SCC Sheriff Laurie Smith Lashes Out as Misconduct Allegations From the 1990s Resurface

Allegations of misconduct from a long-closed investigation have come back to haunt Laurie Smith. The Santa Clara County sheriff’s re-election campaign kicked into full damage control mode this week after the Mercury News ran an in-depth report reviving claims that Smith sexually harassed a subordinate in the early 1990s, stifled his professional advancement and pulled taped evidence from an internal affairs file.

The April 1 story went to press almost 20 years to the day from a March 26, 1998 Metro Silicon Valley article, in which news writer Will Harper gave an account of the harassment grievance at the core of the daily’s investigative report:

A male deputy filed an internal complaint against her in 1992 after being transferred out of the narcotics unit while a female deputy with less seniority was allowed to remain. Smith says that she didn't even make the decision authorizing his transfer. The same deputy later filed a sexual harassment complaint against her, but Smith was cleared of all wrongdoing.

The Mercury News story, penned by veteran courts reporter Tracey Kaplan, has made the rounds, appearing in a Politico newsletter Tuesday morning and giving Smith’s re-election challengers fodder to criticize the five-term incumbent. The sheriff, who declined to grant interviews to the Merc on longtime campaign consultant Rich Robinson’s advice, also refused to read the piece.

“I have not read the story, I will not read the story,” she told San Jose Inside through a spokesman. “If I want to read trashy fiction, I'll pick something up at the airport."

But Robinson, who reviewed the Merc piece on her behalf, dismissed the “Tale of the Tape” saga published this past weekend as a politically motivated hit piece.

“It’s the shoddiest piece of journalism that I’ve ever seen a long, long time,” he said in a phone call Monday. “They printed a bunch of lies, and they know it.”

Robinson said he will continue to prevent Smith from commenting on the matter—“when you're explaining in politics, you lose,” he said—and vowed to demand a retraction.

“I’m going to ask them to retract it all,” he said. “The whole thing, because it’s all untrue.”

The Merc spoke to retired Sgt. Gary Brady, whose complaints implicating Smith reportedly prompted two personnel investigations. Though no findings of wrongdoing ever resulted from the internal affairs probes, apparently, the article raises questions about Smith’s interference in one of those investigations by demanding to listen to a taped interview of Brady’s testimony.

Experts quoted by the Merc said Smith’s admitted seizure of the tape is concerning, and calls into question her ethics. The sheriff’s leading opponent in the June 5 election, former Undersheriff John Hirokawa, called on Smith to resign. Retired Santa Clara Superior Court Judge LaDoris Cordell—who helmed a reform task force in the wake of an inmate’s fatal beating in 2015 at the hands three jailers—echoed Hirokawa’s entreaty.

Robinson disputes that Brady’s taped interview included any mention of Smith—at least, he said, “not to her recollection.” Although, when Metro Silicon Valley’s reporter asked Smith about the incident in 1998, she said she couldn’t recall how she got the tape and whether it was linked to an investigation of her.

Further, Robinson said, Smith brought the tape outside the Sheriff’s Office and to the county’s Equal Opportunity Department, which investigates workplace discrimination.

“She didn’t burn the tape, she didn’t destroy the tape, she handed it over,” Robinson said.

In a second Metro report on the incident a month after the first article, Internal Affairs office secretary Pat Verzosa concluded that the tape confiscation was undertaken with the blessing and knowledge of Chuck Gillingham, the sheriff at the time.

As for the sexual harassment claim, Robinson said the county got an outside firm to look into it. Though he didn’t offer any details about who led the independent review, he said a Palo Alto attorney named Bob Aaronson who represented Smith at the time determined that the county had violated her rights by failing to notify her about the nature of the allegations and the disposition of the investigation.

Smith’s campaign consultant also discredited Brady, saying his career was stymied not by the sheriff’s retaliation but by his own alcohol problem. He called the former sergeant’s claims of harassment “the fantasy of a raving lunatic.”

In the months Kaplan spent reporting on the “Tale of the Tapes” piece, Robinson tried to get the story killed. In emails to her and her editors, he repudiated the story as “tawdry” and “salacious” and threatened legal action if the newspaper decided to publish it.

Later in the day Tuesday, Smith issued a statement through her communications staff.

“I am highly offended by opportunists hiding under the guise of the #MeToo movement to make political points to aid my critics,” she stated. “Starting on the first day of my 45-year career, I experienced discrimination, personal attacks and lies based solely on my gender and my refusal to conform. The most recent false allegations show that women, at any level, are not immune from sexist attacks even today. I resent being called upon to respond to demeaning and disgusting claims which were already determined to be false over 25 years ago by County Counsel through an independent and thorough investigation. The allegations were false then and are still false now, and I refuse to let them distract me from my duties as Sheriff of Santa Clara County.”

Kaplan declined to comment, letting her story speak for itself.

Below is a copy of a letter Robinson sent Kaplan on Feb. 26, more than a month before her piece went to print. 

Tracey Kaplan,

Spoke with the Sheriff and the underlying accusation from which all else stems is false, defamatory, salacious and intended to sully the personal reputation of the Sheriff. We will not comment further on the absurd.

All other "evidence" is either poor recollections, lies or in line with the previous known facts given by the Sheriff. Laurie's statements on what happened are all consistent with the known facts.   Internal Affairs Secretary Pat Verzoza never heard any tape.  Al Cruz's statement is simply a reiteration of the underlying false assertions of Mr. Brady, based on his conversation with Mr. Brady.

The sole tape Laurie heard, removed and gave to EEOC was based on the discrimination charge regarding the removal of Mr. Brady from the ANET unit.  The command decision to remove Mr. Brady from the unit was made by others, not by her.

Mr. Clark is either lying or has his "tapes" mixed up, if there were indeed two. The Sheriff only heard one tape; and it pertained to the discrimination claim, with no mention of any personal incidents regarding her conduct based on her recollection—and certainly had anything as outrageous or salacious been part of that tape—she would have remembered.

That tape had no personal accusations of misconduct. That is the tape she forwarded to EEOC for investigation. If there is a second tape of an interview with Mr. Brady—the Sheriff is not aware of its existence or its contents nor was her lawyer at the time.

As a Senior Officer responding to the discrimination matter for the department; she took all the correct actions. As for any other specific allegations of misconduct; until your email—she did not know of them. Though she was aware of an outside investigation that occurred regarding 'other' allegations, neither she or her attorney were aware of the specific accusations—and Mr. Clark's statement that there was no investigation is false. Obviously, the charges were and are not credible and simply designed to impugn the Sheriff's reputation.

No action was taken against the Sheriff for any action she took during this period. No discipline, no evidence whatsoever of wrong-doing and while we believe there was an "exoneration" we do not have any "official" documentation of the results of any investigation. The fact that she and her lawyer were never given the allegations is evidence that the matter was quickly resolved in her favor.

In addition, according to the attorney who represented Laurie, which spells out the entire incident; Laurie's rights may have been violated for failure to adequately notice her at the outset and failure to allow her access to the completed investigation.

Most importantly, Laurie did not attempt to obstruct justice by asking any other member of the department to hide or destroy evidence—as was the case with Mr. Morrissey that you alluded to—she has never engaged in racist and/or misogynist texts as Mr. Morrissey has done. She has never used her government computer for personal self-satisfaction as Mr. Morrissey apparently did for hours a day; and the false equivalency implied by your last question is offensive.

Everything the Sheriff did was lawful and procedurally appropriate.

We have painstakingly provided the Mercury News with all the information at our disposal.  But there is no story here. None.

The retelling of a nearly 30 year old lie is not responsible journalism in our opinion.  In the past, the Mercury News has evaluated this nonsense and chosen not to publish the allegations because there is absolutely no credible evidence of wrongdoing by the Sheriff.

This entire episode is one in a series of outrageous allegations made on the part of the Sheriff's political opponents to try to discredit her. All other attempts have failed as well—and this story deserves to be thrown in the trash.

If the Mercury News insists on printing this tawdry tale with no credible evidence; this will serve as our response.

Sincerely,

Rich Robinson

Attorney at Law

Jennifer Wadsworth is the News Editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

46 Comments

  1. There are far more relevant and recent issues about Ms. Smith’s performance as Sheriff. The BOS wants to spend a couple of million bucks a year on an independent auditor. Let’s save that money, use it for better purposes, and just vote her out of office.

    • Thank you San Jose Inside and Jennifer Wadsworth for publishing this story. Yes, Ms. Kaplan exposed the story, but it is the Metro that consistently dives into the full story while the county and the courts continue to engage in what we call ” Access Journalism”, making comments to carefully craft the story they want the public to hear. That story includes being directed by PIO Sean Webby, a former San Jose Mercury reporter, who is employed by the county for the District Attorney’s office. May be why the Mercury gets more leaks than the Metro.

      Ms Smith, nobody is hiding behind #metoo to bring these issues forward. Under Sheriff Smith’s management of the two largest contracts for the Sheriff’s Department (jails and courts), Ms. Smith has created a culture where people have been beaten and killed, and the county secretly settled those cases and gagged the people who could expose Smith.

      The county’s Whistleblower program, led by Cindy Chavez’s former policy aid, Paul Murphy, has been burying complaints about the Sheriff Department for years. Internal Affairs is equally as impotent. Paul Murphy got a cushy county job after working for Supervisor Chavez, the county’s only female supervisor, who endorsed Sheriff Smith as she knew what Smith has been doing for years.
      A joke really.

      So not so surprising Smith was able to contaminate an investigation of her own abuse of power , that likely spans 25 years, and that is most likely the reason the Sheriff’s Department has the highest turnover in the state. Only those accepting of her management style and abuse appear willing to stay. And misconduct in our jails, our courts and in our rural areas is reminiscent of Chicago in the 1920s.

      Don’t forget Deputy Plett who just responded to a domestic violence call in Gilroy and did the mom the call was made on in his patrol car, then helped the mom make false child abuse claims against the dad during a custody dispute. Plett was going to have that dad face criminal charges, and set him up to lose custody of his child, all for sex and that is the culture Sheriff Smith created and tolerated in this county for 25 years.

      Not what it should be happening in Silicon Valley in 2018.

      The Sheriffs have been running around star struck with the 49ers since 2013, while ignoring real crimes against men, women and children. Bailiffs assigned to our courts actually work to help 49ers get off rape and other violent crimes against women. Smith knows this , and has buried those complaints as well, so did Internal Affairs.

      Rest assured Ms. Smith did not do this alone. It is part of a county culture that enabled her to do it, a complicit press and voter apathy fueled by government attorneys covering Smith’s tracks and spending time sucking up to the Attorney General with issues on fighting Trump’s immigration policies.

      The District Attorney’s Office is the worst enabler, John Chase, who is charged with Public Integrity for the county, has given Smith a free pass. Immunity to misuse her office, to selectively enforce the law to suit her personal agenda, and even to pay for her extramarital sex and affairs in public vehicles.

      The fact it has taken the county this long to even turn their heads in Smith’s direction, is despicable. The fact that it took Kaplan’s article to start the questions that draw the public eye is also slightly questionable.

      LaDoris Cordell is right, Smith should resign and save us all some money , she should be paying for her sexual relationships on her own dime, not ours.

  2. Internal affairs will only investigate what Sheriff Laurie Smith tells them to do. They are not free and independent to do proper “Fact Finding” investigations that our community deserves. That is why the Board of Supervisors has recently voted to have an “Inspector General” to provide Corrections and Law Enforcement Oversight. This might very well be another “Band Aid” for an Internal Affairs system that has not worked properly since Laurie took over (Marched in and took evidence) hahahahahahaha……

    The County is doing a poor job of investigating this type of corruption. Promises of Investigations to the public with “Outside Private Investigators” never materializes and most people just give up. Please take a look at the internal affairs process with this YouTube video below. This is the watch commander desk where the public has to go file a complaint. This is part of the intimidation process to scare the public away from complaining.

    And when you speak up at County Meetings regarding this corruption you better be ready for the beat down. They will show up at your front door, harass your family, break your hand, smash your face into the ground, and best of all charge you with crimes you have nothing to do with.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7r7FnahNhI&feature=youtu.be

    • They will only investigate what Laurie tells them to. Another reason she needs to be voted out.

    • > The County is doing a poor job of investigating this type of corruption.

      California is a politically corrupt state, starting from the very top: Jerry Brown.

      Jerry Brown was technically unqualified to be California Attorney General, yet “friends” in the court system looked the other way.

      Governors in California are limited to two terms. Jerry Brown is now serving his fourth term. How did THAT happen? It’s a political miracle!

      Thanks to Jerry Brown and his craven pandering to greedy special interests like the prisons guards union and the teachers unions, California is now a “one-party democracy”.

      Even the goofball Thomas Friedman of the New York Times recognizes that “one-party democracy” is an awful form of government.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/opinion/09friedman.html

      People have a very ignorant, romanticized notion of “democracy”. It is NOT government by the people, it is government by the populist majority.

      “Democracy” is NOT “one person, one vote”; it is one vote for the stupidest, most easily manipulated fifty-one percent of the populist mob, and zero votes for everyone else.

      Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose are creatures of Jerry Brown’s pandering one-party democrat corruptocracy.

      Elections in California are meaningless. Local elections in California are meaningless.

      Kamala Harris is your next senator. You have nothing to say about it.

      Sam Liccardo is your next mayor. You have nothing to say about it.

      Go back to your homes. There’s nothing more to see.

  3. I wish the people who are running against Smith would concentrate on expressing their ideas on why they are more qualified to hold the office and what ideas they can bring to the table to make the jails better and how best to enforce discipline against correctional officers who do not follow the rules and regulations set up to protect them and people in jail.

    As it stands now, I will vote for Smith if no one can convince me to vote for them. Something that happened 20 years ago and she was not fired tells me nothing happened. Please lets concentrate on ideas to make improvements and have a conversation on what needs improving.

    • Aurelia Sanchez- Go to the County website and watch ALL of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s meetings. If that doesn’t convince you Sheriff Smith needs to go, nothing will.

      Smith has always runs dirty campaigns against her opponents, and she will again. You just watch and see.

      If you are ignorant enough to ignore the facts about her, and vote for her again, then so be it, but when someone else gets killed, or a CO is beaten half to death in the jails, just remember, you voted for her and the status quo.

    • John Hirokawa has done a number of appearances and and public events where you can meet him and talk to him about the issues. He has an informative website (https://www.johnhirokawa.com/) and he regularly makes statements on his FB page. He has 3 meet & greet events coming up in San Jose, Gilroy, and Santa Clara.

      While I understand people want a candidate to find them, the reality is that the candidate is talking to 2 million people throughout the county and if you want to be convinced, you have to go find out what they have to say for yourself.

      As for Laurie, please explain to me how Laurie Smith can ever make the jails better when she literally dragged them back to the days of failure and abuse that led to the jails being put under court oversight by consent decree? She caused the problems, she is not the solution to them.

      • The jails were taken from the Sheriff because of budget issues. At the time The jails were under court orders as a result of the Branson Decision. It had nothing to do with abuse. It was about overcrowding in the jails and allocating money to deal with the exploding inmate population. The Deputy Sheriff’s Association ran a campaign for SAFE JAILS. The Board of Supervisors and the County Executive (Sally Reed) ran a cheaper jails under their control to reduce cost. It has failed miserably with four previous Directors in charge of the jails. You now have a jail system still under control of the Board of Supervisors with a contract with the Sheriff to run the jails.

      • John Hirokawa is the problem. All the death that occur in our county jail came under his poor leadership watch. A wasted veto for his is a veto for the continual Sherriff Laurie Smith political regime abuse of power and a waste on the taxpayer dollars.

        The political elites at the game of high politics just mask their class oppression with a new smiling face of contemptuous indifference towards real/solution political change.

        Shameful!

        https://youtu.be/8SDLRP8rTdU

        • Sorry Victorius, but I know you go to the Board of Supervisors meetings, sure you had been to the meetings where Hirokawa presented the annual budget to the supe’s yet was unable to answer any questions, agree to any changes, or make any indepth assessments to them regarding the budget because all had to be cleared and approved by Laurie Smith. I can direct you to the videos if you missed these meetings, they should be on the Board of Supervisors site.

          Hirokawa was simply the face of the jails, and he was only in charge of laundry, warehouse and food services. He was not in a position to make a decision, he was simply a messenger boy, a layer of protection for the sheriff if anything went wrong. Same as Neusel now, as the job assignment for the position remains the same on the Sheriff’s website.

          Do not let Hirokawa become the fake facade that allows Smith and her corruption and poor decisions to hide.

        • Victorious you are so right. I know one person who was near the cell next to when Michael Tyree was murdered then, the person wanted to go speak with Hirokawa and he refused numerous times. So it appears everyone is becoming ok with Hirokawa in charge of the whole dept when he had murders under his watch and still insists his leadership “needs work” I will vote against Hirokawa he seems to have even less safety.

  4. Here we go again. Smith and her watch dog Robinson are finger pointing at everyone else AGAIN to deflect the truth. Of course, Smith pulls the poor me, I’m a woman being victimized, and it’s everyone else’s fault card. And let’s not forget that Robinson advises her to shut up, and fly under the radar when these disgusting behaviors of hers are exposed. I’m sick of it.

    The crap Smith pulled on that Blue Ribbon Commission, and the way she treated the Chairperson are evidence enough for me, that she used that Commission and this $75,000.00 report to support her campaign on the tax payer’s dime.

    It’s time for her to go. She’s served 5 terms, is almost 70, it’s time for her to retire. And what’s with this photo of her? She doesn’t look anything like that anymore!

  5. It is nice to know that Rich Robinson can get the article he wants published by San Jose Inside. He brags about it on his Facebook page in a chain with Betsy Bryant. Further proof is this ridiculously altered photo of Laurie Smith which also adorns her web site. Doesn’t San Jose Inside have realistic file photos of Smith who has been in the public eye for 30 years?

    If we are to believe Robinson’s version, Smith took the tape from the Internal Affairs Division file and gave it to the County EEOC. Why? Whether she is the subject of that tape or not, that is not her responsibility. The EEOC is supposed to conduct their own investigation. Had that investigation led them to the tape of the Internal Affairs unit, they could have requested to listen to that tape (assuming it was not confidential) or asked for a copy. At no time would the original tape (remember this was the era before digital recordings) be released from the custody of the IA unit. The bottom line is Smith’s whole story about taking the tape to EEOC is another implausible story told by Smith and Robinson.

    Robinson’s allegations about Smith’s rights being violated are another smoke screen for her bad behavior. California Government Code Section 3303 (the Peace Officer Bill of Rights) directs that an employee who is under investigation and going to be interviewed by a member of their employing agency must receive proper notification. The article said that investigations were done by EEOC and an outside lawyer, not her department. There is no requirement in this code section that the person under investigation be notified of the findings unless there is to be punitive action taken or if adverse comments are to be placed in their personnel file. Since none of this seems to be applicable in this case there was no requirement that was unmet.

    On his Facebook page Robinson describes himself as, “very much a liberal,” yet his entire response is right out of Donald Trump’s handbook. It is filled with falsehoods and deflections. He even mimics Trump with his empty threat of a lawsuit if the Mercury runs the story. It has been five days, where is the lawsuit. There won’t be one because the last thing Robinson wants is to allow the defendant’s lawyer to depose Smith. Smith’s written response is also pure Trump. She makes herself the victim. Even if she was once the subject of sexual harassment or discrimination, it does not mean that she could not do the same things once she is the one in power.

    • Bruinguy- Well said. I know a lot of women who have been the subject of sexual harassment or discrimination, who are in positions of power that don’t and wouldn’t do anything like Smith did to this guy, or others from what I’ve been told.

      In a way, I feel sorry for Smith because she is so consumed with hate, and fear that she has no friends, and can’t trust anyone. And yet, she doesn’t get that her vengeful, hateful behavior towards her staff is the reason she’s got no one to trust in her life.

      Her mouthpiece Robinson Trump isn’t her friend either. He’s just living high off the hog of her misery. He’s just disgusting.

  6. Let us look at Laurie Smith and Rich Robinson.
    Laurie Smith
    a) 60 MInutes did a piece on Laurie Smith spending millions on Segways to battle terrorism. Oh, isn’t that effective to battle shooters and bombers, Segways!!
    b) Herhold writes about Laurie Smith pleading with LaDorris Cordell not to be rough on her about the jails.
    Conclusion=Laurie Smith is a tumor on public safety
    Rich Robinson
    A) Laurie is his meal ticket. No Laurie, no golf condos for Rich
    B) Robinson conducted a campaign where he attacked a women for being married to an Asian American and adopting his name, something many women do, hence the idea of “maiden name.”
    C) Robinson also accused a man of misconduct but supported the wacko career of Darcie Green
    D) Robinson effectively stained the reputation of the 49ers in Santa Clara by running a rogue operation and allowing 49ers to be blamed. He took credit for stadium, but 95% of leaders who rained campaign stated he had nothing to do with it.
    Conclusion=Robinson not only is a tumor on the body politic, he looks like a tumor.

    • Bert Oliver- Don’t forget Smith dragging the teenage girls in front of the media promising them things she couldn’t and didn’t deliver in the DeAnza rape case, and then throwing the DA under the bus to cover up her refusal to allow the Deputy Sheriff’s to go their jobs. Man, Smith is a real piece of work.
      The list of Smith’s short comings are endless.

      As for Robinson, he’s just an overpaid, lying, old blow hard who is loosing his touch. I’d like him to explain why 5 former SJ Police Chiefs gave an interview telling the public that working with this vengeful, tyrant isn’t something they’d ever want to do again, and why not one single LE Union supports her, except her buddy Amy Lee, who will be promoted quickly for throwing her officers under the bus. I’d like to see him explain the stunts she pulled on the Blue Ribbon Commission too. Oh, that’s right, the Key Stone Cop Robinson doesn’t want Smith’s true character to be exposed, or for the public to hold her accountable for officers being beaten half to death in the jails, or 3 inmates dying under Smith’s watch. How does this Trump impersonator sleep at night?

      • It’s hard to choose between these two perspectives. Either it’s a marriage made in heaven between Rich & Laurie, or Laurie is the cancer on the public weal and Rich is a mere bloviator. But that does seem like a marriage made in heaven.

  7. Carl-I will vote for her again if people running against her don’t talk about themselves and what their visions is for the jails and the problems they need to address. I have not read or heard anything about what will be different if she is voted out. Is everything so perfect at the jails that the only conversation we are having about the election is her character? What have the other candidates done to make improvements at the jail, have they disciplined bad behavior, what do they think about current conditions and what will they do different.

    • Yeah, I guess so. Unfortunately Shefiff Smith hasn’t offered up any solutions or answers to the mess she created either. Can’t figure out why she even wants to run again as she is old as dirt, will probably make more money on CalPers retirement, has a daughter who is a convicted felon to take care of, and has lost the confidence of her staff and working Sheriffs. Guess maybe it’s the power thing or maybe just knowing when not to leave. Her political days have long since passed and unfortunately she is too ignorant to accept reality.

    • Aurelia Sanchez- So let me get this straight. You know how bad the jails are under her watch, but you’re still going to vote for her? Can you explain that kind of ignorant logic to me please?

      Why aren’t YOU reaching out to her opponents? Why aren’t you going to their meet and greets so you can meet them yourself, and ask them what they stand for?

      If you go to their websites your questions will all be answered. They also have their contact info on their websites, so start reading and dialing.

  8. I would agree with Scott Largent political dissent, Sherriff Laurie Smith is out of touch with the political reality and moral impulse of the political community… that are affecting Santa Clara County residents when it comes to promoting community justice! https://youtu.be/h7O0bgIoQ2o

    • Dave LaRoche- LOL! “Cleared of wrong-doing, yet here we are again with the smear.” Give me a break. She wasn’t “cleared of all wrong doing” Stop drinking the Robinson Kool Aide. Robinson gets paid big money to be her mouthpiece and lie for her.

      Robinson tells her to shut her mouth instead of making her tell us the truth, and keep low until the storm passes, but they aren’t going to get away with it this time. Looks like the public is finally waking up and looking past Robinson’s old and very tired battle plan to get her re-elected. Time for Robinson to retire with his cash cow Smith.

    • Except for the working together part, that’s a lie. She worked in another department in the first year or so after I came to Metro. Never saw her outside the office, and I haven’t seen her since.

      This campaign is already muddied by enough rumors. Don’t make it worse.

    • Jennifer Wadsworth hardly needs me to defend her. The article hardly makes Smith look good. Gosh, isn’t Monica a candidate? I have a ton of items that I have in disagreement with Jennifer, but I do believe in her integrity.

      • There are two stories going on that same time. One is the Ellenberg story on the Chamber. Oliverio has issues, and his defenders on this blog have their own me too incidents from what we hear, and then there is decades old Laurie Smith matter which sees the return of the most bloated useless voice in the county, Rich “Laurie keeps me in roast beef and beer” Robinson. The Chamber blast on Ellenberg shows how silly they are, and the Smith case is another example of how useless the elected aristocracy is. Trump is the most dangerous for of American democracy there is, he should be impeached. But the sad truth is, Trump got elected because our elected class is rotted with the miasma of incompetence with the biggest tumor, Robinson living off the disease.

        • > Trump is the most dangerous for of American democracy there is, he should be impeached. But the sad truth is, Trump got elected because our elected class is rotted with the miasma of incompetence with the biggest tumor, Robinson living off the disease.

          WHAT?!

          RICH ROBINSON HELPED ELECT TRUMP?!

          Absolutely shocking!

          I need a safe space.

  9. I am voting for Jose Salcido. As a former Sheriff’s Lieutenant and President of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association he has been in the Leadership Role. He has the education and experience to meet the challenges facing our County Law Enforcement and Department of Correction. AS you note I separate the two because one is controlled by the Sheriff and the other by the Board of Supervisors under contract to the Sheriff. John Hirokawa is a good man and outranks Jose Salcido. However his role as former Director of the Department of Correction and Assistant Sheriff under Laurie Smith compromises that rank.
    Jose Salcido is talking about Faith Based Programs to enhance existing programs in the jails. Reducing recidivism rates and homeless inmates returning to our streets. The leadership role need in the aftermath and current abuses of our jail system can be filled by Jose Salcido.
    The Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff should revisit the authority and control of the jails. Voter approved restoring of the jails under the Sheriff would lead to better training and professionalism. How? By restoring Post Certification to the jail system and its staff.
    I won’t comment on the focus of this article. There seems to be a lot of photos, negative opinions and such to go around. Just the Facts, Sir/Ma’am.

  10. Sounds like a bunch of liberal democrats doing what they do best. Ignoring the law, sharing info, not allowing investigations, corruption at its best.

    And they expect us to obey the laws……give respect to get respect

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