Zahau attorney says lawsuit could expose corruption

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The death of Rebecca Zahau has been the source of multiple investigations, a wrongful death civil lawsuit and now, a lawsuit naming Sheriff Bill Gore as the defendant. Her death officially is classified a suicide. Now, Zahau’s family is suing the sheriff, citing constitutional violations under California’s Public Records Act. Law enforcement is protected by the legislature to be able to conduct investigations confidentially, however that shield of protection cannot hurt someone else. The family’s attorney, Keith Greer, believes this could point to corruption.

In 2011 Zahau was found in a graphic manner hanging from a balcony of the Spreckels Mansion in Coronado. Her body remained exposed for more than 12 hours in the courtyard, as news helicopters circled overhead and neighbors looked on. This was just the beginning of what the family says was a sloppy investigation, not just once, but twice.

The 144 page lawsuit includes letters from the family specifically asking for phone records of the brother of Rebecca’s boyfriend, Adam Shacknai. He was also staying at the mansion. The sheriff denied a request for those records from Detective Douglas Loehner, brother-in-law of Rebecca.

Greer also said they want answers on why Rebecca’s phone had data deleted from it after her death while it was in sheriff’s custody. The amount of data deleted, according to her phone records, was roughly 20,000 kilobytes.

KUSI reached out to Sheriff Gore for comment. His office said they cannot comment on pending litigation.

The hearing is set for October 15.

Categories: Local San Diego News