I was at a loss what to name this blog post. I had some catchy headlines, but really, I wanted something to drive the point home about where we are and why. Perusing commentary by brilliant people who think that our sheriff is a God-send to the rich and favor-seeking, I found the gem I finally used. On June 3, 2014 when only 28.9% of the county’s registered voters showed up to vote for a sheriff? I would add one more point to my title though — What’s even more sad, is 2% or so voted and didn’t even cast a ballot in regards to the sheriff’s race — casting ballots based in ignorance is just as bad as not voting at all.
Because of that poll result, the hubris and disregard for the success of the office continues — political favors, neglect, retribution and incompetence at the top continues — worse yet, this week it actually grew worse.
Concerns about quality promotions have been discussed at length for some time now. Even before the election there was such a concern of her promoting based on political favoritism rather than qualification there was talk of the DSA asking the county to force the sheriff to hold any promotions until after the elections This week, all the concerns came to fruition, and the bloated egos appear to believe that they were actually promoted on the quality of their work rather than the quality of ass-kissing — and I hear one of these promotees became very, very creative in their efforts after the election.
While I wasn’t surprised, I was still mildly amazed our sheriff would promote those that she did. While I realize the spotlight of the campaign is off her and she is back to feeling comfortable in practicing her old cronyism, I really didn’t think she would reach so far as to promote those who were the driving forces behind pure mediocrity on the job in the Sheriff’s Office.
On December 16th, NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit did a piece on the Sheriff’s office having the current highest rate of no shows by deputies in traffic court — 20% — in the entire county. So you have a 1 in 5 chance of an deputy failing to show if you appear in court to challenge your ticket. No deputy, no ticket.
The interesting part of this, and the part that NBC Bay Area missed (they always seem to leave the real interesting parts out), the Captain we have pointed out having a number of failures, including throwing away evidence in a murder case, was in charge of the largest traffic unit in the Sheriff’s Office at West Valley Division. I say was, because this shining example of negligence was just promoted to the 4th highest position in the office — Assistant Undersheriff.
During the year we brought information to you about this office, this captain came to our attention numerous times, from rumors of office intervention on an arrest, to failing to show up to the office on a very frequent basis, to failing to advance reports to Internal Affairs, he crossed the radar often.
Now, as his promotion is announced, the media launches a story about a division under his direct command failing miserably — currently worst in the county. Captain Sung can’t imagine how this occurred, probably because he couldn’t find the Captain of West Valley to get an answer. Interesting they didn’t put him in front of the cameras. Or maybe Tony didn’t investigate deeply enough to know that WVD has the largest traffic unit and that while Sung oversees patrol, traffic tickets are not a mainstay of his division.
Imagine how well this captain is going to handle multiple divisions when he managed so many screw ups overseeing just one..
But Wait! There’s More!
The new lieutenant was a sergeant for only approximately 3 years, the last assignment in recruiting. This now-lieutenant was reportedly very close to the sheriff, during the election, attending many, if not all events, and frequently seen in pictures with the sheriff during the election. She headed the effort to satisfy the women-led political groups through promoting various “women in law enforcement” recruiting programs.
As the DSA pointed out in yesterdays announcement, the washout rate of the academy is now nearly 50%. That’s a lot of tax payer money down the drain and a loss of manpower that is desperately needed in an office that is severely understaffed.
If this sergeant failed at a nearly 50% rate in her recruiting efforts, I fear for whatever division she is assigned to as a lieutenant. Now to be fair, was this then-sergeant going along to get along and hiring whomever she was told, or was she recruiting this level of candidate? In the end it doesn’t matter, the job wasn’t done to the level the public would expect for the dollars spent. If she was going along to get along, we are getting another person willing to turn the other cheek to the practices of the office that continue to dismantle what could be one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the state.
To show you this person’s dedication to the office, it’s reported that while she was off on workman’s comp for a year, it seems her injury that kept her from work did not in any way form or fashion prevent her from getting her pro body building card while she was “injured”. Was there an investigation? Ha! We don’t hold those who call the sheriff a queen, literally from what I’ve heard, accountable. Need more proof? While the sheriff says she held a deputy accountable for “watching porn” (I’ve heard something of a different story to that claim), while I was perusing looking to confirm her pro-card status I came across a few images that would get most deputies removed based on their moral turpitude clause, — her boudoir photography seems to be scattered around the internet. I’m not sure you compete in body building in colorful lingerie; bathing suits yes, lace bondage bras? Not so much.
This is the continuing quality of the sheriff’s office administration. The quality that is degrading moral, quality of service and the safety of the public and of deputies. The quality that the people voted for, as they now protest poor policing.
We have waited by silently for 6 months now to see what the sheriff would do to keep her promises to work to improve things. She has done nothing, addressed not a single issue with the DSA, is causing difficulties in contract negotiations, and now these promotions….
The sheriff may have been voted in for four more years, but it’s clear we can’t stand down in our demands for something better, for the sheriff to improve her leadership practices or step down.