The local bail bond industry has taken aim at a county program that lets people get out of jail for free. A desk inside the jail interviews newly-arrested inmates to determine whether they are flight risks.The ones who pass muster are recommended to a judge to be released through the “Own Recognizance Release Program” (ORP). Others who want the criminal justice system knowing less about their family and finances—or who want faster service—can pay a bondsman. A group calling itself California Coalition for Pretrial Accountability is now building a war chest and Òintends to lobby key decision makers” to eliminate ORP and other pre-trial services. County Supervisor George Shirakawa recently urged the San Jose City Council to think twice about tightening regulations on bail bond offices. Fellow supe Dave Cortese, a long-time benefactor of the bondies’ campaign money, is also part of the coalition’s friends list. That could come in handy for a Cortese 2014 mayoral run, which carries a seven-figure price tag these days. Local lobbyist and former Ron Gonzales cash handler Ash Pirayou has linked up with union-friendly political consultants Tom Saggau and Dustin DeRollo on the anti-OPR team. Their argument is that posting bond ensures that more people will show up for their court dates. Bad Boys Bail Bonds owner Jeff Stanley has taken the lead in the coalition’s statewide push, personally contributing at least 20k. Meanwhile, Stanley’s company, the state’s second largest, tossed in between $2,500 and $5,000.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Bad Boys Bail Bonds owner Jeff Stanley personally contributed $10,000 to Madison Nguyen’s anti-recall campaign in 2009. That contribution reportedly came from Tom Saggau, Dustin DeRollo and their clients. San Jose Inside regrets the error.