By Michael G. Stogner
In September of 2019, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Officer George Ismael pled guilty to gang related felonies involved in a notorious jail smuggling case, one in which he had supplied contraband cellphones and illegal drugs to an incarcerated inmate. Ismael had been out of custody and awaiting sentencing, for three years, when he allegedly caused a drunken hit & run traffic collision resulting in injury -in February of this year, 2022.
California sentencing law requires a felon be sentenced within 20 judicial days of pleading guilty, with a provision for an additional 10 days, should a required probation report not be ready within that time. Meaning Ismael should have been sentenced for his crimes, in October of 2019, and ideally been in custody, on parole or supervised probation, in 2022, and unable to further victimize the public. Yet he had remained unsentenced and out of custody, when the drunken hit & run traffic collision, one resulting in injury, had occurred.
Who dropped the ball? Not surprisingly, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, a person not unknown for self-aggrandizing press conferences & releases, has been eerily silent, on the matter.
Had DA Wagstaffe known of this outrageous 3 year delay in Justice and the drunken hit & run collision resulting in injury? How could the House of Wagstaffe not have, since his office had enabled the described delay, enjoining in a motion to continue the sentencing date, on at least one occasion, not arguing against it, in others, and had quietly filed charges against Ismael (absent fanfare, press conference or press release), after the February 2022 drunken hit & run collision.
Justice Delayed is Justice Denied
Hadn’t District Attorney Wagstaffe, in effect, given Ismael a pass, letting accountability drift through time, off into the fog of history, when the collision occurred? Hadn’t this failure to sentence provided Ismael with yet another opportunity to victimize the public?
DA’s Disingenuous (hollow) Proclamations
When Ismael had originally been charged, in the underlying cellphone & drug case, DA Wagstaffe had held a press conference and hyped just how dangerous to the public’s safety Ismael’s introduction of unmonitored cellphones and drugs to an inmate had been. However, this feigned concern over public safety is belied by Mr. Wagstaffe’s actions, in the matter, his Laissez-faire attention to Ismael’s sentencing, resulting in a 3 year & counting delay. Hadn’t DA Wagstaffe’s lack of due diligence in the matter enabled Ismael to once again victimize the public?