Jay Boyarsky out as North County supervising DA | June 6, 2007 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 6, 2007

Jay Boyarsky out as North County supervising DA

Palo Alto resident and three other supervisors will get new assignments in 'rotation' moves

by Jay Thorwaldson

Jay Boyarsky, the supervising deputy district attorney for northern Santa Clara County for the past 5.5 years, is being reassigned to an undetermined job under a rotation move by new District Attorney Dolores Carr.

Boyarsky will be replaced as supervisor by Javier Alcala, a longtime member of the DA's office who for several years has been community prosecutor for the North County, according to David Tomkins, assistant district attorney.

Tomkins said the reassignments are related to Carr's belief that rotations are valuable in all areas of the DA's office -- which she advocated during her campaign last year. The initial reassignments are of persons who have been in a position for several years, he said.

The position of supervising deputy DA for North County covers the communities of Palo Alto, Stanford, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Sunnyvale.

Boyarsky, who has been with the DA's office for 13 years, also has a countywide assignment as part of the office's hate-crimes unit. Prior to being named supervising deputy DA for North County, he served a year as a deputy DA in Palo Alto in 1995.

The changes become effective July 2, Tomkins said.

Other reassignments include:

* Cynthia Sevely will become supervisor of the misdemeanors unit, replacing Michael Fletcher, who will become supervisor of the sexual-assault unit.

* Richard Beard will become supervisor of the narcotics, preliminary hearing and issuing (complaints) unit, replacing Stacy Lawson, whose new assignment is pending, Tomkins said.

* Ken Rosenblatt will supervise the economic-crimes unit, replacing Julius Finkelstein, who has been working on the case relating to San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales and the garbage contract. Finkelstein will remain with the unit in a supervisory capacity, Tomkins said.

Boyarsky, 41, confirmed that he has been notified of the change, and is taking the change philosophically.

"It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve as supervising DA for the North County, where I was able to help victims renew strong relationships with law-enforcement agencies and be active in the community where I live," he said.

He said he looks forward to continuing his public service "in whatever role" in which he's asked to serve. Boyarsky holds a law degree from University of California, Berkeley.

In addition to his work on the hate-crimes unit, Boyarsky said he is most proud of his work on the case of John Peckham, the bicyclist who was killed by a driver allegedly high on methamphetamines in the Palo Alto foothills last year. The driver was sentenced to 19 years in state prison. He also supervised the handling of the Amy Malzbender case, in which the young girl riding her bicycle to school was killed after being hit by a car driven by a Palo Alto High School student.

Boyarsky said in general his style has been to be open and seek consensus among parents, defense attorneys and police agencies on issues such as teen drinking. He noted he has "supervised and mentored" 34 deputy DAs who have passed through the North County office during his tenure.

Police departments throughout the North County will miss Boyarsky as supervising DA, Palo Alto police Capt. Dennis Burns said of the impending change.

"Jay has set the standard for service and professionalism," Burns told the Weekly. "And that's saying a lot, because we've had outstanding people in that position."

Burns said Boyarsky "has been a real partner with all the police agencies in our area," both as a leader and "as a great teacher" for police officers, covering "not just the law but the politics and the system. He had no agenda -- other than just trying to do the right thing. I'm pretty sad he's leaving, both personally and professionally. But the good news is he's not going very far."

Weekly Editor Jay Thorwaldson can be e-mailed at jthorwaldson@paweekly.com.

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