Town Square

Child porn on work computer leads to arrest

Original post made on Mar 17, 2010

San Ramon police arrested a Cub Scout leader at his Danville home this afternoon on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 7:58 PM


Posted by Dickita P, a resident of Diablo
on Mar 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm


Posted by xxx, a resident of Danville
on Mar 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm

sicko o

Posted by xxx, a resident of Danville
on Mar 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm

California Coastal Ins or CCI

Posted by Dick P, a resident of Danville
on Mar 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Boys will be boys...

Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville
on Mar 18, 2010 at 7:52 am

Check out how he describes himself on his Facebook page:

"Love my family. Love my friends. Love my country. Love my Church. Try to get through life as happy as I can be. The struggle is what make it worth it. A strong morale compass is critical."

What a two-faced creep.

Posted by Susan, a resident of Danville
on Mar 18, 2010 at 8:23 am

Someone please let the family know they need to take down their FB pages--they have photos of their kids.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Danville
on Mar 18, 2010 at 9:24 am

Another example of a bible-toting, "I'm such a great all-round person always doing goodie-2-shoes work, pillar of the community, etc." type of person? Gee, what a surprise they have a dark side.

How many times these days do we hear of people who set themselves up as examples of what to do or what to be, get exposed for the creeps they really are when no one else is looking. It seems to me the more folks brag, the more reason to suspect they have a darker side.

Throw the book at this guy.

Posted by needfullstory, a resident of another community
on Mar 18, 2010 at 9:38 am

They said they found it on his work computer. Not his home computer as yet. Before everyone jumps to conclusions wait for the full story.

anonymous tip about it being on his work computer sounds like it could be a set up by someone at work that doesnt like him.

Not saying this is the case. But unless they find it on his home computer as well, not a cut and clear case. Why would he have not gotten fired from work first? Why would it be anonymous?

It seems if it was found on his work computer, the company would be reporting him and firing him.

If he is guilty by all means lets prosecute this guy and put him away. But lets get the full story before placing guilt on him.

Posted by Sad, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

I pulled my son out of Boy Scouts when he was six, because the leader gave me the creeps! I'm not saying this is the case with the majority of Scout leaders, but pedophiles work and volunteer in places where they have access to children. As the law says "innocent until proven guilty". Let's hope if he is guilty that he gets what is due to him.

Posted by Waitnsee, a resident of Danville
on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:07 am

It does have the appearances of a set-up. Anonymous tip, work computer, then malicious remarks made on DW blog above. CCI is a family business bought-out a few years ago. Brothers now operate the business for Bernard Mizel. I think we should let this one play out before we jump to conclusions. Doesn't look good, but when big money is possibly involved, I realize that people might go to unethical lengths to discredit another individual. Judgement should be held back.

Posted by Suspicious, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:22 am

Set up or not, irrevocable damage has been done to his family's personal lives by having such information posted on such a public site.

Posted by Kim, a resident of Danville
on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:40 am

We cannot assume we know anything. If he is guilty- he will be punished and we will applaud that.
Please remember he has a wife and two kids whose live's were forever changed yesterday. They deserve your compassion and not your judgement.

Posted by Kathy, a resident of Diablo
on Mar 18, 2010 at 11:20 am

Guilty. Always guilty. How do you get it wrong. Oops, it's a mistake...

Posted by roaddog, a resident of Danville
on Mar 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm

It's too bad this happened. The Scouting program and the adults associated with it get another knock against it/them. Too bad, because the Scouting program puts in safeguards to ensure that a boy is never alone with an adult.

I get really, really angry with people that have a responsibility to children and pull this kind of crap.

Posted by needfullstory2, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Nothing has been proven. Looks to be a set-up to me. Too bad someone had to go to these lengths and ruin someone's life.

Posted by xxx, a resident of Danville
on Mar 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Web Link

Posted by ABC, a resident of Danville
on Mar 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

"The anonymous tip came from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline."

Hey genius, The police do not show up with 6 undercover units based on a hunch or a setup. Don't you have a pizza to deliver?

Posted by ABC, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 18, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Folks this is Child Porn IS THAT EVER OK??? NO!

Posted by Kathy, a resident of Diablo
on Mar 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm

ABC, you are so funny! Right on. They watch for a long time before they bust....remember Berrie Ward on KGO Radio... guilty. Check out his picture on google. Twins!

Posted by R U Kiddin', a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 18, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Hey waitnsee

Are you mad? Read ABC above. Why the hell would they pick this guy to set up, such an outstanding father, troop leader, business man, etc. There are THOUSANDS of easier targets. I am amazed by the people who give no credit to law enforcement who are meticulous in 99.99% of cases (and the .01% does not involve pornography)and jump to defend guys like this. Do you know anything about him to the contrary, something to defend his character? Then shut up. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by Nothing Suprises Me, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Stupidity is infectous, with the "waitnsee's" of the world, Vawter can move next door to "waitnsee" ,babysit their kids, be their den leader and take their kids out for ice cream... along w/ "needfullstory2". Probably both employees of CCI, California Coastal Insurance...

Posted by Who Needs a Jury, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Who needs due process and laws when we can have HYSTERIA.

Posted by Danville, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 7:15 am

There is more than one family in Danville with the last name Vawter. Please remember that.

Posted by perspective, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 8:36 am

Let's remember that one man is being accused, not the company and employees of CCI.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 8:51 am

This is a good family. I hope this is not true. I pray for this family & I hope that everyone remembers that the kids & wife are innocent victims.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 8:53 am

When I say victim, I mean they don't deserve all off the rumors that have already started!

Posted by Luke, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

All of you who've already passed judgement on this person, shame on you. Atleast wait for the facts before you lock this guy up and throw away the key. You tongue-clucking hypocrites deserve to be exposed for the things you are not proud of, and I hope that it happens soon in this forum.

Posted by Compassion, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 11:21 am

We have a legal system people...remember? Innocent until proven guilty. There are other families in Danville with the last name Vawter -- so let's make sure we keep that in mind. The truth is that this man's life is forever stained by the mere accusation. The damage to his family will be devastating if he is found guilty. The bottom line is that these are human beings. We all have our problems and I'm quite sure all of us (including me) have things that if brought out for all to see would be incredibly embarassing. Compassion, forgiveness and love is the answer.

Posted by ABC, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

News Flash nitwits - He is responsible for his action, he will be held accountable for them, he screwed up his families lives, NO ONE ELSE. That's way it works .

Posted by Mark, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 11:58 am

ABC, the only way you could be so certain about this person's guilt, even before all the facts come out, would be that you are somehow complicit. Think about that. Come to think of it, if you were to start thinking even on the most rudimentary level that might be an excellent start for you.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm

He may or may not be guilty - or the victim of a set-up - but Gary's observations up above are pretty accurate. It's usually the "family values" Bush-loving creeps who make up the majority of these diddlers. Bernie Ward was no rightie, but he tends to be the exception rather than the rule.
I am ALWAYS weary of self righteous bible pounders. The more you try to convince me of your holiness, the more sure I am that you're the devil.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm

He is not like that, you obviously don't know him or his family.

Posted by Louise, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I hope if there is any misinformation here (for example, a work computer that more than this man used and someone else is the culprit) that the facts are clarified quickly before additional harm comes to this man or his family.

If not, keep in mind that many people with behaviors that are this sick do not give off these "signals" - for example, with sociopaths. They are the last people you would expect would harm anyone. It is in their nature to have a deceptive personality, and even lie detectors can't pick up these deceptions.

I'm not saying he is guilty or innocent, as I have no idea. I'm sure his children are innocent and deserve compassion - and therapy.

Posted by dat94526, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Diddo Luke: I can't believe the vast majority of you have already found this man guilty. I was led to believe in this country you are innocent until proven guilty. He could have been set up and it could happen to any one of us. It's quite possible someone sent him those attachments and immediately called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's tip line. He wouldn't even had to open them to have them show up on his computer. Right now he is looked at as guilty and we are destroying him and his family. Do you feel good about that or just don't care. Is that what this country has come to? If he is innocent, it will come out but the damage will have already been done. If he is guilty, that too, will come out. But whether he is guilty or innocent, his family will pay the price.

Posted by R U Kiddin", a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Why are all you chowderheads whining setup, conspiracy, etc. Blah Blah Blah. I have a reality check for you. When the FBI comes into a case like this, they have done their work. One of the very few governmental agencies that actually are competent-how do I know; because I have worked with them. I applaud every law enforcement group that is protecting my kids from scum like this. Mark my words, this guy will cop a plea to end the nightmare he has brought upon his family, his business, and every other aspect of life that he has soiled. I can see the mass exodus from his business, social circles and righfully so. This idiot deserves all the tribulation he has reaped upon himself. I do feel very sorry for his family and the faster they get away from him the better. Ah yes, what lies beneath!!

Posted by Believe, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 10:21 pm

A Set-up? By Who? His Brother? The president of the company? No - this guy is a deep down sick o - face it! Police do not arrest for 1 or 2 files that someone emailed to a person........ wake up! The Danville stuck ups don't want to admit they had this man over for dinner or sent their kids to scouts with him - that is what it boils down to.

Posted by xuxuxux, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 19, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I guarantee all the positive comments are from Vawters or CCI exec's

Posted by Fred, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Mar 19, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Just a reminder, Innoncent until "proven" guilty...

Posted by Ronnen, a resident of Danville
on Mar 19, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Wow! What a lynch mob!

Posted by Funny...!, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 20, 2010 at 8:42 am

Lets all just respect the "wife and family members" . Tina (wife)has chg'd the locks, filed for divorce, gotten a restraining order. The Family members have severed the their business relationship with him, removed him from the company website, taken his block of business and severed their relationship with him completely.

Please respect their decisions and wait patiently with candles outside the front gate with vigilance.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 9:39 am

Dear Funny…! It sounds as if you may know the family. But I can't get over your name. There is nothing funny about this situation.

Plead to all: Out of respect to the family, I ask that no one post any more names or personal information. It is bad enough that their address is posted all over the place. I ask & pray that everyone please remember to think about the wife & kids before you write or say something else. Thank you.

Posted by Greg, a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 9:51 am

Marie is RIGHT!!

You people shouldn't worry about stuff like this when there are too bright neon signs on business out there! Get your priorities straight!

Posted by Paul, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

So "RU Kiddin'" says that when the cops make an arrest, they have been so thorough with their investigation that guilt is a certainty. Wow, I guess that means we have no need for a criminal justice system. Think of all the money the State of California could save by simply eliminating the courts, judges, etc.

I have to applaud "RU Kiddin'" for using his real name instead of being anonymous as are most other posters. Do you know how he got his name? When he was born and was presented to his father for the first time, the new dad said, "RU Kiddin'?"

Posted by Rose, a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I'm amazed at the comments from people who live in a bubble here!!
Do you actually think the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber Tip-line would respond if they were not on to a pedophile-ac here?? Better save your sympathy and remorse for the EXPLOITED CHILDREN!!!!

Posted by todd, a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Why would he be removed from the family business if he wasn't guilty?

Posted by Bob, a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Front page news, srvtimes. be thankful your child was not in this persons care. this family needs help on many levels and there is plenty of it out there, locals church, private counseling, etc. Lets hope they can get it for themselves and those affected by this person. Todd has a great point for those nay sayers.

Posted by NastyBusiness, a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 9:17 pm

California Casualty Insurance has not been a family owned business since the May 2008 buyout by Bernard Mizel, an insurance magnate, dealing in middle market insurance mergers & acquisitions, including a rather large IPO, that has lost tens of millions of dollars annually servicing debt. Anyway, as part of the CCI buyout negotiations Michael Henry Vawter's sons Jim Vawter and Michael Vawter were consequently made CEO and Executive VP of the newly structured organization.

Other factors are possibly involved such as Bernard Mizel's influence and desire to publically distance himself as chairman of CCI on the company's website, etc.

Therefore TODD, please do not look at the current financial moves as an admission of guilt.

When an industry sector is being consolidated and hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, anything is possible.

Personally I do not trust David Eslick (USI).

Posted by sandy n, a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm

to sad: you pulled your son out of cub scouts, not boy scouts. get it right. BSA does a good job of background checks, etc., however if there is nothing in someones background there is nothing to find.

Funny: there are no records of wife (Tina)getting a restraining order or filing for divorce yet. The court records are updated immediately and there is no record of either action.

to the rest of you: Do you live in the USA - Innocent until proven guilty. Watch the movie Witch Hunt (2008).

Posted by Bill H., a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Michael Vawter was set up by the LDS, there is a woman who is a computer wiz named L-__a, she is obsessed with predators violating minors, and because of the nature of the business Michael is doing, he is a competition to some LDS members of the community. People get set up all the time. There is no remedy after the family of Michael has been hurt, his kids, his wife and his entire life is thrown away by a mormon thumper. Now let's ask them what JESUS will do? Our community should be more secular and Christians should not be attacked by cults. Michael needs to hire a security company to find the culprit. He in the eyes of the law is innocent, and the READERS should "pray for his reputation" rather than destroying his family.

Posted by katie, a resident of Danville
on Mar 21, 2010 at 12:38 am

Can't anyone in this community get out and do some volunteer work with abused and neglected kids instead of spending all your free time gossiping, often maliciously? You have the privilege of wealth...go out and do something good for someone less fortunate and stop rumor-mongering.

Posted by xyz, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 21, 2010 at 10:45 am

Bernard, Jim & Michael are, or were, all owners of CCI Insurance. Michael has now been thrown out - BEFORE proven guilty

Posted by The other den leader, a resident of Danville
on Mar 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Wow... Mikes life is over. He has lost everything. Rightfully so if all this is really true. But this is all so typical. The media, internet and gosip has him guilty already. If this comes up false and he is really innocent of this, he will never recover due to the damage caused by this media feeding frenzy! But this is the way it is now. The internet will have a person guilty in a matter of minutes with alleged stories and even a mug shot. I also noticed that some people here have supplied his wife's name on this blog. Not good. Why don't you all give out the kids names and ages as well. And no, I'm not family defending Mike, I know him through the kids school and scouts. Facts are facts, so let's have them all before the Danville mobs hang him.

Posted by Mormon, a resident of Danville
on Mar 21, 2010 at 10:53 pm

So what is the name of that Mormon you think did this to Michael? I would take that information to the police if I were you.

Posted by Sad, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 22, 2010 at 8:49 am

Sandy N - Nitpicking because I said Boy Scouts and not Cub Scouts...really?? My point was speaking as a person who WAS molested as a child, parents need to use their intuition when placing their children in the care of adults. Background checks do not always work. If you 'get it right' yourself Sandy N, you would realize BSA has had instances of abusers who HAVE had background checks. It doesn't always work. I was not 'dissing' BSA and I indicated in wasn't a blanket statement for all leaders. Despite your snotty attitude, I hope you and your family never fall victim to abuse. It's life altering.

Posted by "Big Love", a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Apparently the Vawter Family is going to be introduced to the show!

Thanks for the heads up Bill H.

Posted by Stef, a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm

"Sad" is right. There is always a first time someone is caught, so background checks are only as good as the knowledge around a person's history. He is speaking from experience and trying to educate so we can better protect our children and I appreciate that.

That said, we have no idea whether this man is guilty or not. Let the courts do their work, and I hope friends and family support the wife and kids as well.

Posted by Brian, a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:57 am

We must consider all facts and then make a conclusion, God forbid this kind of behavior continues. anything related to child pornography should be a full prosecution if concluded to be the fact of the case. Are local law enforcement never seem to be recognized for the time and effort it takes to make a solid case.

Posted by PhD, a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:27 am

statistically speaking , often the subject, mv in this case, may have been exposed to abuse himself. in most cases like this, the abuse occurs from a family member, an adult in a position of power, someone close to the family, etc.

Posted by Susie, a resident of Diablo
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:47 am

check out [Portion removed due to promoting a website]

great topics.......not the same old boring stuff!!

refresh yourself!

Posted by Steve, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Susie, just you spamming on here like this shows you must be connected with [name of website removed] in some way. And if that is the case, I won't be visiting such a classless enterprise. I can't believe the weekly even lets your posts stay up here. Talk about offensive.

Posted by PLMKC, a resident of Danville
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I agree that everything is not cut and clear. I feel that he should not be condemned until the truth comes out. It smells like a set up, to me. But if it is not a set up, and he is guilty, it is an eye opener to us all that even though we live in a great community, we should never let our guard down. We need to protect our children, and keep our eyes open and intuition high. Trust our guts.

Posted by Idea, a resident of another community
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I can't believe what I'm reading. Most of the comments could be scenes out of Henry Fonda's classic film "12 Angry Men"!!!It took one brave man to stand up to the other 11 jurors. But through slow, deliberate & careful analyst and breakdown of the proponderous of testimony and evidence, the jury found the abused 18 year old innocent of his father's murder!Those who know the family don't REALLY know what happened to the so-called "buyout" like I do. My heart goes out to his kids, wife and parents. It is tough to do business for the financial service industry in this economic climate, so I'm not at all surprised that he was removed from the company website and Mr. Mizel distant himself as well. The Dept. of Insurance regulations require that any kind felony charge like an arrest is an automatic removal of an insurance license. Please have compassion for the family and the innocent.

Posted by waiting, a resident of Danville
on Mar 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Why isn't there any NEW news on this case? It appears that it has disappeared in to the closet........

Posted by Cool-the-Jets, a resident of Danville
on Mar 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm

The wheels of justice turn slowly. If this had been you, you might wish the same, as well, especially if you were innocent. Which by the way Michael Vawter is, unless a jury of his peers, convicts him otherwise.

Posted by Been Wrongly Accused, a resident of Danville
on Mar 31, 2010 at 8:54 am

Hey 'Cool-the-Jets', I know from personal experience how you can be accused of something you didn't do. How do you know Michael is innocent? I know him from scouts and school and would never think he is capable of such a thing. Another question I have is, this seemed to become very big new very quick and I find it hard to believe that all this was generated by a single "tip" from a phone call. Does anyone know really how this all came about? What agencies were involved? Did Michael Vawter access this material from a source that was being watched by the FBI or was this all a complete set up to ruin his life?

Posted by No Story, a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

Been Wrongly Accused, the reason this story died is there really is no story. For those of us in Danville, sure -- real sad, we're personally connected, we either know them, or know someone who know's them, all that, but as far as a news worthy story? The only reason it got in the media at all was the headline of his Boy Scout connection. That made it interesting for a day. But people, come on! If that connection led to his arrest for all of the worse case scneario's we run through our imagnations, he wouldn't have gotten out of jail for nominal bail. So clearly he wasn't arrested for that. If so, he'd still be there and like other stories like that it still would be running. So.... the story died, cause there really is no story other than the personal tragedy for the family and friends --- which is really not news worthy and frankly none of our business.

Posted by Idea, a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I totally agree with No Story. The key to this is the nominal bail accessed. If there is VERY STRONG & CREDIBLE INVIDENCE, the bail would have been in the hundreds of thousands or more. However, the damage has been done to him and his family as well as the business.

Posted by @@@, a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm

one month later and no new news???

Posted by INTERESTED, a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm


Posted by Really!, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2010 at 10:15 pm

If you were really so INTERESTED you really would have read the blog comments above which pointed out the Bernard Mizel removed his name from the CCI website over a month ago. It appears to me that you enjoy posting on this matter to just keep it at the top blog summary.

If you really have new information on the matter, then post it, otherwise, I would suggest that you let the legal system do its job!

Posted by xxxxxxxxxx, a resident of Blackhawk
on May 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Bernard Mizel only deleted his name AFTER Michael Vawter - his Exec VP was arrested. He still owns the company and still is active in the day to day operations

Posted by sadtruth, a resident of Danville
on Jul 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm

knew him as a parent in a classroom that i taught at reported to my supervisors that he was kinda touchy feely with only the little girls but no one listened i reported it to his wife my concerns but she didn't listen so i guess his sickness over took his soul poor guy needed to stay away from that evil stuff it will just drag you down.