OAKLAND – In 2013, the California Legislature enacted the Homeowner Bill of Rights to protect homeowners from unfair and illegal foreclosures by banks. In one of the first cases of active enforcement this Bill of Rights by a law enforcement agency, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has successfully obtained an injunction against Central Mortgage for engaging in business practices that contravene these rights.
The DA’s case against the Arkansas-based Central Mortgage demonstrated the company sent letters to distressed homeowners, steering them toward the short sale of their homes as opposed to other forms of mortgage debt relief, such as a loan modification.
Without admitting liability, Central Mortgage agreed to an injunction to refrain from sending homeowners letters highlighting, bolding, or displaying in a larger font any information, such as the words “short sale”. Central Mortgage also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $75,000 that will be used to investigate and prosecute future consumer protection actions by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
The final hurdle facing the Alameda County Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance was yesterday overcome with the United States Supreme Court refusing to hear the challenge brought by the pharmaceutical industry against the County without comment. This affirms the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals decision upholding the US District Court’s decision in favor of Alameda County’s Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley was proud to stand with Alameda County leaders including Supervisor Nate Miley, County Council Donna Ziegler and others in support of the County's Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance at a press conference yesterday afternoon.
L-R: Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, Alameda County DA Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County Counsel Donna Ziegler, and Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley
Recently, a delegation from the Department of Justice - Office of Violence Against Women visited the Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC) to acknowledge and commend the considerable inroads the ACFJC has made in coordinating the response to violence against women in our region. The visit was honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and part of a national tour of outstanding facilities making a difference in the lives of women.
The group, led by Principal Deputy Director Bea Hanson, saw first-hand why the ACFJC is a model for excellence for centers around the nation. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and ACFJC Executive Director Cherri Allison led the delegation on a tour of the ACFJC facility, introducing our service partners and demonstrating the specific ways in which we serve victims of crime.
L-R: ACFJC Executive Director Cherri Allison, DA Nancy O'Malley, DOJ-OVW Principal Deputy Director Bea Hanson, DOJ-OVW Confidential Assistant Carla Bernal, DOJ-OVW Deputy for Policy Rosie Hidalgo.
OAKLAND, CA – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced today that Brian Zachary Jones, age 35, has been charged with two counts of murder and two counts of felony driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury. The complaint includes multiple victim clauses as well as excessive speed clauses.
On May 2, 2015, defendant Jones, while under the influence of alcohol, drove his car at speeds ranging from 75 mph to 99 mph through residential streets of Livermore, CA. At 6:50 pm, the defendant failed to negotiate a turn in the 900 block of Murrieta Blvd. and left the roadway. Defendant Jones struck and killed Esperanza Morales and her 14-month-old daughter Yulida as they walked on a pathway before slamming into the rear of a relative’s apartment. The incident also resulted in serious injury to two children, ages 6 and 7, who were playing in the rear patio area of the apartment at the time.
The Livermore Police Department and the California Highway Patrol conducted a thorough and intensive traffic collision investigation that includes accident reconstruction, blood-alcohol testing and the examination of the event data recorder removed from the wreckage of the defendant’s car. Defendant Jones’ blood alcohol content was determined to be 0.14 percent.
“Esperanza Morales and her baby daughter lost their lives while visiting family Livermore. A joyous occasion turned into a nightmare that has devastated a family and stunned the community,” states D.A. O’Malley. “My Office will ensure that justice is served and that Brian Jones is held accountable for his actions.”
The defendant was arrested without incident at approximately 4:00 this afternoon at a home in Fremont by Livermore Police.
Randy Alana Guilty of First Degree Murder May 20, 2015
OAKLAND, CA – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced today that a jury found defendant Randy Alana, age 58, guilty of first degree murder for the killing of Sandra Coke. He was also convicted of second degree robbery, unlawful taking of a vehicle and two counts of grand theft.
The trial, in which 84 witnesses were called to testify, lasted in excess of two months. The jury took less than three hours to reach the verdict of guilty on all five counts.
“Randy Alana brutally murdered Sandra Coke, and with today’s verdict her friends and family as well as the community know that justice has been served,” said DA O’Malley. “We sincerely hope that after today’s guilty verdict Ms. Coke’s family will be able to begin the long process of healing.”
Defendant Randy Alana and the victim, Sandra Coke, an inspector with the Federal Public Defender’s Office, were in a dating relationship off-and-on for 20 years. On the evening of August 4, 2013, Ms. Coke left her Oakland home and disappeared. An intense search ensued. Officers from the Oakland Police Department, inspectors from the Alameda County DA’s Office and other agencies worked around the clock to locate Ms. Coke. On August 9, 2013, Sandra Coke’s body was discovered in a dry creek bed below Cherry Glen Road in Vacaville, CA.
The coroner testified at trial that the cause of Ms. Coke’s death was asphyxiation due to strangulation.
Deputy District Attorney Colleen McMahon prosecuted the case with assistance from DA Inspector Jad Jadallah and Victim-Witness Advocate Kelli Sage.
“I am deeply gratified by today’s guilty verdict, and I commend the members of the jury for their diligence and focus,” DDA Colleen McMahon said.
People v Janet Lynn Holmberg May 14, 2015
On May 12, 2015, a jury convicted Janet Lynn Holmberg of one count of felony reckless driving with serious injury including an enhancement for causing great bodily injury, as well as misdemeanor hit-and-run.
At about 6:30pm on July 5, 2013, defendant Janet Lynn Holmberg was driving her SUV westbound on Hampton Road in Hayward. She ran up over the curb and onto the sidewalk, hit a 'no parking' sign, then briefly stopped. Defendant Holmberg rapidly accelerated away, and in the process, failed to observe a stop sign. Without any warning, she swerved, colliding head-on into another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. A passenger in the hit vehicle, a boy of 2-1/2 years old, was transported to the Children's Hospital in Oakland. He was diagnosed with fractures in both of his femur bones.
Defendant Janet Lynn Holmberg is due to be sentenced on June 26. The case was prosecuted by DDA Matt Gaidos.
DA’s Office Celebrates 2015 Bike to Work Day May 14, 2015
Today, some of the our staff at the Alameda County District Attorney's Office opted for a two-wheel commute in celebration of the Bay Area's Bike to Work Day 2015.
The DA's Office is a proud member of Alameda County's Sustainability Committee and embracing the Bike to Work initiative is just one of the ways in which we are committed to reducing our footprint and improving the health of our employees.
Representatives from the Alameda County DA's Office worked on the groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding
The Alameda County District Attorney's Office partnered with the California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, University of California Office of the President, San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office, San Francisco Police Department and Oxnard Police Department to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) addressing the issue of sexual assault on campus.
The MOU includes a How-To Guide and Template MOU for higher educational institutions and law enforcement agencies to improve their coordination, collaboration and transparency in response to cases of campus sexual assault.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, a national leader in the prosecution of sexual assault, said, “The work we have undertaken will forever impact the way California’s universities and colleges address sexual assaults on campus.
Call for 2015 Earl Warren Fellowships May 13, 2015
Are you a recent college graduate?
Are you interested in pursuing a career in the field of law?
Why not apply for our prestigious 2015 Earl Warren Fellowship!
The Earl Warren Fellowship was established in honor of Earl Warren's commitment to professionalism, integrity and fairness. Our hope is that graduates of this paid Fellowship continue on to study law at university and will serve the field of law with those same virtues.
For more information on how to apply for the Alameda County District Attorney's 2015 Earl Warren Fellowship, please visit our information page.
PSA: How the DA’s Office Helps Victims of Crime May 11, 2015
As part of Crime Victims' Awareness Week, the Alameda County DA's Office produced a public service announcement (PSA) demonstrating some of the ways in which the dedicated staff in our Victim-Witness Assistance Division can help if you have been a victim of crime.
Our Victim-Witness Consultants act as the link between a victim and the DA's Office, and are trained to provide victims with support and resources to help them throughout and beyond the criminal justice process.