Press Releases

2020 Human Trafficking Awareness Billboard Campaign Jan 8, 2020

Alameda County District Attorney Launches New Campaign Designed to Engage All Community Members in the Fight to End Human Exploitation and Trafficking

2020 Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Campaign

“TAKE THE PLEDGE”

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, Robert Schmitt, Regional President, and Bruce Qualls, Vice President, Clear Channel Outdoor Real Estate and Public Affairs Clear Channel Outdoor, have unveiled a new campaign to combat human trafficking in all forms. The campaign is called “TAKE THE PLEDGE”. It invites and challenges members of the community to declare their support of the efforts to combat human trafficking and exploitation. “TAKE THE PLEDGE” will be presented on Clear Channel billboards and bus shelters which are visible throughout Alameda County. The Campaign aims to mobilize the public, to heighten community awareness and education and to let people know how they can support the fight against human trafficking. Members of the community can click on the “TAKE THE PLEDGE” icon on HEATWatch.org and register their support. They can also learn how they too, can support the efforts of the many activists and abolitionists working to end human trafficking.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and Clear Channel Outdoor have collaborated for many years to deliver education and awareness to communities throughout Alameda County and the greater Bay Area. January 2020 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. “TAKE THE PLEDGE” is a way to start the new decade with determination and action aimed at stopping both commercial sexual exploitation and commercial labor exploitation.

The 2020 campaign consists of billboards and bus shelters visible in neighborhoods and from roadways throughout the Alameda County. The billboard’s message “TAKE THE PLEDGE” challenges every member of the community to play a role in putting an end to modern-day slavery. The billboards drive internet traffic to the DA’s Human Trafficking website, where one can take the pledge anonymously and, in addition, sign up for text and/or e-mail alerts with messages detailing ways to become involved in the fight. From heightening understanding and education, to starting campus clubs and participating in events and actions, there will be something for everyone. To “TAKE THE PLEDGE” simply click on the icon at HEATWatch.org. By doing so, individuals are showing the community’s support to ending human trafficking.

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ALAMEDA COUNTY DA O’MALLEY ANNOUNCES CONSUMER PROTECTION SETTLEMENT WITH FASHION NOVA INC. Dec 19, 2019

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced today that her office, along with the District Attorneys of Los Angeles, Napa and Sonoma Counties, settled a civil consumer protection action against a California company known as Fashion Nova, Inc. The judgment was filed in Alameda County Superior Court and signed by Judge Tara Desautels.

Fashion Nova is a retailer that operates in the “fast fashion” industry. “Fast fashion” refers to clothing that moves rapidly from fashion shows or popular culture to mass production and retail sale. The majority of Fashion Nova’s sales take place on-line, over its Internet website wwww.fashionnova.com. The civil action alleges that Fashion Nova violated consumers’ rights by repeatedly failing to fulfill and ship orders within the legally mandated timeframe.

California law requires that orders placed over the Internet generally must be shipped within thirty days, failing which the business must either provide a refund, or take some other action, such as sending the buyer a written notice regarding the delay. The content of these “delay notices” are regulated by statute and must include, among other things, the expected duration of the delay and an offer of a refund, upon request.

The complaint alleges that Fashion Nova repeatedly violated these laws by failing to ship items to California consumers within 30 days of their orders and, at least until April 2018, by failing to provide adequate delay notices. The complaint alleges that Fashion Nova committed other violations of the law, such as failing to adequately disclose its return policy on the website.

“These types of consumer protection laws in California are on the books to make sure retailers treat their customers in an equitable and professional manner,” District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said. “When consumers place an order over the Internet, they are entitled to receive the items promptly or get a legally adequate explanation why they haven’t.”

The judgment includes an injunction to prevent further violations of law and requires Fashion Nova to pay approximately $250,000 in direct restitution to consumers. Without admitting liability, Fashion Nova was further ordered to pay $1.5 million in costs, penalties and other remedial payments. The company cooperated fully in the investigation and agreed to make changes to its business practices.

DA O’Malley Announces Felony Charges Against Livermore Man in 1997 Cold Case Sexual Assaults Nov 18, 2019

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley has announced that her office has filed multiple felony sexual assault charges against Livermore resident Gregory Paul Vien, based on crimes committed against two women in 1997 in the cities of Livermore and Union City, CA.

On May 6, 1997, the defendant attacked a woman as she walked to BART after work. He dragged her to a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her. Union City Police detectives were able to obtain a sample of the suspect’s DNA from the victim’s clothing. On September 7, 1997, the defendant attacked a second victim while she was on a walk near Livermore High School in the city of Livermore. The defendant sexually assaulted the victim, and the Livermore Police Department was able to collect a DNA sample from the crime scene.

The DNA samples from both crime scenes were analyzed in a timely manner, and found to be a match to each other, meaning that law enforcement knew that the same person was responsible for both assaults. The samples were uploaded to CODIS, the national DNA database. However, no “hit” was made to determine the identity of the assailant.

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DA O’Malley Announces Funding Plan to Combat Illegal Dumping in Alameda and Contra Costa County Nov 13, 2019

Today, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) joined Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and Contra Costa County Supervisor Burgis to announce funding for a one-year pilot program to combat illegal dumping in the two counties.

$750,000 in State funds, secured by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, now support the creation of pilot programs in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties by funding increased law enforcement efforts to combat illegal dumping in both counties.

“Illegal dumping is an environmental justice issue that disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities, and impacts the sense of well-being of all who live and work in neighborhoods where it is rampant,” says DA O’Malley. “Unscrupulous commercial haulers as well as individual violators illegally dispose of construction debris, mattresses, and trash of all sorts, wreaking havoc on the environment, ruining neighborhood streets and forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab to clean up the tremendous amounts of garbage dumped on city streets, highways, parks, and in our waterways. Dumping “hot spots” become breeding grounds for vermin and impact public health.”

“This state funding will provide our counties with the resources they need to combat this difficult problem,” said Bauer-Kahan. “The funding will provide both counties with the ability to have a full time police officer to enforce illegal dumping laws and make a huge impact in tackling this problem” she concluded.

The funds will support increased investigations of illegal dumping by dedicated peace officers, which will provide for much-needed deterrence. In Alameda County, these peace officers will coordinate their efforts with a newly formed Alameda County Regional Illegal Dumping Task Force, which has developed both a strong sense of what works and has significant ties to communities within the County and is able to provide helpful information and evidentiary leads. Evidentiary leads will also be provided by surveillance cameras placed at illegal dumping "hot-spots" and from clues found in waste by workers from the Men of Valor Academy, an Oakland non-profit program founded by Acts Full Gospel Church that provides job training for formerly incarcerated individuals. Suspects identified in these investigations will be held to account. Penalties for illegal dumping vary based on the severity of the crime, and can range from fines, to community service picking up trash, to jail time.

Alameda County DA O’Malley Announces Multi-Million Dollar Settlement in Environmental Protection Law Oct 25, 2019

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, along with 10 other California District Attorneys, announced today that a judge in Alameda County has ordered Service King Paint & Body, LLC to pay $2.35 million as part of a settlement of a civil environmental prosecution alleging the auto body repair company mishandled hazardous waste and confidential customer information.

Service King, a Texas limited liability company, currently owns and operates 42 auto body repair facilities throughout California. In Alameda County, there are three Service King auto body shops. In the complaint filed in Alameda County, prosecutors accused Service King of illegally disposing of hazardous waste generated during its auto body repair operations, and of violating laws related to the storage and management of this hazardous waste.

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Governor Signs Historic Bill Sponsored By DA O’Malley Ensuring Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors Oct 9, 2019

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed groundbreaking legislation to ensure that never again will a sexual assault kit languish, untested on the shelves of police departments or crime labs. Senate Bill 22, sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Joyful Heart Foundation and Natasha’s Justice Project and authored by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) requires the prompt testing of Sexual Assault Evidence Kits (SAKs).

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DA O’Malley Announces $3.7 Million Settlement to Address Illegal Dumping of Hazardous Waste Sep 30, 2019

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley has announced a $3.7 million settlement against The Pep Boys Manny Moe & Jack of California (Pep Boys) to resolve allegations that the company violated state laws governing hazardous waste, and hazardous materials, by routinely and illegally disposing of automotive fluids, used motor oil and other hazardous wastes into company waste bins destined for municipal landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste. The lawsuit also resolves allegations that Pep Boys routinely failed to shred customer records containing confidential information before disposing of those items into the trash.

“When businesses like this one illegally dispose of toxic waste, they pollute our natural resources. Substances like motor oil and automotive fluids leach into the soil and the groundwater. They make their way into streams, and eventually the San Francisco Bay, poisoning wildlife, sea life alike,” says DA O’Malley. “There are good reasons that regulations exist for the disposal of toxic materials and my office will continue to investigate and bring to justice any business that violates these important environmental protection laws.”

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Outcome Of People v. Almena & Harris Jury Trial Sep 5, 2019

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley has announced that a jury has found the defendant Max Harris not guilty in the involuntary manslaughter trial stemming from the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire. A mistrial has been declared as to defendant Derick Almena, with the jury announcing today it is unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

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Twelve Defendants Face Felonies in Million Dollar Cell Phone Robbery Crime Ring Sep 5, 2019

District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley has announced that her office has charged twelve individuals in a widespread crime ring that targeted UPS and Federal Express drivers delivering cell phones to cellular telephone stores. The defendants stand charged with multiple separate robberies and grand thefts. An extensive investigation that spanned four months and involved 31 cities and ten counties throughout Northern and Central California culminated in a coordinated search and arrest operation conducted on Thursday, August 29, 2019 in Oakland, San Leandro, and Pittsburg, CA. Eight men and women were arrested. Additionally, six guns were seized including an assault rifle, along with two illegal ammunition magazines, stolen property from the thefts, and other physical evidence.

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DA O’Malley Releases New Gun Study Aug 21, 2019

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley has released a comprehensive report covering six years of data on gun use, sales, possession and theft in Alameda County, including detailed statistics of firearm related crimes.

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