DA Targets Santa Clara County Undersheriff as Part of Ongoing Concealed Weapons Probe

The Santa Clara County District Attorney served yet another search warrant on a high-ranking law enforcement official as part of a months-long probe into whether Sheriff Laurie Smith’s top brass engaged in a pay-to-play scheme for concealed gun permits.

Sources familiar with the situation confirmed that DA investigators on Thursday descended upon Undersheriff Rick Sung’s office and took his computer and other electronics. The Mercury News first reported the seizure, which reportedly came at behest of the DA’s Public Integrity Unit.

John Chase, the deputy DA in charge of the unit, declined to comment on the matter. DA spokesman Sean Webby said his office can only offer the following: “We are not going to comment on the specifics of our investigation except to thank the many witnesses who have been willing to talk to us and provide evidence voluntarily.”

San Jose Inside broke the news of the investigation in early August, when the DA’s search warrants were served on Capt. James Jensen and at least a couple other members of Sheriff Smith’s senior staff.

The inquiry was sparked by a $45,000 donation from executive protection manager Martin Nielsen to a pro-Smith political action committee. A few months after the gift, the sheriff granted Nielsen and a handful of colleagues at his firm—AS Solution, which counts Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg among its clients—permission to secretly carry guns.

Whether Nielsen gifted the money to the Santa Clara County Public Safety Alliance with an assurance of any quid pro quo from sheriff’s officials remains unclear.

San Jose Inside has previously reported that someone deposited $70,000 into Nielsen’s account shortly before he issued the $45,000 check, which suggests a laundered contribution, illegal under state campaign laws.

Neither Smith nor Sung returned requests for comment.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Sounds like the D.A. is overreaching. He’s spent a long time on this and come up with nothing, and isn’t being transparent about these raids. What’s he have to hide?

  2. DDA John Chase has been prosecuting public corruption cases for the benefit of Jeff Rosen since Rosen was elected in 2010. John Chase and Jeff Rosen have a pattern and practice of protecting bad cops who threaten public safety while turning blind eye to actual crimes impacting our community. Mr. Rosen’s corrupt and outrageous government conduct has been assisted by county CEO Jeff Smith, Steve Preminger and County Counsel James Williams as a sort of quid pro quo.

    From 2014- 2018 Jeff Rosen laundered more campaign finance contributions and public resources to benefit his own political career than any other politician in Santa Clara County’s history. He and over 6 DA employees provided over 6000 communications to Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber to get Judge Persky recalled, and then claimed he supported the NO Recall. ( James Gibbon- Shapiro reminded a public audience of this on the Santa Clara University campus just last month).

    Since at least 2015 John Chase has covered up the county’s private judging scandal and wouldn’t know a public corruption case if it was delivered with milk and honey on his desk.

    Today, November 8, 2019, the DA’s office cut off the victim advocate for San Martin rape victim Rene Doe, telling her Community Solutions advocate the DA’s office no longer had the resources to help her just 10 months after a rape the DA ignored in the first place.

    Odd, the DA’s office seemed to have plenty of resources for Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber and Stanford ” rape” victim Chanel Miller when Ms. Dauber manipulated the media to benefit a recall campaign and Jeff Rosen’s re-election.

    Sean Webby, former San Jose Mercury reporter who was subjected to a restraining order following his abuse of a protestor at a Dauber rally? Sean Webby who is now the litigant in a civil law suit with Michele Dauber for violating the First Amendment Rights of a private citizen who dared to protest during a Dauber organized Persky Recall Rally? This is the DA employee providing information to the public about what Mr. Rosen’s office is up to these days?

    Time to start looking at Mr. Rosen’s political motivations and selective prosecutions. We should be very concerned about the training and motivation of his incompetent and corrupt DA investigators, many of whom are former San Jose police officers with records long on misconduct and short on training.

    Prosecuting cops who make false police reports, use excessive force and engage in domestic violence is far more important to public safety than what Mr. Rosen imagines for his Witch Hunt De Jour.

      • Yes, I know what you mean. His economic theories won him a Pulitzer Prize as I recall from my UC Davis econ classes.

      • > You’ve got like a beautiful mind if you know what I mean

        By the way, I figured out much of what John Forbes Nash, Jr. discovered about game theory before he did. I just never wrote it down.

        • Dish on being Duped by Dauber coming soon. Publish or perish as the say. Rosen and Dauber busted by 6000 emails obtained through a public records request- explains his effort to distract public attention with fake news floats on Laurie Smith. Think old Ronald Regan used to call that the trial ballon.

          Assure you whatever Rosen thinks he has on Smith for political favors, he eclipses by a factor of 6000! Maybe Rosen is more worried about what jail would look like for him with Laurie overseeing the local jails.

          • Rosen is the most corrupt POS. I really with the CA AG would investigate him (not likely). I remember a speech Rosen gave (or interview? – I forget) after he was elected. I saw it I believe in 2010. He spoke about how the District Attorney is one of the most powerful offices in local/regional Government. Just the way he said it, made me believe that he was a power monger.

          • Rosen is absolutely the most corrupt public figure in all of Northern California. The AG knew in 2011 he was stealing money and gave him a free pass. Rosen has rigged elections, recalled judges, colluded with Stanford Law Professors, hid donations, violated the law and abused his power more than any other DA in the county’s history. And every election where he threatens those who seek to oppose or question him will allow his conduct to continue. James Williams and Jeff Smith along with the corrupt Supervisors won’t touch him because they know he will retaliate. Until someone you know or love is murdered, raped, robbed or beaten, you will have no idea how corrupt Mr. Rosen actually is.

  3. The political bosses that really run the show in the back round have started to ramp up their efforts to trash our Sheriff and this includes her “Top Brass”

    The last strong hold in our county is our Sheriff and she is taking some serious heat just for protecting the Constitutional Rights of the American Public.

    Most of the general public are acting like cattle and not paying attention to what is playing out in Santa Clara County Politics. Our rights are being violated and our elected DA is “A” ok with this activity and we are seeing his true colors with the malicious prosecution of many well-known activist including myself.

    The legal community (Illness spreading germ attorneys and judges) have been running our judicial system here in Santa Clara County into the toilet for a very long time. As this “Judicial House of Cards” is caving down prosecutors are rigging the system thru a “Civil” channel to silence the community when they strike out with “trumped up” criminal charges. This includes some really dirty tactics like issuing subpoenas and warrants to jam an activist up in a system that they should never have been thrown into.

    Not only will these “Good Will Souls” that actually care get thrown to the wolves DA Jeff Rosen will instruct his office to deny services to any activist that challenges his poor leader ship. Basically, these people are denied any and all services out of the Santa Clara County District Attorneys office including witness protection for subpoenas. You are left high and dry….. They won’t even return a phone call….

    District Attorney Jeffery “Francis “Frozen Rosen is basically using the constitution as “Butt Wipe” and continues to prosecute members of the public for criticizing his poor leadership skills. He also has a pattern of never following a single county ordinance and has been quoted on the record that he will only let a Judge decide if the law has been broken.

    Rather than going after activist, and of all things the Sheriff, I truly believe Jeff Rosen needs to start prosecuting his own and this includes looking in the mirror. Many of these attorneys are violating the law and this goes all the way to the bench. A quick way to expose this corruption would be a “Civil Grand Jury” investigation but that is nearly impossible when his cronies hold the keys to that necessary process. Did I mention that those Civil Grand Jury’s are rigged by our judicial system and the people chosen are in on the SCAM….

    Food for thought…. Never in the United States of America has a Sheriff challenged a presiding judge for abusing their power and implementing unconstitutional rules. Sheriff Laurie Smith put her neck on the line and did her Job that the American Public voted her into office for and went “Toe to Toe” with Presiding Judge Patricia Lucas over her attempt to silence the community from ever protesting her “New” Family Destruction Center in San Jose. (See news article below)


    On the other hand….. DA Jeff Rosen continues to prosecute the same people that Sheriff Laurie Smith is protecting from this abuse of political power.

    Let’s think about all the Political Drama that is going on in the back round before we thrown “Under Sheriff” Rick Sung under the bus.

    Just my 2 cents…. Oh…. How about we “REALLY” Recall Rosen this time around….

  4. > DA Targets Santa Clara County Undersheriff as Part of Ongoing Concealed Weapons Probe

    What’s going on here?

    I’m just a tiny little pissant who probably lives on the wrong side of the tracks. No one tells me anything.

    But, this stuff makes my head spin.

    It sounds like these are are matters of serious public interest. But, this is inside baseball. We tiny little pissants don’t know what to believe or who to believe.


  5. Never in the history of America has a faux photojournalist turned to the dark side to become the DA’s witness based on kickbacks and favors that witness was offered by county executive Jeff Smith and Steve Preminger, but guess what?

    Be very careful Ms. Smith – there is another Smith in town and it is not your ex husband, and he seems to be able to engaged in public corruption with impunity.

    Anyone ever follow up on those emails from the county counsel office during the 2018 sheriff race? Or how about looking at the 6000 emails Mr. Rosen’s office , including DDA Cindy Hendrickson, DDA Luis Ramos, ADA Jay Boyarsky, ADA Terry Harman and about fifty others decided to send as their effort to help Mr. Rosen and Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber rig the 2018 elections. Better yet, how about looking at the turncoat journalists PIO for Jeff Rosen by the name of Sean Webby. As long as local reporters drink the Kool-Aid Mr. Webby is serving each day as a ” leak” or ” press release, Mr. Rosen is protected.

    If John Chase were not corrupt he would have investigated Preminger, Jeff Smith, Jeff Rosen , Shaer Stephan, and all the other corrupt public officials, government lawyers and private lawyers who have been operating a criminal enterprise out of our local courts since 2010. But, then again, John Chase owes a debt himself to Mr. Rosen, his boss, as well as Karen Sinunu Towery of the Northern California Innocence Project. Even the pissants can figure out what seems to have escaped John Chase and the county’s sham of a Whistleblower program – Matthew Fisk and Paul Murphy.

    Gonna need a lot more real journalists willing to take this on- unless of course the publisher’s and editors keep killing the story.

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