Santa Clara County Corrections Capt. Amy Le Put on Paid Leave

Capt. Amy Le, who led the Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA) and went to bat for Sheriff Laurie Smith in her last election, was served a letter charging her with wrongdoing, stripped of her badge and escorted off the job Friday.

Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Reggie Cooks said he couldn’t disclose why that happened and offered the following official response: “In fairness to the employee and the entire Sheriff’s Office, we caution against speculation and we cannot comment on personnel matters.” In a phone call Tuesday morning, an audibly crestfallen Le declined to talk about the situation for the same reason.

ABC7 broke the news Monday, citing sources who claimed Le got in trouble for having inmates build a gazebo and barbecue at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas.

Officials who spoke to Fly in subsequent interviews said that wasn’t the real reason. For someone of Le’s rank to get abruptly walked out and kicked into paid leave, the allegation would have to be pretty serious, according to sources who requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media.

Two officials familiar with the investigation, however, said Le is not accused of a crime and that the issue is a disciplinary matter—albeit a serious one.

Various news reports have noted that Le has consistently ranked as one of the highest overtime earners in the agency, and that she was one of several officials present when mentally ill inmate Andy Hogan last summer sustained critical injuries from hitting his head against the inside of a transport van. Yet sources tell Fly that those two issues also have no bearing on the personnel probe underway.

Le has spent the past three decades working her way up at the Sheriff’s Office, becoming the first Asian female correctional officer and the first woman to lead this county’s CPOA, replacing Sgt. Lance Scimeca in 2016 after his ouster for taking part in a virulently racist, homophobic, transphobic and sexist texting scandal.

As head of the union, Le steered $100,000 of member dues to Smith’s sixth re-election campaign last year. Her CPOA presidency ended upon her promotion earlier this year to captain, a high-ranking enough position to disqualified her for the union representation that would’ve probably helped her out of the jam she’s in now.

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  1. Sure hope the county is investigating the conduct of the elected officials, the county Assessors office, County Counsel and the Office of the District Attorney as they appear to be investigating the Sheriff’s Department. Culture usually is created from a trickledown not a bubble up effect. Public Records point the way! Several state and federal grants require regular internal audits of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office. We can’t seem to find anywhere those audits were performed after the county moved Victim Witness into the DA’s office under the management and supervision of Jeff Rosen, James Gibbons- Shapiro and Kasey Halcon. The public has a right to know how the county is spending billions of dollars the state and federal government paid to protect victims of the crimes perpetrated by the people sitting in those jails.

  2. I am glad The Sheriff is paying attenttion to the corruption in the department. In the past a pedophile deputy was going to be fired because of childporn allegation. Julia A EMEDE protected the pedophile and he kept his job. Per the pedophile’s statement the judges not the Sheriff ruled the department. It appears for years the Sheriff was under the ruling of the then all powerful judiciary. That power is gone! Mayor Velasco AND DA Jeff Rosen, the 25 year old whose father, a former San Jose Police and a current Sheriff deputy, attempted to choke her at the beginning of last month leaving significant bruises on her body is waiting for the Gilroy Police Report. Sheriff Smith, I am glad you finally understood the people of SANTA CLARA COUNTY is your boss not the county supervisors or judges. Your duty is to us!

  3. Le had a myriad of connections
    She ran independent corrections officer political action committees and was close to Cortese
    She had a bad attitude towards inmates. Now I am not to supportive of them either, but I don’t make them build barbecue hutches.

  4. Cortese, Cortese, Cortese, OMG! This guy either lacks ability to sorround himself by honest and professional individuals or corrupted traits are the requirement to work or be close to him! VOTE NO FOR CORTESE FOR STATE SENATE. Everything about him totally Stinks!

  5. HA!!!! The house of cards is finally collapsing. Le has significant dirt on all the higher ups including Sheriff Smith and Undersheriff Sung. For her to be walked off for a BBQ is nonsense. Smith’s corrupt house is imploding. I hope Smiht is next!

  6. > Capt. Amy Le, who led the Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA) and went to bat for Sheriff Laurie Smith in her last election, was served a letter charging her with wrongdoing, stripped of her badge and escorted off the job Friday.

    How do these people ever find the time to do any law enforcement work?

  7. Remember there is a newish law these days that revokes a public employee’s pension who is convicted of illegal/wrongdoing, all the way back to the time when the wrongdoing first occurred. I think this law was in response to the Bell corruption scandal. I wonder if this will come into play and if she will lose her pension for some prior bad act?

  8. Why is it that this Sheriff’s Department so often generates negative, undesirable, and/or unsavory headlines?

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