Monterey County Supervisors Vote to Take a Harder Line with the Sheriff’s Office

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Concerned about a growing number of controversial incidents at the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and a perceived lack of oversight, county leaders took steps Tuesday to strengthen their authority over the sheriff’s office. Those powers include referring some high-profile cases that have recently come to light to the California Attorney General’s Office and calling for increased oversight of the sheriff’s office. “This is just one of those examples where so much has happened in such a short period of time that it deserves more scrutiny and more attention and more action from this board of supervisors,” said Chief Luis Alejo. Some of the incidents that have recently become public include allegations of sexual harassment against former second-in-command John Minnow. He is alleged to have sent obscene messages to two officers in the department late at night. The Monterey County Office of Civil Rights investigated and substantiated the allegations of sexual harassment. The same investigation concluded that then-captain John Thornburg failed to report the allegations when he was made aware of them. Mino resigned and Thornburg was soon promoted to deputy sheriff. Most recently, Deputy Dustin Hedberg was placed on leave after being accused of obtaining prescription drugs intended for inmates. and Detective Sergeant Brian Hoskins has also been placed on leave and under investigation for reasons that have not been disclosed. On Tuesday, the oversight board agreed to four courses of action to address the growing number of incidents: Refer the cases to the California state attorney general’s office Send them to a civil grand jury. Hire an external auditor to audit the department’s policies and procedures. Pursue the Sheriff’s Office Oversight Committee. I have a problem with Monterey County departments, whether it’s the sheriff or any other department, we’re going to take action. The supervisory board will take steps to get to the bottom of it,” said CEO and board chairwoman Mary Adams. In response to the actions of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Board, the following statement was issued: “The Sheriff’s Office has taken each of the complaints or allegations mentioned very seriously and has either reviewed and corrected the matter or is in the process of investigating all complaints. However, the Board of Supervisors today made several allegations, that we were not aware of. While the Sheriff’s Office cannot comment on any specific case due to protections afforded personnel under the United States Constitution, the California State Constitution and the Peace Officer Bill of Rights, please be assured that all complaints are investigated or will be investigated. There is no evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately, some individuals choose to address sensitive issues in the media without all the facts. It seems that these people are determined not to allow the foot all and just procedures or processes to fulfill their entire course.

Concerned about a growing number of controversial incidents at the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and a perceived lack of oversight, county leaders took steps Tuesday to strengthen their authority over the sheriff’s office.

Those powers include referring some high-profile cases that have recently come to light to the California Attorney General’s Office and calling for increased oversight of the sheriff’s office.

“This is just one of those examples where so much has happened in such a short amount of time that it deserves more scrutiny and more attention and more action from this board of supervisors,” said Supervisor Luis Alejo.

Some of the incidents that have recently become public include allegations of sexual harassment against former second-in-command John Minnow.

He is alleged to have sent obscene messages to two officers in the department late at night. The Monterey County Office of Civil Rights investigated and substantiated the allegations of sexual harassment. The same investigation concluded that then-Captain John Thornburg failed to report the allegations when he was told about them.

Mino retired and Thornburg was soon promoted to Deputy Sheriff.

Most recently, Deputy Dustin Hedberg was placed on leave after being accused of obtaining prescription drugs intended for inmates, and Detective Sergeant Brian Hoskins was also placed on leave and under investigation for reasons that have not been disclosed to the public.

On Tuesday, the watchdog board agreed to four courses of action to address the growing number of incidents:

  • Refer cases to the California State Attorney General’s Office
  • Refer them to a civil grand jury
  • Hire an external auditor to audit the department’s policies and procedures
  • Move forward with the Sheriff’s Office Oversight Committee

“The main thing I think I want to accomplish is to reassure the people of Monterey County that if we have a problem with Monterey County departments, whether it’s the sheriff or any other department, we’re going to take action. supervisors will take steps to get to the bottom of it,” said Superintendent and Board Chair Mary Adams.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement in response to the council’s actions:

“The Sheriff’s Office has taken each of the complaints or allegations mentioned very seriously and has either reviewed and corrected the matter or is in the process of investigating all complaints. However, today the Board of Supervisors made several allegations that we were not aware of Although the Sheriff’s Office cannot comment on any specific case due to protections afforded to personnel under the United States Constitution, the California State Constitution and the Bill of Rights peacekeepers, be assured that all complaints are or will be investigated. there is no evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately, some people choose to address sensitive issues in the media without all the facts. These people seem determined to prevent legal and fair procedures or processes from running their course.

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