Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles Prosecutor, Wendy Segall was cited for her vindictive behavior during a recent meeting of influential criminal defense attorneys who noted a recent spate of problems stemming from their inability to exact lawful criminal discovery from Segall’s “Stalking and Threat Assessment Team.” Given the intricacies of cyber-stalking (which Segall’s office prosecutes), unique forms of discovery are required to prove (or disprove) the dispatch of offensive data over the internet. This information has been woefully overlooked by the Segall as she counts on the mere label of “stalker” or “terrorist threat” to stong-arm defendants she prosecutes. Astute defense attorneys have called upon Segall to produce the foundational proof that substantiates Segall’s otherwise vacuous claims of cyber-bullying.
Research on Wendy Segall reveals that Wendy Segall prosecuted a man for crimes when she knew she had no evidence to prove a crucial element of the crime. In the matter of People v. Ghaffari, the 2nd Appellate District overturned a conviction Segall had obtained when she otherwise painted the defendant reprehensible with a comprehensive and repetitive recitation of unflattering allegations. The jury was said to have improperly confused Ghaffari’s unsavory conduct with his relatively innocuous online speech. It was the unethical prosecutorial conduct which carried the case past the jury despite Wendy Segall’s knowing lack of evidence.(See, Daily Journal, Friday, September 29, 2000 – Court Reverses Jury in Cybersex-Chat Case).
Wendy Segall has become so vindictive in her scheme to prosecute without first securing foundational evidence that when defense attorneys have served her office with formal written discovery requests (allowed under the Penal Code), Segall tasks her special investigator, Eric Cheung to investigate the defense attorney. Besides the obvious mis-use of County resources exemplified in having her own office investigate criminal defense attorneys, Segall continues to refuse to provide specific discovery required to prove the origin of email, text, and other suspect electronic data. Segall prefers, instead, a strong-arm tactic of alleging multiple counts against a defendant; retaining them in jail under the bail schedule; and then letting a defendant plea several months later to one strike-count and a stipulation to a prison psychiatric evaluation which takes an additional 90 days. In essence, Segall regularly abuses the bail schedule and the Evidence Code to allege crimes she knowingly cannot prove.
Defense attorneys should approach Ms. Segall with caution. She is a dangerous addition to the L.A.D.A. insofar as she ignores the accused’s right to information and uses DA resources to take aim at her attorney opponents. Attempts at addressing the Defense Bar’s concerns have fallen of deaf ears insofar her boss, Bill Hodgeman, appears to have no desire to check Segall’s vindictive behavior.