The problem for District Attorney Jeff Reisig is what we saw was not the exception but rather a window into the operations of his office. You see, Mr. Parish is not the most vicious employee at the District Attorney’s office; he’s simply the most bombastic and transparent.
Mr. Reisig’s moves this week, and his words, show the conflict. At first his reaction was simply that he did not approve of the means or manner of attack, but he was not inclined to pull his endorsement.
That was before he recognized that this was a potential liability on him. When the Bee‘s scrutiny landed on Mr. Reisig too, it was enough.
The Bee editorial, entitled, “Parish Shows He’s Unfit to Be a Judge,” properly linked the employer to the conduct of the employee: “District Attorney Jeff Reisig criticized the mailer but unfortunately stuck by his endorsement of Parish. By continuing to lend his support to Parish, Reisig displays a lack of insight into how such a mailer can politicize the judiciary. Yolo County voters should consider Reisig’s embrace of Parish if Reisig appears on the ballot again.”
That was enough for Mr. Reisig to pull his endorsement, realizing that the judgeship race was a lost cause and throwing Mr. Parish under the bus could save his proverbial skin.
Later he would tell the Enterprise, “It’s not only the type of piece, but what appears to be an absolute failure to confirm what was in the piece. I can’t endorse that kind of candidate.”
He would add: “I endorsed (Parish) early on. He’s a good lawyer, and I thought he’d make a good judge. But this mail piece was a major blunder politically. A candidacy that doesn’t fact-check is counter to everything the DA stands for, and that’s pursuing the truth.”
The problem for Mr. Reisig is that the mailer hits a lot closer to him than he’s comfortable thinking. While he argues that fact-checking is everything the DA stands for in his “pursuit of truth,” in point of fact this DA’s office often shoots first and asks questions later, and they have made truth secondary to getting the win – everything that Mr. Parish did in approving this mailer.
Mr. Reisig wants to distance himself now from Mr. Parish, but the Vanguard learned that week that he should not have been so surprised. Mr. Parish, with the approval of Jeff Reisig, was removed from his position as Major Narcotic Vendor Prosecutor (MNVP) for falsifying reports.
Despite this indiscretion, Mr. Reisig thought that Mr. Parish would make a good judge?
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