Laurie Smith’s Dangerous Staffing Shell Game

So the good news is, it looks like we have a new holiday tradition of capturing Laurie Smith’s escapees over the Thanksgiving holidays. US Marshals safely captured the second escape over the holiday. I wonder if she’ll invite the US Marshals forced to clean up her mess to her Thanksgiving in June next year.

It should come as no surprise that Laurie Smith’s office is caught up in a scandal about changing documentation trying to CYA in yet another scandal. I’m happy to see there are still deputies in the office who refuse to stand silent to defend, or worse, aid the sheriff’s lies and cover-ups. I am proud of those still standing against Smith’s corruption and incompetence. Trust me, I know, it takes a toll. You are people who truly deserve to wear the uniform, you are the best in law enforcement. You are the people putting what’s right before yourself that our communities demand, even when they fail to understand the greater picture of what you’re trying to tell them. If they won’t thank you, let my thanks suffice. I can’t explain how personally important that is to myself and so many others.

Right now the great controversy is did Laurie Smith or someone in her command staff (or “executive management” as she has begun to call them) order documentation to be altered after a major escape of 2 violent criminals to protect her own interests?

I was told the day after the escape by internal sources that the Lieutenant who told KPIX the rosters were “updated” not “altered” (huh?) was scrambling with members of “executive management” to get bodies assigned on site after the escape so they could “update” the roster and show the media they were fully staffed. So yes, the roster was “updated” but not based on need of the court, but with the intention of continuing to hide the sheriff’s failing standards.

As I’ve pointed out on this blog, in the past, just because a name is on paper, doesn’t even mean they are present. I’ve shown the courts are notoriously back loaded with people who are out on 4850 leave. This means there are no actual bodies lost to courts from other areas, and courts looks full. In the 2016 roster that I had there were as many as fifteen deputies off on 4850. We also know that Smith commonly practices “double dipping” – assigning someone in one location on paper, then “lending” the body to another division. Two for one, unfortunately, it’s still only one person doing one job. She also shuffles a large number of extra help deputies who are limited to a certain number of hours per year.

I repeatedly said, it’s only a matter of time, and — yes, I’m going to be that person now — I told you so. The dynamics of the escape were explained to me and I have to say, we are very lucky no one was injured, killed, or taken hostage. Are we going to have to wait for that to happen before we hold Smith accountable?

I mean let’s be honest here. Laurie Smith has told us recently that they’re reviewing courthouse procedure. It’s been a month. Little has changed. She’s reviewing nothing. She’ll change nothing. Just like she did after the hospital escape. She sent a deputy out to tell the public there’d been a comprehensive review and nothing needed to be changed. I’ll say this, it’s pretty damned impressive that someone can review policies that don’t even exist. So much for integrity.

Then I was taken aback by the fact Laurie Smith went so far as to put her campaign announcement in a story about her latest and greatest failure. That she would try to distract with that trying to put it out front of this story should tell you a couple of things here. First, how desperate Laurie Smith is for media any positive media coverage. It seems people aren’t quite as eager to jump up to give her those media opportunities anymore. Where’s Cindy Chavez’s gun buyback this season? Where is Dave Cortese’s “cooperative spirit”? Second, how politically tone deaf she is to how serious the problem in her office that she has the audacity to ask for a 6th term after the turmoil of this term built on the cumulative failures of her prior terms?

The public is yet again seeing exactly how little Laurie Smith cares about the problems she’s ushered into the office. And I have to ask, is it really at all appropriate using what appears to be office personnel making statements to the media about a public safety issue to announce your campaign intentions? Here we go again, watching Smith hedge her bets that all her political friends still love her while she plays in the grey areas of the law trying to manipulate the public with her great political skills.