Sunday, Sep 25, 2022 - 13:16:59
78 results - (0.010 seconds)

Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office:

latest news at page 1:
12
    SAN JOSE: A corruption trial for outgoing Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith — which will decide whether she finishes out her sixth term — is on track to start this fall. Attorneys from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, who are serving as the prosecution, had given Smith a July 15 deadline to resign and end the case. But at no point have Smith’s attorneys ever indicated in court or in legal filings that Smith would resign. Allen Ruby, one of Smith’s attorneys, said the defense team has always been preparing to exonerate the longtime sheriff. “The accusation is a collection of allegations that can’t and won’t be proven,” he said in an interview this week. Now Sept. 21 start has been set for the trial that has only two possible outcomes for Smith: acquittal or expulsion from office. Smith’s departure from office has been certain since she announced in March that she would not run for a seventh term, and planned to retire. Two candidates, Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen and retired sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Jensen —...
    A fringe candidate for Santa Clara County sheriff has been charged with perjury on allegations she signed a sworn declaration that she had the state-mandated law-enforcement experience to run for the office, despite her own public admissions that she never worked as a sworn police officer. The charge against Anh Colton, 48, of Cupertino, was announced Thursday by the district attorney’s office. Colton did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Records show Colton filed for her candidacy with the county registrar of voters in March. In an interview with the Bay Area News Group that month, she openly acknowledged that she did not have any law-enforcement experience in accordance with a California requirement for county sheriff candidates. Colton also appeared in at least one sheriff candidate forum, hosted by the Silicon Valley Public Accountability Foundation, whose lead organizer later admitted to knowing about her lack of eligibility. Still, Colton remained on the ballot, because there was no readily available way of removing her. This news organization reported on Colton’s lack of eligibility in April. In response to multiple inquiries,...
    Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen and retired Santa Clara County sheriff’s captain Kevin Jensen appear headed for a November runoff to replace outgoing six-term Sheriff Laurie Smith, based on initial primary returns posted Tuesday night. Palo Alto police Chief Bob Jonsen, left, and retired Santa Clara County sheriff’s captain Kevin Jensen appear headed for a November runoff to replace longtime sheriff Laurie Smith. (Bay Area News Group file photos)  Early returns showed Jonsen with about a third of the vote, followed closely by Jensen, who ran against Smith in 2014. Correctional sergeants Christine Nagaye was in third place, while Sean Allen was in fourth. Jonsen is the lone outsider in the sheriff’s race, and had a lengthy career in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department before he headed to the Bay Area in the past decade to become chief of Menlo Park police, followed by his current stint in Palo Alto. Jensen was the frontrunner within the sheriff’s office, having garnered union endorsements from both the patrol and enforcement deputies, and the correctional deputies and officers. The question of whether...
    Laurie Smith’s decision not to run for a seventh term means that Santa Clara County will have a new sheriff next year. Whew. What a relief. It’s a disgrace that the county’s top law enforcement official still refuses to answer questions under oath about whether she knew about corruption in her own office or was involved in it herself. The question for county voters is who of five candidates is best suited to change the department’s culture and restore trust and integrity that has been sorely lacking in the office for more than a decade. It’s not an easy choice. Two candidates — Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen and retired Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Captain Kevin Jensen — stand out as having the experience to hit the ground running and the knowhow for what will be a monumental task. Jonsen is the outsider in the race and has more executive experience than any of the candidates. He became Palo Alto’s top cop in 2018 after serving as Menlo Park’s police chief for five years. He also spent three...
    SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – An investigation is underway after a 58-year-old man booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail died suddenly early Wednesday. According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, the man was booked into the jail located at 150 West Hedding Street on Monday after San Jose Police arrested him on a felony bench warrant for false imprisonment. READ MORE: Animal Rights Activist Glues Hand To Table During Legislative Hearing At California State CapitolAround 11 p.m. Tuesday, medical staff were conducting what was described as a “routinely scheduled” medical assessment. Deputies said the inmate was alert and standing when he suddenly began to experience a medical emergency. Medical staff then assisted the inmate to his bed and began life-saving measures, according to deputies. About 45 minutes later, he was transported to a nearby hospital. READ MORE: UPDATE: Deadly RV Fire Prompts Caltrans Plan to Clear West Oakland EncampmentDeputies said the inmate was pronounced dead shortly after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. No additional details about the incident were immediately available. The man’s identity has not been released pending...
    SAN JOSE – An investigation is underway into the in-custody death of an inmate at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose, authorities said. On Monday, the San Jose Police Department booked the 58-year-old man on a felony bench warrant for false imprisonment, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The man was undergoing a “routinely scheduled medical assessment” at 11 p.m. Tuesday when he began to experience a medical emergency, the sheriff’s office said. “During the medical assessment, the male inmate was alert and standing,” the sheriff’s office said. “Suddenly, he began to experience medical emergency and was assisted down to his bed.” Medical workers immediately began life-saving measures and at 11:46 p.m. the man was taken to a nearby hospital, the sheriff’s office said. He was pronounced dead 50 minutes later. The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office will release the man’s identity once it has been confirmed and his next of kin is notified. A preliminary investigation found no signs of foul play and the man was housed alone before the...
    SANTA CLARA — A two-month race to become Santa Clara County’s next sheriff began in earnest this week when the five registered candidates assembled as a group for the first time to give voters their pitch for why they should head the county’s largest law-enforcement agency. At the American Legion Hall in Santa Clara on Tuesday, the Silicon Valley Public Accountability Foundation hosted sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Allen, businesswoman Anh Colton, sheriff’s Sgt. Christine Nagaye, retired sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Jensen, and Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen. In the past month, their candidacies got a boost ahead of the June primary when six-term Sheriff Laurie Smith announced she was not running for another term, citing a number of active corruption investigations into her office that she has characterized as politically driven. The eligibility of one of the candidates listed by the county registrar, Colton, is in question. State law allows only certified law-enforcement officers to run for county sheriff positions, and Colton admittedly does not fulfill that requirement. The registrar’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry about Colton’s eligibility....
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Authorities are asking the public's help Saturday identifying a woman after she was caught on camera stealing a liquor bottle worth $4,000 from a San Jose restaurant.In the surveillance video, a woman is seen entering the empty bar counter of the Grandview Restaurant, grabbing the bottle and swiftly walking away with a man.Santa Clara County Sheriff's Officials say the suspect(s) are facing felony grand theft.Anyone with information is asked to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office at 408-808-4500, or the Sheriff's Office Investigative Services anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431.
    SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith, who in 1998 was elected as the state’s first-ever woman sheriff, has announced that she will retire at the end of her sixth term in January, according to a message she sent to her staff Thursday. Smith made the announcement just days before a county re-election filing deadline for incumbent officeholders. The decision was expected within her office, and records with the California Secretary of State showed that she had not formed a campaign committee. “For nearly 50 years, the last 24 as Sheriff, we have worked together to build an elite law enforcement agency. Thank you for helping achieve that goal,” Smith wrote in an email to her agency that was obtained by this news organization. “While there is still much work to do, I have decided to retire from the Office of the Sheriff at the end of my term in January of 2023.” In a follow-up statement released by her office, Smith mentioned that it “is with some regret” that she was planning to step down. “My decision...
    The attorney for embattled Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is challenging the validity of the corruption accusations that could expel her from office, arguing her handling of concealed gun permits have been proper and within her authority. Allen Ruby’s arguments, contained in a legal motion submitted to San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Nancy Fineman, are the first substantive glimpse of Smith’s legal defense. Ruby challenges the validity of three of the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury’s formal accusations that as a matter of policy, she steered concealed-carry weapons permits to financial and political supporters, and people with prominent figures, and ignored or shelved permit applications for people who weren’t so-called “VIPs.” Ruby’s argument referenced the wide discretion that state law gives county sheriffs in handing out the permits, and contends that the civil grand jury has not accused her of any specific instance of rejecting a valid CCW application or approving an invalid one. “Since the statute itself confers the broadest possible discretion upon the Sheriff in selecting among applicants, and the Accusation does not claim that...
    SAN JOSE (BCN/CBS SF) — An inmate at the Santa Clara County Jail has died, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office has announced. On Feb. 6 at approximately 1:00 a.m., deputies conducted a routine cell check and reported an unresponsive 27-year-old male inside his cell. Deputies performed CPR and other life-saving measures until the county emergency medical services team arrived at the scene, the sheriff’s office said. READ MORE: COVID: California To Drop Statewide Mask Rules For Vaccinated On Feb. 15 As Omicron Declines; Local Masking Rules Can ContinueThe man was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Based on the preliminary investigation, the sheriff’s office says that there were no signs of foul play. The inmate was housed alone at the time of the incident. The sheriff has not released his name. READ MORE: San Jose Police: Hospital Patient Fought Security Guard, Stole Patrol VehicleThe man was booked on homicide charges in February of 2020. The sheriff’s office said it is conducting standard protocol for in-custody deaths, which involves a joint investigation between their office, the...
    Dave Knopf, a retired assistant chief for the San Jose Police Department who had been the highest-profile hopeful vying to replace Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith in June, is ending his campaign just two weeks after announcing his candidacy. In explaining his decision to this news organization, Knopf appears to have underestimated the burden of entering politics for the first time. “After painstaking consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the sheriff’s race,” Knopf said Tuesday. “I would have loved to take on the challenges of the sheriff’s office, but can’t be miserable navigating the political hillside to get there.” Knopf officially filed in the county to run for sheriff on Jan. 7, and officially announced his run the following week. Thirteen days later, he expressed that he had enough, though he declined to go into detail about what specifically drove him out of the race. “It’s a grind. I love the challenge of law enforcement, but the political aspect of it is not for me,” he said. “It takes a certain person to do that. The political process...
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- California's attorney general announced Wednesday a civil rights investigation into the office of Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith, a polarizing figure who is fighting formal public corruption accusations.Attorney General Rob Bonta said the investigation will seek to determine whether the sheriff's office "has engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct" amid a number of serious allegations. The sheriff's office has had to pay costly settlements to people who are mentally ill who were severely injured while in jail custody.RELATED: Santa Clara County sheriff accused of corruption, jail mismanagementA news release from Bonta's office explained that a civil "pattern or practice" investigation into the office usually works to identify and compel, if appropriate, corrective action to fix systemic violations.Sheriff Smith has led the office since winning election in 1998. She has not said whether she will run again this year.In December, the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury accused Smith of political favoritism through concealed-carry weapons permits and resisting an audit into negligence allegations, the Mercury News of San Jose reported.RELATED: Santa Clara County sheriff dodges...
    OAKLAND (CBS SF) — California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Wednesday announced a civil rights investigation into the conduct of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office under embattled Sheriff Laurie Smith. According to a press release issued by AG Bonta’s office, the investigation will seek to determine whether the sheriff’s office “has engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct amidst deeply concerning allegations relating to conditions of confinement in its jail facilities, resistance to lawful oversight, and other misconduct.” READ MORE: Elderly Man Wielding Baseball Bat Chases Burglar From His Palo Alto HomeREAD: Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury Superior Court Declaration Sheriff Smith has been under local investigation for alleged mismanagement of the county jail and charges of bribery and corruption. Back in December, a civil grand jury filed a declaration in Superior Court accusing Smith of the charges she currently is facing. The filing accused Smith of seven corruption-related charges including political favors, accepting unlawful gifts, perjury and failing to cooperate with investigating authorities. The accusations were based on the testimony of 65 witnesses. “Public safety...
    Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith made her first court appearance Friday to answer to corruption allegations leveled against her by a civil grand jury that, if they were to be affirmed at trial, would lead to her being expelled from office. Smith did not enter a plea and San Mateo County Judge Nancy Fineman gave her attorneys and prosecuting attorneys at least through April to debate, through legal briefings, the sufficiency of the accusations made by the civil grand jury. In December, the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury filed official accusations against Smith alleging seven corruption-related acts. Six involve ongoing criminal indictments alleging Smith engaged in political favoritism by leveraging her control over issuing concealed-carry weapons permits and eluding gift-reporting laws. The seventh accuses her of resisting an auditor’s probe into negligence allegations stemming from a 2018 jail inmate’s injury that led to a $10 million county settlement. If a trial proceeds, a rare hybrid civil-criminal trial would follow. Like a criminal trial, the process would involve a jury, which would hear witness testimony and evaluate evidence. In...
    Dave Knopf, a former assistant chief then acting chief of the San Jose Police Department, is coming out of retirement to run for Santa Clara County sheriff, adding to a list of potential challengers to six-term incumbent Laurie Smit. Knopf, 53, a lifelong Morgan Hill resident, joins retired sheriff’s captain Kevin Jensen and current sheriff’s Sgt. Christine Nagaye on the June primary ballot and stands as the highest-profile external candidate to try to replace Smith, who was elected as the state’s first woman sheriff in 1998. Smith has not publicly announced her intent to run for a seventh term, and she has not filed the necessary paperwork with the county and state to run for re-election; she has until mid-March to submit them. Last fall she was the subject of a unanimous no-confidence vote by the Board of Supervisors centered on her jail management, and she faces formal corruption accusations from the county’s Civil Grand Jury over her heavily scrutinized issuing of concealed gun permits. If those accusations are affirmed at trial, she could be expelled from office. Combine that...
    Santa Clara County voters deserve a speedy resolution of the legal case against Sheriff Laurie Smith that could end with her removal from office. A civil grand jury filed an accusation in Superior Court on Tuesday requiring a trial to determine whether to unseat Smith for seven corruption-related acts. Six counts allege the sheriff engaged in political favoritism and traded favors by leveraging her authority to issue concealed-weapons permits. The seventh accuses her of failing to cooperate with the county auditor investigating a jail inmate’s injury that led to a $10 million county settlement. A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge will determine when Smith’s trial will be held. It must be treated as a priority case and not be allowed to drag on for months — or over a year, as was recently seen in a Contra Costa County case that involved the same seldom-used state law. That law allows for a civil grand jury to call for a jury to decide whether to remove a public official from office for willful or corrupt misconduct in office. It’s separate...
    On Tuesday, the county’s civil grand jury formally accused Sheriff Laurie Smith of seven counts of willful misconduct, alleging she abused her authority to issue concealed-gun permits to extract political favors, and stalled an outside investigation into her office’s handling of a high-profile 2018 jail inmate injury. A civil grand jury accusation of willful and corrupt misconduct is rarely invoked in California. Here’s what their decision means, and what comes next. What is the civil grand jury, and what did they decide this week? In Santa Clara County, the civil grand jury is a civilian watchdog body appointed by the Superior Court. It typically investigates government efficiency and equity matters, and makes recommendations. But it also has legal authority to investigate public officials for misconduct and corruption, and it can set in motion a trial to remove an elected official. The civil grand jury’s accusation this week means Smith must appear in court on Jan. 12. If she pleads not guilty to the accusation – which her attorney has said will happen – then a judge will begin setting trial...
    CUPERTINO – A 29-year-old San Mateo man has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a legally blind woman earlier this year in Cupertino, authorities said. Tips from the public helped detectives identify the suspect, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. On Thursday, San Mateo police officers arrested him on a $40,000 warrant in San Mateo. The sheriff’s office said the suspect was booked into Santa Clara County jail on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment. The alleged crimes occurred on May 5. The victim was walking to her workplace in the area of North Stelling Road and Stevens Creek Boulevard when the suspect approached her and made “verbal flirtatious advances,” according to the sheriff’s office. The victim declined and continued to walk to her workplace. The sheriff’s office said the suspect later approached her in a parking lot, held her against her will and sexually assaulted her. A witness intervened and the suspect left the scene. On Nov. 8, the sheriff’s office released photographs and video surveillance footage of the suspect and his vehicle. Related Articles...
    The Santa Clara County jails are currently experiencing their highest level of active COVID-19 cases among the in-custody population, continuing a surge that began earlier this month and has now surpassed the peak of a record string of outbreaks in January. Data reported in an online dashboard maintained by the sheriff’s office show that through Friday, there were 140 active infections in the jails, which consist of the Elmwood Correctional Complex in Milpitas and the Main Jail in San Jose. The majority of the current spike in cases is centered on the Elmwood facility, which houses people under minimum- and medium-security supervision primarily in barracks and dorm-style settings. That figure represents a more than eight-fold increase since Nov. 3, when the spike began with 15 cases reported in a single day. On Tuesday, the county recorded 30 cases in a single day, the biggest one-day tally since January, when winter-driven increases across the country were taking hold. But that was a time before vaccines were widely available, and the current surge in the South Bay jails still tops even that early-year...
    The Santa Clara County jail system is seeing its largest surge in COVID-19 cases since a string of record-setting outbreaks in January, underscoring the ongoing infection risk in custody environments even amid wide availability of vaccines, including for the South Bay’s incarcerated population. Through Monday, there were 60 active cases in the county jails, with the majority reported at the Elmwood men’s jail in Milpitas, according to county data and accounts from family members of people being held in the jails. The biggest one-day surge of the last nine months was on Nov. 2, when 15 new in-custody infections were recorded. In the next five days, at least 45 new cases surfaced. A precise figure is not available because the online COVID-19 dashboard maintained by the sheriff’s office has a disparity between daily new cases and current active cases, meaning the surge could be a higher number that was offset by people coming off infection. A woman whose husband is being held in Elmwood’s M8, a dorm-style unit that has been hard hit by COVID-19 outbreaks since the start of...
    CUPERTINO (CBS SF) – Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman who is legally blind in Cupertino earlier this year. On the afternoon of May 5, the victim was walking to her workplace near Stevens Creek Boulevard and Stelling Road when she was approached by the suspect. Deputies said the victim politely declined the suspect’s advances and continued to walk to work. READ MORE: 'The Worst I've Seen;' Oakland Residents, Motorists Shocked After Toddler Killed In I-880 Gun BattleThe suspect continued to follow the victim and later approached her a parking lot, where he held the victim against her will and sexually assaulted her, deputies said. Following the assault, deputies said an eyewitness approached the suspect, who ran through the parking lot and later fled in his vehicle. Deputies released surveillance video of the suspect as he was spotted in the parking lot and while he was running from the eyewitness. Photos of the suspect, who was spotted shopping at a store prior to the assault,...
    Video footage from a 2018 case involving a mentally ill man severely injured while being transported between Santa Clara County jails has been publicly released at the behest of the Board of Supervisors, as it continues its scrutiny of abuse allegations and calls for external probes into the sheriff’s office’s custody operations. The video footage chronicles how Andrew Hogan, in the throes of a psychiatric crisis, started harming himself at the Elmwood men’s jail in Milpitas and continued while being transported in a sheriff’s office van to the Main Jail in San Jose. The videos illustrate how Hogan repeatedly hit his head against the van wall and was left to lie in the blood-spattered vehicle with severe head injuries, as deputies refused to intervene while he cried for help then lapsed into unconsciousness. Details of the case were first revealed in September in a previously confidential county counsel report, also made public at the request of county supervisors. That report had been presented to the board in March 2020 in part to secure approval of a $10 million settlement to...
    SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A 52-year-old San Jose man was arrested Thursday morning in Modesto after fatally hitting his estranged wife with a car in San Jose, according to authorities. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department said Ignacio Espinoza, 52, was arrested at a Modesto transit center and taken back to San Jose. He was being held in county jail on charges of homicide and assault with a deadly weapon. READ MORE: Facebook Changing Corporate Name To MetaAccording to investigators, his estranged wife was discovered unconscious at around 10:44 a.m. Wednesday in the area of Jerilyn Drive at Dale Drive in unincorporated San Jose. She was rushed to a local hospital but died of her injuries. Ignacio Espinoza (Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office) Sheriff’s Deputy Russell Davis told CBS San Francisco the victim had been hit by a car. The subsequent investigation determined that Espinoza was the prime suspect in the case. READ MORE: 31-Year-Old Killed In Overnight Vallejo ShootingDetectives tracked him to Modesto, where he was arrested at the Modesto Transit Center Wednesday afternoon. Davis said it’s...
    SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A 52-year-old San Jose man has been arrested at a Modesto bus station after allegedly murdering his estranged wife in an act of domestic violence Wednesday morning. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department said Ignacio Espinoza has been transported back to the Bay Area and was being held in county jail on charges of homicide and assault with a deadly weapon. READ MORE: Facebook Changing Corporate Name To MetaAccording to investigators, his estranged wife was discovered unconscious at around 10:44 a.m. Wednesday in the area of Jerilyn Drive at Dale Drive in unincorporated San Jose. She was rushed to a local hospital, but died of her injuries. The subsequent investigation determined that Espinoza was the prime suspect in the case. Detectives tracked him to Modesto, where he was arrested at the Modesto Transit Center Wednesday afternoon. READ MORE: Gilroy Man Arrested For Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash After Nearly Year-Long InvestigationEspinoza is a convicted felon and registered sex offender on multiple sex related charges consisting of rape and lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under the...
    SAN JOSE — A sergeant is formally entering the political fray and challenging Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith in next year’s election, citing a series of scandals hounding the six-term incumbent in her bid to convince voters that it’s time to change the South Bay’s top cop. Christine Nagaye, a Santa Clara County sheriff’s sergeant, is running to replace Sheriff Laurie Smith in the 2022 election. (Courtesy of Christine Nagaye)  Christine Nagaye, who has spent the past 19 years with the sheriff’s office almost entirely in the custody and jail division, announced the official start of her campaign Thursday, and says she wants to “restore integrity” to an office whose leader Smith has weathered heavy scrutiny in recent months, topped by a unanimous no-confidence vote in Smith passed by the county Board of Supervisors. “It’s been very disheartening,” Nagaye said in an interview. “I feel responsibility for my community. Integrity is something I hold near and dear to my heart.” Nagaye, a 50-year-old San Jose resident and Pennsylvania native, joins retired sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Jensen in challenging what will...
    SAN JOSE – A male inmate was revived following a possible fentanyl exposure and overdose Friday at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose, authorities said. The incident was reported at 7:22 a.m. in dormitory 2B, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The sheriff’s office said correctional deputies “did not hesitate and immediately entered the jail cell and applied life-saving measures by administering three doses of Narcan to the inmate.” Narcan is used for emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose. The inmate immediately regained consciousness, the sheriff’s office said. He received first aid at the scene and was taken to a hospital for further medical evaluation. The sheriff’s office contacted the Drug Enforcement Agency to help process the jail cell. Detectives will “conduct a full investigation into the incident,” the sheriff’s office said. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is suspected in the death of a male inmate at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas on July 22. He is believed to have ingested a powdered form of the drug. The drug...
    SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County’s Civil Grand Jury began investigating the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office this week, apparently in line with an August referral from the Board of Supervisors calling for external probes centered on the agency’s operation of the county jails. The civil grand jury, a yearly, court-appointed governmental watchdog body composed of county residents, began interviewing witnesses Wednesday, according to sources familiar with the process. A civil grand jury also has a unique authority in the county to initiate removal proceedings for an elected sheriff. A reporter for this news organization visited a downtown San Jose courthouse that day and observed signs of civil grand jury proceedings, a process that is not open to the public and is only formally acknowledged if the body releases findings through the county Superior Court. The sheriff’s office declined to comment in response to an inquiry about the civil grand jury actions. It is not clear whether the civil grand jury can complete a robust review of the county’s jail operations — and potential sheriff’s office mismanagement as insinuated by...
    SAN JOSE — The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors is training its legal arm and civilian police auditor on why the sheriff’s office scuttled an internal investigation into a mentally ill man seriously injured in a jail-transport van, a case that yielded an eight-figure settlement and underpins a wider probe into South Bay jail misconduct. A segment of Tuesday’s board meeting focused on newly public documents centered on the 2018 injuries suffered by Andrew Hogan, who in the midst of a psychiatric emergency repeatedly hit his head against the side of a jail-transport van while he was being taken from the Elmwood men’s jail in Milpitas to the Main Jail in San Jose, which houses a psychiatric services wing. Supervisor Joe Simitian and the board directed County Counsel James Williams and Michael Gennaco, the board-appointed head of the Office of County Law Enforcement Monitoring, to answer why the sheriff’s office stopped investigating what happened to Hogan. “Who authorized the suppression of the internal-affairs investigation, and for what reason?” Simitian said Tuesday. Gennaco said he has been stymied three times trying...
    SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County jail staff and deputies stalled medical help for a mentally ill man who severely injured himself while being transported in jail custody three years ago, according to newly released two internal reports. The release of a previously confidential county counsel memo and a civilian auditor’s report is the latest salvo in county supervisors’ unprecedented probes into Sheriff Laurie Smith, whose office runs the jail. The documents also show an internal investigation into the incident was dropped for no clear reason. That played a significant factor in the county agreeing to a $10 million settlement with the family of Andrew Hogan, who was permanently disabled by the injuries he suffered. The reports, scheduled for discussion by the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, offer new details in a case that has been heavily cited by supervisors Joe Simitian and Otto Lee in an Aug. 17 referral that called for external local, state and federal investigations into the county’s broader jail operations. Released at the request of the two supervisors, the memo from the County Counsel’s Office...
    A retired sheriff’s captain who tried to unseat Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith in 2014 is trying again next year, amid a cloud of criticism over the six-term incumbent that hit a crescendo this week when the Board of Supervisors formally gave her a vote of no confidence. Kevin Jensen filed with the county registrar on Tuesday, records show, the same day that the no-confidence vote was held. As it happens, he participated in the public comment session for that hearing, in which he urged Smith to step down. But Jensen, 57, said his candidacy was not a reaction to the current controversies, but a continuation of his aim to reform the culture of the sheriff’s office. He added that recent controversies plaguing Smith’s tenure — led by pay-to-play bribery indictments against her commanders and political supporters along with costly jail-neglect settlements — have only fortified his call from seven years ago for wholesale change. “I am running because we have needed leadership that is ethical in the sheriff’s office for many years,” Jensen said. “Time has proven everything...
    After setting into motion unprecedented scrutiny into Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith’s operation of South Bay jails and corruption scandals plaguing her office, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to declare that they have no confidence in her fitness for the job. The 5-0 vote is purely symbolic given that Smith is an independently elected official, but the action’s architects, supervisors Joe Simitian and Susan Ellenberg, hope it will help speed up reforms and fuel external probes into Smith’s agency that the board approved earlier in August. The no-confidence resolution authored by Simitian and Ellenberg was largely founded on major injuries and subsequent multi-million-dollar settlements, that have been paid or are currently anticipated, involving mentally ill men in jail custody. “I know this is an unprecedented act, not one I came to lightly,” Simitian said. “This is a pattern of conduct that is years and years in its import, and it’s clearly conduct that is unbecoming of a public official, that is unbecoming of a law-enforcement official.” Tuesday’s resolution, and a board referral approved Aug. 17 and spearheaded by...
    SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution declaring no confidence in Sheriff Laurie Smith at its next meeting Tuesday. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo called for Smith’s resignation Aug. 16 over allegations of poor jail management, lack of transparency and accountability, as well as several bribery and corruption scandals. In doing so, Liccardo joined a long list of local leaders who have criticized Smith. READ MORE: Berkeley Police: Hacker Searched Teenage Girls Social Media Accounts For Nude Photos Days before Liccardo’s announcement, County Supervisors Joe Simitian and Otto Lee demanded an investigation into the sheriff’s office, following millions of dollars in payouts to settle injury litigation from men in county custody. The board unanimously agreed Aug. 17 to release of county documents regarding some of the allegations. READ MORE: Attack Outside Kabul Airport Kills U.S. Servicemembers, Afghans Trying To Evacuate That same day, Smith held a press conference where she methodically refuted allegations and said she will not resign. The board does not have the authority to remove Smith from office,...
    Two Santa Clara County supervisors have proposed that the board issue a no-confidence vote for Sheriff Laurie Smith over her running of the South Bay’s jails and general management of the agency — failures they assert have cost taxpayers millions in legal settlements and have mired her office in high-profile corruption scandals. In a Board of Supervisors memo and accompanying resolution made public Wednesday, supervisors Joseph Simitian and Susan Ellenberg are calling for the Aug. 31 no-confidence vote, based on their ongoing scrutiny of high-figure jail-abuse and neglect settlements, and a series of criminal indictments that have ensnared Smith associates both in her command and political inner circles. “We find ourselves left with one regrettable conclusion. We no longer have confidence that Sheriff Laurie Smith is able to faithfully, effectively, and ethically perform the duties of Sheriff,” the memo reads. Last week, the board unanimously approved a referral authored by Simitian and Supervisor Otto Lee calling for external investigations into the county’s jail operations by the U.S. Department of Justice, California Attorney General and the county’s civil grand jury. Smith...
    SAN JOSE (BCN)– A San Jose man suspected of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl earlier this year in Santa Clara County was arrested on Friday. Edisson Garcia-Guzman, 44, was taken into custody in connection with the assault on May 30, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said Monday. READ MORE: Woman Wounded In Vallejo I-80 Sunday Night Freeway Shooting The girl was found in the area of Quimby Road near Bishop Price Way, in unincorporated San Jose. She told deputies she had been hitchhiking and was picked up by a man who gave her alcohol. The man allegedly physically and sexually assaulted the girl on the side of Quimby Road and then left her stranded there, according to the sheriff’s office. Edisson Garcia-Guzman (Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office) An investigation by sheriff’s office detectives led to identifying Garcia-Guzman as a suspect in the assault, and he reportedly admitted to meeting with the girl the night of the assault. READ MORE: Tough COVID Choice Goes Into Effect For San Jose City Employees -- Vaccinate Or Weekly Testing He was taken into...
    SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith, who has faced sharp scrutiny over allegations of  abuse and neglect in South Bay jails, responded to the criticisms Tuesday, attempting to shift blame away her from her agency while categorically rebuffing calls for her resignation. Responding to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s statement Monday that it was “painfully obvious” Smith needed to step down, Smith replied simply: “No.” “I’m working because I love this organization,” she said. “We have a lot that we have to accomplish.” During a 45-minute news conference Tuesday, Smith methodically refuted allegations made in a Board of Supervisors referral that called for independent investigations of jail management by the state Attorney General and the county Civil Grand Jury, citing serious injuries of mentally ill men in custody, whose cases exposed the county to tens of millions of dollars in liability. “I welcome any and all investigations,” Smith said. “I believe it’s important to have experts providing in-depth review of some of the things that have been stated so we can get the truth out.” The sheriff...
    LOS GATOS – A Los Gatos elementary school teacher and youth theater director faces 35 years in prison after pleading no contest to child molestation and annoyance charges, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. On Thursday, Joseph Brian Houg, 51, of San Jose, pleaded no contest to 10 felony counts of child molestation and three misdemeanor counts of child annoyance, a spokesperson for the office said. Houg also agreed to resign from the Los Gatos Unified School District, where he worked as a teacher at Blossom Hill Elementary School. Detectives with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation in May 2020 after a 13-year-old boy claimed the director of the Los Gatos Youth Theatre, identified as Houg, had made him uncomfortable during a one-on-one video call. Houg kept asking the boy to see his abdomen muscles until he complied, the sheriff’s office said. Another 13-year-old reported a similar incident involving Houg. The investigation uncovered other incidents stretching back to 2003 and involving children as young as 8 years old. One victim told the sheriff’s office...
    SAN JOSE — Two Santa Clara County supervisors are calling for unprecedented outside scrutiny of the sheriff’s office and the jails it operates, asserting the agency has stubbornly resisted oversight of its management of county jails, including in cases of serious inmate injuries that exposed the county to millions of dollars in legal liability. In a referral submitted for the Board of Supervisors’ next meeting Tuesday, Joseph Simitian and Otto Lee are requesting the public release of records in the case of Andrew Hogan, with the aim of prompting external investigations into the sheriff’s office by both the state attorney general and a civil grand jury. Hogan was a mentally ill former inmate who was severely disabled after repeatedly injuring himself while riding unrestrained in a jail transport van. The supervisors’ referral asks the county counsel to release a confidential investigative report on Hogan’s case, as well as four-and-a-half hours’ worth of body-camera footage and other audio-video recordings of deputies’ response. The supervisors are also asking the Office of County Law Enforcement Monitoring — the civilian overseer of the sheriff’s...
    MORGAN HILL (CBS SF) — A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of multiple acts of child molestation in Morgan Hill, authorities said Thursday. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said on July 7, deputies investigated a sexual assault in an unincorporated part of Morgan Hill. READ MORE: San Francisco To Get 400 New Treatment Beds For Mental Health, Substance Abuse - An Unprecedented Expansion Investigators determined the suspect, Luis Alberto Lozano, was responsible for various acts of molestation on a number of victims. On Wednesday, detectives served a search warrant for his arrest, the sheriff’s office said. READ MORE: COVID Update: 3 East Bay Counties See Significant Surge in Cases From Delta Variant Luis Alberto Lozano (Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office) Lozano was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail without bail on eight counts of felony child molestation. The sheriff’s office was determining whether there are any other victims and encouraged anyone with additional information to contact the office at (408) 808-4500. MORE NEWS: Warden At California Womens Prison Being Investigated By Feds  
    MILPITAS (CBS SF/BCN) — A 32-year-old Santa Clara County Jail inmate died and a second inmate was hospitalized after the two were found unresponsive in a bathroom at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas early Thursday morning, county sheriff’s officials said. Jail deputies found the two inmates at 4:11 a.m. and began to perform CPR on them both. The 32-year-old man was pronounced dead and the second inmate, a 40-year-old man, was taken to a hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Office. READ MORE: COVID Update: Mandatory Workplace Vaccinations Urged In Contra Costa, Santa Clara County, San Francisco Sheriff’s officials haven’t released the two inmates’ names or what led them to become unresponsive. READ MORE: Suspect In San Francisco SoMa Stabbing Arrested In Napa County The 32-year-old had been booked into jail on April 9 by Santa Clara police on suspicion of offenses including possession of a stolen vehicle and outstanding warrants, while the 40-year-old had been booked by the Sheriff’s Office on May 7 on a court remand issued by a judge. The county District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office and...
    SAN JOSE — Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is challenging a civilian watchdog’s recommendation that deputies should be expressly limited on when they can fire less-lethal projectiles at protesters, saying that such restrictions would stop them from adequately ensuring public safety should demonstrations escalate into violence. “I think this is absolutely ludicrous,” Smith said at a special meeting held Thursday by the county supervisors’ health and hospital committee. Convened by supervisors Joe Simitian and Otto Lee, the meeting was aimed at assessing county law enforcement’s inventory of “military-style” weaponry and equipment — including those acquired from the federal 1033 military surplus program — and policies governing how they deploy those weapons as well as less-lethal armaments. The meeting’s genesis was inspired heavily by the George Floyd protests last summer across the country and in San Jose. Those demonstrations were marred by a heavy-handed police response that included the prolific use of rubber and foam rounds, tear gas and pepper-spray munitions that left dozens of people injured or maimed both by direct shots and ricochets. Michael Gennaco, co-founder of the OIR...
    SAN JOSE — A Santa Clara County judge has thrown out an indictment against a top Apple security executive on the grounds that prosecutors failed to provide clear evidence that a proposed donation of 200 iPads to the sheriff’s office was a bribe to hasten the release of concealed-gun permits to the South Bay-based tech titan. In a decision issued Tuesday, Judge Eric Geffon ruled that the criminal grand jury that indicted Thomas Moyer last November “could not not have reasonably concluded that Moyer had a corrupt intent with respect to the donation of iPads to affect the issuance of CCW permits because he did not act to (sic) wrongfully to gain an advantage.” Geffon gave a nod to the contention by Moyer’s attorneys that no bribery motive existed because the concealed-carry weapon permits eventually issued to four Apple security employees in early 2019 had already been approved by the sheriff’s office by the time he proposed donating iPads to the agency’s training division. “As we have said from the outset, Tom is an honorable man who committed no crime,”...
    Multiple cans of gasoline, 12 firearms and approximately 22,000 rounds of various types of ammunition were found by law enforcement at the home of the gunman who fatally shot nine of his fellow employees at a light-rail yard in San Jose, California, local authorities announced Friday. Officials said that the suspect, Samuel Cassidy, 57, "was prepared to use his firearms to take as many lives as he possibly could." Santa Clara County Sheriff's office "It is clear that this was a planned event," a statement from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's office read.  On Wednesday, the county sheriff's office received multiple 911 calls about shots fired at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority around 6:34 a.m. local time. Employees of the facility were evacuated from the building, which operates as a transit control center. The gunman fired 39 shots and appeared to target some of the victims, employees of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which operates the rail yard, Sheriff Laurie Smith told The Associated Press on Thursday.  Deputies did not exchange gunfire with the suspect, who had...
    The suspected gunman who killed nine work colleagues at a California transit facility stockpiled an arsenal of weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition and Molotov cocktails at his home before setting the residence ablaze the morning of the rampage, authorities said Friday.  The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said a search of Samuel Cassidy's San Jose, Calif., home yielded multiple cans of gasoline, 12 firearms and 25,000 rounds of different types of ammunition. Authorities also found 17 Molotov cocktails inside. "They were in glass containers that were filled with liquids. It appeared to be flammable liquids. Further lab testing will be done at a later date to confirm the actual liquid, but there was also some cloth or paper on the top of them which can be set on fire in order to use the device," Santa Clara County Sheriff Sgt. Joe Piazza said, FOX affiliate KTVU-TV reported. Piazza said investigators are assuming that the weapons were placed around the home so that Cassidy would have access to them during an emergency. Investigators and bomb units searched Cassidy's home where...
    Thirty-one Santa Clara County inmates have been charged in a vicious mass beating of a man in which they punched, kicked and dragged the victim for more than five minutes over suspicions that he informed on his fellow gang members, according to explosive new filings announced Tuesday. But the severity and brutality of the beating — one attacker allegedly poured floor cleaner onto the victim’s open wounds — might not even be the most shocking aspect of the attack. That might lie in the absence of any intervention from correctional officers while the accused inmates ticked off 337 seconds literally knocking the man from wall to wall with seemingly no intent to conceal their actions, leaving him naked in a bloodied heap with head injuries and several broken bones. The 40-year-old victim was attacked just minutes after he was booked at the Elmwood men’s jail in Milpitas the evening of Nov. 30, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office. He was placed into a dorm with 36 other men being held together because of their affiliations with...
    A top Apple security executive charged in a Santa Clara County corruption probe is seeking his case’s dismissal on the grounds that prosecutors have no clear evidence his proposed donation of iPads to the sheriff’s office was a bribe to hasten concealed-gun permits for his employees. In a motion filed Thursday in the county Superior Court, attorneys for Thomas Moyer argue that the district attorney’s office not only failed to prove Moyer was trying to bribe anyone, but gave grand jurors bad instructions for determining who had to benefit from the donation for it to qualify as a bribe. “The Santa Clara District Attorney has ignored facts and evidence proving Mr. Moyer’s innocence, and they have distorted the law to be able to drag him into this case,” attorney Mary McNamara said in a statement. Moyer was indicted in November alongside county Undersheriff Rick Sung and sheriff’s Capt. James Jensen on allegations that they brokered the donation of 200 iPads to the sheriff’s office to free up the release of concealed-carry weapons permits for four Apple executive protection agents. The...
    About half of the Santa Clara County Sheriff Department employees have declined to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, meaning that dozens of staffers are working in jails unvaccinated, according to the office. Although 861 of the department’s more than 1,800 employees have received both doses of the vaccine, almost 800 more have declined to take the COVID-19 vaccine, sheriff’s officials reported Thursday during the county’s Public Safety and Justice Committee meeting. Another 200 or so employees do not yet qualify to receive it. The high number of refusals left county supervisors reeling Thursday, particularly as the number of incarcerated people who have been infected surged past 500 since the start of the new year. Of the employees that have declined the vaccine, about 400 work in the custody division. “I am a little bit speechless,” said County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. “We cannot significantly reduce or eliminate outbreaks in the jails if every day, we have people coming into the jail who haven’t been vaccinated.” At least 536 county inmates have gotten COVID-19 since last March, according to the sheriff’s office reporting...
    (CNN)A California sheriff's deputy was arrested and charged on Friday with felony vandalism and falsely reporting a crime for allegedly staging a "shocking ambush," according to the Santa Clara County district attorney's office.A year ago, on January 31, 2020, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Deputy Sukhdeep Gill reported that "he was shot from a passing car as he stood on a dark rural road," according to a news release from the district attorney's office. When officers responded, no serious injuries were found on Gill and it appeared that he had been shot only once on his body camera, which was destroyed, the release said. Gill's report triggered a manhunt for the alleged shooter, according to the release.Gill told officers that "he had parked on the dirt shoulder to urinate during a routine patrol. While walking back towards the driver side of his patrol car he was shot at by the passenger in a silver sedan that had turned off its lights as it approached him."An investigation found evidence that "exposed serious discrepancies in the deputy's account," the release said. Gill...
12