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The Bigger Threat to Society

Now you tell me who is the bigger threat to society? The decorated marine that the District Attorney’s office had thrown in jail for protecting his family and his property or the six-times-convicted drunken driver (subscription) STILL swerving around on our streets :

Ignition interlocks are supposed to keep convicted drunken drivers off the road if they drink any alcohol.

That didn’t happen Saturday night, when a six-times-convicted drunken driver got behind the wheel of his interlock-equipped pickup, started it and hit the streets.

Dan R. Gallaher, 38, of Albuquerque was driving with a blood-alcohol level more than twice the presumed level of intoxication when police pulled him over on Montgomery NE, according to a criminal complaint filed at Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

Gallaher has six prior DWI convictions, according to the New Mexico DWI Resource Center. He had an ignition interlock and an interlock license, the criminal complaint says.

Of course, the District Attorney’s office is more interested in sending “messages” to law abiding citizens than to protecting us from criminal predators:

Noting the victim’s two prior burglary convictions and making reference to recent car theft statistics, [Assistant District Attorney Theresa Whatley] said the court should send a message to people about being overly zealous in protecting their property.

Well, I think the District Attorney ought to take a close look at what people are saying about this message. The District Attorney has gotten a free ride for too long:

“I feel like I’m in Heaven,” exclaimed a giddy Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg from her downtown ABQ office . She was giving me her reaction to the news that she will have no Dem primary opponent and no General Election foe either. A free four year ride is a rarity in the high-profile DA’s job, and Kari was relishing the moment.

This is an elected position and the escalating crime rate combined with the persecution of heroes is a wonderful reminder of why it is an elected position.

Based on a press release I received late yesterday afternoon, it looks like we are going to be able to do something about the ongoing failures of this office:

Lisa Torraco today announced her candidacy for the office of Bernalillo County District Attorney.

“I can not in good conscience stand by and watch as our legal system continues to fail those it is designed to protect and prosecute those whose greatest crime is protecting their families and property from criminal predators,” Torraco stated during a press conference on the steps of the District Court.

At a recent Crime Convention Conference sponsored by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, it was noted that everyday 17 houses are broken into and every 95 minutes a car is stolen.

“Crime is an ever increasing problem in our city,” added Torraco. “Yet, the District Attorney’s office is focusing their efforts on sending message to law abiding citizens that it is not okay to protect their families by throwing a decorated Marine behind bars for protecting his family from being burglarized by a twice convicted felon.

“The DA zealously pursues cases against law abiding citizens and dismisses others against repeat offendors – there seems to be no rhyme or reason.” Torraco adds “The police are doing their jobs, we deserve a District Attorney that does hers.

“I am stepping up to the plate to do the job that needs to be done. I live here, I’m raising my children here, and I will fight to throw criminals, not heroes behind bars.”

Lisa Torraco is a 1991 graduate of University of New Mexico School of Law. Upon graduation Torraco worked as an assistant district attorney for the Second Judicial District. In 1993, she worked for the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office where she was appointed to lead the Child Abuse Division for Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos Counties. A career prosecutor, Lisa Torraco has prosecuted all levels of felony and misdemeanor cases and was awarded “New Prosecutor of the Year” in 1993.

Disclosure: I have signed Lisa Torraco’s petition to get on the ballot and had the pleasure and honor of joining her on the Jim Villanucci show yesterday afternoon during the 3:00 hour.