We’ve Addressed It Internally

Boy, there are some words that, coming from the Sheriff’s Office, I simply…Do. Not. Trust.

I found this little slide show interesting because Sheriff Laurie Smith’s actions pretty much encompass every one of these points in some fashion at some time over the past few years.

16 Signs You Are Not Getting The Full Story

If you recall, not to long ago ABC7’s Dan Noyes broke a story about how the sheriff’s office had neglected to follow through on a case about sexual abuse.

Another story broke recently when the 23 year old victim, Denis Flynn, spoke out. He is a brave man in my opinion, coming forward, not once but twice. He is a victim, he is clearly a survivor, and the sheriff brushes off the failure to investigate by saying “it’s been dealt with internally” in a statement to ABC7’s follow up story.

The following statement was released by Sergeant Jensen, Public Information Officer, whose penchant for falsifying information has again been harnessed by the sheriff:  “We are always looking for ways to improve our investigations. We looked into how the 2012 case was handled, and we have addressed that internally. We are pleased that our detectives ultimately led the investigation that resulted in the arrests of these two suspects.”

I love how there is no information regarding what happened, how the case was dropped, how the failure was internally investigated and, most importantly, what mechanism was put in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. I don’t have a lot of faith anything was done because I am aware of other cases that hopefully will be coming to light shortly and none of them any less horrifying than this one.

I don’t know what the captain in Investigations does, but he certain does nothing to ensure cases are tracked and closed. I have stories of people being promoted and given special assignments and their desks being full of unaddressed cases as they walk out the door. And interestingly enough all this is under a captain who wrote an insulting letter to the rest of the administration about how others were inappropriate to promote because he failed to mentor them, and instead chose to insult them behind their backs.

There is no way I believe this captain has managed to find the issue and fix it. I do believe that the carpet was lifted and the incident was swept under the rug as, as you can see in the statement, they can call the case a “success” now. The mentality of the sheriff and her administration is such that there is no problem to investigate now as the suspects are indicted and will have their day in court. Mischief managed.

If only the trouble stopped there though. Amazingly the attorney that is representing this young man is suing his parents, yet not suing the county for their negligence. He’s sued county agencies before for their negligence in regards to their clients. In hindsight this particular incident, had the victim been younger, would have subjected him to continued abuse. Why would the attorney walk away from a civil suit like this? The office has openly admitted a failure through their statement. They have stated they implemented a solution of some sort, but fail to tell us what. This young man has to suffer through the stress of reporting it all again in the hopes that this time, something is done — and finally it was. And the attorney isn’t suing? To surprising not to start digging into in my opinion.

I sought out information on this attorney and found out a rather shocking reality — his attorney, Richard Alexander, who feels that Mr. Flynn is owed everything his parents have, doesn’t feel that he is owed by the county for what could be a very interesting reason.

Mr. Alexander has donated to the sheriff’s campaign the last two elections.

More interestingly, he is the law partner of Laurie Smith’s political advisor, the infamous master of school yard antics, Rich Robinson.

This is not the first time attorneys associated with the sheriff have appeared on a case under question to represent people where the sheriff’s office had failed to follow through in a sufficient and correct manner. The Audrie Pott case immediately comes to mind.

Ultimately here’s the sad thing, because of all the cover ups we’ve seen the sheriff attempt, even what might be the most innocuous of coincidences can no longer be overlooked. Our sheriff is so untrustworthy that I have an extremely difficult time believing anything was done to follow up on why Denis Flynn’s case failed, particularly because she provided no specifics on how they followed up. I have a difficult time believing she didn’t have something to do with getting a friendly lawyer on home plate for this case, particularly because the guy conveniently sits in an office right next to her political advisor.

If we look at the jails we see how she has responded reactively and with poorly thought out planning– or maybe in the case of the cameras, inappropriate planning — to such obvious problems that should have already been addressed without needing further investigation. Why should we believe that with no one looking over her shoulder in enforcement like in corrections, and specifically in the Flynn case, that there was any in depth response to the case falling through the cracks? Why should we believe “addressed it internally” means that there was an identified problem, it was traced, and a fix was implemented? More likely again, the corner of the carpet was lifted and it was swept under along with so many other cases that people are starting to identify beyond what we’ve seen here.

More is coming sheriff. I don’t know how or when, but there has been more found and it can not remain hidden under your carpet any longer.  David Cortese and Cindy Chavez need to step up and expand the mandate of the Blue Ribbon Commission, assuming Judge Cordell would even consider staying on, so they can examine just how poorly enforcement is being run.