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Ghigliotti Case Tied to Claim of Loan Forgery

Novato Police Chief Jim Berg said Jerome Ghigliotti filed a report that led to a misdemeanor charge being pursued by the district attorney's office.

Novato's police chief said Monday that a misdemeanor charge against an outspoken and litigious city government critic stems from a report filed in July about an issue with a six-year-old home loan document.

Chief Jim Berg said former attorney Jerome Ghigliotti — who has sued city and county officials on several occasions — reported this summer that an unknown person had forged a loan against his property in 2006.

"He presented the officer with documentation of an unsolicited loan and reported that his signature was forged," Berg said Monday.

Ghigliotti said he obtained a list of liens on his property and saw a name of an individual he didn't recognize. It was signed Jerry Ghigliotti, whereas he is accustomed to signing documents as Jerome J. Ghigliotti Jr., he said.

"I imagine that is what the court case will be about," he said. "... I cannot imagine what NPD will allege was my motive."

At the urging of Novato police, the Marin County District Attorney's office plans to arraign Ghigliotti on a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report to the police. Misdemeanors have a one-year statue of limitations.

"His reporting of facts was the basis of the filing with the DA," Berg said. 

Ghigliotti, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Novato City Council in 2011 and was once arrested for disrupting a council meeting, has a court date later this month and claims it will cost him about $50,000 to defend himself from the charge.

Last week, Berg did not want to address Ghigliotti's case specifically, but he offered the clarification Monday.

Ghigliotti was highly critical of then-police Chief Joe Kreins, who was the one who arrested him at the council meeting. Ghigliotti routinely accused the police department of failing to enforce immigration laws and to the county government for failing to deport lawbreakers who were not citizens of the United States. Kreins retired in July and took an interim chief job in Vallejo.

"It is emphatically clear to me that my characterization of former chief Kreins as a television cartoon character is the basis of this vendetta," Ghigliotti wrote on a Patch coment. "... In fact, I have requested the details of the charge and I have not had a reply."

Ghigliotti, who closed his law office 2 1/2 years ago, said he consulted with the office of famed attorney Gloria Alred for representation in his case but received a signal of no interest.

"This just goes to prove that you can't fight City Hall," he said last week.

For more background on Ghigliotti, click here.

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Steve December 11, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Well, Mr. Ghigliotti, is this misdemeanor charge being brought in retribution, without any factual basis?
T.Sprocket December 11, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Jerome filed the police report in 2006? We are on the verge of 2013. 7 years? Either NPD is very, verrrry slow in completing an investigation or they were too overwhelmed with rising crime rates (thought they were down?!"), much of which was brought on by illegal immigrants. If Ghigliotti's EVerify ballot drive not been stopped by the council it may have helped the NPD get to his case sooner. :)
4thgenerationnovatonative December 11, 2012 at 10:29 PM
This is RICH!! The biggest mouthpiece in the city for condemming other peoples actions (or lack thereof), without any real knowledge of the truth of any given situation, has fallen from his self imposed righteous throne. It proves my point that people who live to throw stones only do so to make themselves look/feel better. I love it !!
Anthony December 11, 2012 at 10:40 PM
"Ghigliotti routinely accused the police department of failing to enforce immigration laws and to the county government for failing to deport lawbreakers who were not citizens of the United States." -I wish everyone felt the same way. If their illegal, then why can't we do something about it?!
Steve December 11, 2012 at 11:58 PM
The article says he reported that someone forged a loan against his property in 2006. If he made the report in 2006, the statute of limitations would have run. It is more likely that he recently reported a fraud involving a loan from 2006.
JBW December 12, 2012 at 01:31 AM
I am so happy the City of Novato and our police departments have time to take care of this issue. This proves there should be no excuses regarding real issues in the city. A seven year old misdemeanor, really, even if you don't like Ghigliotti (I'm not a fan) this seems like...well really strange? Whoever OK'd spending any city or police resources on a seven year old misdemeanor should be at least scrutinized, perhaps fired.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr December 12, 2012 at 02:23 AM
...because political correctness has replaces the black letter law.
Bob Ratto December 12, 2012 at 04:07 AM
JBW Words are rarely removed from my mouth (or keyboard), but you are pretty correct. Seven year old misdemeanor?..I will have to try and recall if I went over the speed limit one of those days on Novato Blvd in 2006...hmmm..yes, I must confess. We really do have better things to do. Seriously.
Steve December 12, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Mr. Ghigliotti, if you're going to make public comments as a defendant in a criminal matter, perhaps you'd be willing to enlighten us as to the underlying facts. Please don't lead your followers astray by letting them believe the charges are based on 7 year old conduct. And why should you be immune from prosecution?
Craig Belfor December 12, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Let me get this right-Chief Kreins does the double dip (you retire from your job, get big retirement cash, then go next door to get another paycheck doing the same thing, sticking the taxpayers with the cost of paying your replacement while still paying your retirement), and Jerome becomes the first case in history accused of mortgage fraud. That's why I don't read comics. I'll understand how superman can fly before I get this logic.
D Rex December 12, 2012 at 03:46 PM
lets not kid ourselves...abuse of power happens at all levels of govt. scary
Christine December 12, 2012 at 03:49 PM
This really shows the character of the people we trust to protect us and our town If this is indeed the case, I am very ashamed of Chief Jim Berg. I hold our police chief to a higher standard. It worries me that if they do not like your legit complaints they can make your life miserable. Shame on the Novato police debt. They have lost my respect!
Steve December 12, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Re-reading the article, it says the conduct that led to the charge, a false report to the police, occurred in July of 2012.
Will Lamers December 12, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Bob Ratto - read the story again. The document was forged in 2006. The Police report was filed this summer. If this filing is what the case is about, then it seems to me that the alleged incident (the filing) is no more than a few months old, and well within the one-year limitation.
Steve December 12, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Will someone please explain how you can conclude that the referral to the DA (who made the determination there is sufficient evidence to justify filing a criminal complaint) is based on a vendetta against Mr. Ghigliotti? Is anyone privy to the details of the case? This conclusion must be based upon inside knowledge that there is absolutely no merit to the charge, which would imply that the DA's office is participating in a malicious prosecution on a misdemeanor charge. It seems unlikely that a member of the DA's office would engage in such unethical conduct against a notoriously litigious public figure.
Pat December 13, 2012 at 04:06 AM
It happens EVERY day of the week. Ask Michael Dufficy.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr December 13, 2012 at 07:34 AM
Thanks for adding some humor to this.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr December 13, 2012 at 07:36 AM
Will is correct as to the allegation being recent.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr December 13, 2012 at 07:38 AM
I have requested and not received the charges and specifications. I will let you know December 20th. See comment to Will above.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr December 13, 2012 at 07:39 AM
... and ain't it scary when it gets close to home?
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr December 13, 2012 at 07:42 AM
Me. I have never recommended removal of the Novato police chief! Oh, well, yes, I did...and I do. We will never know why Kreins left Novato and went to Vallejo, but if I had any part in it then I am proud of it, even if I am paying for it now.

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