The corrupt Riverside County District Attorney's office run by Grover Trask
framed Keith Henson for imaginary "hate crimes" in close cooperation with the
criminally convicted Scientology cult.
The criminal activities of Riverside County District Attorney Trask and Deputy
District Attorney Robert K. Schwarz, in conjunction with Mafia lawyer Elliot
Ableson, is detailed at http://www.operatingthetan.com
The rampant corruption is why a new US Attorney's office has opened there.
Perhaps we'll get some answers finally, though I'm not holding my breath.
Inland Southern California
November 5, 2001
U.S. attorney's office opens Inland branch LAW: Public corruption and environmental crimes top list for new Riverside office. 11/05/2001
By MIKE KATAOKA
THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE Dan O'Brien has targeted crooked politicians for most of his 11-year career as a federal prosecutor. As the head of the newly established Riverside branch of the U. S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, O'Brien expects to step up his crusade against public corruption. The recent bribery case filed against San Bernardino and Colton officials may be just a sampling of what's ahead, O'Brien said. The Inland Empire seems more prone to government corruption than the rest of the seven-county Central District of California, he said. Checks and balances
Dan O'Brien is the chief of the new Riverside branch of the U. S. attorney's office in Los Angeles. (David Shea/The Press-Enterprise) His theory is that local governments, many of them relatively new, lack the checks and balances seen in more entrenched systems, such as Los Angeles' massive bureaucracy. "It's not because the people are more corrupt," O'Brien said. But for whatever reason, O'Brien finds himself in the right place at the right time. "This is a great job, especially because of the corruption cases," he said from his second-story office in downtown Riverside's Mission Square. The opportunity to put his mark on a new branch office was so appealing to O'Brien that he's willing to endure a daily commute to Redondo Beach, where he and his wife are raising a daughter, 5, and son, 3. Besides public corruption, O'Brien expects he and his staff will prosecute environmental crimes because of the region's vast deserts, federal lands and agriculture. Federal firearms and major drug prosecutions also will be top priorities, he said. O'Brien already is working with the two local district attorneys to sort out cases that could be prosecuted in state or federal court. "We'll take more cases that might have traditionally gone stateside," he said. Riverside County officials recently turned over an investment fraud case for federal prosecution. Inland Empire presence The Inland Empire accounts for 15 percent of the Central District's indictments. "It's becoming a larger part of our federal practice," he said. But O'Brien acknowledges that the U. S. attorney's office has been slow in establishing an Inland Empire presence. "Government moves slowly and it takes a certain amount of will to get something done," he said. U. S. District Court has been in Riverside since 1995, temporarily housed in Riverside County's Hall of Justice until a permanent courthouse opened in January. With no Riverside office, prosecutors commuted from Los Angeles for court appearances. The federal public defender has had a lawyer in Riverside since the court opened. Robert Timlin, Riverside's first federal judge, said having assistant U. S. attorneys in town should avoid the delays of the past, when no one was available to stand in for someone stuck in traffic. "They will be immediately available, which will be very helpful for the administration here in expediting cases," Timlin said. 'Last piece of the puzzle' Timlin's colleague, Magistrate Judge Stephen Larson, said a U. S. attorney's permanent presence is "the last piece of the puzzle" for the federal court system in Riverside. Larson agreed with Timlin that having to rely on Los Angeles-based prosecutors "created a number of logistical and administrative headaches for people." Larson also is pleased that O'Brien is in charge. Before he became a magistrate judge last year, Larson headed organized-crime federal prosecutions in Los Angeles while O'Brien focused on corruption and fraud. "Dan has an outstanding reputation in the legal community and within the (U. S. attorney's) office," Larson said. "He handled a number of long-term complex investigations while we were both in the office and he gained a reputation both as an effective prosecutor and able administrator," the judge said. While in Los Angeles, O'Brien supervised West Coast operations for a national task force on campaign-finance abuses. O'Brien, 40, is the son of a career prosecutor who formed an organization to clean up government in Louisiana and made an unsuccessful run at Congress before becoming a Justice Department lawyer in Washington, D. C. Move out west O'Brien first practiced law for a New York City firm and moved to Los Angeles because the federal prosecutor's office there was considered one of the nation's elite. Several recruits for the Riverside office are following in O'Brien's footsteps as East Coast lawyers ready to make the move west. Current caseloads justify 20 lawyers, but only eight have been assigned to the Riverside office and it may be several months before all are onboard, O'Brien said. For now, the only other assistant U. S. attorney in Riverside is Jerry Behnke, a Riverside County prosecutor assigned in Indio for four years. Another is training in Los Angeles and three others are undergoing background checks. John Gordon, the Central District's acting U. S. attorney, has been a strong supporter of the Riverside branch, O'Brien said. How quickly the office grows will be up to whoever succeeds Gordon, if he doesn't get the permanent job in the Bush administration, he said. Eventually, O'Brien sees Riverside's staff surpassing the two-dozen attorneys assigned to the other branch office in Santa Ana, which covers a smaller population base than the Inland Empire. Reach Mike Kataoka at [email protected] or (909)-782-7560.