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.