The Sheriff Makes the News Again

Well, we finally are getting a minute or two of being noticed for all the wrong reasons — Fox News has the story on their site, the New York Post is carrying the story, Newser, and the various wires, all carrying the story.

But the local media finally bought a clue too. 3 incidents in 2 months, 2 deaths and a murderer being directed out the door — an alleged beating death, am alleged “undetermined” death to date after the incorrect use of a less lethal weapon, and now this. Now we know what it takes to get the attention of all the media outlets so many people tried to reach out to, trying to prevent things from getting this bad, only to be ignored.


Here we go – the “blue ribbon commission chair” believes there MAY be a lack of training. Ummmm…hello? Anyone there? I’ve been doing stories on training issues in the jails since at least January 2014. *knock, knock* There MAY be a lack of training? I’m so happy this woman is leading the commission, she almost seems to get it. I doubt it will stick, but maybe. We can hope.

NBC Bay Area

I do appreciate that SJPD is telling the truth these days and helping burn down the sheriff here. But only after they were caught trying to buffer their work load by telling the Murk “detectives culled through information” and found the suspect. She didn’t keep her promises to you guys in your little quid pro quo at election time, did she? We told you so.


Our very “trustworthy” PIO is on top of things with the media. I hate to say it, but I don’t trust a thing the man says. I’ve caught him to many times spinning a web for the sheriff to protect herself with. Sheriff how about a training policy for the FN 303? Or a status update of where you are with developing the body worn camera policy Jensen talked about your continuing work on not long ago? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Here’s the problem Deputy PIO, the story got to me before it ever got to the news. Before anyone talked to San Jose PD.  Why would anyone know this guy was the murderer at that early point if he didn’t say so? Why, deputy, would someone go to turn themselves in, at a jail where they surely expected to be locked up, and not mention they committed a crime? Is training so defunct that a deputy doesn’t know to ask “did you have anything to do with the death?” Sadly, as bad as training is, that would not surprise me in the least. No, best to shut this story down as quickly as possible so the sheriff can go back to her lobbyist lawyer advised “radio silence.”


How about a review of getting tasers for deputies after the shooting of 2 emotionally disturbed individuals? No? You know, the two shootings that may have been preventable if deputies had a less lethal option on the streets? I know it’s a bit older story, about 2 years ago, and outside the scope, but goes to the point — the sheriff does nothing to improve the future. But I understand her fear on this one though, the standardized lack of training throughout the office could end up in an incident like it did in the jail with the FN 303. The deputies on the streets are much more visible to the public, so we can’t risk that.


When are we going to see the person who has been in charge of the Sheriff’s Office for 17 years, and the county jails now for almost 6, take responsibility for these failures? When are we going to see the leadership she talked about to the Murk — a leadership defined by results — and an explanation on why her results are so poor?

Here’s a reality for everyone. The jails, the sheriff’s office, the public doesn’t see the inner workings on a day to day basis. They can’t see if there is degradation of the systems function. They don’t see the day to day denials of training, of funding basic equipment, of playing “connect 4” with positions — connect 4, you get to pretend you don’t have to fill 1.

The public has to rely on people inside to speak up. Something that is being complained about nationwide — breaking the thin blue line that protects secrets. The deputies have done that. They have risked (and some suffered) the wrath of a vengeful sheriff to try to reach the public and say this place is about as broken as it can get before bad things start to happen.

No one listened. Now she’s been allowed to cut and destroy more — her re-election a validation of her bad decision making, has allowed her to believe her decisions were right. So we have seen more aggressive restrictions on training. Making things more and more difficult for some people to do their jobs by refusing equipment, funding, manpower, etc. More cuts to positions. More lies about how she’s only down 25 or 30 positions when she is still the full 100 down that she was before the election.

When are we going to see an elected official stand up, put business before friendship and demand accountability from the sheriff? Watching the sheriff giggle with LaDoris Cordell walking into the press conference the other day, I can’t say that I have a lot of confidence anyone is going to hold her responsible. If this commission is about accountability, it needs to start at the top. Unfortunately our elected officials have seen fit to empower the sheriff on the panel, filled mostly with political bobbleheads, rather than expect her to sit in subordination to it’s investigation as any sane commission seeking honest results would do.

Sadly enough, the lethargy of the sheriff, the supervisors, it extends to the community at large who remains willfully ignorant at this point. To use the Murks accusation, it seems these are the people “fighting for status quo”.


3 thoughts on “The Sheriff Makes the News Again

  1. The NY Post article mentions that the FBI is now investigating the jail? I wonder if Laurie Smith has figured out a way to buy them too???


    • Rumors I’m hearing, no she hasn’t. Rumor is that they’ve been asking some very pointed questions directly about the sheriff. So while she’s saying they’re “helping” investigate the “100+ claims”, she’s failing to mention they ARE investigating her as well. 🙂 I think they’re a) smarter than her and b) a bit beyond any political favors she has to offer.


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