It’s my understanding the vote of no confidence is under way. The verbiage below was sent to me with a message indicating this is what went out to the DSA prior to the ballot.
DSA members… if you have not voted, whatever your vote may be, please participate. This vote is just as important as the vote to endorse — it allows the public to know, we are serious. This is not a personal vendetta as the incumbent is attempting to tell people, this is an attempt to recover a failing office before it is too late.
Your electronic ballot must be submitted by 11:59, May 31st or you can pick up a paper ballot from the DSA any time prior to the special meeting to be held at Noon (12 PM), Sunday, June 1st.
CALL FOR VOTE OF “NO CONFIDENCE” IN SHERIFF LAURIE SMITH
Whereas, at a regularly scheduled general membership meeting of the DSA on May 27th, 2014 a motion was made from the floor to send out a “No Confidence” vote in the Sheriff to the entire DSA membership, and said motion was passed by the attendees at the meeting.
WHEREAS, on July 15, 2013, following an election held in accordance with its bylaws, the DSA announced its endorsement of Kevin Jensen for Sheriff with 90% MEMBERSHIP APPROVAL and a record voter return of over 67%.
WHEREAS, the call for change at the Sheriff’s Office has spanned two different elected DSA Executive Boards, and THE DECISION FOR CHANGE IS THE WILL OF THE MEMBERSHIP, not a few individuals.
WHEREAS, since that announcement, Sheriff Smith has engaged in a CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION AND RETRIBUTION against the DSA and its leadership and a belittlement of the women and men who make up its membership for its endorsement of Kevin Jensen for Sheriff by engaging in the following activity:
Repeatedly and falsely claiming that a small minority of the membership voted to endorse Kevin Jensen, that the DSA did not follow its own rules for conducting a referendum for endorsement of Sheriff, and that the DSA had to change its bylaws in order to conduct a referendum for endorsement of Sheriff. (Interview with Mercury News published on May 27, 2014.)
Repeatedly MALIGNING AND DEGRADING HER OWN EMPLOYEES by calling them “Keystone Cops,” referring to the DSA as a “special interest group,” telling the Gilroy Dispatch “there is a disgruntled group at the top of the DSA and they have been demoted and disciplined,” authorizing a campaign video that falsely asserted that “disgruntled workers hijacked the Deputies’ Union” and that the DSA and the 19 other law enforcement associations that have not endorsed her are “not respectable.”
WHEREAS, Sheriff Smith has repeatedly shown an UNWILLINGNESS TO TOLERATE FREE SPEECH amongst employees or critics, including:
Authorizing attacks against: Harriet Salarno, President of the Crime Victims United of California, falsely accusing the group of selling their endorsement to Kevin Jensen; and Marc Klaas, whom she called “thoroughly misinformed” after he announced his endorsement of Kevin Jensen and his displeasure with Sheriff Smith for failing to work with volunteer search groups in the search for Sierra LaMar.
HAVING HER ADMINISTRATORS VIOLATE THE 1ST AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF DSA MEMBERS by forbidding Kevin Jensen bumper stickers in County parking lots.
Generally fostering an ATMOSPHERE AND CULTURE OF BULLYING AND INTIMIDATION, ostracizing and impeding the career of employees suspected of not supporting her.
WHEREAS, Sheriff Smith received zero support from local law enforcement or victim advocate groups for her reelection bid and HAS A REPUTATION FOR POOR WORKING RELATIONSHIPS with other police agencies and police chiefs in this County.
WHEREAS, Sheriff Smith has backed out of three different scheduled, public debates, thereby denying the public the opportunity to ask questions and hear from each candidate. She has REPEATEDLY AVOIDED ADDRESSING QUESTIONS, CONCERNS, AND ALLEGATIONS brought by the DSA, the CPOA, members of the public, and victims’ rights advocacy groups.
WHEREAS, Sheriff Smith FAILED TO ADDRESS THE ONGOING UNDERSTAFFING IN ENFORCEMENT DEPUTY POSITIONS, which has caused safety problems and burnout and exhaustion among the deputies. Sheriff Smith misrepresented to the Mercury News that there are only 25 vacant Deputy positions in the department, when in reality there are over 90, based upon current County documents. She also violated a labor agreement regarding Jail Sergeant positions three different times, claiming at one point that she did not know about the agreement. Sheriff Smith and her administration continued to violate the rights of DSA members BY FORCING BLOOD DRAWS FROM EMPLOYEES AFTER CRITICAL INCIDENTS in violation of established case law.
WHEREAS, on March 6, 2014, Sheriff Smith again attempted to remove enforcement Sergeants from the jails by filing a misleading proposal with the County’s Public Safety and Justice Committee. And during the last contract negotiations in 2012, Sheriff Smith REFUSED TO MEANINGFULLY NEGOTIATE ON WORKPLACE SAFETY improvements or work with the DSA to find ways to reduce injuries and the costs associated with injuries.
WHEREAS, on June 15, 2013, Sheriff Smith used Aldon Smith as a fundraising ploy on County property while he was under investigation for several felony weapons violations, calling into question the impartial role of the Sheriff and her ethics. Sheriff Smith later provided preferential treatment to Aldon Smith after he was arrested for a DUI and booked into the Main Jail, only to be released less than two hours later in violation of the jail policy. (Story published by NBC Bay Area on November 2, 2013.) Sheriff Smith then lied about her interactions with Smith and the preferential treatment he received, only to admit to them later (Story published in the Palo Alto Post).
WHEREAS, on April 24, 2010, Sheriff Smith lied during an open debate at the District 1 Leadership Group that her wage increases were less than the rank and file. (In 2010 alone, the DSA received 0% and Smith received a 5.50% raise.)
WHEREAS, Sheriff Smith has a long history of providing concealed weapon permits to her political donors and friends without granting similar access to ordinary citizens.
WHEREAS, Sheriff Smith has wasted an estimated $200,000 in taxpayer money since 2007 by refusing to use local training classes hosted by the South Bay Public Safety Training Academy; preferring instead to send employees out of County on a regular basis.
WHEREAS the membership has repeatedly and openly discussed the past, current, and ongoing problems within the Sheriff’s Department. Based upon 16 years of experience with Sheriff Smith, a vote of no confidence is the only remaining option.
THEREFORE, for all the reasons stated above, the DSA membership is being asked to decide on a vote of no confidence.
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