A California Sutter County District Attorney Carl Adams has been named a “person of interest” in the suspected arson of the Yuba City home of Sarah Garibay, 32. Garibay was the mistress of Adams, who is married and the father of three. While Adams could well be entirely innocent, but his conduct in the matter at a minimum raises questions of his fitness to continue in office.
Garibay’s house went up in flames on July 21 and Adams was seen shortly after the fire at the scene. Investigators said that he showed unusual interest in the case. Adams reportedly lied when first asked if he had a relationship with Garibay. Investigators then showed him telephone records and a statement from Garibay. That alone raises serious issues for a prosecutor if true.
Adams not only contacted investigators about “pour patterns” he spotted at the scene but reportedly sought financial assistance for Garibay.
The relationship raised eyebrows because, in 2010, Garibay was charged as an accessory in the death of her then-boyfriend, Dr. Hyo Deoung Shin. Shin was killed after another man she was having an affair with, Jeffrey Wayne Clay, caught them in bed. It appears that Garibay was facing multiple affairs with other men in addition to Adams and police sources say that Adams learned of those other men recently and was reportedly jealous.
Garibay insists that Adams did not pay her for sex and that their relationship developed after her criminal case was complete. However, it is not clear if appeals are still going on in the case, which would seem likely. In any event, the relationship (and failure to reveal it immediately to investigators) raise serious questions about Adams and his judgment in continuing as county district attorney. His relationship presented an obvious conflict of interest and he should have immediately revealed that conflict when this matter became a criminal investigation. It certainly should have been revealed when he was passing along thoughts on the arson investigation.
Her counsel has said that Garibay is confident that Adams played no role in the arson and feels badly about his being named in the investigation.
Adams has refused to discuss the affair, saying “The personal part of this is just that — personal, and will be resolved with my wife, my pastor and God.” They may have to wait for resolution with the police.
Assuming Adams is cleared of arson, do you believe that he should be able to continue in his position as prosecutor in light of his poor decisions in this matter?