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    SAN JOSE (BCN) — Police arrested a San Jose man Wednesday on suspicion of raping a developmentally disabled woman, kidnapping and false imprisonment, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said. The case began when sheriff’s deputies Wednesday interviewed a woman who had been located after being reported missing. The deputies later learned that the woman, who deputies described as intellectually disabled, had been sexually assaulted, according to Sheriff’s Deputy Russell Davis. READ MORE: Driver Killed in Head-On Crash on Vasco Road Near Byron; 2 Others Injured SJ sexual assault suspect Raymond Dupont Simpson (Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office) READ MORE: One Bottle of Whiskey Killed, No Birds Hurt at 32nd Annual Richmond Turkey ShootSheriff’s detectives learned that the assault happened near Monterey and Senter roads in San Jose, Davis said in a news release. The detectives identified 43-year-old Raymond Dupont Simpson as a suspect and obtained a warrant for his arrest, according to Davis. Working with the sheriff’s office, Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officers tracked down Simpson near the intersection of El Camino Real and S Mary Avenue...
    A man was arrested Wednesday after Santa Clara sheriff’s deputies suspect he killed his roommate and set fire to the Cupertino house where they had been living. Jimmie Leonard Hollins IV, 23, of San Jose, was taken into custody on suspicion of homicide and arson in connection with a pre-dawn fire that erupted Sept. 26 at a house in the 1000 block of Tuscany Place in Cupertino, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators suspect Hollins used a “sharp object” during an altercation that broke out between him and a roommate, said deputy Russell Davis, a sheriff’s spokesman. Firefighters later discovered the roommate’s body while battling flames that, authorities previously said, were concentrated in a first-floor bedroom at the back of the home. Evidence of flammable accelerants were found inside the house, the sheriff’s office said. The name of the slain tenant was not available Wednesday. Hollins was being held without bail Wednesday in the Santa Clara County Main Jail.
    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 on Tuesday voted unanimously to support a resolution declaring no confidence in Sheriff Laurie Smith, joining a growing number of South Bay officials demanding her resignation. Santa Clara County Sheriff Smith has been under fire in recent years for a number of scandals connected to her department, including alleged mismanagement of the county jail and charges of bribery and corruption. READ MORE: Sutter Health Pays $90 Million In Medicare False Claims Settlement KPIX reporter Kiet Do broke the news about the resolution on Twitter shortly after 1 p.m. BREAKING: Santa Clara Co. Board of Supervisors votes unanimously “no confidence“ in Sheriff Laurie Smith. Sup. Simitian regarding scandals: “Do you really want to reinforce, reward applaud, this bad behavior? I have to believe the answer to those questions is ‘no’.” @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/qI0IFk1Q1o — Kiet Do (@KietKPIX) August 31, 2021 “Do you really want to reinforce, reward applaud, this bad behavior? I have to believe the answer to those questions is ‘no,'” Sup. Joe Simitian said Tuesday about the...
    SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to support a resolution declaring no confidence in Sheriff Laurie Smith, joining a growing number of South Bay officials demanding her resignation. Santa Clara County Sheriff Smith has been under fire in recent years for a number of scandals connected to her department, including alleged mismanagement of the county jail and charges of bribery and corruption. READ MORE: Sutter Health Pays $90 Million In Medicare False Claims Settlement KPIX reporter Kiet Do broke the news about the resolution on Twitter shortly after 1 p.m. BREAKING: Santa Clara Co. Board of Supervisors votes unanimously “no confidence“ in Sheriff Laurie Smith. Sup. Simitian regarding scandals: “Do you really want to reinforce, reward applaud, this bad behavior? I have to believe the answer to those questions is ‘no’.” @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/qI0IFk1Q1o — Kiet Do (@KietKPIX) August 31, 2021 “Do you really want to reinforce, reward applaud, this bad behavior? I have to believe the answer to those questions is ‘no,'” Sup. Joe Simitian said Tuesday about the...
    In Santa Clara County, like the rest of California, there are more mentally ill people in jails and prisons than in hospitals. Jails and prisons have become California’s 21st Century mental hospitals. That is not the fault or the responsibility of California’s 58 elected sheriffs. It is the result of policies and decisions made by legislators, judges and prosecutors, not sheriffs. California’s mental health care system is fragmented and broken. One in six Californians experience some mental illness. Roughly 1 in 24 Californians have a mental illness so serious that functioning in daily life is nearly impossible. In the last 10 years in California, suicide has increased by 50%. Suicides by adolescents aged 15 to 19 have increased 63%. Since 1995, California has lost 42% of its acute-care psychiatric beds while the population has increased by 7.5 million people. Santa Clara County has 229 adult psyche beds and 17 juvenile psyche beds, leaving the county hundreds of beds short of the recommended one psychiatric bed for every 2,000 people. Santa Clara County, like the rest of California, does not have...
    SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Roughly three dozen protesters gathered outside the Santa Clara County Main Jail Friday afternoon to demand a “shutdown” of plans for the new jail and the sheriff that oversees the facility. “Repurpose those funds back into the community,” said Tina Brown who told the crowd her son is incarcerated in the main jail. The protesters are demanding that funds to build a new jail go toward mental health and community resources instead, including parenting classes, job training and a wellness center for behavioral health. Brown said there needs to be an investment into preventing incarceration than spending more money into building a new facility. The group also called for improvements on the conditions inside the jail for inmates but especially the mentally ill who are locked up. “As an advocate I don’t feel that the people that are incarcerated in main jail receive the mental health treatment they need,” said Clare Courtright, an attorney and patient rights advocate who works inside the main jail’s acute psychiatric unit. “Conditions inside for the people that have COVID are...
    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...
    Following allegations of inmate abuse and corruption in Santa Clara County jails, Sheriff Laurie Smith on Tuesday said she stands by her staff and welcomes any investigations into her department. Smith said during a news conference that an in-depth review is necessary to get the “true facts.” Last week, two members of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors called for an investigation into Smith and the Sheriff’s Office after the injuries and deaths of jail inmates. Supervisors Joe Simitan and Otto Lee called for the public release of a report and audio recording related to a 2018 incident involving Andrew Hogan, a mentally ill man who became severely disabled after he was repeatedly injured while riding in a jail transport van unrestrained. “I want to make it very clear that I support all of the investigations [being recommended],,” Smith said Tuesday. “We have made meaningful change. There needs to be accurate information, not conjecture.” On Monday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo called on Smith — who was first elected in 1998 — to resign. He said Smith’s alleged mismanagement...
    SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith on Tuesday addressed calls by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and others for her to step down, saying she will not resign. City and county leaders have accused the sheriff of violating people’s civil rights with how the county jail has been mismanaged. READ MORE: Caldor Fire In El Dorado County Grows To 6,500 Acres; Homes Burn In Grizzly Flats Area They have also cited additional scandals Smith has been associated with, including an ongoing criminal investigation into potential bribery in her most recent campaign. In the bribery investigation, two of Smith’s top aides and a campaign fundraiser were indicted. Liccardo on Monday leveled some of the harshest criticism yet against Sheriff Smith, citing multiple issues involving the sheriff’s office during her tenure. “It may not be evident to her, but it’s painfully apparent to everyone else—Sheriff Smith must resign,” Liccardo said on social media Monday morning. At a briefing, the mayor expanded on his comments. “Sheriff Smith’s repeated mismanagement of the jail, particularly as evidenced by horrible incidents...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is planning to hold a news conference today. It comes as San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo calls for her resignation.Mayor Liccardo cited a number of reasons. That includes an ongoing corruption scandal in which two of Smith's top staff face criminal charges. They are accused of demanding campaign donations in exchange for concealed carry permits. The sheriff has not been charged.There were also multi-million dollar settlements after deputies' misconduct. Jail guards beat Michael Tyree to death in 2015 and Andy Hogan was badly injured during a jail transfer in 2018. That case was settled recently for $10 million."County taxpayers have invested a lot of money in that jail and it is still this dystopian place of horrible suffering," said Mayor Liccardo.Sheriff Smith says she will respond to the mayor's resignation demand during her news conference at 9:30 this morning.WATCH: San Jose mayor calls for Sheriff Laurie Smith's resignationEMBED More News Videos San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is calling for the resignation of Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith over...
    Following multiple allegations of inmate abuse and neglect as well as corruption in Santa Clara County jails, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is calling for the resignation of Sheriff Laurie Smith. Liccardo says there’s no question that Smith, who has been the county’s top law enforcement officer for nearly two dozen years, should step down. “As a former criminal prosecutor, I believe in the necessity of jail detention to serve public safety, but in any civil society, the safety of inmates themselves must also be protected,” Liccardo said during a news conference Monday. Liccardo is the first elected official to publicly call for the resignation of Smith, who was first voted into office in 1998 and is the longest-serving elected sheriff in Santa Clara County. The mayor claims that Smith’s alleged mismanagement has “destroyed lives and violated the most basic of civil rights of inmates” and has become a “dystopian place of horrible suffering.” According to the mayor, Smith’s 23 years in office have resulted in a slew of egregious abuse allegations, including: repeated severe beatings of inmates; repeated...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is calling for the resignation of Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith.Mayor Liccardo will be the first elected official to do so. The mayor will make the announcement at an 11:30 a.m. news conferenceThe mayor's office listed the following reasons for Sheriff Smith to resign: repeated severe beatings of inmates resulting in death and serious injury repeated concealment of facts relating to those incidents, and persistent noncompliance with independent oversight tens of millions of taxpayer dollars paid to litigants for civil rights violations by deputies under Sheriff Smith's watch two consent decrees resulting in $450 million in public expenditure to improve jail operations and conditions an ongoing bribery criminal investigation which has resulted in three indictments of two of her top aides and a campaign fundraiser a play-to-pay scandal relating to $300,000 in union contributions for her 2018 re-election. Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.
    SAN JOSE — The mayor of the the Bay Area’s biggest city is calling for the resignation of Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith over her management of the South Bay’s jails, adding to a chorus of criticism energized by county leaders’ pursuit of outside investigations into inmate abuse and neglect. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo says revelations last week about multimillion-dollar payouts to settle major injuries to mentally ill men in jail custody, sluggish reforms, his own knowledge of troubling jail practices, and ongoing bribery and corruption scandals besetting Smith have led him to demand the six-term sheriff leave office. “It may not be obvious to her, but it’s painfully obvious to everyone else,” Liccardo said in an exclusive interview with this news organization. “Sheriff Smith must resign.” Last week, this news organization reported that the county quietly paid $10 million to the family of Andrew Hogan, who was in the throes of a psychiatric crisis in August 2018 when he was transported unrestrained and repeatedly hit his ahead against the walls of a jail-transport van with no intervention...
    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...
    In the years since Michael Tyree was murdered by three correctional deputies, the Santa Clara County sheriff’s office continues to grapple with incidents of mentally ill people suffering debilitating injuries while in custody, saddling taxpayers with massive legal payouts despite millions spent to reform jails. In March 2020, newly-acquired records reveal, the county quietly approved a $10 million settlement to the family of Andrew Hogan, a mentally who became severely disabled after repeatedly injuring himself while riding unrestrained in a jail transport van. A comparable or larger settlement could be on the horizon, if the county accedes to a claim from Juan Martin Nunez, who alleges he became quadriplegic after deputies and paramedics failed to take action when he suffered a fall in his jail cell. The county has also paid a $3.6 million settlement to Tyree’s family. The injuries came despite the $450 million the county has poured into jail reforms after Tyree’s 2015 killing, and a federal court agreement to fix decrepit jail conditions. Troubling allegations of neglect persist, including the recent gang beating of an inmate that...
    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,”...
    SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Officials with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office early Tuesday evening released body camera video from deputies who responded to the mass shooting at San Jose VTA railyard last week. Valley Transit Authority employee Samuel Cassidy went on a bloody rampage early last Wednesday morning, killing nine of his coworkers before turning a gun on himself as authorities converged on him. READ MORE: Oakland Ordinance Aims To Increase Affordable Housing Construction HOW TO HELP THE VICTIMS: Where to donate to help the families of VTA shooting victims Authorities with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and the San Jose Police Department, along with additional investigators from federal agencies including the FBI and the ATF, have been unraveling the horrific timeline of the mass shooting at the San Jose VTA facility and a possible motive behind the shooting since last week. SPECIAL SECTION: San Jose VTA Shooting Cassidy fired 39 bullets before killing himself as police officers and sheriff’s deputies closed in. The gunman was armed three semiautomatic handguns and...
    SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Officials with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office early Tuesday evening released body camera video from deputies who responded to the mass shooting at San Jose VTA railyard last week. Valley Transit Authority employee Samuel Cassidy went on a bloody rampage early last Wednesday morning, killing nine of his coworkers before turning a gun on himself as authorities converged on him. READ MORE: UPDATE: Armed Suspect Shot By San Jose Police Dies From His Injuries HOW TO HELP THE VICTIMS: Where to donate to help the families of VTA shooting victims Authorities with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and the San Jose Police Department, along with additional investigators from federal agencies including the FBI and the ATF, have been unraveling the horrific timeline of the mass shooting at the San Jose VTA facility and a possible motive behind the shooting since last week. SPECIAL SECTION: San Jose VTA Shooting Cassidy fired 39 bullets before killing himself as police officers and sheriff’s deputies closed in. The gunman was armed...
    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...
    Loading the player... Gunfire erupted Wednesday at a railyard in San Jose, and a sheriff’s spokesman said multiple people were killed and wounded and that the suspect was dead. Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Russell Davis said that he could not specify the number of dead and wounded or describe how the suspect died. The shooting took place around 6:30 a.m. at a light rail facility next door to the sheriff’s department and across a freeway from the airport. The facility is a transit control center that stores trains and has a maintenance yard. Davis said he did not know the type of weapon used or whether the shooting happened indoors or outdoors. He said the victims include Valley Transportation Authority employees. Read More: Suspected white supremacist accused of hitting two Black women protesting Brown police shooting This photo provided by KGO-TV/ABC7, emergency personnel respond to the scene of a shooting on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 in San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman said there are multiple fatalities and injuries in a shooting at a rail...
    “Multiple fatalities” are reported in a Wednesday morning shooting in San Jose, California. CNN notes the shooting occurred at a “railyard” and quoted the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office saying there were “multiple victims and we have multiple casualties at this point.” Sacramento’s KCRA observed the shooting occurred “at a light rail facility that is next door to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.” NBC Bay Area explained the rail yard as the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and noted that police announced the shooter was dead at 8:10 a.m. Pacific Time. ABC 7 reported that “the building [in which the shooting occurred] is not open to the public, so the shooter would have needed employee access or to have broken in.” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo tweeted following news that the threat was over: A shooting at the VTA facility on Younger St has left several people being treated, but the situation is still being assessed. The shooter is no longer a threat, and the facility has been evacuated. I will update as more information becomes available. — Sam Liccardo (@sliccardo) May 26, 2021 The Santa Clara...
    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...
    A sheriff’s deputy in Northern California was arrested and charged Friday for allegedly faking an ambush attack a year ago while on duty, authorities said.  Santa Clara County Deputy Sukhdeep Gill, 27, claimed in a panicked radio call that he had been shot while on patrol on Jan. 31, 2020, shouting "Shots fired! Shots fired!" over an emergency channel, FOX 2 in the Bay Area reported. He told officers he had been ambushed by a passing car when he stopped his vehicle on the side of the road and the bullet struck his body camera. His police vehicle had also been shot by three bullets and he claimed he had fired back at the car as it sped away., the Los Angeles Times reported.  He was on a routine patrol along a rural mountain road in the foothills of unincorporated Morgan Hill, Calif., at the time. CONNECTICUT COLD CASE MURDER OF TEEN GIRL SOLVED VIA DNA EVIDENCE, AUTHORITIES  SAY  Gill was placed on leave following the incident as a year-long investigation unfolded. Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Sukhdeep Gill has...
    (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...
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