Local Pol Accused of Disclosing Details of Confidential Police Call

The Palo Alto Police Department have reportedly looked into allegations that a cop’s botched response to a medical emergency endangered a woman’s life last month.

According to sources familiar with the case, the matter involves Officer Yolanda Clausen’s conduct during an incident in early June and her subsequent disclosure of private information about it to her wife. Namely, Shay Franco-Clausen, a Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority trustee, Santa Clara County Democratic Party executive board member and chair of the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women.

The crux of the complaint involves a June 3 call from a resident about a female neighbor begging for medical help. An ambulance arrived just a couple minutes after the 911 call. Instead of rushing the woman to the nearby Stanford Hospital ER, officers delayed the ordeal by ostensibly responding as though to an involuntary psychiatric hold (a 51-50 in police scanner parlance) instead of a medical crisis.

It took 43 minutes after the initial call (during which time the woman experienced a grand mal seizure) for paramedics to finally get her to the emergency room, where doctors made a grim diagnosis. She suffered not from anything drug-related or psychiatric, as Clausen—based on her video-recorded conduct and conversation on the scene—seemed to suspect.

Turns out, the woman had a brain tumor.

Piecing together the series of events through dispatch logs and Clausen’s body-cam footage, the woman’s family identified more problems than just the slow response to a life-or-death situation. Clausen also allegedly conducted a legally dubious search of the family’s home, rifling through her purse while searching for drugs or alcohol.

And when she returned home, Clausen apparently told her wife, Franco-Clausen, about the identity of the woman involved in the incident (which Fly has been asked to withhold). Text messages obtained by Fly show that Franco-Clausen relayed what she heard to at least two other community leaders.

Once the woman filed a complaint against PAPD over the incident, Franco-Clausen panicked enough to circle back to someone she texted about the confidential matter.

“Did you tell anyone what I shared about [redacted] with you,” she asked in a June 13 text obtained by Fly. She added: “My wife’s job could be on the line because of it.”

Later that day, she followed up with another text: “[Redacted], I need to know what you said to [redacted]. They launched an investigation on Yolanda today.”

Franco-Clausen’s status as a local Dem Party e-board member may be on the line, too.

According to county Dem Party Chairman Bill James, there will be an inquiry into whether she violated the group’s code of conduct. However, he says, “I don’t see this as involving the party’s work” but rather as more of a dispute “between two individuals.”

“In my role as county chair, I have talked to the people involved in this, I have tried to be a bridge between them and I did review this text string,” he tells Fly in a phone call Tuesday morning. “I also responded to the person who sent it to me to let them know that I would consider it to be a complaint under our rules.”

A voting member of the local party who asks to remain anonymous, calls James’ official statement about the matter kind of a letdown. Franco-Clausen holds numerous positions of trust in the county and should be held to a higher standard, the fellow Dem says.

“It seems inconsistent with the values of the Democratic Party to try to prevent a witness to potential police misconduct from giving evidence in an investigation,” the source adds.

Franco-Clausen denies wrongdoing and disputes that PAPD launched an investigation into a complaint filed by the woman’s family.

“It’s just not true,” she says, explaining that her text message about an unspecified “they” who “launched an investigation” into her wife was a dramatic flair because she was worried about the prospect of a probe, not the actuality of one.

“People know that we operate with the utmost respect and integrity, consistently,” she says in a phone call Tuesday evening. “It’s unfortunate that it’s gone this far. I’ve over-embellished; I was very disappointed in that.”

The reason she mentioned her wife being at the scene of the call, she says, was to reassure mutual acquaintances about her. “I was hoping that they would find comfort that my wife was there,” she says.

Franco-Clausen also echoes James’ statement about the whole thing having nothing to do with the Dem Party, and that she’s confident that a review will clear her name.

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The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

32 Comments

  1. These local “leaders” have no minimal understanding of ethical and legal standards related to privacy and confidentiality, Two attorneys who work closely for Cindy Chavez and were part of the most recent Human Trafficking Conference also engaged in gross workplace violation related to privacy and confidentiality. This after receiving a negative review about their conference. One of these attorneys graduated from Santa Clara University and the other from Lincoln Law school. A person sent a review from own cell-phone, email, and network. These attorneys were so frustrated with the negative review that they sent copies of the email exchanges to this person’s employer. The employer’s system, devices, and email were not used. It was the person’s own email, system, and device. When the person made these two attorneys notice the violation they engaged in, they insisted her personal emails belong to the employer even if made from a personal email, device, and internet system. At the workplace people were demoted or are GONE! The person told them the conference was a rip-off! Employer paid the day for employees attending, lunch provided, mileage, and other related expenses. Attendees were not free to ask questions during the conference. They were directed to emails for questions. The “Conference” was a long day PowerPoint presentation and an opportunity for Cindy Chavez and other local politicians to show off!

  2. This gets my vote for San Jose Inside “Story Of The Year”.

    It’s got everything.

    Identity politics. Gender politics. Race politics. Democrat Party Politics. Public official misconduct. Police misconduct. Cover ups. Medical drama. Redactions. Gay marriage.

    EVERYTHING!

  3. Of course with all the corruption going on in government, again making examples of the women.

  4. Political theory here.

    It would seem that with that faces article and the outpouring of comments local politicos wanted to distance themselves from Shay. From my own experience modern Democrats are a lot like antifa in the sense they will go out of their way to destroy someone they no longer considering the club. This isn’t limited to but can include doxing, getting them fired from their work and completely destroying their lives and livelihood with the hope that they will simply move.

    I don’t think Shay will be invited to serve on any boards after this, her wife will be fired. Not sure where they will go.

    If I were to make a recommendation for them though, look towards Guerneville. It’s an up and coming gay community nestled on the American river amongst redwoods.

    I’ve been there, but I’m self sufficient enough to persevere. I hope the clausens can figure out how to start over.

    • > From my own experience modern Democrats are a lot like antifa in the sense they will go out of their way to destroy someone they no longer considering the club.

      I don’t know where you want to draw the line between “modern democrats” and truly sociopathic nihilists.

      Here is a reference point on how “extreme” extremism can be:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catechism_of_a_Revolutionary#The_Manifesto

      “Catechism of a Revolutionary”

      The nihilist revolutionaries, for whatever reason, are intent on “bringing it all down”. It is entirely predictable that they will try to achieve nihilism by penetrating and destroying institutions of the existing order. the Democratic Party seems to be an institution where the have achieved or are achieving some success.

      “Successful behavior is repeated”.

      There have been times in the recent history of the Democratic Party where the nihilists have attained significant influence and unleashed the dogs of social destruction. The first episode in my recollection is the extreme hatred for Richard Nixon. This seems to have been a consequence of Nixon’s career ending defeat of Democrat progressive rising star Helen Gahagan Douglas.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Gahagan_Douglas

      The unhinged nihilists of the progressive left stalked Nixon for the rest of his career and eventually successfully forced his resignation from office.

      The current hatred of Donald Trump seems to be from the same well as the progressive nihilist hatred of Nixon.

      And the root of the hatred seems to be similar to the root of the left’s hatred of Nixon: Trump ended the political career and exposed the corruption of entitled progressive superstar Hillary Rodham Clinton.

      There is a lot of truth in the observation that “modern Democrats are a lot like antifa in the sense they will go out of their way to destroy someone they” consider a tribal enemy.

      “antifa” is arguably nothing more or less than a modern collection of sociopathic “revolutionary nihilists”.

      Do the Democrats know this is going on? The “rank and file” probably doesn’t realize that current functioning leadership of the party defines the PURPOSE of the party as “Trump hatred” rather than improving the loves and conditions of people.

      Bad news for Democrats: Trump is smart enough to craft messages to the Democrat party base focused on improving their lives and conditions. “Trump hatred” motivates the leftist “intelligentsia”. but it’s not what the base most cares about.

      • Modern Democrats are a lot like Antifa? Modern Democrats are Antifa! I’m surprised the cops showed up at all, who knows these day’s when some asshole is going to throw a bucket of piss on you.

    • Well, you can pick your friends but not your family. Are you really a Cortese from Evergreen? Any how, Think man, think! who instigated this and why? Hmmmmmm, I’m sure more to come.

  5. I am sorry to disappoint you Robert Cortese, but this is Santa Clara County the land of Liccardo, DA Rosen, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese…corruption is the norm here. for this, I doubt there will be significant consequences for this type of gross violation of privacy and confidentiality. Shay’s behavior is more of a gossip jerk not professional at all.

  6. I actually like Shay. She is a cool person and I think she is honest. The Democratic Party stuff seems silly, they do not have to be involved. Look at Chris Stampolus, the DNC member and buddy of Ernie Aglipay of the Laborers. Stsmpolis helped one school trustee falsify her address and helped one current candidate for Supervisor for the same. Shay did a very minor thing.

  7. Jerry Tutty, this is not a congeniality situation. We are talking about serious California Law Violations! Just because significant number of people, public officials, politicians, public servants, and others engage in corruption, this privacy and confidentiality situation should not be minimized by you or others and must be reported to the state! Significant number of professionals have lost their license because of these types of violations. Shay and her wife should not be given a pass.

  8. I hope the ill person received care in a timely manner without injuries being exacerbated by the delay.
    Please follow up on the complaint process. It seems to be a violation of public trust.

    • Robyn, I also hope she is well. We should pray for her. I am also glad they reported the situation. This may prevent others having to go through the same process. We should fight with all we have against these corrupted leaders in Santa Clara County so that every person has physical and emotional safety. We the people are the bosses of all these Jerks. They tend to forget this again and again. May God’s mercy be with her and help her be all healthy again. There is always hope for the one that believes!

  9. So let’s get this straight, this police officer was not only so grossly undertrained and incompetent as a first responder that she actually couldn’t identify a victim in distress—but her AND her wife are both so completely corrupt that they decided forcing a scandal is more important than protecting and serving.

    God forbid she ever encounters a person having a stroke, as they will likely die. What a huge disgrace to Palo Alto.

    I’d like to see the Palo Alto police department and the City of Palo Alto and the Democratic Party of Palo Alto take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone anymore. I know 100lb middle aged women are really scary, but seriously get your sh*t together and do your d*mn job Yolanda.

  10. This is ridiculous Libel.

    The person with this medical problem posted about it on her twitter page, and her close buddies have been telling lots of people about her tumor the entire time.

    Shay nor Yolanda knew about her medical problem until MD’s close buddies told her and several others.
    This is all about MD wanting to gain a position that Shay won’t step down to let her have.

    It is all about trying to make someone look bad because they refuse to bow down to this person’s every wish. Bullying and intimidation. These kind of stories are ridiculous. Yellow journalism at its worst.

    NO ONE CARES!

    • I care, I don’t want first responders digging in my property without a warrant while I lay in medical distress.

      I care, I don’t want my HIPAA protected information traded around local political circles.

      I care, I want to feel safe when I see a police officer.

      I care, I want all political parties to clean up their acts not race to the bottom. Start locally.

      This whole incident is, IMO, shameful. I see no reason for the first or second level disclosures about the patient. None.

      Can training “fix” character?

    • Dumb, the person with the medical problem owns the information, so she can do whatever she wants with this information. When providers and first responders engage in this unlawful sharing of information, it is called a violation of privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations. The behavior of this couple is very shameful.

      • Prove it first. Here is something to consider: How many reports has this reporter done at the bequest of the person this article is really about? What is that connection? What public comments has this same person done on Social Media where she actually shared her diagnosis and when. Who else was talking about this and where? And then I have to ask myself, why would someone put that on Social Media? I guess some folks like all their bizz in the streets (as My friend E says). Just seems very sensational for a sensational person. As for PD showing up… There is no top tier service just because of where you live, who you are, or what you’ve done. There is a process, a triage for everyone. So – Prove it first, or chalk it up to fake news.

        • Chanclona, for those with duty to report,the law simply asks for a timely reporting. Others do the investigation. For example, a local agency was reported to a state department for discriminatory practices, exposing clients and staff to porn,and interfering with a mandated reporter duty to report child abuse. It is the state who is investigating this agency now. I hope this woman reports this privacy and confidentiality to the state and other regulatory boards. Trying to excuse maladaptive and at times illegal behavior of politicians and other public officials has significantly contributed to the systemic corruption of this county. This has nothing to do with race, lesbians…it is about potential serious violations and those who engage in such behavior have to be accountable, blacks, whites, brown, yellow, green, red, blue, purple. This woman is well known in the county and… for this, Shay urgency to engage in gossip, and receiving her instant gratification out of that, You are not only a Chanclona but also a big [email protected]@! Suficiente con semejante [email protected]@s! Sus excusas baratas salen sobrando. Shay es una pinche vieja chismosa.

          • All your mean words, hostility and bravado (English and Spanish -Oh Wow!) adds to my point. This is America, lady, innocent until proven guilty. Until then, you publicly prosecuting a person that has not gone through a court of law to sway people to believe your allegations is unethical and plain WRONG. You’ve crossed to the dark side — think woman. I certainly hope you have no position in leadership because your conduct here is clearly motivated by jealously, ignorance with the intent on spinning a story to feed your weak position to hurt others.

    • Thank you for clearly laying this out. Shay and Yolanda have been models of public service. Yolanda served on the Social Services Advisory Commission and Shay continues to serve so many public service positions. People tweet out things about themselves and then get angry at others for responding. The politics inside the Dem committees should have better things to do than to go after a target woman (active, out-spoken, gay, married, black, successful) in order for a member with a lesser track record to Shay’s spot. Shay is enormously bright and supportive of all that is good and right about our local politics! Yes, many folks hate Trump, but it is imperative to call attention to why his programs and decisions are a disaster for for 99% of the people in this country – no, corporations are not people. Yolanda is a police officer and if her instincts were that this appeared to be a drug issue and she was trying to be sure she found the substance involved so the patient could be treated correctly, that makes sense. A 51/50 is not an instant call in most situations. It is very easy to Monday-Quarterback on how decisions are made and how officers deal with stress when they get home. I would always prefer pillow talk to the domestic violence or substance abuse that plague many first responders. Yes, someone planted a story to try to take down Shay, but we can all be better than that and listen to what really happened before attacking people who give so much to this community. Let’s take a breath and stop responding to the planted comments from Republicans using these people to try to sink the Democratic ship.

      • Wendy, police officers, medical doctors, and other providers do not rely on instinct to make a decision but best practice and knowledge. I am sure during training she was not told, HEY YOLANDA RELY ON YOUR INSTINCTS WHEN MAKING A DECISION ABOUT A CRISIS SITUATION. If Yolanda was a medical doctor, this will be a malpractice suit. The person harm by these two highly irresponsible people should consider a law suit FOR emotional distress and other damages. A behavior without consequences is likely to repeat.

  11. This whole article is racial targeting, and focused on fear mongering tactics, because Shay would not allow them to remove her from a committee. She is the only Black, Lesbian Women, they are targeting because she refused to bow down to a White, Entitled Privileged Women. I call BS…. Yellow Journalism….

    • Wow this is why the extreme left are getting the rest of the democrats and other voters so tired. You cannot give them an opinion that opposes their power centered views without them calling you a racist, troll, and so on. Privacy and confidentiality violations is about non-compliance with California law and other regulations. We must protect these rights in order for patients and clients to feel physically and emotionally safe when engaging with providers and first responders. The opinions of those trying to defend Shay focus on possible motives for this article and even attempted to minimize the affected person’s rights for privacy and confidentiality when they stated she had shared the information already. Shay’s behavior and her defenders’ arguments show significant ignorance on protecting people’s rights and lack of compassion for those affected by these types of violations. That is sufficient to support removing Shay from any public position! ENOGH WITH CORRUPTION!

  12. > She is the only Black, Lesbian Women, they are targeting because she refused to bow down to a White, Entitled Privileged Women. I call BS…. Yellow Journalism….

    Updating my identity politics scorecard . . . .

    Shay Franco-Clausen: “Black, Lesbian Women”,

    Yolanda Clausen: “White, Entitled Privileged Women”.

    Correct?

    • Yolanda looks pretty Asian to me. Diversity is why I love San Jose. Though I can’t stand snobby privileged people. Everyone else es muy bueno.

  13. I mean, I don’t see all the texts, just a few the Reporter chose to share. However, her story indicates there were others, why were they not included so the readers could look at the entire string and draw their own conclusions?

    This story makes all sorts of assertions about a “botched” call as well as having reviewed all the video footage, incident reoorts, etc. Yet none of those items are included for us to review ourselves.

    Show your work, or you will receive an F for your article.

    I won’t at this point claim the reporter is a liar, but I will say there is no accompanying evidence to support a single assertion made in the article. Until such time as this reporter is prepared to present their evidence, it can safely be dismissed.

    Thanks for playing though.

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