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Why Did an ‘Officer of the Court’ Turn a Blind Eye to Advance Evidence of a Crime?

Former journalist R. Stacy McCain (left) poses with accused lawbreaker Hannah Giles and convicted crook James O’Keefe.

Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Frey, know to his blog readers as “Patterico,” loves to talk about his friendship with Dead Andy Breitbart. In fact, in a blog pose from April 2011 in which Frey discusses a phone conversation with Breitbart, the ADA — an officer of the court — a person sworn to uphold the laws of the county of Los Angeles, the State of California and the United States of America — brags about getting advance information about a crime that is going to be committed.

What does he do? Does he scold Breitbart and admonish him, as an Assistant District Attorney and Officer of the Court, that what he’s talking about is a violation of California State Law? Failing to turn Breitbart from his stated intentions, does he notify his boss, former LA County District Attorney Steven Cooley with word of this incipient criminal activity?

Nope!  Here’s what “Patterico” wrote about a phone conversation in which Not-Yet-Dead Andy Breitbart tells him about a crime about to be committed against the people of Los Angeles County and the State of California.

For some reason Andrew eventually took to me, and started giving me inside information on what was going to break next on his Big sites — whether it was the NEA scandal, the next step in the ACORN scandal, a new victim of Roman Polanski — the stories seemed endless. And whatever the latest story was, it was always fascinating. Andrew would always swear me to secrecy, sort of . . . but he would permit me to drop vague hints. Long-time readers will remember me issuing knowing pronouncements about what might be the next shoe to drop. (Always trust content from Patterico!) Well, as I think many of you already suspected, 98% of the time I wasn’t guessing. I knew what was coming next.


I will never forget pacing in my back yard, shouting excitedly into my cell phone as Andrew was laying out the plan for releasing ACORN videos out of Los Angeles — and asking my advice about the best way to do it. We had been exchanging e-mails, and at some point I suspected that the woman he was describing on the main L.A. ACORN video — happily offering advice and counsel on how to further a house of child prostitution, according to Andrew — was the same woman who had told the ever-gullible L.A. Times columnist James Rainey that she had angrily turned O’Keefe and Giles out of her office.


If Breitbart had a video of that very same person actually helping O’Keefe and Giles, we had damning evidence of a columnist for a major daily newspaper — a media critic, no less! — accepting the bogus story of an ACORN shill without even having checked with Breitbart. Breitbart said the name “Lavelle Stewart” sounded familiar, but he had to go check. I kept prodding him. In one reminder, I sent this e-mail:

If you get a chance to call me, call the cell: [redacted].

I’m dying to know if “Lavelle Stewart” is our woman in L.A.

Andrew’s response was succinct: “YES!”

In no time flat, we were again on the phone. (Andrew is not big into e-mail. When you e-mail him asking for an important status update on a big story, usually the reply is a terse one-line e-mail asking you to call him. Which is way more fun anyway.) We knew we had a great story that would, once again, discredit the partisan media scoundrels who are responsible for shaping the narrative in this country. We were absolutely giddy. The story led to a series of posts on this site in which I danced with unabashed glee on the grave of James Rainey’s credibility. If you haven’t read those, do yourself a favor. I have almost never had this much fun as a blogger.

And what law was being violated? According to an editorial in the Conservative-leaning Los Angeles Times:

O’Keefe and Giles did not disclose that they were journalists — in fact, they disguised themselves as underworld figures — and entered private offices for consultations on tax matters, while secretly videotaping the proceedings. This couldn’t possibly be interpreted as an on-the-record conversation with a reporter. Though we admire the filmmakers’ chutzpah and think they performed a worthwhile public service, they certainly appear to have violated state law as it currently stands.

Patrick Frey knew that James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles were going to secretly record a conversation with an ACORN employee.  And while the Times lauds the duo’s efforts, it concedes laws were broken. (Recording confidential conversations without the consent of all parties is a violation of section 632 of the California penal code.)

As it all worked out, Breitbart died about a year to the day after Frey wrote this post. O’Keefe is currently on probation for entering a federal building under false pretenses (a bungled attempt to wiretap the telephone lines of former Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu 0f Louisiana.  According to Wikipedia, he is 28, single, and still lives with Mommy and Daddy.  Hannah Giles threw O’Keefe under the bus when she and O’Keefe faced a lawsuit, saying it was all his fault since he held the camera. She currently has a website that consists of her asking for donations. And an e-mail contact. That’s it.

And Patrick Frey continues to write blog posts, send tweets (a recent study showed around 20% of those private tweets being sent on Government time) and being sued by Nadia Naffe. Crooks and Liars has a magnificent recap of her case, written by Karoli.

There’s a new DA in LA County. Her name is Jackie Lacey. She is the county’s first female DA, the first African American DA.

She told the crowd she would weigh in on issues without regard to politics or partisanship, while “never, ever, ever forgetting that I work for you.”

Let’s hope she takes a few moments to conduct a good housecleaning while she’s at it.
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