Oh, there’s a lot of Ron’s we can reminisce about, but the one I’m thinking of at this moment is Ron Batistella, friend of Sheriff Laurie and member of the Sheriff’s Advisory Board. Oh, sorry, former member of the Sheriff’s Advisory Board. You remember, Ron? The guy it took the Sheriff a full 3 months after his being outed for stealing from the public to “pressure” him off the board of the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Advisory Board.
The recent SAB “Family Day” event featuring a guest appearance by now indicted Aldon Smith got me curious. These people have the run of the roost at the Best in the West competitions, they seem to have access to play at the range any time they want, guns and helicopter included, and they’re at the right hand of Sheriff Laurie regularly. There seems to maybe be a bit of a tendency to maybe overlook ethics. So I got curious, you know… smoke… fire… that whole thing.
I’ve just begun, barely scratching the surface and already I’ve found something I feel compelled to share with you. Our friend Ron is not the first person on the SAB who plays games with other people’s money and got their hand slapped. He’s just the first to be publicly called out for it and connected to the SAB in the process. He’s also apparently the only one to be “pressured” off the team.
Meet Sharath Sury, a very lucrative friend to have. Well connected on many levels, intellectually and financially. But what caught my attention wasn’t how well-connected he was, but his relationship with the SEC, a relationship that can legally be renewed as of some time last year.
Mr. Sury’s business, S4 Capital, LLC, was charged with fraud and spent several months negotiating against a cease-and-desist action from the SEC from Nov. 2009 for high risk, undefined investments resulting in losses totalling $12M in investor’s funds. He was finally barred from trading securities for two years and fined for his crimes in November 2010.
While this is all public information, it’s not put a damper on Mr. Sury’s relationship with the Sheriff it seems, Just like his biographical web page I linked to above, his wiki user profile also proudly pronounces “…he currently serves on the Santa Clara Co. Sheriff’s Advisory Board, was granted an honorary appointment as a Santa Clara Co. Deputy Sheriff…”
How many people do you know with financial crimes in their background who get that kind of honor? I had a brief though that sent me quickly down to the bottom of the page. No, no, this isn’t an old, outdated profile that has been left to languish in the archives of the internet. There, at the bottom of the page, it clearly states, “This page was last modified on 18 October 2013 at 17:30.” And then I went spinning back… honorary deputy? WTF?
What is an honorary deputy? What do you have to do to become an honorary deputy? What do you have to do for the Sheriff to become an honorary deputy? Are all the SAB members honorary deputies? What are the qualifications of an honorary deputy? Because last I checked, being a deputy was honorable work, hard work… work that sometimes put your health and well-being at risk as well as your life. Is the Sheriff taking that so lightly that she’s handing out badges so her rich SAB friend can try to get out of tickets? How demeaning to the hard and risky work that the deputies do every day. I know Mr. Sury understands Risk Management, but I wonder if he knows anything about the day-to-day risks taken by deputies being disrespected here.
I know, whatever. Clearly having manipulated money in an illegal manner is not a disqualifier to hang out with the Sheriff and be one of her “deputies.” No surprise given the Aldon Smith situation. Why shouldn’t he be an “honorary deputy” on top of it. After all the man clearly has more clout than Aldon Smith or even Mr. Batistella.
Like I said, I’ve just begun my digging into the names on the Sheriff’s Advisory Board, oh, and I thought while I was at it, I would dig into the CCW list released by the Mercury News back in 2011, I received an incredibly interesting tidbit about someone on that list as well.