Two residents of Clayton and Concord told a San Francisco newspaper they believe they were targeted by the so-called "dirty DUI" operation, where a Concord-based private investigator hired attractive women to help tarnish the reputations of men going through divorce proceedings.
In an article in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle, the paper showed how the Concord private investigator, 49-year-old Christopher Butler, hired attractive women to drink and flirt with the targeted men and then invite them to drive somewhere.
The paper gave examples of the operation taking place at bars in Concord and Clayton.
After the men got into their cars, both were pulled over and arrested on DUI charges. The DUI was then used by San Ramon family law attorney Mary Nolan against the men in divorce proceedings.
Nolan did not immediately return a call for comment.
The Chronicle says the cases can be traced back to Butler, who was month along with a state narcotics agent, Norman Wielsch. Both have been charged with stealing and selling drugs.
Stephen Tanabe, 47, of Alamo, a Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputy who worked as a Danville Police officer, was accused in an of participating in a DUI sting at Danville's Vine wine bar. He has not been arrested or charged in that incident.
Tanabe, arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs and an illegal assault rifle in connection with the drug task force case, resigned from the sheriff's department last week.
A former officer with Concord Police Department, Don Lawson, was named by the Chronicle as one of the officers who arrested one of the men on DUI charges. He currently runs an identity-theft consulting firm in Clayton and hasn't been arrested.
One of the targeted men told The Chronicle how the arrest affected his life.
"It devastated me," David Dutcher, a Lockheed Martin engineer, said of his DUI conviction. "I went from father of three, past Cub Scout master, stable provider and homeowner to criminal and deadbeat dad in 16 months."
Dutcher, who was arrested after drinking with a hired woman at in Concord, said a judge reduced the time he could spend with his children.
Declan Woods was arrested on suspicion of a DUI in Clayton after drinking with women at and , according to the Chronicle. Woods suspected right away that he had been tricked.
"I've been set up," Woods told the arresting officer.
Clayton Club Saloon owner Steve Barton told Patch he found the 'dirty DUI' scheme "reprehensible."
"We spend 365 days a year trying to keep everyone sensible," Barton said. "So for people to come in here and to actually solicit trouble is terrible. We don't condone that behavior and we don't want them back in here."
Clayton Police Chief Dan Lawrence emphasized his department has nothing to do with Butler and that his officers were just doing their jobs.
"The fact is the guy drove drunk and somebody called us," Lawrence said. "It isn't unusual to get a phone tip for drunk driver, it happens all the time, and we just went out there and investigated the crime."
After the arrest, Nolan filed a document to the court saying there are "concerns regarding (Declan Woods') ability to fulfill his parental responsibilities" and cited his drunken-driving arrest, The Chronicle said.
Woods' ex-wife, Louise, said she wasn't aware of the operation against her ex-husband.
"If that's really what happened, I would be pissed off," Louise Woods told the Chronicle. "I wouldn't have been on board for that. I have no knowledge of it."