took the place of a press conference that was canceled after it became apparent the featured speaker, Erin Brockovich, couldn't attend."  

It would be more accurate to report that Erin Brockovich had never agreed to attend this rally.  Brockovich is a woman of stature, whose fight to help victims of environmental pollution was made into a feature film starring Julia Roberts.  Why would a woman who is dedicated to righting environmental wrongs agree to be the feature speaker at a recall rally for District Attorney Kamena in  Marin County? 

The rumor that Brockovich would be the featured speaker at this rally originated from a copy of an email addressed to   Rev. Lynnette Shaw is the founding director of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Fairfax, California.  The email was dated Sat 17 Feb 2001; the subject was "On The Front Line" and it allegedly came from k.erin brockovich at .  The body of the email is obviously a poor cut and paste job because the body of the message is typed and pasted to a computerized heading.  It reads as follows: 

i would like to support the Legal Abuse Task Force recall effort by making a public appearance at the rally scheduled on February 26 in Marin.  I will be in Southern California on that day and after a short flight true north, can probably attend briefly.  For now, please enjoy the information below!

What do you call it when DA Kamena files perjury charges?  Hypocrisy.

What do you call a meeting between Paula Kamena and a Marin judge?  Conspiracy. 

Why won't the Marin Cty [sic] Sheriff arrest a known criminal?  Because he's her campaign manager.

What do you call Paula Kamena in handcuffs?  Trustworthy.  Why do only 10% of Marin [handwritten in] DA's go to heaven?  Because if they all went, it would be hell. 

Keep it fun! 

-EB 

This type of falsified document damages the reputation of Brockovich by making it appear as though she would put such lame comments in writing.  It also damages the celebrity's reputation by implying she does not keep allegedly scheduled appearances at grass roots events.  Why was this unconfirmed commitment revealed by Rev. Shaw before confirming that appearance with Brockovich's office?

When Brockovich's assistant, Cathy Brown, was contacted she stated that Erin Brockovich was not aware of this rally until last Thursday when she spoke before the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.   At that appearance an individual showed her a letter announcing her "public speaker" position for the rally scheduled Monday, February 26, 2001.  According to Ms. Brown this was the first time that Ms. Brockovich became aware of the event or her alleged position in it.

The use of such an obviously flawed communication for publicity purposes speaks volumes about Rev. Shaw's intentions in allowing the document to be distributed before confirming that Brockovich's office.  Certainly Shaw is aware that the media would pick up on and publicize the appearance of such a widely recognized figure.  Could it be that Ms. Shaw's intent is to discredit the entire recall movement that her medical marijuana group has so openly supported?

If so, this would not be the first time that someone has attempted to discredit those who support the recall of District Attorney Paula Kamena because of her abhorrent conduct in the Carol Mardeusz case and because of her failure to prosecute Marin officials for allegedly dipping into the County coffers.  On September 9, 2000 the legal newspaper,  The Recorder, reported that "Judge [Verna Adams] received a black-robed Barbie doll with a threatening note" during the trial of Carol Mardeusz.  This event was clearly an attempt to taint supporters of Mardeusz with tactics used by terrorists.  No further publicity regarding an investigation into this incident was forthcoming, thereby allowing the public to believe that it was somehow connected to Mardeusz's supporters. 

Public officials are afraid that the cover up of  the persecution of Carol Mardeusz will reveal that individuals in three California counties are now involved.   On June 30, 2000 a confidential source from Monterey County emailed "Kerin Brockovich" at  in an attempt to interest her in "the Monterey County version of Purple Berets" and the videotaping of family court issues in Marin and Sonoma counties.  This source wanted Brockovich to assist in video taping family law cases in Marin and Sonoma counties for access TV.

The Purple Berets are an activist group in Sonoma County that criticize citizen abuses by law enforcement.   Tanya Brannon of the Purple Berets said that while she spoke several years ago with individuals in Monterey County who were interested in forming a group similar to the Berets in Monterey County, the Sonoma branch had not sanctioned any affiliation with the people in Monterey.  

The coincidence between the email sent to revshaw from  k.erin brockovich and the mistake in her first name, Kerin Brockovich in the email sent to her by the confidential Monterey source cannot be ignored. 

The thirst for publicity by the medical marijuana group who ingratiated themselves into the campaign to recall Marin County District Attorney Paula Kamena has reached new heights.  Why would some people lie about a celebrity's schedule, if not to garner publicity for their cause?  The recall effort was originally concerned about the excesses and abuses of certain judges and the district attorney in Marin County as it pertained to family law issues.  The petition itself is very specific and details "the unlawful acts against public justice committed by Paul Kamena and her assistant, Kelly Vieira in the prosecution of Carol Mardeusz and their protection of Leo and Betty Magers to the detriment of the minor child, Haleigh Mardeusz."  This is the wording on the original petition.  That wording and Kamena's answer is the only information that will appear on the ballot presented to the voters in the May election. 

Later on Lynnette Shaw and the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana came into the picture bringing with her $15,000 from four unnamed contributors that paid for many signature gatherers.  Shaw has refused to disclose the names of the four contributors.  With the entry of Shaw and her Alliance the focus of the recall has shifted from the abuses by Paula Kamena in the Mardeusz case to the medical marijuana issues even though such issues were not mentioned in the petition that garnered the signatures necessary to qualify the recall.

The end result is that the entire tone of the issues involved in the recall drive have been altered.   The real issues are the injustices in family court recognized as "substantive and serious" by California State Attorney General Bill Lockyer when he met with board members of the Marin Independent Journal  on Friday, February 23, 2001.  The recall issues are the abuse of process, the obstruction of justice and the suborning of perjury before the Marin County Grand Jury by District Attorney Paula Kamena and her assistant, Kelly Vieira, as they "continue protecting Leo Magers (and) Betty Magers from prosecution for perjury and lewd (and) lascivious sexual acts they were arrested for committing against Haleigh (Mardeusz)". 

The case which is relevant to the recall is that of Carol Mardeusz, a mother who was unjustly prosecuted in Sonoma County and in Marin County in order to cover up her status as a key Brady Witness in the kidnapping and murder of Polly Klaas.  In 1993 Carol Mardeusz lived less than two blocks from Polly Klaas with her two daughters, Natalie and Haleigh.  Her older daughter, Natalie, resembled Polly Klaas; a man answering the description of Richard Allen Davis stalked her and her girlfriend, Diane Cucci, two weeks prior to the kidnapping  of "America's child".  Mardeusz made two police reports to the Petaluma Police Department and the last page of the combined report dated 9-13-93 shows that this police department issued an all points bulletin for a man answering that description.  The Sonoma County sheriff lied about this important point on the night that Polly Klaas was kidnapped and taken to 7565 Pythian Road in Sonoma County.  Mardeusz is an embarrassment  to both Marin and Sonoma Counties and her case has apparently attracted the attention of "Purple Berets" in Monterey County and the Attorney General for the State of California.  
The Mardeusz case and Kamena's failure "to prosecute criminal acts of public officials" are the only issues worthy of investigation and recall.  Voters should read their ballots carefully.  Everything else is smoke and mirrors!

Virginia McCullough © 2001





Kamena recall supporters gather near Civic Center 
by  Richard Halstead © Marin Independent Journal 2/27/01


Their featured speaker couldn't make it, but that didn't stop a rally near the Civic Center yesterday by about 20 supporters of the campaign to recall Marin District Attorney Paula Kamena.

The rally took the place of a press conference that was canceled after it became apparent the featured speaker, Erin Brockovich, couldn't attend.

Brockovich - who inspired the film of the same name starring Julia Roberts - helped uncover pollution by Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s Hinkley gas compressor station.

Recall supporters carrying placards circled a fountain in a pedestrian island that runs alongside the Civic Center, where Kamena works.

Several hoisted brooms and waved signs that read: "Sweep Courts Clear of Corruption." One sign bore a drawing of a rat with the district attorney's name attached. Still other signs were posted later in the day on a central San Rafael freeway overpass.

"Look, they're whitewashing the Civic Center," said Peter Romanowsky of Sausalito, pointing to the building, which is being painted. Romanowsky is one of the leaders of the recall. The effort was launched by a group angry over child-custody decisions in the Marin courts.

The controversy began with family law court Judge Michael Dufficy, and quickly blossomed to include judges Lynn Duryee, Terrence Boren, Verna Adams and Kamena.

The effort to recall Dufficy, Duryee and Boren fizzled. The deadline to submit signatures in the effort to recall Adams is March 8.

But Kamena faces a May 22 special recall election largely due to the efforts of Lynnette Shaw, founding director of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Fairfax.

Shaw spearheaded the call for Kamena's removal - as much for Kamena's enforcement of marijuana laws as her role in family law cases, which included the conviction of Carol Mardeusz, a Novato woman prosecuted by Kamena for perjury and attempting to abduct her own daughter.

Kamena wants to know where the money came from to pay people who collected 13,942 valid signatures. Shaw has said the law allows her to withhold the information, although the state's Fair Political Practices Commission disagrees.

Shaw did not attend yesterday's rally and could not be reached for comment.

Contact Richard Halstead via e-mail at 

Brought to you by The Marin Independent Journal http://www.marinij.com