skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Ex-Chula Vista Councilman Wants DA To Release Emails

Aired 4/23/14 on KPBS News.

Former Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Castaneda called on District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to release emails connected to his 2008 prosecution.

Former Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Castaneda called Thursday on District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to release emails connected to his 2008 prosecution.

Castaneda's request followed a KPBS report that Dumanis investigated him and his colleagues after failing to get her aide appointed to a vacant Chula Vista council seat.

In 2006, Dumanis opened an inquiry into whether Castaneda received favors from a developer. That was months after then-Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla said he refused Dumanis' phone request to appoint an aide, Jesse Navarro, to a vacant council seat. Castaneda was later indicted on accusations of lying to a grand jury.

A jury acquitted him on most of the charges and hung on others.

Castaneda said he should have been told about Dumanis' call to Padilla. He now wants the District Attorney's Office to release all emails regarding his case because he wants to know "what happened and why it happened."

"Frankly, if she were on my side of the prosecutorial desk, she'd be at a grand jury right now," Castaneda said. "And she's hiding behind her status and her position, and I think she owes it to not only me and my family, but she owes it to the people of San Diego County."

A Dumanis spokeswoman released a statement on the matter saying, "Mr. Castaneda's criminal case is closed and we will not allow the District Attorney's Office to be used as a political pawn."

KPBS also asked for the same emails but was told the records didn't exist and would be exempt from disclosure anyway.

Comments

Avatar for user 'chandraappell'

chandraappell | April 22, 2014 at 6:54 p.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago

The first and foremost responsibility of a prosecutor is to do justice. Even the most junior prosecutors know this. Ms. Dumanis continues to owe an explanation not only to Mr. Castaneda but also to the entire community. Anything less is not justice. Ms. Dumanis' tap dancing is beneath the dignity of the District Attorneys Office, and it's just plain wrong.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Prosecutor'

Prosecutor | April 22, 2014 at 7:22 p.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago

Fat chance Dumais is going to do anything but cover up, be unavailable for comment and have her campaign spokespeople deny. A classic example of the abuse of prosecutorial power for political gain. Hopefully the voters of San Diego are getting this...

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'joemamma42'

joemamma42 | April 22, 2014 at 7:44 p.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago

"Mr. Castaneda's criminal case is closed and we will not allow the District Attorney's Office to be used as a political pawn."
Unless of course it is to further Dumanis's own political agenda, like running for mayor. Or in this case investigating someone because they did not appoint who she wanted to office. Where is the investigation regarding her accepting money from Mexican citizens?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'scottvinsonsr'

scottvinsonsr | April 23, 2014 at 8 p.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago


WOW..I find it interesting (based on the statement) that the former Mayor Steve Padilla felt he had the right to profile the next city councilperson rather than pursue the most qualified person for the position.

"Padilla said he told Dumanis that Navarro wouldn’t do because he needed to replace outgoing Councilwoman Patty Davis with another female Democrat. "

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'christo'

christo | April 25, 2014 at 7:02 p.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago

If Bonnie Dumanis had a SHRED of dignity and morality--which she DOESN'T, then she would hang her head in shame for what she did to Steve Castaneda. But it is just business as usual for her here. And this is not the only totally objectionable misuse of power that our D.A. has exhibited. I am happy to hear that one of the Sweetwater defendants penned a lengthy letter to the judge in the South Bay courtroom, insisting that Bonnie Dumanis used the corruption case she concocted against the Hispanic defendants as publicity for her (failed) mayoral campaign. "Salcido wrote a lengthy letter to Chula Vista Superior Court Judge Espana, contending that the entire probe was politically motivated by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis" (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/Apr/22/ex-college-officials-sentenced/)

( | suggest removal )