Category Archives: Attorney Generals Office

City Managers, What duty do they have to provide accurate information to the Public?

By Michael G. Stogner

Ms. Harmon fired the shotgun multiple times at the deputy,

Yesterday while reading the Background I noticed the words Multiple Times were used and I sent an e-mail to the HMB City Leaders and Managers advising them that I had not seen those two words ever used to describe the Sandra L. Harmon Homicide. I recommended they verify the source of Multiple Times and correct ASAP so as to Not Mislead the Public with inaccurate information.

The Shotgun could fire only 1 shot at a time. That would be some accomplishment for her to fire multiple times. What time did she fire the Shotgun? That has never been answered.

I hope they will be able to add these other facts at the beginning of the meeting to balance this presentation.

They also chose to leave out a few Important Facts like the San Mateo County Coroners Report Dated June 12, 2020. She was shot 8 times.

Manner of Death to be Homicide.

Sandra L. Harmon was Fatally Shot Three Times in the BACK.

Sandra L. Harmon was Shot at 5 times while she was Unarmed with her hand up.

Those Facts are not mentioned by the Sheriff”Office, The District Attorney’s Office, The City of Half Moon Bay, or local Newspapers.

ZOOM MEETING 6PM Tomorrow night.


For meeting of: September 15, 2020

TO: Honorable Mayor and City Council
VIA: Bob Nisbet, City Manager
From: Matthew Chidester, Deputy City Manager




Receive a report and discuss the investigation of the District Attorney of the May 5, 2020 shooting of Sandra Harmon in Half Moon Bay by Sheriff’s Deputies.


This discussion supports the Healthy Communities and Public Safety and Inclusive Governanceelements of the Strategic Plan.


Since 2011, the City of Half Moon Bay has contracted with the San Mateo County sheriff’sOffice for law enforcement services. On the evening of May 5, 2020, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call regarding a woman, later identified as Sandra Harmon, who was walking through downtown Half Moon Bay carrying a shotgun and alcohol, and claiming thatthere was going to be a “race war”. According to reports, after interviewing a witness on Main Street, a deputy tracked the lead to a parking lot on the corner of Main Street and Monte Vista Lane, where he was able to make contact with Ms. Harmon. Following a brief verbal exchange, Ms. Harmon fired the shotgun multiple times at the deputy, who returned gunfire. A second deputy arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, and after verbal commands were ignored, Ms. Harmon again reached for her shotgun, which was at that point laying on the ground. Both deputies opened fire and Ms. Harmon was hit several times and died shortly thereafter.

The current practice in San Mateo County is that anytime a member of the public is injured bylaw enforcement, the District Attorney’s office immediately takes over investigation. Althoughsome details of the incident were initially shared with the public, including body-camera footage, the DA maintains confidentiality of most of the investigation materials until completion, and if charges are pressed, through the trail, in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation and prosecution, if necessary.

On August 28, 2020, the District Attorney, Stephen Wagstaffe, issued a letter to the Sheriff detailing the process and findings of the investigation of the shooting of Sandra Harmon (attached to this Staff Report). In the letter, Mr. Wagstaffe concludes that the deputy’s use of

deadly force in this incident was lawful, and that the District Attorney’s office will take nofurther action. On August 28, the DA’s office also provided a press release to the same effect and made the investigation materials available to interested parties.


Several members of the community have expressed concerns about the details and conclusionof the District Attorney’s investigation. The District Attorney has offered to participate in adiscussion with the City Council on the investigation, and answer questions from the Council and general public. On September 15, 2020, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe will participate in the regular meeting of the Half Moon Bay City Council for this purpose.

Due to recent events in the nation as well as the Coastside community, the City is taking severalsteps to better understand the relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the community,the policies and practices that the Sheriff currently has in place, and the contract between the City and County. A public Safety City Council subcommittee has been convened which is working with staff to develop a white paper study to explore several areas of law enforcement in Half Moon Bay, and staff are also facilitating community discussions on law enforcement on the Coastside. The purpose of this work is to develop recommendations and potential changesto the City’s contract with the County, which expires on June 30, 2022, aimed towardsimproving relations between law enforcement and the community, as well as hopefully preventing the types of tragedies experienced across the country and in recent years, within our own community. The discussion with the District Attorney will help provide additional information and clarity in these efforts.


Letter dated August 28, 2020 from the District Attorney to Sheriff Carlos Bolanos regarding the Officer Involved Shooting on May 5, 2020.

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Axon Sandra L. Harmon Homicide Case.

By Michael G. Stogner

Notice Shotgun on ground and Hands Up.

The above photo is at the 8:07 Mark of Deputy Baba BWC Video. Notice how clear the resolution is.

San Mateo County Residents will remember the October 3, 2018 In-Custody Homicide of Chinedu V. Okobi a Moorehouse Graduate and Father of a daughter who was a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk in Millbrae, when he caught the attention of San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy Wang. There was No 911 call, simply Deputy Wang wanted to engage him. Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos and PIO Rosemary Blankswade Issued two False News Releases after he was killed by Six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees. They left those false statement on the County website for 5 months. Besides killing Chinedu its what the SIX S.O. Employees did or didn’t do for the next 9 minutes after they sat him up with his hands cuffed behind his back. They offered NO CPR and did not check his pulse.

Axon International Inc. is a company that most people think of as a Taser manufacture, but they are much more they also produce the MAV Dash Camera and Remote Microphone Audio, and Body Cameras now used by the Sheriff’s Office and District Office to store Evidence.

That sounds like a Conflict of Interest.

In the Chinedu V. Okobi Homicide case it was reported by the Sheriff Office IT rep. that he was unable to download the MAV Videos from two of the Sheriff Patrol Vehicles that day. Also a Menlo Park Police Officer reported that all of the witnesses he interviewed using Axon Body Camera were unable to be downloaded. Seems strange doesn’t.

Now this morning after reviewing San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe’s Evidence Files in the Sandra L. Harmon Homicide in Custody of the Sheriff’s Office, I noticed No CAD report, No report of ALL the Axon products/devices downloaded that night. I also noticed that company providing the files is the same company to makes the Body Cameras, MAV, and Tasers.

Sandra L. Harmon was Fatally Shot in the back three times according to the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office who ruled the Manner of Death to be Homicide. Sheriff Deputy Dominguez fired at least 5 shots at her while she was unarmed with her hands above her head. He never mentions that fact. Either does Sheriff Carlos Bolanos or D.A. Steve Wagstaffe.

I have asked Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos and PIO Rosemerry Blankswade,

What is the Sheriff’s Office Policy of Firing at an Unarmed Citizen?

How many Shotgun Pellets were recovered from the Crime Scene that night?

What time did Sandra Harmon fire the Shotgun? What Evidence to prove that she fired the Shotgun at all?

The Sheriff and his PIO don’t think theses questions deserve to be answered. I think they are, especially when you tell the public that Your Deputy who fired 11 rounds and killed Sandra L. Harmon just happened to turn off his Axon Body Camera that is pretty convenvient.

Half Moon Bay City Council Meeting by ZOOM September 15, 2020 will have San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe attending and discussing his 12 page letter to Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, where he found no crime had occurred by the Deputies May 5, 2020.

I had asked HMB City Manager Bob Nesbit twice to contact the State of California Attorney General and request an Independent Criminal Investigation by the A.G. or the D.O.J. He chose to meet with his Deputy City Manager and Steve Wagstaffe instead.

City Managers are responsible for the behavior of the Law Enforcement Agencies they contract with. I also asked Bob Nesbit if he had watched the Video provided to the public by Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos. He did not respond to that simple question. If a City Manager is not willing to watch what the Sheriff provides the public 40 days after a Homicide that he personally described as a Shootout when there has been ZERO Evidence of that Statement, at the 8:01-8:06 mark you will see Sandra Harmon standing Unarmed with hands above her head while been fired at by Deputy Dominguez.

What I noticed this morning is that the website the District Attorney arranged for me to view the Investigation Files is owned by Axon.

Small World.

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Filed under #2americas, #corruptionmatters, #EqualJusticeMatters, #SanMateoCountyNews, #SMCJUSTICE, 911, Attorney Generals Office, AXON, Body Camera Video, Chinedu Okobi R.I.P. Homicide, Citizen Journalist, Errol Chang R.I.P.,, Jamie Draper, John Warren, Jordan Boyd, Law Enforcement Reform, Michael G. Stogner, Outrageous Government Conduct, Rick Decker, San Mateo County District Attorney Office, San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy Deputy David Dominguez, San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy John Baba, Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, SMCSO PIO Rosemerry Blankswade, Steve Wagstaffe, Victim's Advocate, Yanira Serrano Garcia R.I.P.

San Mateo County Sheriff S.A.L. xExecutive Director Barbara Bonilla Embezzlement Investigation is still ongoing.

By. Michael G. Stogner

Barbara Bonilla

During the City of Half Moon Bay Special Meeting held September 1, 2020, San Mateo County Sheriff Captain Saul Lopez gave his annual report to the Council. Part of his report included the Sheriff Activities League and all the efforts his Deputies had accomplished and how many children and families were impacted. After his presentation Councilman Harvey Rarback asked probably the most important question of the entire meeting. He asked Captain Saul Lopez if he could comment on the SAL financial situation?

San Mateo County Sheriff Captain Saul Lopez

That situation would be the DOJ Embezzlement and Laundering Investigation of Barbara Bonilla that has been going on for a long time. I was the only reporter to write about it on February 28, 2020 and at that time I could only report that Barbara Bonilla was escorted out of her office and was on administrative leave. Since that time we know she has quit the SMC Sheriff’s Office, which I still don’t know why, has been removed from the State & National PAL Organizations. To this day she has not been charged with any crime. I now know thanks to Sheriff Captain Saul Lopez that that Investigation by the Department of Justice is ongoing and he informed the council he was unable to comment on the subject.

My question to the Half Moon Bay City Council and the City Manager is this, What was the first date that Sheriff Captain Saul Lopez informed you that the Top Executive for the San Mateo County Sheriff Activity League was removed from her office and there is an Investigation ongoing. Was it before my article February 28, 2020? Did he ever report it to you?

The meeting also pointed out exactly how our system works, SAL interacts with children teaching them important life lessons and when one of the adults gets caught, the children learn how the system really works, the adults keep quiet, nobody talks about it. The entire council should put this subject on the agenda. Ask Captain Saul Lopez what did he know and when did he know it?

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Sheriff Activities League is a Division of Sheriff’s Office.

By Michael G. Stogner

The Attorney General Embezzlement Investigation of San Mateo County Sheriff Office Division started who knows when. Sheriff Activities League Executive Director Barbara Bonilla was escorted from her office located at 3551 Edison Way, Redwood City, California on February 10, 2020. The Sheriff’s Office has reported she has resigned from the Sheriff’s Office which is unusual since she has not been charged with any crime yet.

Also Sheriff Bolanos daughter Ashley Bolanos was an assistant to the director at the Sheriff’s Activity League for 3 years. She is now a 911 Dispatcher making $155,000 per year.

A reasonable person would expect Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos or Public Information Officer Rosemerry Blankswade to issue a News Release on February 10th or 11th, not the case. You would expect all five SMC Supervisors to express their shock and dismay at this news. Not the case.

I asked Warren Slocum SMC President of the Board of Supervisors for a comment.

Morning Michael.
As this is a personnel matter, it would be inappropriate to comment. But I do appreciate you reaching out.
Warren Slocum San Mateo County Supervisor Proud to represent District 4@warrenslocum 650.363.4570

From: Michael Stogner <>
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2020 8:45:07 AM
To: Warren Slocum <>
Subject: Sheriff Activity League, 

Hello Warren,
I know you and you wife are active with SAL.
I writing a story about the removal and replacement its Executive Director Barbara Bonilla, with Retired Assistant Sheriff Jeffrey Kearnan.
Do you have any comment?

Thank You,
Michael G. Stogner San Mateo County

San Mateo County
Sheriff’s Activities League

3151 Edison Way
Redwood City, CA 94063
Office: 650-257-3400

Same address as Community Policing Unit / School Resource Unit listed below.

Division of Sheriff’s Office

Perhaps Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos and all Five Supervisors can explain how none of them made the Embezzlement Investigation known to the residents of San Mateo County, the people they work for. While they are at it they can explain how S.A.L is a 501(c)

REDWOOD CITY, CA 94063-1662 
NTEE CodeO50
NTEE ClassificationYouth Development Programs, Other
NTEE TypeYouth Development
ClassificationCharitable Organization
Subsection501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Foundation StatusOrganization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
DeductibilityContributions are deductible
AffiliationIndependent – the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name[Not Applicable]
Ruling DateJune, 2011
Asset Amount$1,323,872
Income Amount$1,850,164
Form 990 Revenue Amount$1,740,104
Latest Form 990 ReturnJune, 2019
Filing Requirement990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year EndJune
IRS Forms 990 
(provided courtesy of Foundation Center)
(Log In or Register Now to View Forms 990!)June, 2018June, 2017June, 2016December, 2015December, 2014

San Mateo County News 2/28/2020 article

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San Mateo’s Peaceful Protest, BLM, George Floyd R.I.P. Chinedu V. Okobi R.I.P.

By Michael G. Stogner

Did anybody mention Chinedu V. Okobi’s name that night? He was killed on El Camino Real, in Millbrae in the middle of the afternoon, by six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees on October 3, 2018. San Mateo County Coroner ruled the manner of Death a Homicide on December 31, 2018. Chinedu Okobi had committed No Crime, when Sheriff Deputy Wang became interested in him. Yes Chinedu was a Black man walking on the sidewalk.

Chinedu Okobi and George Floyd were both killed by law enforcement and both deaths ruled a Homicide. The difference is a brave 17 year old girl who videoed the Murder and put it on the internet for the world to see before it could be destroyed or edited.

Police response was at times unnecessarily intimidating,

I knew I wanted to publish this letter as soon as I read it, in my opinion it is addressed to the wrong people, The five Supervisors couldn’t care less what the residents think or feel. It should be addressed to ALL San Mateo County Residents.

Here it is:

Good morning San Mateo City Council Members, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, Chief Barberini, and Sheriff Bolanos –

On Wednesday evening, June 3, I attended and spoke at the Black Lives Matter Protest in San Mateo. From the moment I walked up to City Hall, witnessed the speeches, and marched from City Hall to the San Mateo Police Department, I was inspired and proud. That is, until SMPD and related police forces showed up unprovoked in masses in riot gear to greet the peaceful protesters. 

Shortly after 7pm, when the protest was scheduled to end, a group of Sheriff vehicles – marked and unmarked – sped down Franklin Parkway towards the hundreds of individuals, families, and children still standing peacefully in the street. As had been specifically planned in coordination with SMPD, the protest was scheduled to end at the San Mateo Police Department with a time of silence and reflection. Instead, when the riot forces began rushing to the scene, people were forced to quickly make way while at the same time fearing what these forces had come to do. I personally witnessed an older gentleman literally jump out of the way of a sheriff car backing up into the driveway. Children were running into the arms of their parents in tears. This as multiple law enforcement officers jumped out of their cars, either dressed in or grabbing full riot gear to don, displaying batons, bright-colored zip tie restraints, rubber bullet guns, and other riot paraphernalia. This was nothing more than an unprovoked, blatant show of force which negated the otherwise positive nature of the demonstration. 

Three of the people standing on Franklin Parkway were me, my husband Rob, and my daughter Kaiya. Prior to this incident, Kaiya had been jumping up and down on the curb, collecting new rocks, and galloping through the street like a horse without a care in the world. This changed in one moment, when she then dove into my arms in hysterics. There have been very few times where I have been so afraid for my life, and never a time when I have been so afraid for the life of my daughter. There is no way to describe what that moment felt like for me, and my 22 month old daughter doesn’t have the words to describe what it was like for her. I’ll never know how much this first real interaction with law enforcement impacted her. 

San Mateo Police Department released a statement indicating there were “additional challenges” and therefore a “supplemental group was deployed.” SMPD further stated, “Fortunately, at no point did these officers, or any other personnel have to employ any use of force and no arrests were made.” That bare statement reflects a generally negative set of expectations for what everyone agreed would be a civil, peaceful demonstration. No mention of the blatant and unnecessary display of force. No recognition of the impact on the peaceful protesters who lined the streets. Could it have been worse? Absolutely. But should we strive to do better? I thought that was the commitment SMPD made in their letter to the community denouncing George Floyd’s death and that was reiterated during the Town Hall earlier this week. Actions speak much louder than words. 

This is not a situation in which you need to wait for other people to determine what happened and why in order to determine right and wrong, and understand the right thing to do. In this letter and in my prior discussions with many of you, I am describing the actions of our local law enforcement, which are not in dispute, and explaining how they were received by attendees including my own family. This is an example of our system functioning as intended, and of your collective complicity. 

No one on our City Council looks like me. To be honest, not many people in our city look like me. I have shared my perspective, as a black woman in our city, as the ONLY current Black Elected Official in our city, and I have been told – subtly or overtly – what every other black person in our country is told – we don’t believe you, and we need to wait for the white men in power to tell us what really happened. 

I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so disappointed. Please know that if you truly stand with Black Lives Matter, actions like these and the insistent failure to acknowledge them directly and seemingly intentionally miss the point. If you believe my life matters, that means you believe me and my experience. You think it is valuable and that my story is ALL you need to denounce these scare tactics, and blatant displays of force.

Councilwoman Lee recently had a rock thrown through her window. She recounted that terrible event from her perspective, she told her story, and action ensued. No one said, we are going to wait until we have all the evidence before we are going to speak out. Why is this experience so different?

I’m asking for two things: 

To the San Mateo City Council and San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, I am asking you to take a stand. To publicly address and denounce these scare tactics and blatant displays of force utilized by law enforcement at the end of the evening. 

To Chief Barberini and Sheriff Bolanos, I am asking for ownership. A lot went well, and you have repeatedly shared that. Own what didn’t go well and make reparations.

Shara Watkins

Remember this was a Successful Peaceful Protest in the middle of a Pandemic. Congratulations to all involved.

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SMC Sheriff’s Office Finally issues Press Release on SAL Embezzlement Investigation

By Michael G. Stogner

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos continues to hide information from the public about ‘Those Who Matter” When he finally does disclose what he is forced to, and he Misleads the Public, as he did with Operation Dollhouse, calling it a massage parlor mistake when it was Human Trafficked Sex Slaves including a minor. Or when he interfered with a criminal investigation involving his son at the Pioneer Saloon in Woodside.

You would not know from this Press Release that Embezzlement of Sheriff Activities League monies stolen from the children of the County was the subject. There has been no arrest, no booking photos, no nothing coming from Sheriff Bolanos on his own. So 59 days after the fact he issues this vague misinformation piece.

A reasonable person would know the Attorney General would not investigate Irregularities. A Sheriff Employee would not resign for Irregularities.

Sheriff Press Release

It wasn’t that long ago that both Carlos G. Bolanos and his daughter Ashley Bolanos were President and Administrative Aid for S.A.L

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Her name was Sandra Lee Harmon. It could have been Errol, Yanira, Chinedu and many others.

By Michael G. Stogner

Sandra Lee Harmon

San Mateo County Supervisors do your job, Supervise.
Release the Videos Today.

It’s been 5 days since Sandra Lee Harmon was killed. The names of the Deputies involved have not been released, the Videos, Audios, 911 call transcripts, name of Hospital, who provided life saving measures and for how long. What type of Shot gun, single barrel? Double barrel? How did it get on the ground? Did she comply with the orders to Put the gun down? Did she fire first? the video and audio would solve that question?

There is a slight possibility that the Sheriff’s Office story is true but the past behavior in Homicide by Law Enforcement (Okobi) is the example the residents of San Mateo County should Not believe anything Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos says or provides in a News Release.

The only fact that we know is that she was killed by San Mateo County Sheriff Deputies in the back parking lot of 845 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, California early evening on May 5, 2020.

San Mateo County Sheriff Office issued a tweet “Upon arrival, Deputies gave her multiple verbal commands to drop her weapon. She did not comply and fired her shotgun at Deputies. Deputies returned fire, striking the woman.  Following lifesaving efforts on-scene, she was transported to the hospital and succumbed to her injuries.”

If that sounds familiar it should, Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos Press Releases. Always make the deceased look guilty.

October 3, 2018 the Sheriff Office News Release issued just hours after the Chinedu Okobi Homicide by SIX San Mateo County Sheriff Employees.

“The deputy exited his vehicle to contact the suspect and the suspect immediately assaulted the deputy.” ” The suspect was also transported to the hospital where it was later learned that he died. Both of these are completely False statements remained on SMC website for 5 months.

October 3, 2018 Sheriff’s Office issued a second News Release where they Omitted the sixth SMC Employee CSO Joseph Gonzales.

Sheriff’s deputy Mehn Trieu arrived at the scene alone and fired a single shot within 20 seconds of exiting his vehicle. After he met with his attorneys he made this statement. Seeing “Yanira SerranoGarcia put the fear of God in him.

Errol Chang was killed by Daly City Swat Team called by Pacifica Police. They got tried of waiting, ordered into the tiny house.

San Mateo County residents you have 5 elected people who are responsible for this result reoccurring. They are the Supervisors.

Her family is requesting financial help at this time Bringing Sandie Home.

Go Fundme page

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Filed under #2americas, #Blacklivesmatter, #citizenoversight, #SanMateoCountyNews, Attorney Generals Office, AXON, Board of Supervisors, Chinedu Okobi R.I.P. Homicide, Citizen Journalist, Citizens Oversight Committee, CSO Joseph Gonzales, Dave Canepa, Dave Pine, David Burruto, Don Horsley, Errol Chang R.I.P., Government Hiding the Obvious, Jeff Regan, Michael G. Stogner, Michelle Durand, Mike Callagy, San Mateo County News, San Mateo County Sheriff Office, San Mateo County Supervisors, Sandra Lee Harmon R.I.P., Sheriff's Public Information Officer, SMCSO PIO Rosemerry Blankswade, Those Who Matter, Victim's Advocate, Whistleblowers, Yanira Serrano Garcia R.I.P.

SMC Sheriff’s Office PIO Rosemerry Blankswade.

By Michael G. Stogner

Det. Rosemerry Blankswade

PIO is Public Information Officer San Mateo County Sheriff Detective Rosemerry Blankswade is the Spokesperson for Sherif Carlos G. Bolanos. She must be extremely busy, doing something more important than Informing the public.

Public Information would include Press Releases to inform the Public.

May 5, 2020 Half Moon Bay about 7:40 PM in the parking lot of the Pasta Moon Restaurant San Mateo County Sheriff Deputies Killed Sandra Lee Harmon a 56 year old mother who was suffering with mental health issues according to her daughter.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office has issued only a simple tweet so far,

No Press Release Period.

Sherif Office News Room

Public Trust is earned, Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos and Detective Rosemerry Blankswade can not be trusted to tell the truth. Chinedu Okobi Homicide by Law Enforcement October 3, 2018 is a perfect example.

The names of the Deputies should have been made public that night, the Videos and Audios should be released to eliminate any false narrative. Some print media has already started, Shootout, Shotgun Wielding etc.

San Mateo County Residents know this is Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos Mental Health Policy.

Update: The Sheriff Office has just produced a Press Release after my article. As you can see it’s dated 5/7/2020

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Governor Newsom: Don’t do it.

By. Michael G. Stogner

Governor Gavin Newsom, Now is not the time to grant this immunity to Businesses. What is more important is track down all the people who came into contact with the Prominent Doctor who flew from New York to California with his daughter to be admitted into Silverado Beverley Place where he made contact March 19, 2020 with Brittany Bruner-Ringo R.I.P. The 32-year-old nurse stopped breathing April 20, 2020 32 days later.

Stay the course Protect the Residents of California.

April 9, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom State of California
State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Request for Executive Order Related to Liability Protection

Dear Governor Newsom:

California’s heath care workers and those serving in supporting roles are on the front lines of a crisis unlike any our state has ever faced. Every day, they are racing against time to prepare to treat and care for all in need. Sadly, in the coming days and weeks, they will face wrenching, life-threatening decisions in managing scarce resources amid arduous conditions.

The COVID-19 pandemic is projected to affect so many people that health care providers will be forced to allocate scarce medical resources among too many patients who need them.

Given this stark reality, we must have one goal: to save as many lives as possible. With that goal, we request the Governor issue an Executive Order including the following language, which will provide a level of liability protection adequate for care providers to save Californians’ lives:

During the current COVID-19 state of emergency, health care facilities, residential care facilities, senior living providers, health care service plans, physicians and other health care professionals, and all employees thereof, are hereby requested to render services to Californians. In recognition of these extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances, such facilities, plans, physicians, professionals, and employees shall be immune from any administrative sanction or criminal or civil liability or claim for any injury, death, or loss alleged to have resulted from any act, omission, or decision made related to providing or arranging services, including but not limited to acts, omissions, or decisions undertaken because of a lack of resources, absent proof by no less than clear and convincing evidence of willful misconduct as measured by a standard of care that incorporates all of the circumstances of the emergency. All state statutes and regulations are hereby waived to the extent necessary to achieve this immunity. The unenforceability or invalidity of any part of this paragraph shall not have an impact on the enforceability or validity of any other part of this paragraph.

Governor Gavin Newsom
April 9, 2020 Page | 2

Effectively minimizing death and serious illness among the population as a whole entails distributing finite resources to those who have the greatest opportunity to benefit, thereby maximizing appropriate care for the greatest number of patients likely to benefit from these resources.

While the state is creating a framework to guide these difficult decisions, providers need assurance they will not later be judged or sued when abiding by this framework, or when making related care decisions based on their best judgment and determination at the time. In this time of crisis, care providers must be able to observe, evaluate, and respond to rapidly-changing conditions and events; the prospect of being subjected to future lawsuits would burden and slow these decisions, threatening greater loss of life throughout California. Basic ethical principles governing crisis triage decisions include accountability—not only for health care providers called upon to make such decisions, but also for the government in supporting the processes to make these decisions and protecting the providers who make them.

When providers approach their work in the coming weeks and months, we must give them the support they need to make the best possible decisions, including protections from future legal action, as long as that liability protection does not excuse willful misconduct. To help understand the magnitude of the situation, here are several examples of the kinds of situations our health care system will face:

  1. Thirty patients require ventilators, but a hospital has only 25 ventilators.
  2. A hospital has too few pulmonologists, so obstetricians agree to care for respiratory patients.
  3. A hospital postpones a patient’s elective surgery to accommodate a surge of COVID-19 patients,thus delaying care to the surgery patient.
  4. A patient no longer needs acute care, and is moved to a skilled nursing facility, although thepatient preferred to stay at the acute care facility and did not provide consent to be transferred.
  5. An assisted living facility resident contracts COVID-19 from an employee, even though thefacility used proper screening techniques when employees arrived at work.
  6. An assisted living facility suspends group dining and activities as well as restricting visitors, dueto social distancing requirements, and is sued for causing depression by isolating residents intheir rooms.
  7. A skilled nursing facility is sued for allegedly deficient care rendered by staff who had notreceived full training s a result of staffing shortages.
  8. A facility cannot access N-95 masks, and health care providers are asked to deliver care usingsurgical masks.
  9. A skilled nursing facility admits an asymptomatic patient in accordance with CaliforniaDepartment of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The patient later is determined to be COVID-19-positive, and the facility must manage a potential outbreak without full staff and without sufficient personal protective equipment.

In addition to the executive order language requested above, when considering the issue of liability protection, provisions of Government Code Section 8659 should be explicitly invoked; however these provisions are too limited for the unprecedented pandemic we are facing, which is why even broader liability protections is needed. Government Code Section 8659 does not help skilled nursing or assisted living facilities or health plans, and omits many types of health care workers (such as physician assistants, mental health providers, custodial staff, and managers). In addition, this statute does not provide protection for a willful act or willful omission, such as considered decisions to ration ventilators,

Governor Gavin Newsom
April 9, 2020 Page | 3

stop elective procedures, transfer a patient to an alternate care center, or assign an obstetrician to care for a pulmonary patient which has been the advice of the state or the standard or care in a crisis.

As our care providers make these difficult decisions, they need to know they will not be prosecuted or persecuted. This request is made with the deep understanding that every care provider is doing all they can to protect all Californians during this unprecedented crisis.


Carmela Coyle, President and CEO California Hospital Association

Craig Cornett, CEO/President
California Association of Health Facilities

Sally Michael, President & CEO California Assisted Living Association

Janus Norman, SVP, Government Relations California Medical Association

Charles Bacchi, President & CEO California Association of Health Plans

Jeannee Parker Martin, President & CEO LeadingAge Californa

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Superior Courts San Mateo County are Open Why? L.A. County are Closed.

As of yesterday afternoon I was unable to tell Liz Valencia the Mother of Vincent Valencia who is scheduled to be sentenced to Prison this morning in Judge Susan Greenberg’s court if the Superior Courts were open or not. I checked the websites and I sent this e-mail to SMC District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe for this information. Liz lives in Fresno a 3 hour drive plus there is a Stay in Place Order in effect. D.A. Wagstaffe did not reply which is unusual for him.

Here is a Letter I sent by Certified Mail to Judge Greenberg regarding Vincent Valencia.

Michael G. Stogner                                                                     Date: March 11, 2020 831-210-8994

Honorable Judge Susan Greenberg

Southern Court 400 County Center

Redwood City, California 94063

Regarding: March 17, 2020 Sentencing

Vincent Valencia 19-SF-003527-A & 19-SF-008911-A

Dear Honorable Judge Susan Greenberg,

I am writing you as a Private Victim’s Advocate who has No relationship or Conflict of Interest with speaking out about Vincent Valencia. I’m very concerned that San Mateo County and the Courts have failed to acknowledge his long history of Mental Health Issues. His Mother Liz Valencia drove up from Fresno to inform the Board of Supervisors recently about his Mental History which goes back to his childhood. She stated he has been arrested more than 100 times in the last 10 years. That all by itself should be the Red Flag that something is very wrong and possibly Not Criminal. You will see from prior court records he pleads often when he is represented by the Private Defender Program. No Jury Trial.

I hope that bringing this to your attention will cause you to ask the appropriate questions, He clearly doesn’t understand this process even though the Court records state Defendant was advised of and understood Charges and Direct Consequences of plea. Jan. 27. 2020

Thank You for being the Safety Net.


Michael G. Stogner

Michael Stogner <>To:Steve Wagstaffe Mon, Mar 16 at 5:30 PMHello Steve,
Are the courts still open this week?
Thank You 

Courts in L.A. will be closed till Friday

By James Queally and Matt Hamilton

All Los Angeles County court proceedings will be suspended for several days as concerns about the spread of the coronavirus continue to mount, court officials announced Monday.

The nation’s largest court system will go dark from March 17 to 19, according to a statement issued by Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile. Court will reopen Friday for “the limited purpose of hearing or handling essential or emergency matters.”

“The Superior Court of Los Angeles County is committed to providing equal access to justice through the fair, timely and efficient resolution of all cases. However, it is imperative that we continue aligning our Court with the most recent directives and guidelines issued by our national, state and local public health officials,” the statement read. “Let me be clear: we will continue to serve the needs of the most vulnerable people in Los Angeles County—our children, the elderly, domestic violence victims, people whose life and liberty interests are at stake, and in many other emergent cases as is possible and safe.”

Brazile had previously asked that new criminal and civil trials be put on hold for at least 30 days. The three-day suspension is being carried out with the approval of California’s chief justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

Courts in Orange County also announced late Monday that they were suspending all proceedings until March 27 due to the public health crisis.

Los Angeles County courts are expected to reopen Friday, but a lengthier stalling of judicial proceedings is possible.

Three law enforcement officials told The Times that Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey sent a message to prosecutors over the weekend telling them that a 30-day delay of all active jury trials was likely to be implemented. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss the matter candidly.

The district attorney’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

In his statement Monday, Brazile said he would release additional information in the coming days about further reductions in judicial and court services.

The announcement comes as criminal justice officials in California continue to struggle with how spread of the virus will impact courthouses and jails.

Over the weekend, Los Angeles County court officials announced the suspension of the high-profile murder trial of New York real estate scion Robert Durst.

Judges were also encouraged to shift toward telephonic proceedings to lower traffic in the region’s courthouses.

Statewide, courthouses have taken a patchwork of measures to deal with the threat the virus poses to jurors and staff, ranging from trial delays to temporary building closures to excusing older jurors.

Lou Shapiro, a criminal defense attorney in Century City, applauded Brazile’s decision and said it was a relief for the attorneys and court staff that he knew.

“Many attorneys are really scared to go to work right now. You don’t have effective advocates if they are always living in fear,” Shapiro said.

He said that in the long term, the benefits of temporary closure would be more apparent.

“Because this disease is so contagious, if it does go around the court staff and lawyers, what justice will be served? What kind of advocates can public defenders and criminal defense attorneys be if they are quarantined?” Shapiro asked. “It’s better to sit out a few days or weeks. At the end of it, the defendants’ rights will be better served by taking this short-term break, rather than letting it ride and seeing how it goes.”

Michele Hanisee, president of the union representing deputy district attorneys, said the interruptions could prove significant for active trials, and suggested judges may allow for a review of prior testimony to allow jurors to re-acclimate themselves with evidence in case of prolonged delays.

“This is new, uncharted territory for everyone presently alive. It’s hard to know what’s too little and what’s too much. Everyone is proceeding with caution,” she said.

Nikhil Ramnaney, president of the union representing Los Angeles County public defenders, said he believed the court should have taken action sooner given the ease with which the virus could spread in a courthouse.

“I think now they’re finally taking this seriously … in terms of my membership, in the last 72 hours it’s been insane how many people are very, very scared,” he said. “It’s impossible given the facilities to engage in social distancing.”

Ramnaney also noted that while the shutdown is necessary to prevent spread among lawyers, law enforcement officers and others who move in and out of the county’s sprawling court system, it could also worsen problems for at-risk individuals who are incarcerated.

“During the next three days, what venue do we have to petition for the release of very vulnerable people?” he asked. “That to me is the really difficult one.… How do we strike a balance between our own personal safety, and the safety of our families, and the safety of incarcerated people?”

Before the announcement was made, the county’s top public defender, Ricardo Garcia, told The Times in an interview that any adjustments the court makes must stand up to constitutional muster.

“If there’s any situation where client rights are infringed on, we will object,” Garcia said, noting that keeping defendants out of custody was among his top priorities.

Garcia said that public defenders were confronting difficult dilemmas amid the closures of courthouses, trial delays and a widening public health crisis.

“Right now people are torn: They have two competing interests as attorneys. The first being the desire to protect themselves and their family, the people they love,” Garcia said, “and the second is the people they’ve dedicated their careers to protect: their clients.”

Posted on Superior Courts Website Today March 17, 2020

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