So the race for the Sheriff of Santa Clara County opens again on an ugly note, with Rich Robinson letting everyone know he has the Sheriff’ back, regardless of impact to moral, quality of service or on the taxpayers who pay for service. As he points out, tactics rewarded are repeated, which he exemplifies in his post with his own actions. Robinson uses the respect Ms. Chavez has in the law enforcement community to attempt to further support for the Sheriff to prepare you for the “attack” coming during the election on Ms. Smith to prove her “evil.” It appears the strategy in Mr. Robinson’s blog is to attempt to steal some of Cindy Chavez’s spotlight to make the Sheriff appear she has the respect of the law enforcement community as well.
Let’s start this on a clear note based in fact and reality, the law enforcement community has little respect for Sheriff Smith in the fashion of Cindy Chavez and using Ms. Chavez campaign as a political shield is ethically questionable, in my opinion. No one is planning to paint Sheriff Smith as “evil” as Mr. Robinson would like you to believe, but they are going to introduce some facts to the argument. Facts that will be coming forward over the coming election season showing just how poorly Ms. Smith has managed the Sheriff’s office. Facts that Mr. Robinson and the Sheriff will attempt to distract you from by calling the people who speak through me and other “disgruntled employee” and attempt to smear the facts with dirt rather than offer reasoned, responsible, alternative views of the facts at hand. Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen, the “disgruntled employees” have had a chance to prepare for this election, to gather evidence they will bring to you so you can go to the polls and make an educated decision about what is going on in the Private Enclave of the Sheriff’s 4th floor. Yes Rich, the “disgruntled employees” were disgruntled, with good reason. This year, as the season begins, I hope you are directing Ms. Smith to pay close attention to just how much damage she has done to the moral, spirit and quality of the Sheriff’s office while she’s cavorting on “family days” and special events for the Sheriff’s Advisory Board at taxpayer funded locations, playing with a taxpayer funded helicopter (yes, that again… how much has she spent this term?).
This past term Sheriff Smith has doubled down on the insults offered when the jails were fully handed over to her. She promised ID cards, which were given. She promised her jail deputies that they would be allowed to carry weapons, regardless of the law, and they are. This has also led to some ugly and interesting activities that we’re hoping to bring to light this season – like Sheriff Smith’s involvement in selecting an jails deputy without full law enforcement powers or training to work on the streets as a bodyguard for now-convicted Council Member George Shirakawa, and how that unqualified jails deputy was also a longtime family friend of Shirakawa’s, garnering further favors. And that the jail’s deputy had a brother that served as a political adviser for Shirakawa. Yes, Rich, that is old news. The problem for you though is there have been plenty of other abuses that have been quietly hidden by the Sheriff along a similar vein that we’re not going to allow remain hidden any longer as this season progresses. The Sheriff has made communities potentially more dangerous with her actions; we’re going to show that to the public.
We’ll address how parents should remind themselves, last election it was the failed investigation of the DeAnza rape case where the investigation was so compromised that there was “no proof” that a rape had occurred — this time we have the questionable investigations of the STILL pending Sierra Lamar case and the again disappearing case of Audrie Pott, who’s assault investigation was put off for weeks after her death for no apparent reason that the Sheriff can come up with. Parents should ask themselves how many young girls have to suffer in the county before the Sheriff understands that she has a responsibility to investigate crimes immediately, not just when the press decides that it’s a story? And how would I feel if it was my child’s disappearance or death she the office she leads was ignoring to improve the budget?
We’ll talk about the increasing concern about the Sheriff’s judgment in promotions, with this terms promotees proudly bringing commonly used nicknames such as “Box of Rocks” and “Neusellini” up the ranks. This terms promotions, from Sergeants to Assistant Sheriffs, have been increasingly cringe-worthy to any dedicated law enforcement professional that understands and has respect for their job. There is a concern at this point by many if the office is even savable, so packed are the upper ranks with unthinking minions who barely have the experience to be deputies, never mind be high ranking decision makers in a law enforcement organization.
The DSA and the CPOA boards have both recommended to their bodies STRONGLY to support Sheriff Smith’s opposition, Captain Kevin Jensen, in their upcoming votes. A man, who when deputies who know him are polled, they commonly use words like “honest” and “fair”. Words that are never mentioned in regards to the current Sheriff after 20 years in office. Votes from each body will be forthcoming in the near future, like last year; I will do my best to bring those actual numbers to you. While none of us can see the future, the general attitude indicates the vote will have a much clearer message from the Sheriff’s organization for this election than it did for last.
Sheriff Smith, yes, it’s that time again… time for you to haul out that ragged uniform that you seem so embarrassed to wear, make a couple appearances in it and attempt to look sincere in your bid to be the longest serving Sheriff in California. It’s time to make excuses, send out Rich to attack your detractors with hyperbole rather than fact and completely ignore the problems your poor leadership has created in your office. Time to go into crisis mode and attempt to find patches for all the damage you’ve done before it’s brought to light, because, yes, the cracks in service are starting to show and it’s time the public sees the structural damage you’ve caused.
We’ve not forgotten Ron Breuss holding up a bag of manure a few years ago, it’s become the avatar of your current term in many minds. While you may have managed to scrub that ad from the internet for the most part, you have not successfully washed the memory and feeling of disrespect offered by that image. You’ve actually ingrained it further with your actions over the past few years.
May the best candidate win, Sheriff. Keep it clean and good luck.
If I may, I offer a post-script to you Sheriff. May I remind you of the 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission protecting anonymous free speech? You and I both know why you need this reminder. Feel free to scour every computer in the office to ensure I’m not misusing work resources, but do not illegally attempt to invade my right to privacy and free speech:
Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individua