I wrote about Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith last year and how big donors were rewarded with CCW permits. There were a number of indictments including that of a captain in the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office. However, Sheriff Smith herself was never charged. That has changed.
Yesterday, a civil grand jury in Santa Clara County returns seven indictments against Sheriff Smith. This is the California equivalent of an impeachment proceeding for a local official. She must appear in court to answer the indictments. If she wishes to contest them, a trial will be held. However, the only penalty she will face if found guilty is removal from office.
As per custom, the local DA has recused himself from the case. Taking his place will be the infamous Soros-sponsored San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin who will handle the prosecution. Boudin is not fan of law enforcement.
KRON reports the charges against Smith as follows:
- Count 1: Illegally issuing concealed carry weapon permits (CCW) to VIP’s
- Count 2: Failing to properly investigate whether non-VIP’s should receive CCW permits
- Count 3: Keeping non-VIP CCW applications pending indefinitely
- Count 4: Illegally accepting suite tickets, food, and drinks at Sharks game
- Count 5: Failing to report Sharks game gifts on financial documents
- Count 6: Committing perjury by failing to disclose Sharks game gifts
- Count 7: Failing to cooperate with internal affairs investigation surrounding treatment of Andrew Hogan
Note that Counts 1 to 3 all involve the issuance of concealed carry permits. Her behavior makes the case that may-issue concealed carry permits and their issuance are ripe for corruption. As reported last year, if you were a big donor to Sheriff Smith, you had a 79% chance of getting your permit. If, however, you did not contribute to her campaign, you success rate was a mere 5.5%. While this is better than San Francisco, it is still abysmal.
Under California law, even if she is booted from office, Smith would not lose her pension. Public officials can only lose their pension benefits if convicted of a felony and only from the date of the commission of the felony. A rough estimate of her pension is $266,000 annually based upon her last reported salary of $296,000. As I said this is a rough estimate and her actual retirement pay is probably considerably more. Other than avoiding the public shame of being removed from office, she has nothing really to lose by continuing in office. That said, if I were 69 years old like her, I’d have already retired.
UPDATE: NBC Bay Area has more on the case with Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen who has recused himself from the case.