Home > Uncategorized > On the Yurok/Biologist Scandal and the Blogosphere

On the Yurok/Biologist Scandal and the Blogosphere

Lynching is bad.

(This comment was posted to the comments section of a prior thread. The author, who uses the name Linda LeValley, is well worth reading. -HH)

As I sit here and read these comments, I have to wonder what kind of people would make judgments and accusations against two men that they don’t know at all. How can they destroy a man’s career, his reputation and his freedom by not giving him the chance to defend himself?

This “Yurok Tribe Embezzlement” case against Ron and Sean has a long way to go, and the verdict will show each and every one of you that you have slandered and made horrible accusations about a man who has dedicated his entire life to protecting wildlife.

Ron has lost his career, his credibility, his reputation and his ability to protect the animals who can’t protect themselves. California will pay the biggest price by losing such a knowledgeable environmentalist. Will any of you take the time to blog about them when they are cleared of these charges? No, you will just find someone else to lie about. Someone else to slander and falsely accuse. Ron and Sean did not run when they found out about this. They both walked into the police station to face these allegations head on. The real perp ran away and hid and did not care that two “friends” were taking the heat for what he had done.

Ron is not the person that has been described as a “thief” in this blog. He is an extremly good biologist who has worked his entire career, never for “the money,” but for satisfaction of knowing he has made your state a better place to live.

Ron & Sean will be found not guilty, but all of you will go on about your daily gossip, while two good men pay a horrible price for trusting a man they did not know, any better then any of you know Ron LeValley and Sean McAllister. Take a minute from your gossiping, consider the people who love these two men. Consider their family, their friends and all the person’s who know the real truth. This could be someone you care about, how would that make you feel if you were to read about it on the internet?

  1. Anonymous
    April 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

    It’s a shame this person, if s/he has inside knowledge, doesn’t simply tell us what happened. If it’s the truth, there’s little reason to worry about the prosecution hearing about it. One must presume the prosecution has already heard something of their side of the story.

  2. Dick Wad
    April 24, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Ron may be found not guilty of the Yurok crime but he is guilty of being a zealot and using his manipulations of eco issues to fatten his check book. If one follows his long history you will find little to no help to species or land managers. You will find restrictions,regulations and more big government. He is a national,state and local con man. Agencies and litigious .orgs love him. Nuff said!

  3. No one
    April 24, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Same goes for Dave Tyson, Rob Arkley and all the other boogeymen ehh?
    I just read on this blog, that you shouldn’t seek truth on any blog.
    This is entertainment only “Linda”.So, vty, gfy.

  4. Eric Kirk
    April 24, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Great post Linda. Thank you.

  5. beel
    April 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

    the image above may be intended to be provocative, but i find it offensive and feel it detracts from Linda’s position.

  6. Mitch
    April 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

    beel,

    The image above is an image of a lynch mob. I’m sorry you find it offensive. I’m sorry you feel it detracts from Linda’s position. I find it accurate and appropriate, which is why I selected it. “Linda” did not request that her comment be posted, and had nothing to do with my choice of illustration.

  7. Labtech
    April 24, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Linda,

    I think you will find that many here are ready to reconsider but you must provide some facts to back up your statements.

  8. Giggles
    April 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

    There is always *more* to stories …

    I remember watching Hillary Clinton on TV the morning after the Monica allegations went public telling the interviewer that they were part of a fabricated “right-wing conspiracy.” After earnest denials (“I did not have sex with *that* woman!”), much side-taking and mud-slinging, DNA proved the case and Slick Willy had to go on TV and confess.

    I learned from that that everyone, no matter their education or background or income or whatever has the capacity to absolutely stupid self-destructive things. Fortunately, most listen to the little voices in their head saying “Don’t do that.”

    In all cases, the law has one side, the defendants and their lawyers get a different spin, the family of all the above spins some more, and so much mud gets churned up that we, the bottom-feeders of bloggy lane get a chance to filter the free-flowing sediment. This filtering is how blogs attract facts like a magnet does pins. (Thank you Kim Kemp for that wonderful image.)

    The paper trail in the alleged Yurok embezzlement case is impressive. The researcher for the prosecution assembled a large trail of documents, bank statements, 1099s and business records prior to a judge issuing the arrest warrants.

    Someday when this rolls into court, all the details will come out. I think several of the commentators have had good points to bring out, including the degree status of the defendants, their local status as educators about avian life, and other salient details of the Humboldt experience. But, journalists and bloggers aren’t looking in Mendocino or Fort Bragg or they would find things like this:

    http://www.mendocinocoastaudubon.org/mcas_bd_membership.html

    Do a wee bit of searching outside this county and you’ll see that these are some high-flying people with photo trips to the Gallapagos and a fancy Gallery in Fort Bragg, giant photo lenses that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars (I count 3 different camera set ups in photos of Ron) and so on.

    “Linda” is right that it is not comfortable to be thrust in the limelight for bad things. But her proposed defense of they did something for someone they didn’t know and shouldn’t have trusted doesn’t hold up. Life is all about choices and how actions have consequences.

    Put yourself on the school playground. ‘Brad’, the top-scoring kid in class knocks down the usual punching-bag and when caught by the teacher says “But I trusted ‘Johnny’ over there, he said I could hit him and get away with it.” No surprise, Teacher sends both Brad and Johnny to detention where the principle decides who is lying.

    Businessmen know what is legal, semi-legal, moral, and ethical. Which of the above is their standard practice is a choice. No one is forced to cooperate with a “too good to be true” scheme. If they felt they were being blackmailed or pressured to comply they could have gone to the police. Better to have the secret out to the few in blue, than to allegedly get involved in what looks like seriously shady dealings.

  9. Makes me sick
    April 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

    The Indian is guilty, you can tell, just look at him, after all his skin is dark! But, whitey is innocent, he has to be, he has a college degree, he likes birds, and most importantly, he be white! What a bunch of BS. The “guilty as hell” picture above is painfully appropriate, although not for the reason the poster may have intended. Nobody knows who is guilty or if anybody is innocent until the trial is over. The two white guys are no more or less innocent than the Indian, and they all will be tried in court, by a jury of white people, who probably will have the same inherent racist view of who is guilty and who is not that many of the posters here do.

  10. Mitch
    April 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Anyone capable of a moment’s thought ought to be able to figure out the multiple meanings of “guilty as hell,” and to whom it might be referring.

    I can’t help it if people are stupid.

    Well, I guess I can. Here:

    “Guilty as hell” is not intended to refer to any party involved in the legal action. See, the picture above the caption is of a mob of people about to lynch someone. They’re the “guilty as hell”; people, or perhaps they are saying “guilty as hell.” It’s all pretty mysterious, huh?

  11. Anonymous
    April 24, 2012 at 11:18 am

    People who “know” seem to be agreeing with Linda. Why not shut up and leave this to the courts, instead of gossiping and hurting these people more? This seems to be an unusual case. Please stop the hurting.

  12. ok
    April 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

    “Mitch says:
    March 3, 2012 at 6:56 am
    Innocent until proven guilty.

    Beyond that, people are entitled to have their long term behavior and reputation weighed before a community starts to gossip about them.”

  13. Mitch
    April 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

    And I say that today. What’s your point, 11:26? Or should I refer you to my comment of 11:16?

  14. Not A Native
    April 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    The Northcoast Journal gave these allegations a front page story so I’d say its a legitimate topic for discussion/opinion.

    IMHO, when “Linda” claim some of the accused are innocent and implys that another is guilty, she is doing exactly what she pleads so pitifully what people shouldn’t do.

    I guess she’s not concerned about the damage to Roland Raymond’s reputation or the hurt she causes to those who love him. Oh yeah she’s more than happy to lynch him as long as it takes the spotlight over her favorite. The picture is appropriate because it suggests exactly what “Linda” is effectively trying to do in here snarky way. Mitch should be ashamed to have promoted it.

    While a presumption of innocence applies rigorously to anyone who is a decider in the legal proceeding, it doesn’t apply to the general public which is always entitled to have opinions and express them under the first amendment.

    And lets also candidly acknowledge that investigators and prosecutors also aren’t compleled to presume innocence. Its their job, duy and obligation to form an opinion. If that opinion is guilt, they are further obligated to present evidence of guilt to a court.

  15. Mitch
    April 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    NaN,

    I feel “Linda” has provided some excellent food for thought. Given that the Herald has had a thread about this issue in which various anonymous parties declared named people guilty, it seemed fair and appropriate to promote her comment to a new thread.

    I have no opinion about the guilt or innocence of any of the parties involved, and I agree it’s pointless and unkind to gossip about the case until all involved have had their day in court.

    If someone wanted to defend Roland Raymond here in the same way that “Linda” has defended Ron LeValley and Sean McAllister, I’d probably feel it appropriate to promote such a comment as well.

  16. greggehr
    April 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Mitch

    I am probably one of the people you define as “stupid as hell.” You put a picture up of the Klan at a lynching, next to a post that states:

    “This “Yurok Tribe Embezzlement” case against Ron and Sean has a long way to go, and the verdict will show each and every one of you that you have slandered and made horrible accusations about a man who has dedicated his entire life to protecting wildlife…The real perp ran away and hid and did not care that two “friends” were taking the heat for what he had done…Ron is not the person that has been described as a “thief” in this blog….Ron & Sean will be found not guilty, but all of you will go on about your daily gossip, while two good men pay a horrible price for trusting a man they did not know”

    and so on, ad nauseam.

    The post you put up repeatedly pounds away at this theme that the non-Indians guys are innocent and the Indian is guilty. You add a picture that shows a lynching. You state that this is a post from a comment that is “well worth reading.” You add no other editorial comment disputing this pre-trial prejudice.

    Conclusion: you believe the white guys are getting lynched, and that the indian is guilty.

    I know, I know, your turn, tell me how stupid I am, and how smart you are, because you communicated so clearly…

    Greg Gehr

  17. Mitch
    April 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    OK, Greg, I’ve obviously done a lousy job of communicating.

    The vast majority of “Linda”‘s comments deal with the way in which anonymous bloggers found people guilty without waiting for a trial.

    The “guilty as hell” caption on the photo was an attempt to comment on that. Clearly, I failed. I’ll remove it.

    You are right that “Linda” does herself accuse Roland Raymond of being ” the real perp.” That was pretty secondary in my mind to the treatment everyone involved has received at the hands of the blogosphere. Objectively, it’s one sentence out of five paragraphs. I wasn’t as sensitive as I should have been to its significance.

    I do still feel that all involved have been lynched in the media, including here at the Herald. I’ll leave the lynching photo up.

  18. greggehr
    April 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Mitch

    I think the new caption under the added pic puts an entirely different light on the editorial comment, and probably much more clearly reflects the point you were trying to make.

    Greg Gehr

  19. Mitch
    April 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Sometimes it’s stupid to try to be clever. Oh well. Thanks for the feedback.

  20. Not A Native
    April 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Well, its the prosecutors who charged three people with Felony Embezzlement of Public Funds, Grand Theft and Conspiracy.

    So by Linda’s account, have the prosecutors wrongfully destroyed careers, slandered, and made horrible accusations? Were Ronald LeValley and Sean McAllister charged with crimes before being questioned by investogators and without having an opportunity to defend their actions in the money flows?

    Seems to me, “Linda” simply is exhibiting mother hen syndrome. If she knows knows these people to be innocent why isn’t she accusing the prosecutors of malfeasence? After all, they’re the ones who’ve made the accusations which now are simply public knowledge.

  21. Blue Whale
    April 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Mitch, I thought that the media in this area
    absolutely gave LeValley a pass on the Noyo Harbor
    incident. Why no mention?

  22. Mitch
    April 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I’m mystified by what connection you might see, “Blue Whale,” but have at it if you want.

    For readers unsure what you’re talking about, there was apparently a whale strike in October 2009 in Mendocino County and someone is concerned that Mr. LeValley was involved in a cover-up related to it. It is discussed at noyonews.net.

  23. Anonymous
    April 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    LaValley is a horror to farmers,ranchers,fishermen and recreationalist all over the pacific crest. This man has made a fortune out of his own manipulations

  24. SNaFU
    April 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    ….and where was George W Bush during the (alleged) dissolution of funds?

  25. Blue Whale
    April 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Mystified? Was that LeValley that told the assembled
    at Noyo Harbor that sonar does not effect toothed whales?
    No license for sonar. No observer. Two months later appointed
    as science adviser for MLPA.
    Why should I “have at it” when you have already pretended to
    “have at it.”
    Where the hell are the jounalists?

  26. Mitch
    April 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    “Blue Whale,”

    This is an issue that is apparently of concern to you. It is certainly not something that keeps me up nights. Perhaps it should. But you’d have to explain why it should, if you expect your concern to become a wider concern.

    Where are the journalists? That’s a really good question. Not here.

    SnAfu,

    Snort. Chortle. Oh, so clever. Oh, so creative. You crack me up every time.

  27. cheesy ending to a great run for HH
    April 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    HH has officially jumped the shark. Starting to smell a lot like the defunct Buhne Tribune.

  28. Random Commenter
    April 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Most commenters have so many opinions, so much time to rant and rave, but so few facts. Like the jackass who criticized the NEC for taking 10 years to get grant funding to clean up contamination caused by the former property owners–rather than waiting for someone to force them to clean it up, volunteers worked their asses off to get the clean up done. And some jackass who knows not one thing about it has enough of an opinion to spout off on the web. Whatever.

  29. Rumbustious
    April 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Giggles @ 9:48 seems to think that Mr. LeValley having expensive photo lenses etc. suggests some sort of malfeasance. If one is at all familiar with the consulting world, you would find that a principal (like Mr. LeValley) would bill out at a minimum of $100/hr, and more likely $120 – $150/hr, or possibly more. Godd consultants make good money.

  30. Anonymous
    April 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Mitch, the blue whale issue is one of many proofs that LaValley is a lier and will do what ever necessary to further his own personal agenda. This is not an honest man. His supporters are blinded by their own ethical or political positions. Perhaps their pay checks as well!

  31. tra
    April 24, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    First of all, in the eyes of the law they are all innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. However, as we all know, that is not the way the “court of public opinion” works. Unfortunately.

    There shouldn’t be any rush to judgement, one way or the other. Linda declares the two biologists innocent and declares the tribal official guilty. That’s just as wrong as any other way in which folks have rushed to judgement.

    From what I’ve read, it sounds like the evidence is pretty damning against all three. But things aren’t always as portrayed in charging documents, so I’ll wait and see.

    Linda essentially seems to be trying to pin all the blame on the tribal official, while completely exonerating the biologists. I very much doubt it’s quite that clear-cut. If it turns out that all three are found guilty, I wonder if Linda will apologize for trying to scapegoat the tribal official while excusing the biologists? My guess: Probably not.

  32. Mitch
    April 25, 2012 at 7:15 am

    After a night’s sleep, I’ve got to say I think “Makes me sick” at 11:08 makes some very worthwhile points.

    I really don’t want to join in on the gossip — my whole point in putting this comment on the Herald’s front page was supposed to be how problematic the gossip is. So I’m not anxious to express any opinion about the case, and I have no first-hand knowledge of any of the people involved.

    However, “Makes me sick” and others have opened my eyes to what are most likely my own racist assumptions; at the very least, it’s helpful to see how the perception of racist assumptions will be loud-and-clear to members of a “targeted” group, while they may remain invisible, at least consciously, to non-members. [Well, actually, I still can’t quite bring myself to believe I’m making racist assumptions, more that there’s some classism involved. But, of course, we never see it in ourselves.]

    I’m happy to engage in a discussion of how racism becomes involved in this case and others, but I don’t want to discuss the details of this case in public. I realize that’s awkward.

  33. Blue Whale
    April 25, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Mitch, I believe if we had journalists that would report facts
    such as whale killings and circumstances such as sonar
    research and statements made by LeValley at the site,
    MLPA would not be the tainted mess it is. We have our own nightmares developing on our coastline- due to bull-crap
    scientist that claim denuding our beaches, draining wetlands,
    killing native trees, wiping-out wildlife and encouraging erosion
    somehow pleases the plover- where are the science writers?
    We will hand-off to the next generation a coastline that has been ravaged by the most lousy of $cience.
    ie. Vista Point Mckinleyville, Clam Beach, Little River and the worst of all the hind dunes and primary dunes in Manila.

  34. Mitch
    April 25, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Blue Whale,

    The current editor of the North Coast Journal is a science journalist, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d be receptive to a story about a scientific controversy regarding how we “handle” the coastline. You might want to try giving her a call.

    But if your position is against the consensus, I don’t think you can expect a journalist to say you are correct — at best, you can get them to cover the controversy.

    And if you are a minority of one, nobody can say you are wrong, but you’d have a lot of convincing to do before I’d think a science journalist would even think there was a controversy. The obvious question would be why can’t this person convince at least a few scholars in the field to examine their point of view.

    Again, that’s not saying you’re wrong. It took years, maybe decades, before a single scientist or doctor was able to change the consensus about ulcers, which turn out at least sometimes to be due to infections.

  35. Anonymous
    April 25, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I think we all know who “Blue Whale” is by now.

  36. beel
    April 25, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Blue Whale is full of blubber!

  37. Thirdeye
    April 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Scientists succumb to groupthink just like any other group. “Consensus” is only meaningful if it is based on rigorous consideration of scientific evidence and logic. Quite often it is not. Dissenting opinions should not be cause for derision.

    Blurring scientific disagreement with LeValley with ethical and criminal issues is not helpful, even though both contentions may have merit.

  38. msanders2
    April 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Linda’s dedication to family (assuming she is a LeValley) is touching but LeValley’s lawyer said in court that his client thought he was helping the tribe. So LeValley has already admitted he is guilty but thought he was breaking the law to do a good deed. We will see what the prosecutors, jury and judge think of that defense.

  39. Timker Tailor Soldier
    April 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Hey, Mitch, you state that the current editor of the NCJ is a science journalist. What does that mean? Does she hold a journalism degree? Does she hold a degree in one, or all of the many sciences?
    It has been awhile, but the last time I checked, no-one at NCJ held a journalism degree.

  40. Linda LeValley
    June 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Thank you Mitch, for your defense of my blog. As Mitch said, “Linda” did not request that her comment be posted, and had nothing to do with my choice of illustration.” That is definately a fact; my post was in defense of my brother-in-law and how everyone was accusing him and Sean of being “theives.” I am sure the majority of these accusers do not know Ron or Sean. Many of them are commenting on lies that were posted by the media and that severely hurts the ones who do know and love Ron and Sean.

    I don’t know the guilt or innosense of Mr. Roland and certainly never meant to single him out because of his race. He ran FROM the law, Ron and Sean ran TO the law immediately upon learning that they were being accused of a crime. Even if Ron was no relation to me at all, that would be an indication that the “real perp” had something to hide. He ran off and left two “friends” to defend themselves…that speaks well of Mr. Roland, don’t you think?

    “msanders2 says:

    April 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Linda’s dedication to family (assuming she is a LeValley) is touching”

    I am a LeValley, and my “dedication to family,” had nothing to do with my comment. As Mitch said, and has shown in his picture, I was defending the lynching of Ron LeValley and Sean McAllister. The lies, the accusations, the horrible discussions about two men that I know and love unconditionally. Two men with character and dedication that far exceeds that of the gossiping men and woman who love to talk and tell stories about people just to have something to say on these dumb blogs. I was sincerely expressing my hurt for two people, who at this time can’t defend themselves to the public because of the situation at hand.

    I spoke to a family member this morning and I was told how much Ron and Sean appreciate all the support that their community has given them. The hand shakes, the hugs and the kind words of encouragement, have allowed them to believe that so many have faith in them to get this situation resolved. I appreciate the ones who have defended my comments in this article. I was reacting to the hurt I felt in having to read such horrible stuff about a man, my husbands brother, who I have faith in myself. Why???…, I know the person Ron LeValley is, I have known his entire family for 33 years now. My husband was raised by the same mother and father as Ron was, and Ron is no “thief.” Ron, just like his brother ,wears these rose colored glasses and never questions a “friend,” being a really true friend. Unfortunately, as we all hope he has learned, he needs to take those rose colored glasses off and trash them.

    Call me a “mother hen,” but when this is all over, reach out on your BLOG, and say you were wrong about the lies and accusations that have been levied against Ron and Sean. Next time you go to blog, remember that there are people out there who love and support the ones who are being lynched by a mob of haters. This will be my last statement, but in defense of “Mitch,” his picture was right on, they are lynching two men before they get a chance to defend themselves. Like one LeValley family member said this morning, “all I can do is pray for the souls of the uninformed accusers.”

  41. BellBoy
    December 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Dear Linda,

    According to the local newspapers, Ron’s appearing in court for a plea deal on January 20, 2014. If you can speak with him, you might ask him to consider this.

    His alleged accomplice Roland Raymond will already be sentenced by then. So there’s nothing to negotiate with there. Sean McAllister is a smaller fish, and not much to negotiate with there either. But there’s a bigger fish the prosecutor might consider here:

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/mad-river-biologists/eureka-california-95501/mad-river-biologists-mrb-research-inc-re-mad-river-biologists-mrb-research-inc–1098202

    Granted that Ron might not be inclined to turn on such a close associate. But it’s hard to imagine that this associate hasn’t already turned on him.

    Take it from me. Loyalty isn’t one of that person’s strong suits.

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