Mar 102020

Blogger’s Note – I received this email in response to my follow up questions on Tellman. It is posted in its’ entirety:

Of all of the supervisors at the DA’s office, I definitely would not consider Dave Tellman a hatchet man (in general or for Wilson).  If that were the case he would not be so overwhelmingly liked by employees, including those that have aligned with Wilson.  However, I would say this, he like the other at will supervisors were tasked with carrying out the instructions of Owens and Wilson.  Absent an obvious illegal or unethical order, there would be no reason to question the direction given by an elected and his appointed.  That is, until the Karin case and eventual leak of the transcripts.  So many things clicked after reading the transcripts, regarding prior observations of Wilson’s behavior I either dismissed or rationalized as him having a reason for his actions.  After reading the transcripts, I felt it was wrong what had been done to Karin or, at least, the manner in which she was harassed was wrong.  I tell you this because if I was dismissing Wilson’s behavior believing he was an administrator that knew more information or knew what was best, it is not inconceivable that others were doing the same thing. 

I strongly believe that if you review the transcripts with a focus on Tellman’s involvement and statements, you will see he was a supervisor being given direction by an elected and appointed.  If Tellman was a hatchet man for Wilson then his testimony in 2014 should reflect a defense of Wilson’s actions.  You’d think his testimony would also reflect him disparaging Karin and the other complaining witnesses, when given the opportunity to do so.  Quite the contrary, his testimony comes across as a supervisor that was tasked with drafting the notice of discipline simply because Karin was assigned under him (not because he initiated and/or encouraged it).  In fact, he specifically says that he had never completed such notice and had to look to Wilson for guidance and direction.  Also, he states his original draft was changed several times by Wilson.  
Regarding the number of people that are defending and trashing Tellman, I could definitely answer that question if I knew who those people were.  I’m not suggesting you tell me that and I definitely do not want you to.  My point is, I am confident that I could identify a motive, regardless of side, if I knew who was saying it because I have worked with everybody involved and know of specific incidents that have occurred that would lead to motive.  For those that have applied for the position, other than Wilson and now Tellman, their motivations are clear.  Their attacks started with Wilson and those attacks were definitely warranted.  We are now at a point that they realize Wilson is likely no longer a viable candidate and the chatter is that Tellman is a viable candidate.  I could provide you with many examples of why each of the other internal candidates are not viable options, but the reason nobody is doing that is because the majority does not actually believe they have a chance.  Two of the other candidates have no supervisory experience at all and do not present as though they would be good leaders.  One of those two has also been passed up for promotion and has been disgruntled for years.  My point:  Those that are an internal candidate or who support one of the other internal candidates have shifted their focus to Tellman because they know he is viable, especially after receiving the endorsements from the two largest cop unions in the county this past week.  Do you really think the cops in this county would support a man they believe is responsible for or capable of “lynching” cops?  The boards of these unions specifically vetted the Alford and Brady issues and had copies of the Brady letters before making the decision to support Tellman.  I implore you to take a step back and look at the big picture here as it relates to this issue and the attempt at associating Tellman with it.  That attempt alone should give you pause to the credibility of the person giving it and, therefore, should cause you to question (and investigate further) anything else disparaging that they are attempting to associate with Tellman.
Regarding the complaint that Tellman was one of Wilson’s hatchet men or bureaucrats, I’m not Tellman (I promise I’m not, lol), I’m not in his head, I wasn’t present for decisions he made as a supervisor or in meetings where he was receiving direction from Wilson; only he can defend his position and role in the DA’s office as it relates to his association with Wilson.  If I were to defend him and his actions blindly to you then I would/should lose credibility with you.  Tellman will have the opportunity to discuss all of this with the BOS and that’s on him to explain if he feels it necessary.  
To your last question, Owens was virtually absent.  To the contrary, Tellman’s career demonstrates that he has been nothing but present as a mentor for the attorneys in his unit and the new attorneys, as well as for the cops in this county.  Additionally, he teaches regularly for POST and at Sierra College on legal issues.  He is, by far, the attorney that is consulted with the most for direction on complex legal issues and for review of search warrants on significant cases.  Please google ‘David Tellman Bracamontes’ to see the stories associated with his role in prosecuting the death penalty case of the killing of two deputies (Danny Oliver and Michael Davis).  He is the ONLY attorney in our office that has any real experience in death penalty cases and has by far handled the most complex of cases in our office.  This level of experience will benefit our office in many ways.  In contrast, Owens and Wilson had nowhere near this level of experience, which contributed to the issues in our office.  Also, those two had very little to no supervisory experience when elected and appointed, which also contributed to the issues, to include the way Karin was treated and the way her discipline was handled.   
I do encourage the supervisors to ask Tellman about his role in the Alford and Bjork case. It will be interesting to learn what the score was as these are huge red flags. To be continued…
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