Judge Denies Motion for DA’s Recusal From CCW Case

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office can continue to prosecute five people charged with plotting to exchange bribes for concealed gun permits.

Attorneys for two of the accused asked the court to pull DA Jeff Rosen off the case, citing conflicts because of his personal relationship with one of the defendants and claiming his office unlawfully leaked grand jury transcripts to Metro/Jose Inside.

At a hearing this morning in Department 24 of the Hall of Justice, Judge Eric Geffon denied both motions. He also rejected a bid to seal the grand jury transcripts, which have already been widely reported in the local press.

Christopher Schumb—a prominent lawyer, political bundler and one of the five defendants in the case—introduced the conflicts-of-interest-claims last month in a filing that suggested he planned to call Rosen as a character witness.

Schumb’s attorney, Joe Wall, quoted extensively from emails exchanged between Schumb and Rosen to argue that their longtime affiliation undermines his client’s right to a fair trial. Wall also argued that Rosen’s case was motivated by a political rivalry with Sheriff Laurie Smith, whose concealed-carry issuance is central to the prosecution although she hasn’t been charged with a crime.

Schumb’s attorney wanted California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to handle the case instead. DA Rosen, however, has maintained that Becerra already gave him his blessing. An official from AG’s office joined Rosen today to argue against the motion to disqualify.

Earlier this week, Rosen filed a stack of declarations in court denying his closeness to Schumb. The DA also said he refunded $1,500 Schumb donated to his 2019 re-election campaign once he served a search warrant on the political fundraiser.

Though Rosen admitted sending or receiving more than 100 emails with Schumb between 2015 and 2019, the DA said they only had one exchange after the bribery investigation was underway.

Rosen also disputed Wall’s claim of the prosecution being motivated by a clash with the sheriff over access to inmate phone calls. The DA said that disagreement was resolved by the time his office began serving search warrants in the gun permits case.

The attorney for Capt. James Jensen—a Sheriff Smith loyalist accused of fibbing on concealed-carry permits for prominent people and using the licensing to solicit political favors for his boss—filed his own motion to disqualify the DA weeks after Schumb’s.

Jensen’s counsel, Harry Stern, called transcripts leak another example of Rosen’s bias and accused him of conspiring with this news organization to cast his client in a bad light and taint the potential jury pool. Rosen, Assistant District Attorney Jay Boyarsky and prosecutors John Chase and Matt Braker countered the allegations with sworn declarations denying having anything to do with the leak.

Schumb and Jensen are due in court again next week along with their other co-defendants: lawyer Harpaul Nahal and The Gun Co. CEO Michael Nichols.

A fifth defendant, former CEO of executive protection company AS Solution Christian West, pleaded guilty last month in exchange for the possibility of getting his felony charges knocked down to misdemeanors.

Martin Nielsen—a former aide to West whose $45,000 contribution to a pro-Smith political committee in 2018 jumpstarted the case—has so far escaped prosecution.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

8 Comments

  1. So are all of Schumb’s sleaszball candidates in the Democratic Party going to have to return the campaign money that he raised for them? Or we just targeting Lori Miller cause she’s a Republican? Let’s see how Schumb does now that he’s gotten Cancelled by his own Democrat Cancel Culture friends.

  2. We have some serious problems folks and I hope you are paying attention to this “Bad High School” movie that is playing out in Santa Clara County.

    Geffon is a dirty judge (illness spreading germ attorney) that will do whatever it takes to protect the establishment and also District Attorney Jeffrey “Francis” Frozen Rosen.

    Just the fact that Judge Eric Geffon is the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Courts should have made him do the right thing and not heard any of these motions. Nope…. we don’t care about conflicts of interest in Santa Clara County Government.

    These “Crooks” in our courts have gone un checked for such a long time that they have gotten lazy covering their tracks.

    Might be time to really sit back and reflect on how bad things have gotten in our local government.

    I personally think this is a “Network” of corruption that has made its way into every section of our government and must be stopped.

    The Dirty Judges and Politicians are not above the Law.

    Oh…. almost forgot…. Remember that time “Judge Geffon” when you issued a warrant for my arrest when I called your boy Jeffrey “Francis” Rosen out for always being late to the Justice and Public Safety Committee?? Sad that you though I would be pulled in on a 1,000 dollar warrant on a case that was later dropped with a finding of innocence. Oh…. and that arrest was ordered by another “Shady” Santa Clara County Judge, Patricia Lucas (Presiding Judge at that time) who also had horrible attendance for any and all committees she was appointed to in our county.

    Both times these “Thugs in Black Robes” abused their power my Aunt Laurie (Sheriff Laurie Smith) did the right thing and sprung me from the pokey…. and with Judge Geffon’s “Fisher Price Retaliation Warrant” she prevented them from throwing me back in jail until my arraignment.

    Could you have imagined the temper tantrum the “All Boys Club” was having when that went down!!!

    Remember folks…. I was one person protesting family court with a plastic megaphone toy.

    Sheriff Smith took a tremendous amount of heat over this but it was the right thing to do…. She was also protecting the United States Constitution that most of these Muppets have forgotten about.

    Waiting for these people to do the right thing is just not going to happen.

    Waiting for the handcuffs to get slapped on them is also a drawl out process that can really take some time.

    “Recall Them All” and get on with the business of the American Public….

    We need Regime Change NOW!!!! (I wonder what dirty judge Rosen is going to pressure to have me arrested for this POST) Been there done that,,,,

    Free Speech is dead in San Jose (Santa Clara County)

  3. Oh…. Remember that time Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen made fun of a Disabled Employee during his “State of the DA” office speech??

    And yes folk…. he is holding the man’s prosthetic leg in the air as he cracks “BAD” jokes about him…. OMG!!!!!! you cannot make this up….

    Enjoy the Video!! It makes me cringe to watch it….

    That’s your District Attorney Santa Clara County!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rizy3kkLz9w&t=3s

  4. Please, if Chris Schumb gets arrested, I implore the journalist to post a picture of him in handcuffs. The teachers who were left out hanging high and dry by Schumb and CTA when Bercerra’s office went after them with no defense need something to believe in karma.
    It’s unbelievable that Chris Schumb is asking for Xavier Bercerra to prosecute him. Bercerra was the one who went after all those teachers who didn’t get any defense from Schumb. Now Schumb thinks he can choose the guy that people have long suspected is Schumb’s buddy as the one who prosecutes him.
    This whole system is corrupt. Schumb is a big cog in the corrupt wheel, but he’s not the only one.

  5. Chris Schumb; this just couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person.I don’t care who the prosecutor is, as long as they make sure he gets convicted.It’s not that I don’t like Schumb, but I don’t like Schumb.

  6. California Teachers Association needs to publish all their payments to Chris Schumb over the past 20 or so years.He’s been paid a lot by the teachers and he didn’t give any defense if the teachers didn’t pony up the extra cash on their own. Show us the invoices CTA! How much did you pay Schumb and what were the politicians with the CTA getting for those payments to Schumb? We know the teachers were denied defense, so what happened to all the money? Was teacher defense just another money laundering scheme?
    These theories have been around before Schumb got popped for gun licenses.
    CTA needs to do right by us teachers and do right by fairness and show us what’s been going on with this guy.

  7. I was about to commit an armed robbery but realized as a convicted felon I wasn’t allowed to possess a firearm which was stolen and that I was carrying a concealed weapon as I didn’t have a CCW, so I decided to turn myself in to be arrested.

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