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Former California Warden Allegedly

Former California Warden Allegedly Assaults News Reporter

The former warden of Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP), Anthony Lamarque, allegedly swung a cane at Sacramento News and Review reporter Stephen James and then pinned him against a wall, when Lamarque apparently objected to being photographed at a civil lawsuit deposition being taken in the Embassy Suites Hotel in Seaside, California on July 11, 2005. Lamarque is being sued for alleged retaliation against SVSP prison guard Donald Vodicka, who exposed SVSP's "Green Wall" [code of silence] guard's gang in testimony to the California State Senate. (See: PLN, Sep. 2004, p.17.) In his deposition, Lamarque dismissed the Green Wall as "only a fraternal or social group," whereas Vodicka had testified that they assaulted prisoners, intimidated other SVSP guards, and enforced a code of silence among them.

Lamarque's counsel, Deputy Attorney General Mary Cain Simon, said she deemed the deposition private, and when James persisted, threatened to have him ejected from the hotel, a response media lawyer Terry Francke called an overreaction. Cain-Smith accused Vodicka's lawyer of malevolently arranging for the photographer, whereupon she terminated the deposition and left the room. When James then entered the room with his camera, Lamarque allegedly beset upon him with the cane. Vodicka, who was also present, confirmed the assault. Lamarque ran off and hid in a bathroom until the hotel manager escorted him off the premises.

Court reporter Linda Kincade, who recorded the testimony, declined comment, saying she could not even discuss the matter with the police. Videographer Gene Frye, who taped the proceedings, was interviewed by the Seaside police. They referred the incident to the Monterey County district attorney, who requested further police interviews.

Source: Monterey Herald.

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