robert kochly“He (Robert Kochly former Contra Costa County District Attorney) should have ensured the safety of the employees in his office by treating this as an administrative issue and interviewed both Gressett and Harpham immediately”–Gary Gwilliam attorney for Michael Gressett

Robert Kochly the now retired, former Contra Costa County District Attorney was recently named as one of the main defendants in a civil lawsuit brought by former Contra Costa Deputy District Attorney and sex crimes prosecutor Michael Gressett. In his scathing article, “Former DA’s Testimony Could Prove Costly for Taxpayers”, journalist John Geluardi questions Robert Kochly’s credibility and political motives. Geluardi outlines Robert Kochly’s April 2014 contradictory deposition testimony as the basis for his questions. Kochly’s deposition testimony will be a centerpiece in efforts to prove allegations of defamation and violation of Mr. Gressett’s constitutional rights.

Robert Kochly Falsely Charges Michael Gressett

In 2008, Michael Gressett was falsely accused of raping co-worker Holly Harpham a junior prosecutor in the DA’s office.  Mr. Gressett was subsequently arrested and prosecuted for a crime he did not commit. During the criminal prosecution, Mr. Gressett’s constitutional rights were violated when the Defendants ignored exculpatory evidence during the investigation and withheld exculpatory evidence from a Grand Jury. The exculpatory evidence was the lynchpin that led to the dismissal of the criminal case against Mr. Gressett.

Robert Kochly Deposition Testimony

In one of journalist John Geluardi most compelling statements about Robert Kochly’s deposition testimony, Geluardi characterizes Kochly:

“In his deposition, taken in April (2014), Kochly depicts himself as a fatigued, disengaged, and indecisive leader during the largest and most lurid public scandal in the history of the DA’s office.  .  .  Robert Kochly appears to have credibility problems in testimony he provided in a bogus rape case.”

Mr. Geluardi’s assertions are based on key events during Kochly’s handling of the Gressett allegations.

Robert Kochly’s Possible Political Motives

One of the most important key questions in the case places Robert Kochly’s credibility in question. When rape allegations against Michael Gressett were first made in May 2008: Why did Mr. Kochly wait nearly five months to arrest Gressett and begin an investigation into Ms. Harpham’s claims?

Mr. Kochly explained his nearly five month delay in taking action as a case of being unsure of what actions to take because of a “lack of cooperation” on the part of Ms. Harpham the accuser. As weeks turned into months, Mr. Kochly continued to wait in order to ask advice of another counsel on the best course of action.

John Geluardi raises further questions about Mr. Kochly’s deposition testimony and the political motivations he harbored in regard to eliminating Mr. Gressett from the Contra Costa county political landscape.

  • Mr. Kochly was a very experienced prosecutor of 35 years who should have known how to execute the correct protocol and procedure in a time sensitive manner
  • Mr. Kochly could have saved time and solicited advice from Contra Costa County counsel but did not
  • Mr. Kochly  instead solicited advice from an out of county attorney, who knows nothing about Contra Costa County
  • Mr. Kochly stated that he did not want to “open old political wounds” from past elections where he and Mr. Gressett were in opposition
  • Mr. Kochly, along with his political allies, believed they could use the 2008 rape allegations to fire Mr. Gressett whom they disliked
  • Mr. Kochly also believed the 2008 rape charge would at the same time cripple, Gressett friend and ally, Mark Peterson’s chances in the DA’s race.
  • Mark Peterson,  a friend and supervisor of Gressett, was a candidate for DA in the 2010 election against Dan O’Malley Mr. Kochly’s political and business ally

Grand Jury Unaware of $450,000 Settlement to Ms. Harpham

Did Robert Kochly knowingly have a role in withholding evidence from a criminal grand jury? During the April 2014 deposition, Mr. Kochly was at a loss to explain his role in a secret $450,000 payment made to Ms. Harpham. The payment was allegedly made to satisfy a claim Ms. Harpham brought against the county.  Ms. Harpham claimed that Kochly did not hire her as a permanent DA because she reported that Gressett had sexually assaulted her.  Contra Costa County settled the claim without so much as taking Ms. Harpham’s deposition and then hid it from Mr. Gressett’s criminal defense team.

In a closed to the public session, the Contra Costa County board of supervisors approved the $450,000 payment to Ms. Harpham on October 6, 2009. Having knowledge of the settlement, Mr. Kochly failed to report the payment to the grand jury investigating the Gressett rape allegations.

The withholding of the vital evidence of the settlement payment resulted in Mr. Gressett being exonerated from the rape charges. In addition, Mr. Kochly’s omission of this $450,000 payout masked his possible motives from the grand jury.

Robert Kochly’s Deposition Contradiction?

“I testified that I was present at a closed session of the board of supervisors.  .  . but I don’t believe I ever testified that I was present when they voted to approve it.” –Robert Kochly

During deposition, Mr. Kochly, claimed he had no knowledge of a $450,000 settlement payment being made to Ms. Harpham. Mr. Kochly made the above statement despite testifying previously that he was in attendance at the mediation session as well as the supervisors meeting where the $450,000 settlement payment to Ms. Harpham was approved.

“He had to know Harpham’s payment was approved. He helped mediate the settlement, and he was at the meeting. There was simply no excuse to keep that evidence from the grand jury. . .” –Gary Gwilliam attorney for Michael Gressett

According to Geluardi, “the deposition reveals that Kochly could have difficulty convincing a jury that he tells the truth.” It is very possible that Kochly’s testimony creates substantial problems of credibility for the county.







truck accident victims

In response to a recent Congressional discussion about suspending newly passed trucking regulations from June 2013, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) official Anne Ferro wrote a compelling rebuttal blog article, “Congress Shouldn’t Roll Back Safety; the Steps We’ve Taken Keep Tired Truckers off the Road”, supporting the new regulations. The article published June 3, 2014, on the United States Department of Transportation website, defends the core ideals of the Hours-Of-Service regulations for commercial truck drivers:

  • Maximum workweek driving time from 82 hours down to 70 hours
  • Mandatory 30 minute break time during a driver’s first eight-hour shift

Federal Official Anne Ferro Defends Trucking Fatigue Regulations, Truck Accident Victims

Ms. Ferro utilized the following research data in claiming to support her position that the new trucking regulations are necessary. In her argument, she cites the following assertions:

  • 1,400 truck crashes annually may be prevented by the new drive time regulations
  • 13%+ of trucking accidents may involve driver fatigue
  • Only an estimated 15% of truck drivers’ work schedules are affected by the new trucking regulations
  • Roughly 85% of commercial truckers already had schedules that fell within the new trucking regulation guidelines for hourly vehicle operation time

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Requests Ferro Firing

As a result of Ms. Ferro’s article, Anthony Fox, the Secretary of Transportation, received a letter from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) demanding Ferro’s dismissal and subsequent replacement on the grounds of bias against the trucking industry. The Department of Transportation had no comment on the letter.

 5 Pitfalls Truck Accident Victims Should Avoid

The trucking industry is a powerful component of our commerce system. As such, many trucking companies have deep pocket resources to call upon when a truck accident occurs. The following are reasons why any victim of a truck accident should consider legal representation:

  • Crash victims must contend with the individual truck driver
  • Crash victims must contend with the driver’s commercial trucking company
  • Crash victims will contend with the trucking company’s insurance carrier
  • Insurance adjusters may not correctly value your damages from the accident
  • Insurance adjusters may not disclose evidence that would hold the driver responsible for violating safety regulation laws

 4 Ways Personal Injury Attorneys Help Truck Accident Victims

Most truck accident victims do not have the experience or expertise to understand how to prove the negligence of the at fault truck driver. A personal injury attorney can guide and lead victims through the process by investigating the following:

  • Electronic Control Modules: (black box in use since 1990s) records the past 30 days of a truck driver’s activities including data on driving speeds and usage
  • Logbook: many truckers are required to keep a manually updated logbook of their hours and activities
  • Preservation: an attorney will quickly act to preserve the black box data, logbook data, and crash scene evidence that can be used at trial
  • Expert Witnesses: an attorney can introduce and retain truck accident reconstruction experts to establish the facts of the accident and help prove liability

Consequently, an attorney will preserve and evaluate the available evidence. They will then establish a plan to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver, commercial trucking company and all responsible parties. An attorney will represent your case, and best interests, in a court of law if an appropriate settlement is not forthcoming.









Michael Gressett Files Civil Lawsuit for Malicious Prosecution

June 13, 2014

“Michael Gressett is looking forward to finally having his day in court after seven years of having his name besmirched by the wrongful and malicious conduct of the Defendants in this case. We look forward to shining some light on the political corruption of the Defendants who, thankfully, are no longer in power in Contra […]

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Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act Fights Medical Malpractice

June 5, 2014

“No family should suffer because a doctor recklessly prescribes pills to an addict, is a substance abuser, or commits repeated acts of medical negligence” – Robert Pack, medical malpractice advocate In a vital step forward for patient safety in California, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act (Pack Act) initiative qualified for California’s November […]

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Is the Tech Industry Boom a Hotbed for Discrimination at Work?

June 2, 2014

As the tech industry booms in the Bay Area, some workers might be asking themselves who is really benefiting from the boom.  A recent publication on the lack of diversity at Google shows that the tech boom is mostly rewarding young, white males.  The lack of diversity in Silicon Valley fuels biases that may be […]

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How to Select a California Medical Malpractice Lawyer

May 12, 2014

“Most people think they’re going to a hospital to get well. And when they don’t or they get sicker it’s devastating because they realize there really is no safe place for them.” –Steven Brewer, Partner Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer San Francisco Bay Area television station KTVU recently interviewed Gwilliam, Ivary Chiosso, Cavalli & […]

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Lawrence Livermore Lab Facing 10 New Plaintiffs In Third Trial Due To 2008 Layoff

March 31, 2014

In Phase 3 of our case Andrews v. Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), 10 new plaintiffs, of the 130 plaintiffs, will seek justice for their wrongful termination, breach of contract, age discrimination, and other individual claims. The third trial in the case will take place in Alameda County Superior Court, Department 20, before the […]

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Medical Malpractice Caps Declared Unconstitutional by Florida Supreme Court

March 18, 2014

“The damage caps were initially pushed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, with the support of doctors, hospitals and insurance companies who viewed trial lawyers as their political nemesis. They argued the reforms were needed to curb the explosion of medical malpractice costs.” –Mary Ellen Klas Tampa Bay Times-Herald reporter In a historic landmark ruling by […]

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Government Report of Skilled Nursing Facilities Shows One-Third of Patients Harmed in Treatment

March 11, 2014

“22,000 patients were injured and more than 1,500 died in a single month — a higher rate of medical errors than hospitals.” –ProPublica According to a just released report, “Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries”, conducted by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services one of […]

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Consumer Watchdog Exposes AAA’s Age Discrimination Practice as Harm to Consumers

February 18, 2014

    “The ‘why’ of these dismissals is not complicated.  .  . Insurance agents get bonuses when they sell new policies and smaller yearly payments from the insurance company as policies are renewed.”– Consumer Watchdog writer Judy Dugan I am delighted to tell you that Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer’s age discrimination lawsuit against […]

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