Liars' Poker Between OCDA and Public Defender

[Moxley Confidential] OC Judge Terri Flynn-Peister denies prosecutor, deputy claims she ordered informant program cheating

To Sanders, the strategy is "malarkey" because the failures are in "case after case."

If Rackauckas and his crew had taken a deep breath and opened their minds to see obvious problems instead of circling the wagons from the outset, they could have done the right thing early on: apologize and make reforms. After all, such a reaction wouldn't be a gift to the public. Their oaths of office require allegiance to an aboveboard criminal-justice system.

But—as an indication of OCDA's warped groupthink—Gundy didn't process Flynn-Peister's testimony as another signal for surrender. While the likes of Kate Corrigan, president of the local criminal-defense bar, praise the judge's "honest, ethical" DOJ service, Gundy challenged Flynn-Peister's memory, professionalism and veracity. He even tried to shift OCDA's obligations to her.

Bob Aul


Flynn-Peister calmly replied, "I was not involved in the cases Mr. Petersen had, so I don't know what [discovery] obligations were triggered there. In my federal cases, I was going to turn over at the appropriate time everything that needed to be. It was my understanding the state was doing the same on theirs."

Gundy—who pounded his fist and yelled during hearings—didn't like that answer. In response, he made a needless error, claiming OCDA couldn't be guilty of wrongdoing because it didn't have the means to cheat. Petersen, he insisted, played a minor, subservient role in Operation Black Flag. Gundy must not know a 2011 DA press release hailed his agency as a prosecution partner with DOJ, which is exactly what Flynn-Peister described.

In early August—after a July 25 oral argument showdown, Goethals will announce if the government cheated Dekraai and, if so, what sanctions he'll impose. Prosecutors crave a painless ending. Sanders wants a ruling that deters similar, future scandals because he's convinced OCDA and police have been engaged "in pretty serious shenanigans."

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