For a while there, a few lucky gang members in Yakima-area jails had a great way to avoid having to make phone calls on the expensive and recorded jail phone system. That way consisted of knowing an attorney named Kimberly Grijalva.
Grijalva is a currently suspended defense lawyer who was just sentenced to 60 days of community service and restitution of $2,290 for letting inmates--most of them supposedly gang members--make some 900 calls through her personal land line and cell phone.
But while the case is notable because Grijalva is a lawyer and should know better, its only victim is the phone company that was robbed of its $2.50 per call and the county jail that didn't get to listen in.
"This is not the most egregious crime I've ever heard," said Altman, who is from Klickitat County and handled the case after Yakima County judges recused themselves.
The judge also said Grijalva faces a punishment much more severe than the average person in that she has been suspended by the Washington State Bar Association and may be disbarred.
"Her life is unalterably changed," said [Superior Court Judge Brian] Altman, who denied a defense motion for a new trial.
Luis Gonzalez and Kimberly Grijalva were engaged before he was shot and killed.
Grijalva's ties to gangsters don't end there, as apparently she was engaged to Luis Gonzalez, a suspected gang member who was killed by a drug dealer last year.
Gonzalez's obituary notes that he was "meticulous in his appearance."
Grijalva's scheme worked like so: Since normal inmate calls cost $2.50 and are monitored or recorded, but calls to lawyers are free and private, inmates would call Grijalva (or a friend who was staying at her house) and somehow get through to whomever they needed to get through to.
The case apparently began with a SWAT-team door kick-in and much hoopla. It ended with the woman's lawyer noting that only a couple organizations were harmed, and that the prosecution's demand that she be jailed was ludicrous.
Grijalva's sentence is light, but her career may be over, as the Washington State Bar has already suspended her and is supposedly considering disbarring her as well.