I’ve got a lot on my plate at this moment, lists are coming, things are happening. What I’m hearing out of the jails is actually a little terrifying and if the sheriff thinks the strategy she’s forcing is going to work, I continue to be very, very worried for the security of those in her jails. I would hope their new CPOA president would be taking action on these issues, but I’m hearing she’s oblivious. Future clue CPOA membership — next time, select someone to lead your board who at least can identify and wants to address the problems you face beyond pre-shift snack boxes. But for the moment….
The DSA filed their first suit in regards to Pay Jobs (DSA statement) outlining potential misdemeanor and felony crimes by the sheriff in her management of the program. They then followed that up with a request to District Attorney Jeff Rosen and Attorney General Kamala Harris (who is running for the US Senate so this is an opportunity to put her money where her mouth is in regards to improving law enforcement) to investigate the sheriff’s alleged use of a DSA member’s personnel information for political gain and her holding the conflicting roles of sheriff and commission member on a commission intended to investigate the factors of the jail management that resulted in multiple deaths and abuse complaints.
Yesterday another lawsuit was filed, this on in federal court, this time alleging the sheriff’s aggressive efforts to create a hostile workplace for those who have dared to speak up about the abuses by her, her administrators, and her surrogates. The suit alleges a variety of abuses, from constitutional violations of individual rights to attacks on careers, character assassination and other aggressive tactics the sheriff uses against those that dare to speak to the failures of leadership in the office.
Given several recent decisions in CA, there is a significant potential for the sheriff and some her of people to be held personally liable for their actions and the resulting damages and distress caused to people she has targeted. Resulting penalties, both to the county and to the sheriff herself, have the potential to range from a few hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions, with a recent Sacramento case resulting in settlements exceeding $3M and a Southern CA case resulting in several hundred thousand dollars total, with tens of thousands having to be paid by the boss. Depending on how many people ultimately are stepping up against the sheriff, currently potentially 26 or 27, and the damages they suffered even small settlements for each individual could easily exceed $1M in total.
You can read the latest filing here. If you’re a deputy that feels you have been targeted for trying to do your job correctly and faced punitive actions, I recommend you reach out to the DSA in regards to this case.