Line up Keystone Cops, here we go again. The only tool the sheriff has to defend herself is to attack you. The last 2 years has been an unmitigated disaster for her — the collapse of the jails, the attempts to potentially illegally manipulate a legally appointed commission’s investigation, the last straw on enforcement’s back that has resulted in 2 lawsuits and a criminal complaint, her continued inability to work with her deputies becoming more clear as staffing issues expand — she has little to run on other than the same empty, unfulfilled platitudes she’s been paying lip service too for years now.
My mailbox has been loaded with people informing me the past several days that Rich Robinson decided to wax ignorant again on his Facebook page about the DSA and deputies, so I finally gave in, I’m giving Robinson more space on my pages by request. Yes, the self-righteous man who calls out others on their lack of ethics then throws away all his proclaimed values about worker’s rights, better policing, unionization and more when it comes to defending Laurie Smith. She’s the Republican Sheriff spotted rushing for that political hookup with Donald Trump at the first opportunity that unveiled itself. Now for a woman that runs on issues like feminism, women’s rights, equality, etc. that’s a pretty astounding revelation. Or as Robinson puts it. Ironic.
Though we shouldn’t be surprised by these tactics and relationships. Remember the governor who pretty much finished driving CA into a financial hole with all his bond solutions who who proudly proclaimed he only ever supported two sheriffs? The now criminally indicted Sheriff Lee Baca and our Sheriff Laurie Smith. Laurie Smith’s career is strangely reflective of many of the Baca failures.
And in these desperate times for the sheriff, Robinson has turned his eyes on our DSA yet again in an intellectually dishonest message claiming again these disciplined, bad deputies are colluding and misleading the great deputies she sheriff always defends. She’s their knight in shining armor and this cabal of evil deputies don’t like her. Simply ridiculous. I wonder how much of that $50,000 she collected in June is now in Robinson’s pocket? That’s what happens when you have to hire your friends, there’s an integrity gap.
The majority of deputies are great, as always, yet the malcontents the sheriff is forced to continually endure were actually supporters that violate policies and forced the sheriff to punish them. Since at one time or another 90% or more have stood against her holding office again, that’s an awful large group of malcontents. Or is it handful of malcontents and a great majority, again around 90%, that are too stupid to think for themselves, i.e. Keystone Cops, when it comes to what kind of leadership the sheriff offers? Seriously, ask yourself which are you — corrupt and vengeful or too stupid to see the office crumbling around you for yourself? It’s pretty much reduced down to those two options in the sheriff and her political allies eyes. Either way, clearly our deputies — or should we just go back to calling you all keystone cops again — hold little respect from their sheriff since, yet again, she’s failed to refute the latest tortured attack from her political tool.
Robinson directly attacks our DSA president and indirectly a number of implied others within our ranks with the usual unfounded BS and broad, unprovable accusations with no source other than the sheriff’s self-pity. He’s using the Donald Trump tactic of if you throw enough sh*t at a wall, it will stick, regardless if it’s true or not. Like Donald Trump’s team claiming Obama is the founder of ISIS or invaded Afghanistan — truth doesn’t matter if you can say it passionately and frequently enough, it becomes real at some level in the subconscious of some. Enough minds and it’s vindicated as truth at the polls. It’s an old, worn, and unethical means of politicking, but it works, so sleaze like Robinson work it. Hopefully (and sadly) there has been enough death and distress in our jails caused by Laurie Smith gutting policies and practices, lack of accountability, and general disregard by her upper ranks for people to see through the act this time. If not… well, it’s on the resident voters. The rest of us can make other plans, go other places. More and more already are, even have in some high profile departures like that of a SWAT sergeant or a NCRIC-assigned detective. The kind of people who are usually happy, satisfied with their career path and successes, and invested enough they don’t leave. Yes they’re replaceable. But give the quality of candidate the sheriff has begun to draw it’s going to be harder and harder to replace them with equal or better quality people. They will be replaced with people that the sheriff has to pretend didn’t fail integral areas of their academy training, like she is rumored to be doing now.
In his latest angry, old, white man screaming at the kids on his lawn Facebook rant in defense of the sheriff, Robinson accuses Morrissey of being a “dinosaur.” I’m really not sure what he means by that… that he’s old? Morrissey is in his early 40’s I believe, hardly old. That he’s a proponent of archaic policing methods we want to see go away? Quite the opposite, Morrissey has been a proponent of advancing technology and constantly improving training, as well as updating policy to always reflect best practices — for that matter he has been one of the driving forces behind making the sheriff follow through with creating solid policy and getting Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) for the deputies. He and the board have been adamant about the need to protect both public privacy and that of the deputies on this matter. He’s been recognized by POST and his students alike for his work involving training and instruction. He believes in advanced training, he believes in providing better tools to the deputies from de-escalation training to better less lethal options like tasers. He believes in much of what the public is asking for when we discuss better policing; so no, still not a dinosaur. Maybe Robinson means as far as Morrissey’s length of time served on the DSA Board… but no, again, Morrissey is only on his second term on the Board that I’m aware of. He holds the respect of PORAC and other area law enforcement groups. Time in service? No again, the man is in his career prime with about 17 or 18 years in — the guy most agencies should be beginning to rely on as a leader if your program fosters leaders; of course when you promote people who were fired from other agencies up the ladder from deputy to Ass. Sheriff in just 15 years or to Undersheriff when they have barely learned what people do at other ranks, I guess maybe under that philosophy, Morrissey is a dinosaur laden with far too much experience and too many futuristic ideas that he’s gathered over time. That’s a 3 year or less average at each rank her top command personnel have served. There is not a command staff level person with 20 years experience now that I’m aware of. Of course that’s a reflection of the sheriff’s lack of experience — the office losing the jails in 1989, being promoted to Ass. Sheriff in 1990, and bringing it back full circle, destroying the jails where there again on the verge of court or federal take-over. Because she has no experience as a lieutenant or captain, and limited experience as a sergeant in the jails, she has no understanding of or respect for the roles these ranks contribute to the overall management and function of her office.
Rich if you were really concerned about dinosaurs you’d be recommending your friend the sheriff take the advice of her friends at the Mercury and not run again. We need fresh thinking, real progressive ideas, and she’s a dinosaur with more than 40 years under her belt and it’s been proven, despite all those years, that she has very little experience to pull from to create successful systems. The office is collapsing under the old philosophies she encompasses from the 1980’s that got the jails in trouble to begin with.
Robinson laughably claims the sheriff “does not play favorites. Ever.” Two words, Rich — Aldon Smith. Do we all really believe he was the first, last, and only person to receive special treatment, multiple times no less? I promise you, there is enough documentation walking around that you will be disabused of that belief when this gets to a courtroom. I also happen to find several people who were disciplined for the essentially same “internet thing” Morrissey was said to have been busted for. Not a single one saw the discipline level Morrissey did. If I can find them and confirm this information, I’ve little doubt that Morrissey, Winslow, 25 deputy Does and their attorneys filing against the sheriff can find the same and much more. If that doesn’t represent bias, I’m not sure what does.
Morrissey was required to sign an agreement with a gag order so officially he can’t talk about specifics, probably why the sheriff so bravely challenges him to release his file. How convenient for the you and the sheriff. Either way, there are alleged disappearing IA cases, people who crashed county vehicles while drunk driving, people who were alleged to have been caught soliciting prostitutes, a deputy allegedly running prostitutes, people who have refused resources for major incidents endangering cases and the public, completely re-imagining events in official communications contrary to logged timelines — none of which saw the level of discipline meted out to Morrissey for “an internet thing.” Some of these cases easily provable, and the fact that no one was over addressed for the problems is clear, the paperwork is out there. Some of it has made it to this blog for that matter. Bias. Favoritism. Inequity. Whatever you want to call it, Rich, it’s going to be proven.
No, Morrissey isn’t a saint. He’s made his mistakes and he owns up to them. Those of us that treat mistakes as a lesson to learn from end up better and that is the big difference between him and the sheriff and her cronies — Morrissey has learned from his mistakes rather than taken advantage of them for personal benefit when the sheriff held them over his head. He didn’t crawl back to the sheriff like a beaten puppy like so many have done and still do. Or jump eagerly at the opportunity to tuck his ethics between his legs and regain his position as lieutenant. He realized his mistakes before they went too far, he corrected them and stood up against those that continue down the ethically challenged path for a promotion or some other favor. The sheriff should have taken his example to heart.
Oh, and I do happen to know who the “political operative” is alleged to be that was directed to attempt to solicit Morrissey’s future co-operation — that may be the one truth Robinson told, it was not him. It was someone from an organization currently under fire for a lack of veracity in another endorsement situation. I would bet good money though that Robinson knows as well as I do who it was given our sources.
Then Robinson rolls further into his muddy trough, claiming the sheriff goes to bat for her deputies all the time. He alleges all those who stand up against Laurie Smith are dirty. You got it, either you’re with her or you’re a dirty cop; he claims “the people who oppose her are often, like Morrissey–people who have been previously supportive–but whom she was forced to discipline for one reason or another.” He offers no proof of this, mostly because there is none. I suspect who a couple of the 25 are, and their credentials are formidable. I’m sure they’ve made mistakes, again, we all do. Nothing of the caliber that Robinson tries to impress upon us and he knows it.
Then there’s the slew of the sheriff’s “failed successes”, the oxymoron used for the miserable quality the sheriff promotes to her inner circle and trusted ranks. Their credentials, well, let’s just say they would do well by themselves to be honest if subjected to depositions — discrediting much of her upper ranks will be unfortunately easy. I believe when it comes to credibility and the surely available paperwork to establish facts that both the Pay Jobs and the Hostile Workplace cases will show the sheriff for exactly what she is.
Robinson claims “The DSA needs to get its house in order and work with the Sheriff, because nobody is a bigger advocate for the rank and file than Laurie.” Problem here too. The DSA can show they tried to schedule meeting with the sheriff only be canceled on and never rescheduled. Correspondence that was ignored or rejected. The fact the DSA was the instigator to try to work with mediators to overcome the rift after the election yet the sheriff just could not let her rage go, be a professional, and do her job. How is the sheriff going to explain all this away?
The DSA has it’s house in order, and that is the sheriff’s problem, a house in order has integrity that won’t commit to hiding failures and refusing to address them. Robinson is right, Don and Roger will not do what Amy Le has done and turn the other cheek to things that endanger deputies. The sheriff desperately needs to get rid of them to go back to her dangerous status quo. The DSA, Morrissey, Winslow, and those who want right done have put things right; they are doing what the DSA is supposed to do — support the deputies doing things like making sure that there is strong policy when they finally get BWCs, fighting to protect them from losses should they be injured on a Pay Jobs, negotiating a strong contract after a decade of foregoing raises and cuts in benefits, and fighting for better training.
“[Smith] is always going to bat for the majority of great officers in her department–it is the malcontents and people who violate known policies that are her biggest critics,” says Rich. Sure. We saw the “malcontents” in action several times criticizing the sheriff: when the sheriff tried to cite out rapists in the Audrie Pott case and those malcontents spoke up and forced an investigation; when the sheriff tried to hide the circumstances of jail deaths and deputies went to the media so she couldn’t hide facts; when the sheriff ignored the improper release of a disabled inmate that resulted in his death and those malcontents pushed to make sure the family knew what really happened was a failure of policy and communication; and of course, in the Blue Ribbon Commission — refusing to stay silent when they discovered the sheriff may be bribing the CPOA representative with a promotion and refusing to overlook her attempts to bully the commission chair. Oh yes, those malcontents are the only ones who don’t support the sheriff, right? Of course to believe it’s only a small number that doesn’t support the sheriff you have to continue to ignore over 90% of the CPOA and DSA didn’t support her re-election and in order to buy into the claim she supports her deputies you have to ignore that she claimed it was because they didn’t want accountability so they could continue their own abuses.
Of course there was the best example of supporting her deputies — refusing to go after the person who hit one of her motor deputies and left the scene leaving him in the road because it was an accident. She’ll go after hit and runs on dogs, but not her deputies — I’m sure that gives deputies all kinds of confidence in their leader’s willingness to “go to bat” for them, Rich.
You suggest asking asking the supervisors about the sheriff’s support for her deputies. If you watched the budget meetings, the BRC meetings, and other events like when the sheriff presented her “13 point plan” to the Public Safety & Justice Committee, you can see the level of disbelief our county is investing in our sheriff these days. PS&JC actually asked her WHY she was there presenting a half baked plan before the BRC even was close to submitting final reports. It appears the County Executive, Jeff Smith, and Supervisors Simitian and Yeager are less than pleased with her performance when it comes to anything these days – the jails, enforcement, the Medical Examiner (14 different captains there in 8 years?! Now that’s some leadership to note folks). Cortese and Chavez… well personally, I think the two of them are as in need of an investigation as the sheriff, but that’s another story.
And regarding all the malcontents who violate policies and are punished — proof of this? None. Name some of these malcontents Rich and we’ll talk about it. Here’s a conundrum for you Rich — if there are no real policies, which in many cases there aren’t as was proven by the BRC, how can the malcontents violate them?
Maybe it’s just Robinson’s and Smith’s bitterness and bile overflowing because Morrissey and Winslow, the two people specifically named in the recent suit, refuse to shut up and just do as they’re told, no matter how wrong the directive. Kind of like others who used to be on the Board used to do. Most DSA members can’t forget this unapproved embarrassment. I still think that there should be an addition to the bylaws to prevent any single member of the DSA, board member or otherwise, from doing any political ads paid for by candidates, speaking on behalf of the DSA without unanimous approval from the board. Nice fake sheriff’s shirt, that has to just barely scrape by the campaigning in uniform laws. Yes, again, the DSA has its house in order now.
Oh and I noticed you tagged Barbara Marshman in your little post. Maybe we should remind Barbara and the other Mercury & Friends fake news team of the interview and their statement indicating even they believe the sheriff shouldn’t run again. We’ve been told the sheriff wants to die in office though, Rich. Why? Because if she’s still alive and someone with integrity gets in there they’ll uncover a criminal enterprise that could get her a cell next to her friend, Lee Baca? Maybe. I say we elect someone new and find out.