It Wasn’t Me….

At first I was surprised, I was slightly impressed.  I read the first part of the Palo Alto Post article last night and I thought, “Finally!”  Finally, the sheriff takes a little responsibility for her actions in regards to at least one case we’ve been discussing.

She states, finally, that yes, Aldon Smith got special treatment at the jails and was fast-tracked through and that yes, she was wrong to invite Aldon Smith to party with her friends on Carnival Ride 1 (our incumbent’s almost personal helicopter) and shooting guns for a fundraiser.  (Wait… isn’t it illegal to use taxpayer purchased equipment to fundraise?!  Show me where the money for that fundraiser went.)

But the story changes there.  Rather than hearing that she had any part of it… actually showed up that early to give Coach Harbaugh and his staff a tour of the jails while they waited for Aldon, we hear– well that’s just how it is.  That’s what the deputies do, I had  nothing to do with it.  Really?!  How often do you show up to give families waiting for their loved one’s a tour?  Never?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s it. Never.

It only took her 6 months to answer and figure out how she could attempt to squirm out of all responsibility and blame her deputies.

Let’s talk about how the incumbent and her administration don’t make decisions about special treatment.  Let’s talk about a deputy who was arrested for a DUI.  Yes, deputies make mistakes, yes he was properly disciplined according to policy (unlike some others we could mention… a captain*cough*cough*).  However, let’s talk about the life endangering “special treatment” this deputy got at the behest of his patrol captain.

When the deputy was brought in, according to policy, the captain of the division the deputy is assigned to is notified.  This deputy happened to be assigned to patrol division with a captain notorious for malicious behavior towards deputies simply because he can.  When the captain was notified by the jails lieutenant that the deputy was in custody and being held separate from general population, as is the norm for safety reasons, the captain immediately responded by ordering the deputy put in general population.

Deputies aren’t separated out of general population because they’re “special” or they are getting “special treatment” because they’re cops and they deserve it.  It’s actually a safety consideration.  Putting a deputy in to a cell with upwards of 10 people, any of which could be violent, any of which could have potentially had interactions on the street with the deputy, or simply who may think it entertainment to assault a deputy who won’t have assistance quickly enough to save him from serious harm.

For safety purposes, people who are arrested for murder or sexual assault or other crimes that may put the suspect at risk of being assaulted by other inmates are segregated for their safety.  The deputy wasn’t even allowed the same safety considerations that serious criminals are given.

Despite, from my understanding of conversations that occurred as the order went down the line, a number of people protested at this decision, sergeants did attempt to stop it at some level, but when it came right down to it, all were afraid to deny a captain known for his malevolence and the administration’s lack of effort to restrain his abuse, no one would refuse the order.  The deputy was placed in general population, endangering his safety, as well as the other inmates in the cell. and any deputy who may have had to go into the cell to stop an altercation had one happened.

Yes, the hand of the sheriff and her upper ranking personnel can and do reach into the jails to make decisions like this in cases where they’re notified of “special” requirements.

Then the sheriff implies that the arresting agencies are responsible for “where and how” a suspect is booked.  As if San Jose PD or Santa Clara PD or any other agency in the county can come in and say, hey, this is Aldon Smith, get him out of here in 2 hours and by the way, could you get the Sheriff down here?  Jim Harbaugh will be coming to pick up Aldon and would like a tour of the facilities.  Not. Going. To. Happen.

Agencies do have the ability to book suspects at their own locations and bring them to the jails later if necessary.  They can base this decision on their own policies and practices, be it cost related, distance related or whatever.  But once an agency drops off a suspect for booking at the county facilities, they are not in control of the process.

This whole interview with you is like one of those meaningless backhanded apologies.  You know the ones — I’m really sorry I did that, but not really.  Be accountable for your actions for a change.  Perhaps he would have been fast-tracked out — more likely he would have sat in a segregated cell for his safety, like other people have many times.  You showing up was just the icing on the cake, we did noticed that you didn’t even mention your presence.

This is just one example of the “fear and intimidation” and “blame someone else” policies that are meted out by or with the blessings of the incumbent.  It’s an example of how, yes, when the upper administration feels like interfering, be it the sheriff herself or a captain, they have no qualms in doing so.  And yes, when it becomes a point of issue and they’re questioned, they find some one to throw under the bus.

Thank you, Sheriff Laurie Smith, for giving us yet another example of what you call leadership and exactly why we need change in this county.  You’ve had 16 years, you’ve done nothing in at least 8 of them to improve the office.  You’ve created an atmosphere of abuse, favoritism, distrust and disrespect amongst your personnel  with actions like the above.

I can’t even imagine how decimated the office will be if you’re allowed another 4 years of your abusive and self-serving management style.

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5 thoughts on “It Wasn’t Me….

  1. When a person (ANY) person is arrested for a VC 23152(A) or/and VC 23152(B) the minimum amount of time to be spent “sobering up” is 5 hours. Never does the jail staff release anyone earlier than 5 hours due to liability issues after a drunk driving because the county cannot afford to have the released inmate harm himself or anyone else again. Liability is a HUGE issue and to allow one’s coach to pick his player up is showing favortism to the arrestee. Depending on the ability for the arrestee to be safely released the courts have allowed inmates to stay from 8 to 11 hours. Most inmates are released after 6-8 hours but NEVER EVER 2 hours (that hardly allows enough time for the booking paperwork and release paperworkj to be completed)

    The person who is directly in charge of the Main Jail stood by the rules as that person should do and it is true that the other Captain (who donates LARGE sums of money to Sheriff Smith’s campaign in hopes of getting that new Assistant Sheriff opening since it is coming in as a Non-Post requirement position) did order Inmate Smith to be released (over-ruling the in charge Captain). It is fully true that the person walking Aldon Smith out is a hand-picked friend of the Under Sheriff and the same one with the spouse with major issues that continue to go unpunished.

    Is the above story (which is fully true) really the way anyone wants to have a professional department of law enforcement officers acting??? Imagine how you explain that to your family? ” Hey, Honey today a football player was arrested and I was ILLEGALLY order via a Captain (looking for a bigger promotion) to release said football player or I would be written up for insubordination” so I had to do it or face the wrath of a Captain that who has not got the guts or forfitude to say “No! He will have to wait like all the others but we will place him in a secure area for his own safety”.

    Thank Heavens no one is really working for this tyrant of a Captain because he is always shuffled around being hidden from his subordinates due to his lack of professionalism and ability to take charge and act as a professional instead of a Kiss A**.

    Jail Tours are booked weeks or months in advance and all tour participants are run thorugh computers to check for warrants and any previous charges and arrests. Jail visitors are not allowed inside the secure areas of the jail without proper and timely clearances. That just does NOT happen without clearances that are done in weeks not in minutes.

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  2. Let’s not forget the way these incidents are handled after they take place. Don’t quote this but i think the words used in the jail scenario were, “Throw him in with the rest of those pieces of s@!t”

    Unfortunatley, certain people you may hear a slight rumor about. You’re left to speculate on details, as they and their incident seem to be swept under the rug / mama’s wing. While other people, (the trend seems to be anyone other than the well liked admin folk) are immediately removed from whatever position they are presently working and moved to the Operations Desk, fully equipped with the mandatory dunce cap.

    Since everything is pushed up to IA, they will not be able to discuss what happened with anyone. Rumors start flying, stories get exaggerated, and after the 4th floor feels you’ve almost been laughed at enough, they might just hand down a punishment.
    Now the scarlet letter has been branded, shining through the Class A shirt that will never be changed to something more efficient (different story)…

    So instead of trying to help or figure out why this happened to a supposed member of the S/O “family”, let’s parade him/her around for everyone to point and laugh at. We’ve seen this happen wayyyy too often in the past 3-5 years. Not only is it embarrassing for the Deputy involved, but it should be the same for the admin that is supposed to teach and mold the future of the Department. I guess mold was a bad word to use… how bout let them “Rot”?

    Great boost to the department morale once again.

    Please vote for the much needed change. It may be the last chance for some of us to see it.

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  3. Who has had a worse week than Laurie Smith? NO-BODY!

    First she has to loan herself money. This is another bad investment. She makes about $230,000 a year but could retire tomorrow (Please do) at 90% so she is working for about $23,000 a year. At that rate, after taxes and interest if she took out a loan, it will take her the first two years of this term to earn back the money. In her letters to the DSA and CPOA, she criticized Rich Calderon for loaning his campaign $200,000. Had he won the election, he would have earned that back in less than a year.

    Then she has to mail her past contributors with a plea for funds marked URGENT. Looks like some of those past supporters are fleeing the sinking ship. Maybe she can go to the bench again and get Arnold Schwarzenegger to make an appearance in her behalf at a Saratoga fund raiser. Time to whip out that speech about integrity.

    Then she emerges from her bunker to talk to the media. Fail!

    After throwing unnamed jail staff under the bus for the accelerated booking, she tries obscure the truth by mixing a regular booking with an informal booking. Everybody in law enforcement knows there is a difference between booking a person “On View” and an informal booking. Celebrities go through the same process as everybody else in a fresh arrest and if they are extremely intoxicated.

    She admits that inviting Aldon Smith to the Range and giving him a helicopter ride was wrong. Is she going to admit that inviting all of her political friends and supporters to the Range and giving them rides in Carnival Ride 1 at taxpayer expense was also wrong?

    To top if off she says that Kevin Jensen never accomplished anything in his career. I think she went off script on that one. Even Rich Robinson knows enough not to make such a rash comment, when Kevin Jensen’s web page and campaign literature list his top accomplishments which all can be documented. She promoted him at least twice, so is she saying that she will promote people who have done nothing? Finally she says something that is true except she must have been thinking about most of her Command Staff, not Kevin. Now we know why she has been avoiding interviews and forums.

    Who’s enjoying watching Laurie Smith’s Reign of Incompetence sputter to an end? EVERY-BODY!

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  4. First off Capt Sung had NO business moving an arrestee from any location or another. He has no clue on jail operations, classification and safety of others booked for various offenses. This same Captain could not find his way in the dark, let alone the jail facility.

    Anyone who has worked the jails, either as a Deputy or Correctional Staff, know better than to put someone in a cell with inmates who might have a reason to assault them. Another bone headed move from the most unqualified person in this Department. Another reason that SJPD let him go, lack of common sense.

    He is the type of person that would get a “blanket party” in the old jail system (which wasn’t so bad). He should stick to what he knows, serving food and alcohol. He has NO business in Law Enforcement as his prior career with SJPD and his current one with the SO. Hand picked and isolated from the real world. Good for nothing, but killing morale. Ask him about all his arrests, it should only take a few seconds.

    It’s time to flush these people out with the waste water. It’s time for serious change, away from unqualified people in charge, holding grudges and just plan JERKS.

    Time for someone we can be proud to call Sheriff and to lead this Department into the future. The current administration has done nothing but run this place into the ground.

    It’s time for Sheriff Kevin Jensen. New ideas, a man who respects others. That alone would be a refreshing change.

    Casey Thomas, thank you for your time and effort in writing the blog and your dedication to bringing forth the truth.

    Rick Sung you are a POS, you tarnish the star that Doug Miller and Paul Bush died for. Shame on you.

    Someday, it will all catch up with you. Karma’s like that.

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  5. Not only did the Sheriff personally direct Aldon Smith’s early release, she did it by using her personal henchman custody captain to countermand the Main Jail captain’s direct order not to give him special treatment. The sergeant who is the good friend of the Undersheriff personally escorted him out the back door where Harbaugh was waiting.

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