Nepotism and Background Checks

updated 03/01/2014, 21:30

I read through the Martin Monica paperwork and found much of it interesting, but without seeing the evidence filings he stated were attached to his filings to the A.G., there is little more there than supposition that he’s telling the truth.  I’m not saying he’s not, I’m just saying that I haven’t gone to the lengths he has to gather evidence and can’t verify for myself since that information was not provided to me.

But I did find one point interesting about Sheriff Smith’s daughter not graduating from university as claimed.  So I looked into it a bit.  I haven’t gone to the length of filing FOIA papers to get her education documentation.  I didn’t have to go that far.

Now let me give a little background here.  I have received story after story about the sheriff demanding certain people be passed through backgrounds despite poor results — people with financial problems, inappropriate contact with law enforcement — even people saying that she signed the paperwork because no other would.  I have heard what I believe to be first hand stories, but I have not seen direct proof of the Sheriff or her office being involved in any specific incident where background checks were circumvented.

But I found something that may change that.  I may have found someone who has, or at least had been turning a blind eye to background checks for the Sheriff.  I had heard this story, but again, couldn’t prove some of the details.

In June of 2005, Shannon Smith was convicted of felony burglary and was sentenced to 3 years probation, 150 hours of community service and shortly thereafter entered a 6 week drug rehabilitation program.

The family at that point states that Ms. Smith returned to school in Hawaii, let’s presume that she graduated in 2006, this is irrelevant to what I found next.

In 2010, Laurie Smith, as candidate for Sheriff released her candidate’s statement.  In that statement Sheriff Smith states, “…Shannan, graduated from the University of Hawaii in 2006 and is presently employed at the Santa Clara County Probation Department.”

From what I can tell, and in reaching out to my resources, and according to the County Probation recruiting website, background checks are required for all applicants.

I could be wrong, but I would think a felony conviction for burglary and admitted abuse of drugs just 5 years prior would preclude a person from working in a correctional setting, well everyone but the Sheriff’s daughter it would seem.

Either the backgrounds were so inept as to miss this, or some one somewhere pulled some strings.  Not unlike Shirakawa getting his family friend appointed as his bodyguard by the Sheriff, despite the friend not being a deputy, trained as a deputy or having dignitary protection experience.

Is this what we have?  A government built on personal favors exchanged because of political power to the detriment of the community?  This, to me, just adds veracity to the information I’ve been given and cements how critical it is we elect some new people into a very incestuous political process.

Vote for Kevin Jensen (and seriously reconsider any vote for someone currently holding office in this county).

Update:  As you can see below, a P.O. working with the County has provided me updated and more accurate information.  Shannan Smith was employed in an administrative capacity only.  Which should make us all feel a bit better.  However, I still question why someone with a criminal record was given access to executive level materials in this environment and if that is a best circumstances decision. 

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10 thoughts on “Nepotism and Background Checks

  1. If I remember the way there is a possible quid pro quo between Probation and the Sheriff regarding firearms training of some probation officers. The Sheriff offered up the Range and in return they hired her daughter. She worked there in 2010 and as stated by the Sheriff in a budget request in tomorrow’s Board of Supervisor’s agenda,Probation has been using the Range since 2011.

    As for Zinc’s daughter, she was stopped for no front plate during day shift in Saratoga. She handed the deputy her father’s business card along with her CDL and then called him. He talked to the deputy who offered to put the plate on for him. Zinc replied that was not necessary and no citation was issued. Zinc then called Capt. Hirokawa, the W/S commander who probably should have told Zinc to go screw himself. Instead the matter was handed to Sgt. Tait, the admin sergeant, who immediately arranged a meeting in the street (I know that is a 10-87 but not everybody who reads this is a cop) with said deputy who was “counseled” about how to talk to Capt. Zinc. The midnight incident might have been the stop of the publisher of The Metro. No 10851, but possibly he had been drinking as he pointed out that was coming from a party at the Sheriff’s house (in Palo Alto at that time.) Again a call was made to Capt Zinc who suggested he be given a mechanical citation and sent on his way.

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  2. Martin Monica has some interesting stuff in his filings. The stuff about the helicopter usage is pure fabrication. He also states he is a retired chief. I think if you dig deeper into his tenure as chief you will see he was fired, or left under some sketchy circumstances. Vote Martin Monica as “nutjob”.

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    • I wouldn’t go so far as to call some of the stories about the helicopter “pure fabrication.” Monica’s particular claims are new to me, but I know of others. Some one should request the flight logs through FOIA requests, but I’ve been told those logs now only record flight times and will reference 1012 as a person on board since it became an issue last election.

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  3. The more reading I do about Sheriff Smith and her past and present issues the more reason to vote for Kevin Jensen. It would be nice to see the leadership be held accountable for poor performance. The way to do that is vote her out.

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  4. Hi Casey – I’m a P.O. and wanted to tell you that Shannon Smith did work for the Probation Department but only as an admin assistant to the executive management staff. She was not a peace officer and wasn’t in any type of correctional setting. She was only clerical. Just wanted to clear that part up! Keep up the good work and I’m working on my coworkers to support Kevin Jensen for Sheriff!

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    • If memory serves me right Shannon was stopped in a 10851 driven by her boyfriend in Cupertino by midnights around 2004/5. Never heard about what happened on the stop, it was hushed up.

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      • First I’ve heard of this. Are you thinking of Zinc’s daughter stopped for speeding? That was around that time. I believe the Metro Active covered that story of public shaming of a deputy.

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        • I was working when ZInc’s daughter was stopped for not having a front plate and called daddy. This was midnights on Homestead in a 10851. Maybe 2002-05 time frame but I remember hearing the story when coming in for shift. I am sure there is a supervisor or two that can chime in about that.

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