Sheriff Laurie Smith should not serve on the Jail Blue Ribbon Commission
This petition had 391 supporters
Three Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department corrections officers are facing homicide charges for the death of an inmate in the Santa Clara County Main Jail. Another inmate, in an unrelated event, died under suspicious circumstances, possibly as the result of the use of force by jail personnel. In addition, the department has received 100 complaints from inmates just since the first death in August. Sheriff Laurie Smith is the elected official in charge of the Jail system.
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has voted to convene a Blue Ribbon Commission to investigate the jail system including training, procedures, equipment, hiring practices, etc. The Board has announced that Sheriff Laurie Smith will serve on that Commission.
It is unheard of for the department head of a public agency, which is being investigated to serve on the same committee that is conducting the investigation! The Sheriff should be testifying to that Committee, not participating in the direction of the investigation, the questioning of witnesses and the writing of the final report of the Commission.
Her selection by the Board of Supervisors appears to be the result of her past political support. Sheriff Smith recommended the election of all five members of the Board in their most recent elections. In turn, all five members of the Board backed her re-election in 2014. In addition, three of the five members or their immediate family members, made significant financial contributions to Sheriff Smith's 2014 campaign fund.
The citizens of Santa Clara County need to be sure that this is an impartial fact-finding commission not a,"politics as usual" exercise which will fail to properly address the issues. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors MUST NOT appoint Sheriff Laurie Smith to the Blue Ribbon Commission.
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