The Story

If you have already read “The Story” the latest entry was made on June 3, 2013. Scroll down to the bottom to see that entry.

 

The Story

Drew Rosenberg, 25, was killed by an unlicensed driver who was in the U.S. under a program called Temporary Protective Status. Attempts at obtaining justice for this crime have thus far gone unheeded.  Here is a detailed account of what has transpired.

The Call No Parent Should Ever Receive

At 6:00 pm on November 16, 2010 we received the call that all parents dread. San Francisco General Hospital told us our son Drew had been killed in a car accident. Drew was a 25 year old second year law student. We rushed to the Los Angeles airport and caught a flight to San Francisco.

The next morning we met with the police inspector on the case. He told us that the driver of the car, Roberto Galo was unlicensed, in the country illegally and after killing Drew tried to flee the scene. A few days later the inspector called to tell us there was a mistake and Galo was in the country legally. Drew was on his motorcycle coming home from school traveling south on Harrison Street.  Roberto Galo was travelling north on Harrison and had stopped at 16th street to make a left turn although he did not have his blinker on.

Trying to beat the oncoming traffic he quickly made a left hand turn colliding with Drew.  Drew and his bike went flying over the front of Galo’s car. Instead of stopping Galo accelerated and his right front tire drove over Drew’s abdomen. Drew’s helmet flew off. Some eyewitnesses said his helmet wedged under the cars tire stopping its forward progress others said it was the bike. Galo backed up driving over Drew a second time.

He then drove forward, attempting to flee, only stopping because the driver of the car on 16th street had gotten out of his car and bravely stood in front of Galo’s car with his hands up. Galo stopped with his right front tire on Drew’s abdomen. Five men had to lift the car off his body.

Initial Police Comment

The inspector told us it was a slam dunk felony vehicular homicide. There were no skid marks from Galo’s car as he never attempted to stop.  He also told us that Galo had been caught driving without a license, driving the wrong way on a one way street and driving without insurance in June 2010. The case would now be in the hands of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

 

The San Francisco District Attorney

While nothing could be worse than losing your child the SF DA’s office have tried their very best to do just that. We received a letter telling us that Galo’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for Monday December 6 but that it was likely to be on a different date.  They told us they would contact us to let us know. On Friday December 3 at approximately 5:30 pm we received a call telling us that the public defender (PD) had a conflict and the Monday preliminary hearing would be continued. We were told not to come to San Francisco on Monday and we would be contacted with a new date. Monday at 6:30 pm I received a call from Assistant District Attorney Maria Shih. She told me she was very sorry but at the preliminary hearing retired Judge Philip Mascone had reduced the charges to a misdemeanor because he thought it was just an accident.

She said the courtroom erupted because the decision was so outrageous. Of course I said, “What preliminary hearing?” We were told that the hearing was being continued.  She said that the Public Defender decided to go forward with the hearing. I asked why weren’t we told and that we wanted to be there and wanted to speak.

“Nothing She Can Do”

She told us she thought we weren’t coming (yes because they told us not to) and that we wouldn’t have been able to speak anyway. (As we learned later California has a constitutional provision called Marcy’s Law that allows victims to be at and speak at every hearing). I also asked her what we could do to reverse this decision. We were told nothing. The judge had the right to do this and there was nothing we could do. ADA Shih told us that she was going on vacation and we could speak to her boss Asst. District Attorney David Merin the next day.

 

I spoke to ADA Merin the next day. I again asked him how the hearing could go on without us and that we wanted to speak and what could we do to reverse this decision. He repeated that we didn’t have to be there, we wouldn’t have been allowed to speak and there was nothing we could do. He then told me that Assistant District Attorney Victoria Baldachi would now be handling our case.

I called ADA Baldachi on Wednesday. She returned my call around 6:30 that evening and I missed the call. I called her back Thursday. She finally returned my call later that evening only to tell me that she was going on vacation and that she wouldn’t be handling the case but if I had a question I could call Layla Morris. They would soon be assigning someone to the case.

I was given the name of an attorney in San Francisco who I contacted on December 23, 2010. In a strange quirk he was aware of our case. Not because of any publicity the case generated which was none but his wife was the court reporter that day. He said that when she came home that evening she told him about the latest absurd decision by Judge Mascone. She validated the comment made to me by ADA Shih. Little did I know that this would be one of the last true statements made by the San Francisco DA’s office.

More Details Revealed

As we also learned when Roberto Galo was caught driving in June his car had been impounded. The law very clearly states that when an unlicensed driver’s car is impounded it must stay impounded for 30 days. San Francisco, in violation of the law, normally does not impound cars.

 

They either park the car or allow a licensed driver to come and drive the car away. In this case there was no place to park the car and Galo couldn’t get a licensed driver to get the car. So the policeman who caught Galo had to call the station and get their permission to follow the law.

His car was impounded sometime after 2:00 on June 14, 2010. Galo who had purchased the car in August 2007 signed the title of the car over to Digna Guzman and by 12:01 am on June 15 she had insured both herself (she has a drivers license) and Galo and later that day got the car out of impound. By her own statement to the police she immediately gave the car back to Galo.

Within 30 days the billing for the insurance had been changed to Galo’s address.  When Galo struck and killed my son before getting out of the car his wife (we think) called Guzman first.

Defendant in Court

On July 27, 2010 Galo appeared in traffic court for his June 14 charges. The DA’s office had cut him a deal. Plead guilty to driving the wrong way on a one way street and the charges for driving without a license and driving without insurance would be dropped. At this point Galo had already been driving again for 45 days. Of course he took the deal. The DA’s office refuses to tell us if he ever paid the ticket for the wrong way violation.

On January 27, 2011 my wife and I met the following people at the District Attorney offices. Sharon Woo, Chief of the Criminal Division, David Merin, Victoria Baldocci, ADA Laura Zunino (introduced to us as their 22 year employee and an expert on writs), ADA Angela Pierce (who was now assigned to our case) and victim advocate Jean Hassett.

The Appeal

We urged them to file a writ of appeal of Judge Mascone’s decision.  They told us that the appeal had to be based on an error in law or an irrational decision. It took about 5 minutes to discover the error in the law. Judge Mascone had concluded that Drew may have been at fault as well as he may have been in the intersection when the light turned yellow. First, that is not a violation of the law. Second and more importantly even if the light was red Drew had the right of way and was not at fault at all. We were told that they wanted to discuss and we would get their decision the next day.  At this point I had tried to read the transcript of the preliminary hearing a few times but wasn’t able to get past the eyewitness testimony. I wish I had although as you will see it wouldn’t have mattered.

 

The next day we were told that they would file the appeal but not to be optimistic. They were also arguing that day at a hearing to combine the two cases – Galo and Guzman so that the evidence that someone had been killed could be entered as evidence in the Guzman case. ADA Pierce making the argument did not know the facts of the case. Judge Angela Bradstreet could not see the connection between the two defendants. I actually got up and whispered in the ear of ADA Zunino explaining the connection and she whispered in the ear of Pierce who still couldn’t explain the simple facts. Guzman took title to the car, got it out of impound and gave it right back to Galo. Bradstreet denied the motion. As Guzman walked out of the courtroom she leered at my wife (essentially saying “fuck you”).

We urged the DA’s office to add fraud charges against Guzman for aiding and abetting in the death of our son and criminal fraud perpetrated on the city of San Francisco. She knowingly, intentionally defrauded the city by taking title to the car for the sole purpose of getting the car out of impound and turning it over to Galo. We were told that the Special Prosecutor’s Office would investigate.

More Delays

The next hearing was scheduled for February 10, 2011. On Friday February 4 we were informed by ADA Pierce that the public defender assigned to Guzman would not be available on the 10th and that her hearing would be moved to February 17.  We asked that Galo’s hearing also be moved to February 17. We live in the Los Angeles area and have a minor daughter.

We did not want to have to travel to San Francisco two weeks in a row and leave our already traumatized daughter twice. We were told by ADA Pierce that Galo’s date couldn’t be changed. It was our choice if we wanted to attend.

 

The Case

So what happens when the case gets called on February 10? First Judge Little questioned why the two cases (Galo and Guzman) weren’t combined. Unbelievably, when ADA Pierce tried to convey to Judge little the ruling from two weeks ago she misstated the facts again. She said Guzman was in the car with Galo. As Pierce tried to explain, Judge Little grew impatient and said that even if the cases weren’t combined why weren’t the hearings on the same day?

Told To “Get Over It”

During a break in the proceedings we went into the court corridor. My wife and I conferred with ADA Pierce and ADA Vicky Baldocchi. We conveyed our anger at all of the incompetence (but there was so much more to come) along with the way, commencing with the first hearing on December 6th, when we were told not to come to San Francisco because Galo’s hearing would not go forward, continuing on to the point where we are today.  ADA Baldocchi then had the audacity to tell us we needed to “get over it.” Was she implying that we needed to get over the death of our son two months ago, or the fact that her office had been so incompetent every step of the way?  ADA Baldocchi had the audacity to tell us that we were making this “personal”.  Isn’t the death/killing of our son “personal”?

 

Isn’t the District Attorney supposed to be the voice of the “people”?  Is that us? Yes, this is very personal to us.  Unfortunately, we can’t hire our own criminal prosecution team, and have to rely on the District Attorney’s office. We thought we would be treated with dignity and respect.  We were clearly wrong. As we were walking back into the courtroom, we overheard ADA Baldocchi say to ADA Pierce, “I’m so sick of those people……….” She continued to say something but I couldn’t hear the rest of what she said.

 

It’s About the Budget??

I asked for an immediate meeting with Sharon Woo. The first thing I asked her was, “What is the DA’s policy regarding prosecuting drivers caught without licenses (that haven’t caused a death or been involved in a violent accident)?” She said the DA’s office doesn’t have a policy. I asked her how many of those kinds of unlicensed drivers have been prosecuted in the past year. She said she couldn’t tell me. I said does that mean that none have been prosecuted?

 

She started telling me about budget issues. So, essentially the District Attorney’s Office does have a policy and does not prosecute anyone caught driving without a license, although it’s against the law. I asked her if she was aware of the death and destruction caused by unlicensed drivers. She did not have any response.

 

Under Reported Statistics

I’ve been researching the issue and the data and statistics are astounding – fatalities caused by unlicensed drivers are just below the number of fatalities caused by drunk drivers.

 

Frustration Growing

The conversation began to deteriorate when I questioned Woo why an unlicensed driver is immune from the law and appears to have more rights than honest drivers with licenses. For instance, if I had been caught driving the wrong way down a one way street, I would have been ticketed and would have had to attend remedial drivers’ school for several hundred dollars or the DMV would have reported this infraction to my insurance company, thereby increasing my insurance rates. Additionally, I would have had points added to my license and eventually could have my license revoked.  Conversely, Galo, an unlicensed driver, did not have to go to driving school because he doesn’t have a license. There is no report made to an insurance company, because he didn’t have any (at that time). So, why did the District Attorney’s Office drop the charges against him in June for driving without a license?  ADA Woo’s response was inadequate – she suggested that perhaps if I appeared before a judge for the same incident, I too, could receive a reduced penalty.

 

We’re Now the Adversaries

The conversation continued to deteriorate when we asked who would be the ADA for the trial, and we were told ADA Pierce, as she “was one of their best”.  When we informed ADA Woo that Judge Little questioned Judge Bradstreet’s denial of the motion to consolidate, she said on the spot, “Maybe we should ask the Judge to reconsider?”  Was this a novel thought two weeks later?  The conversation had so deteriorated that we walked out of the office.  I was convinced there will be no further action taken by the DA’s office in this case, as we have now become the adversaries.  Apparently, if these two matters remain unconsolidated, the fact that Guzman’s actions led to the death/murder of our son Drew will never be admitted as evidence.  Her charge of giving “her” car to an unlicensed driver is left as a stand-alone charge, independent of the repercussions that ensued as a result of her knowing deceit.

 

In early March I was speaking to the inspector on the case. Since we were not permitted to attend the preliminary hearing we did not know who testified. The inspector told me that the DA’s office never called him to testify although he was there and he was furious.  We immediately contacted ADA Merin and asked him for an explanation as to why the inspector on the case would not be called as a witness.  He told us, “For evidence to be admissible, or for any witness to testify at a preliminary hearing, there must be sufficient foundation for such testimony.”

 

Contradictory Comments

He continued to explain (in writing) that the inspector would not have been allowed to testify on Galo’s intent or state of mind.  He then stated that, “All facts supporting reasonable inferences of flight were before Judge Moscone when he reduced the felony charge in your son’s case.” Either this man is totally incompetent and has no business being a district attorney or he wanted this case dropped to a misdemeanor so he wouldn’t have to deal with it. The inspector told me that in his 30 years he had testified at preliminary hearings about 1000 times.  The inspector’s testimony would have focused on the fact that at no time did Galo ever attempt to stop. There were no skid marks from his car.

 

In fact at preliminary hearings hearsay evidence is admissible.

 

In February the DA’s office filed the appeal of Judge Mascone’s outrageous decision. About 10 days later we received the response from the public defender. He never challenged anything that was said in the appeal. Instead his response was limited to a few sentences. One of which was that the appeal was filed in the wrong court. My wife contacted Sharon Woo who assured us that everything they did was correct. I contacted a professor at my son’s law school who had been helping us. About a week later she responded back that she believed the public defender was correct.

 

Denied Appeal

In mid–April, late on a Friday I received an email from Sharon Woo telling us that the appeal had been denied on “procedural grounds”.  My wife called her to ask her what that meant. She said that they had just received the court’s opinion and they were studying it. We asked for a copy and received it on Monday. First, the DA’s office received the opinion the prior Monday so they had a week to “study” it. Second, the rejection said very simply that their court did not have jurisdiction to consider the petition. Yes, the District Attorney’s office did not know in which court to file an appeal of a preliminary hearing. Remember, we had been introduced to Laura Zunino, there 22 year expert on writs and they filed in the wrong court. To this day they continue to call it a procedural error and will not admit that they filed in the wrong court.

 

The Delayed Response – Clueless

Everything you’ve read here has been sent to San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón in letters and emails. We have asked to meet with him at least five times. Despite the ineptitude of his staff he has never acknowledged any of our correspondence and of course has refused to meet with us. In February 2011 I sent a letter to Attorney General Kamala Harris explaining  some of what had happened to that point ( Harris was the DA when Drew was killed. She left the office in early January after getting elected as the Attorney General in November 2010). When I finally got as response 8 months later from one of her assistants it was essentially, “We spoke to the DA’s office and they tell us everything is fine.”

 

After the appeal debacle I summoned up the courage to read the preliminary hearing transcript. Besides the issue of not knowing the traffic laws Judge Moscone does not know the purpose or rules of a preliminary hearing. Not that it would have mattered since they filed the appeal in the wrong court but they could have also appealed on the grounds of the decision being irrational for the following reasons. At one point Judge Moscone said that he had been in an accident and he knew of the confusion that ensues after a collision. So the judge was making a decision that although Galo drove back and forth over my son three times it must have been that Galo was confused. Because he was in an accident at one time and was confused.  The defense never allowed Galo to testify that he was confused. That “evidence” was entered by the judge.

 

SMOKING GUN EVIDENCE – DISALLOWED

Furthermore the California Judges Bench guide says the following regarding evidence at a preliminary hearing.  “Evidence that will support a prosecution need not be sufficient to support a conviction. There must merely be some rational ground to assume the possibility that an offense has been committed and the defendant is guilty of it.”  So the judge decided that driving back and forth over someone three times did not constitute the possibility that the driver was trying to flee. Then in what can only be described as the smoking gun to the judges irrational behavior he said referring to Galo’s driving behavior, “unfortunately we may never know the answer to that issue – in an effort to mitigate the damages. “

 

So since the fiasco with the appeal both cases, Galo’s and Guzman’s became a game of stall. In November 2011 at hearing to set a trial date for Guzman she decided to plead guilty to knowingly giving a car to an unlicensed driver. The maximum penalty was 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The judge fined her $300 much of which was court fees.

 

In April 2012 the defense filed a motion for dismissal. It appears that the San Francisco Police Department accidentally released Galo’s car and my son’s motorcycle from impound as evidence for a trial. Both items were bought last July. The judge denied the motion.

 

THE TRIAL IS SET

The trial is now slated to start on July 6, 2012. The maximum penalty that Galo can receive is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The defense will argue that the evidence is gone and I am sure that one juror will refuse to convict and Galo will go free.

 

We are now on our 6th DA. On June 18 DA Angela Pierce (now Fisher) informed us that she was going on leave and we would be contacted by a new DA who would try the case.

 

THE TRIAL

 

If you can call it good luck the replacement for Angela Fisher was ADA Michael Maffei. My first call with ADA Maffei  and I could instantly tell something was different.  He was intelligent, he was sharp and he actually cared. He knew more about the case in a week than anyone else from the DA’s office in 18 months. Despite only having a few weeks to prepare I felt for the first time that we might actually win. The case which had been butchered by everyone else who had touched it before (to be fair to Angela Fisher by the time it got to her it had already been destroyed) was now a misdemeanor meaning Galo, if convicted could be sentenced to no more than a year. However, to see him just walk would probably have been more than I could handle so I really needed a conviction. Additionally, a conviction on both counts which were both misdemeanors would mean that under the rules of Temporary Protective Status Galo would be deported.

 

My son Evan, accompanied me to San Francisco for the trial and wrote a daily blog of the trial. You can read his blog at http://drewstrial.blogspot.com/ or click on “The People of the State of California vs Roberto Galo on the web site www.unlicensedtokill.org.

 

The people had to prove that Galo drove without a license and was negligent in killing my son. The defense of course stipulated that Galo was driving without a license. The legal definition of negligence in California is:

 

“Ordinary negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to oneself or someone else. A person is negligent if he does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation.”

 

By that definition the case should have been over before it started. Are we to believe that a reasonable careful person does not know you cannot drive a car without a license? Obviously in California, at least in the legal system, we do not. So let the trial begin. [Please read the daily details from the blog].

 

There was definite proof that Galo had owned a car for three years and that he had driven without a license for three years. IINADMISSABLE. There was definitive proof that Galo had driven the wrong way down a one way street before he killed my son. INADMISSABLE. There was definitive proof that Galo had driven without a license after he was caught but before he killed my son. INADMISSABLE. Despite the fact that Galo’s wife brought one of their children each day to the trial in full site of the jury when the ADA wanted to show a picture of Drew alive during his closing argument it was of course INADMISSABLE.

 

And finally what I had been trying to find out since days after Drew was killed was why didn’t Galo have a driver’s license? He had a California ID issued by the DMV. Since he entered the country under the TPS program he was eligible for a driver’s license. I knew that the answer to that question would be important to this case. For months the DA’s office just ignored my request for that information. Then they told me that the DMV wasn’t responding. Then I was told the DMV did not keep those kinds of records. I knew that was a lie and later had it confirmed by an executive at DMV that they essentially keep records in perpetuity.

 

After the sentencing hearing a few weeks later my wife and I took ADA Maffei to lunch. A DMV representative had testified in the trial but all he testified too was that Galo did not have a driver’s license and never did. We started discussing that issue and Maffei told me that he had found out that the reason Galo did not have a driver’s license. Before he was caught in June 2010 driving without a license he had tried twice to get a license and failed both times. After he was caught he tried again and failed. I asked him why that was not presented as evidence and of course it was INADMISSABLE. (Maffei was unaware of my attempts to get this information so when the judge told him it would be inadmissible he didn’t even mention it to me.) I asked him how hard it was to get this information. His answer…”I called up DMV and they told me.”

 

Had that evidence been obtained after the preliminary hearing they could have re-charged Galo. It was now apparent that Galo had no regard for our driving laws. He was going to drive no matter how many times he was told he couldn’t. And they had to spend 8 days and who knows how much money to prove he was negligent. It is my belief that at some point early in the case but probably after it was too late to re-charge Galo the district attorney’s office obtained this information and not only withheld it from me but buried it.

 

THE SENTENCING

 

August 16, 2012 21 months to the day that Drew was killed was the sentencing hearing. As I said the maximum sentence for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter is 1 year in jail. However, killing someone with your car is not considered a violent crime so because of prison overcrowding the most Galo would serve if sentenced to a year is 6 months. If sentenced to the maximum he also could not be put on probation. So the judge sentenced him to 6 months and three year’s probation.  To the judges credit she did say she wished she could do more.  She did remand him immediately. You would have thought he had been sentenced to death as his family started crying profusely never once apologizing to us for what their “patriarch” had done to my son.

 

But of course in what we like to call the “best legal system in the world” it’s never over. A few weeks later I find out that if Galo behaves himself he will get a day served for each day of good behavior.  If he’s a good boy he will be released on November 16, 2012 the second anniversary of him killing my son.

 

SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE GASCÓN

 

My wife and I sent many letters and emails to District Attorney Gascón starting in February 2011 explaining and complaining about the way his staffed was not just destroying this case but actually being abusive to us. We were even told that after one letter he instructed everyone, including our victim’s rights advocate, to not speak with us. So much for victim’s rights. He never responded once. After ADA Maffei did a fantastic job and got a conviction on both counts I only thought it fair to let Gascón know. I sent him an email not only praising Maffei’s prosecution skills but how he was the only DA in the case who really cared. Of course two days later Gascón responded (for the first time).

 

September 20, 2012

 

Dear Mr. And Mrs. Rosenberg,

I appreciate you taking the time to recognize Michael’s work. He’s a true professional and your words of appreciation mean a great deal to both of us.

I know that there is nothing that I can say to ease your pain and frustration. Nevertheless, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my most deepest sympathy.

Serving you and your family, as well as every other family victimized by criminal behavior is a duty I take very seriously.

 

Sincerely,

George Gascón.
District Attorney
City and County of San Francisco
850 Bryant Street, Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: (415) 553-1742

 

A week later I wrote him back:

 

Dear District Attorney Gascón,

 

It’s really not good form to chastise someone when you are then going to ask them for something but I would not be true to myself if I didn’t. I am amazed that when I send a complimentary email to you I get a response yet you ignored all of my emails and letters for 19 months as your office took what should have been a Murder 2 charge and turned it into a simple misdemeanor that would have ended up an acquittal had it not been for Mr. Maffei. I’m not sure I can believe your last comment about serving me and my family.

 

That said, I want your office to bring fraud charges against Roberto Galo and Digna Guzman. After Galo’s car was impounded on June 14, 2010 they conspired to commit fraud in order to get the car out of impound. That act led to the death of my son.

 

Sincerely,

 

Don Rosenberg

 

Needless to say I have not had a response and I don’t ever expect to get one.  This man is not fit to be a meter maid. (No offense intended to meter maids.)

 

 

DEPORTATION

 

As previously mentioned under the TPS program if you receive two misdemeanors you are to be deported.  When I believed that Galo would spend 6 months in jail I met with my congressman, Henry Waxman to discuss his deportation.  I wanted to make sure that the moment Galo stepped out of prison he would be held by ICE until he was deported. I wanted the congressman to contact Secretary Napolitano to make sure that Galo never spent another moment as a free man in the United States.

 

When I found out that the six months in jail would probably be closer to three I contacted the congressman’s office to let them know that time was short. Last week (October 11, 2012) I received a call from the congressman’s office. They told me they contacted ICE in San Francisco and that they would not be detaining Galo and that they would not be deporting him. Needless to say I am not accepting this answer. I have now told the congressman that I want a meeting with Napolitano and I want it now.

 

It has become apparent to me that the only people who have to obey the law are citizens. If you are in the country illegally (see what is now happening in Los Angeles) or if we are generous enough to allow you in under our TPS program not only do the laws not apply but we go out of our way at tremendous taxpayer expense to protect you.

 

November 12, 2012……….no word from Janet Napolitano.

 

NEW ENTRY DEC 4, 2012

 

Well first no word from Janet Napolitano….not that I had expected her to call.

 

But the nightmare continues.

 

DEPORTATION UPDATE

 

The law is very clear.  One felony or two misdemeanors and out you go. As I’ve discovered from the police (to be fair in this instance SFPD was great) to the district attorney’s to the judges every effort is made to make sure felonies are dropped to misdemeanors and misdemeanors are either completely dropped or turned into infractions. I have no doubt in my mind that if my wife and I did not get involved and demand this man be charged the DA’s office would have pled this case out as nothing more than an accident.  Despite all the systemic rot in the system (SF is the award winner and DA Gascón deserves the Academy Award for portraying  the chief law enforcement officer, or maybe he should be charged with impersonating one) that protects the criminals at the expense of the law abiding we managed to get two misdemeanor convictions. Mind you he should have walked into the hearing with at least one misdemeanor conviction and he should have been facing felony murder 2 plus a couple of other misdemeanor charges.  He should also be facing fraud charges along with Digna Guzman who I believe (along with many criminal attorneys and a few other DA’s) fraudulently got his car out of impound. But of course DA Gascón will not charge them with that crime.

 

Through Congressman Waxman’s office we were told that he won’t be deported because now instead of following the law some bloated bureaucrat has decided that driving without a license is a minor offense. Therefore he only has one crime of moral turpitude.  Why moral turpitude, it doesn’t sound as bad as killing someone. I am not accepting that and have had some other people dealing with ICE. I was told last Wednesday (Nov 28) that I would be getting a call. No call Thursday or Friday. I called Monday and left a message. I was told today (Tuesday) that I would be receiving a call today.  Guess what?

 

HOW 365 EQUALS 43

 

The maximum sentence for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter is 1 year or 365 days.  In California because of prison overcrowding that sentence is automatically cut in half to 182 days. The judge could have sentenced Galo to 365 days but she then would not have been able to put him on probation so she gave him 6 months with three years probation. To her credit she said she wished she could have done more. But as they say, “That’s not all”. If you behave yourself you get one day off for each day served. (We have to bribe prisoners to behave themselves!) So now the 365 days is down to 90 days. That 90 days would have had Galo out of prison on November 16, the 2 year anniversary of him killing my son.

 

I called the DA’s office last Wednesday (Nov 28) to find out if Galo was out and if not when he was scheduled for release. The DA told me he didn’t know but would check and find out. About an hour later I got a call from a columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle who told me that Galo had been released in September. He spent all of 43 days in jail.  I am still waiting to hear, who let him out, on what authority and of course, why.

 

 

NEW ENTRY JAN 23, 2013

 

Finally, some good news. After 3 months of constant pressure Galo was picked up by ICE and is currently in the Florence, Arizona detention center. His first deportation hearing will be February 13, 2013. This of course doesn’t mean he will be deported. My thanks first to Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle for some incredible columns she wrote. Next, to Jessica Vaughn from the Center for Immigration Studies.  Jessica’s vast knowledge of the system has been invaluable.  Finally, my thanks to Congressman Waxman’s office for making the first contacts with ICE.

 

Although this is good news what I had to go through to get to this point in unconscionable. US Customs and Immigration Services now consider driving without a license a “minor offense”.  On the one month anniversary of the tragedy at Newtown President Obama stated that there had been 900 deaths by guns since December 14. Since that time there were 600 deaths (about 150 of them children) caused by unlicensed drivers. How is 900 deaths a national tragedy but 600 deaths a “minor offense”.

 

NEW ENTRY FEB 19, 2013

 

On January 15, 2013 I was on a call with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkis. I wanted to ask him if he believed that a crime which killed over 7,000 people a year should be considered a minor offense. Unfortunately, I never got my turn to ask a question.  I wrote him and two weeks later was in Bakersfield, CA for an immigration meeting where I presented my letter to two immigration employees who promised to get me an answer. As with my letter to Janet Napolitano, I’m still waiting for an answer.

 

Two weeks before Galo’s deportation hearing his attorney files for a bond hearing in San Francisco to get him released. The San Francisco judge ruled on Feb 8 that the hearing would have to be filed in Arizona since that is where Galo was being held.  So of course his attorney filed in Arizona and a hearing was scheduled for February 12.

 

I attended the hearing and am happy to report that the immigration judge refused bond. Unfortunately, the immigration hearing was continued until March 6. I am all for due process but it is clear that this is abuse of process.

 

I also found out some other troubling information. His girlfriend was ordered to be deported in March 2006. She didn’t show up so ICE just failed to follow up. She is considered a fugitive and was living in the same house so she could have easily been located and of course in July 2012 she attended Galo’s trial in the court house for two weeks.

 

I also learned that their two children aren’t theirs. I always assumed that because of the kid’s ages and the time that Galo and girlfriend entered the country that the children were born here.  It’s a bit of a mystery and what I was told is that she and/or he adopted them.  As illegal immigrants I don’t think you can adopt children particularly when no one seems to know where they came from.

 

Lastly, I learned in mid-January that Galo has appealed his conviction for involuntary manslaughter.  The appeal was filed in late September but crack DA Gascón and his appeals team (the same people who didn’t know where to file my appeal) neglected to notify me. This is of course a violation of Marsy’s Law but as with so many things in this case no one cares and the law is worthless anyway.

 

Much more to go as I race to get Galo deported before a new immigration law is voted on.

 

NEW ENTRY APRIL 1, 2013

 

At the March 6 deportation hearing Galo decided not to fight his deportation. Paperwork processing could take up to a month (or more). At this point he is still in custody in Florence, AZ.

 

I have yet to hear from Director Mayorkis as to his belief that a crime that kills over 7,000 people a year should be classified as a minor offense. My contacts inside USCIS have told me that a response has been written and it is going through the vetting process. Since I asked Director Mayorkis that question 74 days ago 1,480 people have been killed by the minor offense of driving without a license.

 

NEW ENTRY JUNE 3, 2013

 

On April 4, 2013 Roberto Galo was deported to Honduras. His girlfriend and the two children left on March 29.

 

His appeal of his criminal case is still in motion. Although the judge gave his attorney until April 4 (coincidence) to file his appeal brief and said that would be the last extension he filed another request for an extension and it is still pending with the judge.  You have 40 days to file a brief after you file the request for an appeal. We’re now over 270 days and counting.

 

At the beginning of May I finally received a response from USCIS director Mayorkis. Of course he didn’t directly answer the two questions I had asked him but his lack of response was an answer. The questions were:

 

  1. Do you consider a crime that kills over 7,000 people a year a minor offense?
  2. How many misdemeanor convictions do you have?

 

Since the immigration policy is still that driving without a license is a minor offense he obviously does not feel that over 7,000 deaths is a big deal.

 

I will guess that his lack of response to Q2 means he has no misdemeanor convictions.

 

What is so important about these questions is that they both reflect the law as it would stand if the “Immigration Reform” bill is passed in its current form. In essence if you have killed someone while driving without a license you still qualify for your “pathway to citizenship”. In fact you are still eligible if you then drive again and kill someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

59 Responses

  1. Siri Joly says:

    Even more horrifying when put on one page, in one place….

  2. lorisa says:

    i read the story about your son Drew. People are killing our love ones and their life get to go on. how dare they. the system is backwards. People keep telling me you can not change the laws. i say why?. if you get enough people and voices someone has to listen. You take a life you should receive a punishment for it and just a fine. i will not stop at this. i wake up everyday on a mission and before i lay down the mission is still there. Our journey with the court system has just begun. and the state of CT NEEDS TO KNOW I AM NOT GOING AWAY.

    A MOTHER ON A MISSION……

    LORISA JONES

  3. Scott Zwartz says:

    As horrible as your story is, it is not unusual. Most judges are former prosecutors or insurance defense attorneys which reflect 26 years of GOP Governors appointing judges and the public’s mindlessly voting for any person who is already a judge. When L.A. booted Ditzi Janavs, Gov Arnie immediately reappointed her and Ditzi Janavs continued her abuse, hostile, demeaning behavior.

    Most judges are political hacks who are appointed to carry out certain political objectives. One objective is to keep costs down and that requires dismissing cases, unless the politicos are in a law and order mode. Then, they rail road any poor sucker the cops drag off the street.

    DA’s and Pub Defenders tend to place a congenial working environment with the judge above all else. The DA clearly sees you as an unwanted troublemaker as you expect the DA to disagree with the judge. Bringing the judge’s deficiencies to his attention will only anger the judge and make the DA’s appearances in that courtroom unpleasant. As for the DA’s filing in the wrong courtroom: It is just as likely the DA was right and the judge who heard the motion did not want to rule against a colleague so he ignored the issues by throwing it out for lack of jurisdiction. Who knows? Don’t expect judges to follow the law or to even make sense.

    I have a case in LA, where the judges holds un-noticed hearings and awards sanctions against attorneys for not appearing at the hearing which she sets but never tells the attys. Most attys pay the $250.00 as they know the courts are short of cash and this new practice of un-noticed hearings is the latest shake-down ploy. Now that we are catching on, we have to have our staff check the court’s web sites, but that does not always help as the court web site for a case may very well say “No Future Hearings.” This matter of the un-noticed hearings is a tiny thing, but it shows the way that most judges have no regard for the law or due process.

    I have seen how tragedies are turned into perpetual judicial nightmares where the victims, if they live, and their families have to re-live the horror over and over and over. I wish it weren’t so — but after 35 years as an attorney, I know your story is common

  4. admin says:

    Hi Scott. Thanks for you response. You are right on about the judges. I have dealt with many cases now like mine and the judges are almost always at fault and clearly do not know or do not care about the law. In our case they did file in the wrong court. Had they filed correctly and we lost the appeal we could have gone to this court for another appeal. A criminal law professor from my son’s school researched this right after the PD response and told us the PD was right. We informed the DA and they said they were right. Famous last words. The judge on at the trial was actually pretty good. I was very surprised. Unfortunbately the law on these things is so weak there’;s only so much she could do.

  5. VERY informative! Democrats win by such large numbers I think they will continue ignoring problems like this, but hopefully it serves as a warning to the rest of the country that may not be so invested in political correctness.

  6. Mike B says:

    Time to organize

  7. A brother in pain says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss. On January 27, 2002, my sister was also killed in a car accident. I’m not excusing ANYONE from driving unlicensed, legal or illegal. The person responsible for my sisters death is a US citizen. My sister was also a US citizen. The pain and hate is the same. “illegals” are not here to “kill” your “people”.
    I agree with you that every criminal needs to be punish. But it’s not fair to single out one group. There are good people and bad people in every ethnic group.

    In 1998, when i was in high school, an illegal immigrant became a donor to a US girl. Wheb she needed a bone narrow transplant.

    Unfortunately these kind of stories don’t make the news.

    Sincerely,

    A brother in pain

  8. Angry Californian says:

    Your tragic loss is only magnified by the latest LA Times opinion piece that goes on to amplify why the probability will increase that another parent will suffer the same sadness.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0127-lopez-unlicensed-20130125,0,1870601.column

  9. M says:

    Thank you for keeping at this.

    There is no telling how many people Sr. Galo (or others like him) may have killed or will kill in the future.

    It is maddening to learn that there is no justice nor even much of an attempt by our public officials to seek it.

  10. Asim says:

    I am sorry for your loss.

    Unfortunately this is the result of politics of convenience and appeasement. Makes me wonder why I even bother paying DMV fees.

    Please continue fighting the good fight.

  11. Sue Bromiley says:

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Rosenberg the story in the LA times today and also on your website broke my heart and also makes me so angry!!! What is wrong with California? Has this state lost it’s moral compass of right and wrong! Who does Chief Beck and the Police Commission think they are anyway?? A fairness issue?? Really what about you and your family where’s the fairness? Are they really above the law of the land?? I don’t know what is going to happen to California and I feel very sorry for my adult kids trying to make it in this town!! My heart goes out to both of you!! Best Regards, Sue Bromiley

  12. admin says:

    I am sorry for your loss as well. We all know that we take a risk from people driving. In sheer numbers licensed drivers kill more people than unlicensed drivers and about 20% are also drunk. I am not singling out this group. I want all people with suspended and revoked licenses to be punished as well. But when an unlicensed person is driving they had no right to even be in the car. If they are also here illegally they of course had no right to even be here. I never said that Galo or for that matter any other unlicensed driver meant to kill anyone. The problem is they do kill in numbers much higher (500%) than licensed drivers. They also drink in numbers much higher (500%) and flee the scene over 35% of the time compared to 3.7% for licensed drivers. Not in the article but Galo failed his driving test three times but kept driving. Those who can’t get a license and are caught keep driving. They are singled out as a group because when they enter the country illegally we can’t treat them as an individual because we have no idea who they are. We have no idea where they came from. We have no idea what they have or haven’t done in their past.

    I have no doubt that many of the people who are here illegally want nothing more than a better life for themselves and their family. They work hard and try to follow the law. But that doesn’t make it right. What about the over 4 million people who have been trying to enter the country legally some for over 20 years?

    The illegal immigrant who became a donor took a great risk as I’m sure they exposed themselves and could have been deported. They did a brave thing and saved a life. I’m sure there are more but the carnage they cause on the road happens daily and cannot be excused even for an heroic act.

  13. A brother in pain says:

    Agreed. I apologize. I should have been more expecific when I wrote to “kill” your “people”. I was referring to lorisa’s comment on 8/7/12.

    Thank you for your response and time.

    I will pray to God to heal your heart in Jesus name.

  14. Eduardo says:

    you can get all the legal advice your pkecot will afford, however, in my many years with autos, it is not the insur. companies responsibility to check on your license. Any vehicle can be insured with or without a valid license. I could even insure your vehicle, though it’s not in my name. you lost your vehicle due to YOUR neglegence, not the insur. company’s. But you CAN simply check with your state’s dept. of motor vehicles for specific answers.

  15. admin says:

    Most of our public officials are trying to bury this information. Much of the media is as well. When Chief Beck of LAPD proposed to stop impounding cars of unlicensed drivers last year he neglected to inform everyone that of LA’s 42,000 collisions each year almost 20,000 were hit and runs. That is almost 500% higher than the national average. His solution. Make it easier for people to drive without licenses. While we don’t know how many of them are unlicensed drivers we do know according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that licensed drivers flee the scene 3.7% of the time and unlicensed drivers flee over 35% of the time. We also know that about 1/3 of LA’s drivers are unlicensed. Way more than the vast majority of these hit and runs are unlicensed drivers. In San Francisco when the decision was made to stop impounding cars then police chief and now district attorney George Gascon said this was a good thing to do because”poor people could not afford a drivers license”. The cost of a license is $32 for 6 years. How can you afford to drive a car if you can’t afford a license. He also said that the poor couldn’t afford driving lessons. You only need professional lessons if you are under 18. After that anyone can teach you. Of course he wasn’t talking about the poor he was talking about illegal aliens. Regardless, the police chief and now the DA telling people it’s okay to drive even if you don’t know how.

  16. johnathan quevedo says:

    This story not only infuriating but unbelievable. I heard you with McIntyre, I wish there was something I could do. Just tell me. I want to help.

  17. Jill says:

    Don,
    My family was hit from behind on Hwy. 80 in 2010 by an unlicensed driver. The driver of the truck that plowed into us, from behind, was in his 50′s yet told the highway patrol, on the scene, that the 19 year old that was with him, (and legal) was driving. We didn’t know they had lied as we were all in an ambulance. Thankfully, we survived but not without ongoing problems as we had broken bones, concussions and my husband had spinal fluid draining from his nose. No one from the other vehicle involved was insured and our insurance company could not find the owner of the truck involved as it was not the property of the men driving. They broke the law in so many ways and as far as I know, nothing was done about that. Needless to say, your story saddens and angers me. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I was teary eyed reading of the loss of your son. Our child was with us on the day of our accident and I thank God things weren’t worse. I understand your determination in this issue. Please feel free to contact me if you think there is any way I can help with your organization.

  18. Dave Francis says:

    The Mandatory Nationwide E-Verify program and other essential immigration laws.

    The E-Verify pilot computer program was introduced in 1997, but has only been on a volunteer basis. It is now proven to detect illegal alien workforce, specifically as it is continually upgraded adding new tools, including the usage of Drivers License Records. This is probably is one of the most important potential mandatory laws other than THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL, that will prevent illegal alien children smuggled into the United States gaining automatic citizens. It has billions of dollars in costs in free education, free health care, cash payments and other citizen benefits. Whether people find access across the border illegally, or the other 46 percent who stay after arriving here on a flight the revenue spent to cater to them all, would save hundreds of billions in senseless spending annually. It must be voted on immediately, but instead is hidden away by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada so it cannot reach a reading. The Birthright Citizenship bill needs to be amended, so only children whose parent is a U.S. citizen can collect this great incentive.
    E-Verify which is a mandatory provision of THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT should also voted on without reservation, and also immediately before any new Amnesties are voted on in Congress. If there is a mismatch with documents to identify the worker, E-Verify alerts the employer and the employee is allowed to work while he or she resolves the issue. With the future usage of E-Verify as it is, only affects new labor, not previous hires that may be unauthorized to work? This part of an upcoming law needs to encompass both every worker, new and old hires? Since its inception the corporate world, unions and Department of Commerce have repudiated its positive outcome on the job market, trying to overcome any possibility of it become a mandatory law.
    A new study conducted by Senior Quantitative Analyst Jason Arvelo with Bloomberg Government reports have found that there is evidence to support E-Verify has the ability to deter the hiring of unauthorized workers. The study evaluates the impact that state-passed E-Verify laws had on different industries within those states.

    The study came away with two key findings. First, State legislatures have experimented with E-Verify laws varying how fast they’re rolled out and how strictly they’re enforced. This study finds that strict penalties probably lead to higher compliance rates among employers. Second, the research suggests that E-Verify mandates, when rolled out to all employers, influence worker behavior. Soon after E-Verify laws were signed in Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina, unauthorized workers in specific industries appeared to drop off employer payrolls. This prompted employers in many cases to fill positions with authorized workers.

    In Arizona, the Bloomberg study found a significant shift in the legal status of workers in apparel manufacturing, commercial bakeries, and taxi and limousine service. In South Carolina, Bloomberg found evidence of shifts in the legal status of workers in crop production, commercial bakeries, and special food service.

    Eventually all legislators will have to decide what to do about the border fence? Not the well publicized sectors with large populations on either side of the Southern border, which have been cleverly grafted on the retina of journalists, investigative reporters and politicians eyes to illustrate a firm barrier. But the regions further afield that wouldn’t even keep out an elephant out, never displayed to the dignitaries or working press. With nothing to show for the border line but some heavily leaning rusty barbed wire, that is evidently where a whole retinue of criminals and welfare illegal aliens are able sneak across bringing with them new strains of diseases? Some areas have nothing at all and nothing to mark where the two countries meet? The tremendously high outlay of complying with the Secure Fence Act’s mandate was estimated at US$4.1 billion, or more than the Border Patrols entire annual budget of 3 billion in 1986, supposedly the foremost reason that it was not satisfied; however the business community didn’t like being severed from cheap labor. In just a few years the cost of financially supporting the illegal aliens crossing borders would revitalize every state treasury. Every American must demand from Washington the 2006 Secure Fence which was originally passed and then more or less killed, from the ravings of special interest groups and their lobbyists.

    Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, (R-TX), into the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Homeland Security funding bill, H.R. 2638 purposely exempted the DHS from having to build any fence at all. While these lawmakers living in their isolated gated homes in Washington continue to play political sport with one another and conspire with the dictatorial Mexican government, while Southwest landowners suffer from Drug cartels, criminals with guns and illegal aliens disrupting their lives; repeated incidents of violation of US sovereignty policies, including some known elements of terrorists cells with unnerving intentions. Later Rep Duncan Hunter (R-CA)voted for the construction of a 14-mile, triple-layered fence along the U.S.- Mexico border near San Diego in the Illegal Immigration Reform bill, which has far surpassed the rest of the border regions fencing complete with razor wire, which minimizes the single fence that has been constructed and remains uncompleted.

    Sign a petition against the Gang of Eight’s proposal in opposition to 23 million unemployed Americans at: NumberUSA You can also contact every Representative demanding no Amnesty and no Path to Citizenship at 202) 224-3121, the general Washington switchboard. YOU THE CITIZEN VOTER HAS MORE INFLUENCE OVER CONGRESS, THAN YOU RECOGNIZE.

  19. Mike says:

    I am sorry about your loss and about the way you were treated by the system. I am a fully documented and properly authorized immigrant. After coming to the USA a few years ago, I made an effort to learn to drive and pass the driving test. I had to spend a lot of money on driving school, around $3000 for 30 lessons, and after failing my driving test once I abandoned the effort for the time being and just depend on public transportation. Even though the public transportation system in my area is pretty bad, the thought of driving without a license didn’t even enter my mind. I think it is appalling that anyone could have such little regard for human life. There is absolutely no excuse for driving without a license specially by someone who has failed their driving test. There should by much greater punishment for people who act in such an irresponsible manner. People who drive without a license or drive under the influence of alcohol should be sent to prison for at least 1 year even if their actions hadn’t led to a fatality. There is no reason to wait until they get someone killed. People who end up killing someone while driving unlicensed or while under the influence of alcohol etc. caused that death through their negligence. They should be charged with manslaughter and punished accordingly. In the case of the person who drove over your son several times in an effort to escape, that is something that goes even beyond manslaughter and such actions should be defined as murder by the law. Hope you succeed in your efforts!

  20. Holly says:

    WOW! First, let me say I am so very sorry for your loss. I have also lost a family member to the hands of a repeat drunk driver and remember how frustrating those days in the “criminal justice” system were for us but, after hearing your story ours was a breeze. Since that time I went on to a career in the legal field and I am never short of amazement as to the amount of ineptitude employed by both our judges and our prosecutors. Our justice system is becoming a joke and the good citizens like you and I (and others) who dare raise a complaint or try to fight back are the “crazy” ones. Serving less than 3 months for killing a bright, young man by repeatedly driving your vehicle over him so that you can avoid punishment is absolutely INSANE! My thoughts are with you and I hope you see this man and his family deported posthaste. Again, I am truly sorry for your loss and what you have endured while seeking justice for your son. Let’s wake up America! Where is the accountability???????

  21. Rest In Peace Drew.
    I am sorry for your loss and the agony you are going thru I have had an eerily similar experience with the Courts and D.A. in San Mateo County California.My son, Steven Wolkoff was killed by a DUI/DWI unlicensed driver who was an illegal alien, on June 21, 2008. Our family like the Rosenbergs and others have suffered and will suffer for the rest of our lives the killings of our sons.This was in San Mateo California, my son lived in SF and he was driving back from the beach with his girlfriend, when this illegal alien scum bag speeding in the other lane at 80 mph lost control of his car and crossed the highway divider, colliding with Steven’s car. The law is a joke, a circus. The illegal alien somehow had his car legally registered even though he had no drivers license, and his mother also an illegal alien has no drivers license and gave him the keys to the car, knowing he was drunk and high on morphine. My son is dead forever, gone at the age of 30. Like your son Drew, he was an innocent horrific victim & deserved better. Laws in this country mean nothing to those criminals who take no accountability for their actions and make up the rules as they go along to suit their sicko selves. The Courts do nothing but play games along with the lawyers, there is no justice ever, and it is 1 huge disgustingly dysfunctional legal system, especially in California. I have a Blog where you can follow some of my journey at http://jerrywolkoff.blogspot.com/. The Courts in California are in particular biased toward any citizen who files a case against the State of California and/or death by vehicular DUI/DWI which they view as too expensive to prosecute because the State of California is “broke and out of $”. The D.A.s office was worthless and refused to get involved in our case. I have spent the last 3 yrs. caught up in the California legal system and have found the Judges to be incompetent, the legal system there corrupt, poorly written, and the laws of the State of California re-issues like ours to only protect the criminals. There is no justice and never will be for regular citizens such as us who lose our beloved children to these horrific, illegal acts. We live in a jungle of animals, with no real laws, and the value of a human American life is worth nothing. To read more about Steven, who was a genius technology streaming media project supvsr. our family has a web sit at http://stevewolkoff.com/

  22. HeroHeart says:

    Reading your story, I can’t help but compare what you have been through to what my family and I are going through now.. My brother was hit and killed by a unlicensed driver in May 2012 and so far getting the prosecuting attorney or anyone to do anything has been like pulling teeth… ( Like your story we were told and I quote,” It was nothing more than a bad accident,”

  23. lynn says:

    Mr Rosenberg

    Let us get establish a petition that will defeat AB 60.

    Jan Brewer has even excluded DACA beneficiaries of President.

    I heard the consideration for driver’s license will only e granted to those who can prove they paid taxes. Nevermind if the SS# is fraudulent.

  24. Editor says:

    The Senate Transportation Committee will hear the bill on July 2. I will be in Sacramento to testify. If the bill passes the committee there will be no way to stop it from passing the Senate and I am almost sure that Jerry Brown will sign it. It would not become effective until January 1, 2015. Assuming it becomes law there are a few ways to try to get it invalidated however none of them are easy. On top of that the Immigration “Reform” bill could change everything if it passes. Assuming for a minute that the bill doesn’t pass there are two ways challenge the bill. The typical method is a statewide initiative. That is a very difficult and expensive procedure and without a major backer almost impossible to get the money just to get the required signatures let alone what would be an extremely expensive advertising campaign. And of course I’m not sure you could get 50% of the voters. There is a group in Oregon right now taking this approach with a drivers license bill that just passed. The other route would be a legal challenge. Again very expensive but not nearly as expensive as a statewide initiative. I believe that current federal law prohibits giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens. Although a few states do no one has ever legally made this challenge.

    There is no requirement in the bill that you have to prove you’ve paid taxes. It was originally pitched that way but anyone would be able to apply for a license.

  25. Diana Finn says:

    I heard your story today on Cavuto on Fox. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Our legal system has hands tied by government, as does ICE. Until this country and our allies realize who this president is and that he is not interested in the well-being of the US, the better off the world will be. He seeks the destruction of the US. Further, his goal for amnesty is to add thousands of illegal Democratic voters. He is evil.

  26. Vivien Keen says:

    I have just watched you on Neil Cavuto’s show on FOX News. I was interested enough to go right to the sight and read your story. I am so terribly sorry you and your wife and family have had to go through such a travesty of justice when it is you who suffered a most tragic loss. Isn’t it mindboggling when those individuals who are charged with upholding the law do all they can to do the opposite? Again, I am so sorry for your loss and I pray that one day you will have reason to celebrate a victory. I am hoping this guy who was finally deported to Honduras hasn’t made his way back into the US with the thousands of other illegals! It would be wonderful if those at FOX could light a fire under these “public servants”.

  27. Karen Kraft says:

    I guess that means Galo and his gf will have to vote absentee this November.

  28. Editor says:

    Hi Vivien,

    Thank you for writing. Think of hundreds of thousands of people going through this and never a mention from our administration. One thing that I didn’t get to say was about Roberto Galo. I don’t forgive him for what he did but he’s not the worst villain in this tragedy. If you are an uneducated person living in a foreign country and the mayor, district attorney and police chief tell you it’s okay to drive without a license what would you do? I hired a private investigator and in the 11 years he lived in the United States other than his one stop for driving without a license (and the charges were dropped)we couldn’t find any other criminal convictions or even charges. I really don’t think that he was a “bad” person. He was just an irresponsible one who was empowered to break the law by those very same people you and I find mindboggling by their failure to do their job and follow the law.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I am very sorry for your loss But, being illegal did not kill your son. Your son was killed by a person that happened to be illegally in the country. Sons and daughters are killed everyday on the road by american citizens just like you or me.

  30. Editor says:

    No one is illegal. But there are people who do illegal things. The fact that you came here illegally does not inherently make you a bad driver. However, as a group those who come here illegally are terrible drivers. They are 5 times more likely to be in a fatal collision; 5 times more likely to drive drunk and 10 times more likely to flee (which is what killed my son).

    Yes sons and daughters are killed every day by citizens. However, there is a huge difference. All of the deaths caused by illegal aliens were avoidable. Obviously they shouldn’t have been here in the first place and if they weren’t here none of these collisions would have happened. But it’s actually worse because they also shouldn’t have been driving. And finally it gets even worse because when most law enforcement catches them driving they do nothing. They give them a ticket which is never paid because they use fake names and addresses. We all take risks every time we get in the car, ride a bike or even walk on the street. Sometimes there are accidents, sometimes there is negligence. When someone here illegally gets behind the wheel it is always negligence at the least and both the driver and our “leaders” share that responsibility.

  31. kathleen paz says:

    Your story is heartbreaking and makes me ill. Our country just seems to look the other way. To “anonymous” and “brother in pain”, they are missing the point. There are plenty of crimes committed by our own citizens already. We don’t need to import people to cause more injury and death. These people illegally here should be singled out because had they not been here; this would not have happened. It is the fault of the politicians;they have become the great enablers, and maybe it is at the point of no return.

  32. Stuart Rose says:

    Don

    My eldest daughter was killed in 1999 and there is not a day that we don’t mourn her passing as you do your son’s. That loss can never be eradicated or compensated but the disgusting manner in which the entire travesty played out certainly can.

    We must become active bosses. The “public servants” who managed to arrogantly disregard both the public and service have completely forgotten, or never realized, that they work for us and not the other way around. Not one, save Mr. Maffei, cared to take the time and effort to assess your tragic case and act in a responsible manner. This rot begins at the top and runs rife through every level of government. There is no accountability as is evidenced by the lack of response from the Attorney General relative to: Fast and Furious, NSA Spying, Benghazi Investigation, IRS Targeting, and on and on. If the President and the Attorney General do see the need to act to fulfill their Constitutional obligations why would their toadies feel the need to afford you, your wife and family the answers and respectful and diligent pursuit of justice in your son’s murder to which you are entitled. These pompous self serving sycophants, our employees, must be fired. The ballot box, that we are trying to introduce to countries the administration feels must become democratic, must be introduced here. We must respond to situations such as you experienced by firing as quickly as possible these ill performing folks whose checks you and I sign. Speak out, act out and vote, perhaps in our grandchildren’s lifetime the United States of America will once again be the embodiment of the vision of the patriots who drafted our Constitution.

    May you be granted the strength to soldier on, my sincere condolences…

  33. Steve Franklin says:

    Mr. & Mrs. Rosenberg,

    I saw your story on Fox News yesterday and I want to thank you for sharing your difficult tragic loss of your son. As a father of a 15 year old I love very much I could not imagine getting a phone call saying he was gone.

    Your story regarding your interaction with the legal system does not surprise me in the least. Most DA’s and municiple prosecutors are focused on moving cases through the legal system to get to a resolvent as quickly as possible. Plea deals are a big part of that quick settlement system as you know.

    There are obviously a lot of failures in our legal system nationwide to serve true justice and yours is just one example. I know in Arizona it is required by the courts for the prosecutor and defense attorney to try in good faith to reach a plea agreement. While the use of the word “Good Faith” sounds fair and judicial, in reality it could not be further from the truth. The purpose behind it is to relieve the strain on the courts so in many cases justice is not served.

    In your case it is apparent that the judge and DA’s office wanted to treat your son case as an accidental vehicular death as a result of negligence. They do not separate the issue between a licensed and unlicensed driver. They focus strictly on that it was a motor vehicle accident. Driving without a license is a misdemeanor. Driving with no insurance is a misdemeanor. Vehicular manslaughter in most if not all states is a low level felony if no other felonies were being committed such as fleeing a police officer, ect.

    Wikki has this definition: Vehicular homicide (also known as vehicular manslaughter) in most states in the United States, is a crime. In general, it involves death that results from the negligent operation of a vehicle, or more so a result from driving while committing an unlawful act that does not amount to a felony. In the Model Penal Code there is no separate category of vehicular homicide, and vehicular homicides that involve negligence. Both are included in the overall category of negligent homicide.[1][2] It can be compared to the offense of dangerous driving causing death in other countries.

    All states except Alaska, Montana, and Arizona have vehicular homicide statutes. The laws have the effect of making a vehicle a potentially deadly weapon, to allow for easier conviction and more severe penalties. In states without such statutes, defendants can still be charged with manslaughter or murder in some situations.[3]

    The victim may be either a person not in the car with the offending motorist, such as a pedestrian, cyclist, another motorist, or a passenger in the vehicle with the offender.

    I have lived in Arizona about 18 years now in the Phoenix area. I have been to many courtrooms and heard many cases both misdemeanor and felony as a result of my employment. Phoenix municipal court has so many cases daily it is like a circus in there. Just about all of them are plea deals and the judges almost 100% of the time goes with whatever the local prosecutor came up with for a plea deal. Most of the time it involves dismissing other misdemeanors and felonies to secure just one conviction. It is standard operating practice in the US.

    Here lays the problem you faced with your son case. Additionally, your state has no law that raises the level of penalty if the death is caused by an unlicensed driver versus a licensed driver. It treats both on equal footing. It also doesn’t care whether a person was legal or not legal to be in the US.

    In my opinion, what you should be attempting to seek, is a change via the California state legislature to introduce a bill that raises the penalty of vehicular homicide to a mandatory felony if the alleged at fault driver was either under a suspension of their driving privileges by any state at the time of the accident or not licensed in any state. That it would restrict Judges and Prosecutors under this circumstance from reducing manslaughter charges from a felony to misdemeanor. And it then forces a case to a jury as a result unless the defendant pleads guilty to the felony charge. Basically, treating this as the same level of manslaughter as if someone was lawfully outdoors shooting a firearm and accidentally killed an innocent 3rd person as a result of their negligence.

    As to illegal aliens driving without licenses and insurance, in the Phoenix area that is a huge problem. There are 10′s of thousands of active warrants in the Phoenix municipal database for illegal aliens who were given a ticket and failed to appear. Many of these people gave false names to the police and they have no way to verify the names given to them as they do not have lawful access to ICE database to check their immigration status and true name. I have seen this occur numerous times with law enforcement due to my employment. I have had friends have their vehicle’s destroyed by illegal alien drivers who gave false names and were never held accountable as a result. This is and has been, an ongoing problem for to many years across the nation.

  34. Editor says:

    Thank you Kathleen. You are right about these people missing the point. I have been asked point blank “would you rather have had your son killed by a citizen” When I say I would rather have him not killed at all they seem to think it was pre-ordained and if it hadn’t been Galo it would have been someone else. One thing though we are not past the point of no return. What we need is the public to get fired up and say enforce the law or resign. asier said than done as most people don’t have a clue at what is going on and the media refuses to tell them.

  35. Carolyn Spaeter says:

    I want you to know that Drew’s friends continue to follow your fight. My daughter Ashley adored “the boy from Agoura” the first day she met him at Arizona. Ashley and Doug, as well as, all of Drew’s fraternity brothers continue to miss him. It breaks my heart as a mother to see your pain.

    She sent me the link to your letter to Obama and I have asked my friend to print it in Warner Center News.

  36. Aziz says:

    I am a naturalized US citizen. My Mom visits us and our little kids every year. She is 66 year-old and always gets a visitor visa without any problems. This year, she applied for visa 4 months ago with no answer yet. She contacted the US embassy and I did several times but we got the same generic response ” Your visa application is still pending”.
    Why is it that illegal immigrants jump borders anytime they want and get immediate benefits while us citizens who do things legally get screwed?
    Why is it that it took me 7 years of waiting to become a US citizen while Obama is about to hand legal status like candy to law breaker ?
    Why is it that I work hard myself and my wife to raise up our little family while paying all kind of taxes in the not so great anymore state of California while illegals go to my local grocery store with their multiple kids and W.I.C cards buying loads of groceries while their nice cars and section 8 apartments all are subsidized by our tax money?
    I am a legal immigrant and I earned my status by education and hard work. I am a legal immigrant and I oppose illegal immigration.
    When is this stupidity going to be over?

  37. Peter Wagner says:

    Dear Mr. Rosenberg,

    I can’t even imagine what its like to lose a child. My prayers go out to you and your family.

    I’m the author of THE DARK SIDE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION and founder of Victims of Illegal Alien Crime, VOIAC.

    I did the DARK SIDE report eight or so years ago. It started out at 60 pages and then grew to 200+ pages. There used to be a number of postings of it on the internet. One of the remaining ones is still up at http://www.usillegalaliens.com

    Note that there is a chapter on “Traffic Accidents.” Over the next few months I will be updating the DARK SIDE report. The new one will have twice as many chapters and be over 1,000 pages with another 1,500 pages or so of archived supporting documentation.

    While I know more than most about the carnage illegal aliens are inflicting on Americans on the highways and byways across the land, unfortunately you have far more personal experience and knowledge. In my update, I would like permission to include your letter to President Obama. Also, any statistical data you could provide that you’ve uncovered would be most appreciated.

    Many years ago, I worked with Family Security Matters to create VOIAC. We did it because nobody else was. I put in the data and wrote the crime reporting for the first 350 or so victims. We then turned VOIAC over to a national organization who was supposed to continue the effort but didn’t. The current holder has been adding a few here and there as time went by and the “tally” is now up to about 600, including your son (although I see the reporting is not very good….). It is still the only data base in the US cataloging serious crimes committed by illegal aliens. (The Justice Dept doesn’t do it – long story)

    I have about 5,000 victims documented in my archives. Even then, that, as you know, is just scratching the surface. I only mention this because if you know anybody who is a database/internet expert and can volunteer their time, VOIAC needs some serious fixing. Otherwise its about $50,000 to make it right.

    Until it personally impacts them and their family, most Americans are clueless about illegal alien crime. Even then, very few people are aware of the magnitude of all the collateral damage as a result of illegal immigration. That is the dark side of illegal immigration.

    God bless you,

    Peter Wagner

  38. Editor says:

    Hi Stuart. My condolences to you and your family on the death of your daughter. You are so very right in your note. The biggest problem is the mainstream media refuses to cover this story fairly and honestly. The public only sees the “cry me a river” stories. If the local newspapers even cover the daily traffic fatality stories they won’t give the license or the immigration status. I am hoping that my letter will go viral forcing coverage and a real discussion on this isse.

  39. John says:

    Reading your story made me realize how lucky our family was. A close cousin of mine was killed in a traffic accident about a year ago by someone who was in this country illegally. Fortunately the justice system in Waukesha County Wisconsin was able to secure a conviction on him for “Homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle”. He is currently serving a 5 year sentence, with a fairly good chance of being deported depending on the actions of ICE. It took until June for the legal process to conclude, which the family thought was a long time, but the eight months was just a drop in the bucket compared to what you have gone through. Throughout the process, The Waukesha County D.A.’s staff was extremely helpful to our family, and we can’t thank them enough. It’s too bad that other justice systems in this country seem to have forgotten what their jobs duties really are. We will see what ICE does in 5 years.

  40. Editor says:

    Thank you John for your email. Could you send me any information you have on your cousins tragic death. Also, please watch that the killer is not let out early and then disappears before ICE can detain him. it’s goo to hear that the DA’s staff follows the law but if ICE is not notified before the release they cannot get a detainer and the guy walks free.

  41. Editor says:

    Thanks so much for your kind reply. Every parent knows how special their child is but you never know how special he was to all of his friends. That kind of response only gives me more strength to continue this fight to make sure “other Drew’s” lives are not taken for political correctness.

    Thank you for printing my letter in the Warner Center News. if it’s not too late can I ask you to print the link to the whitehouse.gov petition. If I can get 100,000 signatures the White House has to respond to the letter.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/mr-obama-answer-letter-dated-aug-18th-don-rosenberg-regarding-death-his-son-drew-illegal-alien/nR6MBbs0

    Thank you.

    Don

  42. John says:

    Thank you for your interest. My cousin was riding his motorcycle to work on a two lane road. He was behind a truck, and he was being followed too closely by a person in a SUV. The road opened up to another lane, so my cousin proceeded to pass the truck all the while being followed closely by the SUV. The person in the SUV was apparently in a hurry, so he tried to pass my cousin on the shoulder of the road, lost control and ran into my cousin knocking him off the cycle. My cousin’s helmet flew off and his head struck a sign post killing him instantly.

    It turns out the person in the SUV was in the country illegally. It had been discovered about a year earlier when he had been involved in a hit and run accident, but of course the county and state could do nothing except suspend his driver’s license. He continued to drive without a license, and the day he killed my cousin he was late for work at McDonald’s.

    It’s bad enough my cousin was killed, but we can’t understand why a known illegal alien was given the opportunity to kill him by being allowed to remain in the country, drive a vehicle and have a job.

    Friends and family of my cousin will be watching the correctional system closely. In Wisconsin we are fortunate to have a program called VOICE, which tracks the offender and provides information on potential release dates. We also have an ICE contact in Chicago, so hopefully we will be ready when the time comes.

    If you would like more specific details such as names, case number, etc., please e-mail me at the address attached to my reply.

    Thank you again for providing a site to tell my cousin’s story, and please keep up the good work.

  43. Editor says:

    Unfortunately it won’t be over. As you see obeying the law is a disadvantage. The easy answer to all of your questions is the same. Votes and money. The Republicans have moved so far to the right that the Dems feel they can do whatever they want and in the case of illegal immigration most people don’t know the truth so even if they are against amnesty they won’t vote Republican because they are against so many more things that they stand for. We need a viable alternative to pull the Democrats back into reality otherwise it will only get worse. There may be a respite this election but what I see is a Tea Party group (whom I agree with on this issue) thinking that they will do better the further to the right they go. They won’t win any national elections and they will only make the Democrats move further to the left. BTW, I’ve been a lifelong liberal Democrat.

  44. John says:

    Actually, it is over for those who wanted to see some justice in this case, since the person who killed my cousin is in jail. You are correct in that it is not over for those who want to do something about the unjust conditions that occur when existing just laws are not being enforced.

    You’ve pointed out exactly what is wrong with our political system, which is effectively having only two choices. Life is much more complicated than that, but we have to work with what we’ve got. You’ve also pointed out another key driver, which is money. There is a lot of money to be made by those willing to exploit cheap labor, whether it be by hiring illegals here or by companies moving their operations overseas. Just having illegals available to work depresses the wages for everyone.

    What can we do about it? Being willing to publicly speak out on these matters is a start, and you are doing a great job with that. Given only two political choices now, forget about supporting any one party totally and either vote for the people who represent most of what you want or vote against those that don’t. Encourage more people to vote, which will help to dilute the effect that money has on the system. Use your money wisely. Purchasing only the lowest cost goods and services ignores all the costs of what went into making them cheap to begin with. Less shopping at the big-box stores and more support for local vendors is a start.

    Obviously, unless things change, things will remain the same. Thank you for trying to make some positive changes.

  45. Colette says:

    Similar situation for myself, daughter and granddaughter. Although no one was killed/injured, we were rear ended at 12:30pm by a drunk illegal, no license, no insurance and drunk. Left the scene and was followed by a good Samaritan. I followed up with INS never heard a word. They told me had so many cases, I am sure he has not been deported or fined! That was 13 years ago in Madison, AL.

  46. Rick says:

    I’ll run the prick over three times and claim insanity

  47. Dana Dutcher says:

    I was also hit by an illegal alien while riding a bike in 76. The guy ran back to Mexico. I’ve lived in pain ever since that night. If this ever happened to one of my children I would probably make a statement and be in prison for the rest of my life. In fact I know I would.

  48. Greg says:

    When I was 18, years ago, My friend and I were hit by an illegal alien that was driving drunk. both of us were legally on the sidewalk and after hitting us, he continued down the road. His license plate fell off during the impact though and the police caught up with him. Needless to say, my friend and I both suffered permanent injuries and the driver was sentenced to 6 months in jail and paid me $500. $500! wow. Nothing else I could do, and he remained in our country afterwards, I’m wondering if he ended up killing someone after this. Thanks for the website, sorry for your loss. – Greg

  49. troy says:

    http://unlicenseddrivers.no-ip.org/ we lost our daughter to a unlicensed driver she was 17.

    over 50000 a year killed by unlicensed driver. lets put a stop to unlicensed driving

  50. Rosemary says:

    I saw you today on Fox and was simply crying my eyes out for you, Drew and your family. Today is my son’s birthday. He is 24 today so it was particularly touching to read about your son. I am so so sorry that you lost him to lies, deceit and insane policies. We need honest people in government; not hopeless, self-serving loathsome hypocrites. I am just so sorry about your son’s death and keep it up for DREW!

  51. Editor says:

    Thanks so much. I wish I could get more time because there is so much more to the story. I really wish I could get on some of the liberal media stations as they won’t even report on the guy killing these people. The illegal immigration issue is much more complicated than any news organization wants anyone to know.

    Thanks again.

    Don

  52. I am very sorry to read about the tragic loss of your son. My father was recently killed by an unlicensed and uninsured driver. We have not been informed as to whether the driver lives in our country legally or illegally. There are many similarities between my father’s death and that of your son. The driver in our case did stop and cooperate with authorities and they are sure to tell us that we should feel good about it. My Dad and his friend were riding their bicycles on a four-lane highway very early on a Monday morning. They wore helmets and had flashing lights, reflectors and headlights on their bicycles. The driver stated that he did not see them. The police impounded his car and tested him for drugs and alcohol. He was negative for both. They have stated it was an accident and nothing will be done to the driver. They have told us they are leaning toward the fact that the accident was my Dad’s fault. He was hit from behind and there was plenty of room on the road for the driver to have missed him. The driver had been ticketed two to three times before killing my Dad for driving without a license. Since they didn’t fingerprint him each time, they say they have no way to link the offenses. Further, even if they did, there is nothing they would do to him. I agree with you that our current laws protect the illegals, unlicensed and uninsured. This particular driver is a member of a Facebook group (with over 20,000 members) that seeks to warn other unlicensed drivers of police check-points, etc. Please see the page:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/RetenCheckpointCalifornia/?pnref=lhc

    It is outrageous. I will post a link to your page on my father’s memorial page. I hope we can do something to change our laws.

  53. Terry Stephan says:

    I found out about your tragedy from NumbersUSA today, 7/22/15, and your justified outburst during the Senate hearings yesterday. You experienced something that no CITIZEN of the USA should experience, all produced by our “lawmakers” and “legal” system. I may only be one person, but you have strengthened my resolve to continue fighting to stop illegal immigration, enforce our laws, and hold accountable those “public servants” that abuse their power and yield to corruption and influence pedaling.

  54. Dallas More says:

    My ex wife Marcy J. Oltoff was killed by an illegal immigrant driving a tractor trailer in January of 2011. The crash occurred in Brevard County FL on I-95 at the Malabar Road southbound exit. The driver was never charged and fled the country.

  55. Editor says:

    Hi Dallas,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your ex. Unfortunately, this happens multiple times every day but the media refuses to cover it. If you have any information on the driver please send it to me. I can see if he’s come back into the country if he’s been caught again. My condolences to you and Marcy’s family.

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