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 Warren Slocum San Mateo County Supervisor Proud to represent District 4@warrenslocum 650.363.4570
From: Michael Stogner <email@example.com> Sent: Friday, February 28, 2020 8:45:07 AM To: Warren Slocum <WSlocum@smcgov.org> 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 News.com
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.
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)
This is the group of ordinary citizens that successfully recalled a San Mateo County Elected Official named Herb Perez a Foster City Councilman. One of the items that came up during the Recall Campaign was an Unpaid Sponsorship Fees bill for $17,090.00. So now you have the Government of Foster City giving the RECALLED Politician a Gift of $10,000 and there is no evidence that he has paid or started to pay the previous debt.
Everybody in the Government knows why Herb Perez was RECALLED, the Question is Who approved Gold Medal to receive a $10,000 check in light of the above?
FC-Watchdog submitted a Public Records Act request to the city to inquire about which small businesses received $10,000 from the Business Resiliency fund assistance from Foster City? We received a list today today showing that Gold Medal Martial Arts is a recipient of this fund. We are troubled by this for the following reasons:
Did Gold Medal pay the $17,000 city invoice sent in January for unpaid city event sponsorships?
If not, should Gold Medal be receiving this assistance with an overdue, unpaid balance?
Who approved Gold Medal to receive a $10,000 check in light of the above?
Why is Gold Medal being given special treatment to this day, assuming the $17,000 remains unpaid?
FC-Watchdog is scheduled to meet with the interim city manager next week and we hope to get answers to the above at that time. If you share our concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The city manager will also receive your email.
City Manager Jeff Moneda could have solved this a long time ago, He choose instead to obstruct this simple process. He also chose to resign and remain in that position for two months. Several residents asked by e-mail the City Council to fire him last week before a Closed Door Session about his employment. The meeting took place and there has been no public announcement of the results from that meeting yet. Why?
This issue is a debt for Non Payment of Sponsorship Fees to Foster City by now Recalled Elected Official Herb Perez in the amount of $17,090. That should be pretty simple did Mr. Perez pay this amount Yes or No ? Who should answer that question City Manager Jeff Moneda. It turns out he and others have known this information since mid January 2020.
Mayors Letter to Public
Agenda Item 6-2 A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Foster City Authorizing the Issuance of a Requests for Proposals for an Operational Assessment of the Parks and Recreation Department.
The Public would have no idea that the above Agenda Item was supposed to be about the Non-Payment of Sponsorship Fees by Recalled Councilmember Herb Perez because it wasn’t. That woodcrafting came from City Manager Jeff Moneda and City Attorney Jean Savaree.
The Taxpayers pay all the costs of the City Attorney and for that reason many members of the public believe the City Attorney looks out for their interest, not the case.
Under the Public Records Act, all documents created, owned, or maintained by a public agency are presumptively available for public inspection unless one of the PRA’s exemptions applies. This is no big deal and no reason for a City Attorney to be involved except in a very limited basis, guide the staff in how to prepare. Same is true in accounting matters no reason in the world for City Attorney or their Staff to be conducting accounting when that is what the Financial Depart is paid for already.
All Five Council Members were asking the simple question How much does he owe the City of Foster City, that would imply none of them knew that amount. The City Manager and the City Attorney both knew that amount since January and both chose not to inform the council or the public. Why?
January 22, 2020 the City of Foster City sent a Final Bill by mail for $17,090.00
The readers of this should know this subject of Non-Payment of Sponsorship by an Elected Official would never have come to the publics attention had it not been for a Few Concerned Citizens who sent CPRA.
In the last month Verified Voting has had 2 Advisory Board Members (Whistleblowers) Resign. The question I have is why haven’t the other 45 members done the same?
Community election reform activist Brent Turner has been warning San Mateo County and the USA about the vulnerabilities surrounding election systems. For the past six months Turner has publicly requested Supervisor Slocum step down due to a conflict of interest as Slocum sits on the board of Verified Voting. Turner has for years alleged Verified Voting had ” unclean hands” as a ” consumer watchdog ” as Verifed has business relationship with Microsoft and vendors. Turner originally became familiar with Verified Voting’s and Stanford professor David Dill from Dill’s ability to obtain Federal grant monies. Turner has alleged that Dill and his associates have blocked best election security efforts for personal gain. The following correspondence explains further.
As citizens of San Mateo County we are embarrassed by your association with this apparently nefarious activity.
Please consider joining other Verified Voting board members in stepping down from this group.
I would like to underscore and amplify Mr. Turner’s recent message by urging that all individuals who wish to maintain integrity in elections, who are in positions of leadership or affiliated with Verified Voting, should promptly resign. Before doing so, though, they should immediately move to have the VerifiedVoting.org organization dissolved and the Verified Voting Foundation removed from its 501(c)(3) status.
Everything that Mr. Turner has mentioned about the manner in which I and my company, Notable Software, Inc. were robbed of our share of the NSF ACCURATE grant, including by members of Verified Voting, despite the grantee’s continued and unauthorized use of my intellectual property, both in their funding application and in the naming of the Center, is true and well-documented.
Please also note certain highlights of the recent Fast Company article, as follows:
Richard DeMillo <https://www.cc.gatech.edu/people/richard-demillo>, a Georgia Tech professor who sat on Verified Voting’s advisory board, and UC Berkeley statistics professor and associate dean Philip Stark <https://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~stark/>, a VV board member, have resigned from the advocacy group, stating that they believe that Verified Voting has been giving election officials false confidence in some voting machines and providing cover for the companies that make and sell these machines.
In DeMillo’s December 1 resignation letter to Barbara Simons (chair of VV’s board of directors), he claimed that “Verified Voting’s policy positions were unpredictable, contradictory, and not aligned with the values I once believed we shared. On more than one occasion, Verified Voting has taken contradictory public stances in the span of a few days, undercutting allies and supporters. The pattern of espousing new positions and making public statements that take local VV stakeholders by surprise is nothing new. Rather than seeking out advice, Verified Voting has gone to great lengths to avoid it.”
With respect to VV’s involvement in a Risk Limiting Audit (RLA) pilot in Georgia, DeMillo claimed that “Verified Voting’s seal of approval for the security theatrics in Bartow County undermines efforts to make elections more accountable. … No audit based on an untrustworthy audit trail can confirm the correctness of the outcome. Billing such an exercise as an RLA and touting it as a proof of security plays into the hands of cynics.”
Stark, who resigned on November 21, accused VV of being on the “wrong side” saying: “Our message to jurisdictions that buy poorly designed, insecure, universal-use BMD [ballot marking device systems] should be, ‘We tried to warn you. You need a better voting system’ … Instead, we’re saying, ‘Don’t worry: VV will teach you to sprinkle magic RLA dust and fantasies about parallel testing on your untrustworthy election. All will be fine; you can use our authority and reputation to silence your critics.'” [End of Article Summary]
I personally worked side-by-side with some of the members of Verified Voting in the early years. It is to our collective credit, in part, that Voter Verified Paper Ballots (a concept that I promoted extensively, years prior to the formation of VV, and even prior to Bush v. Gore) are now considered the Gold Standard for elections.
Those of you who have, since then, endorsed technologies that promise to undercut the authenticity of these ballots, have put an indelible blemish on your formerly fine work. You should be ashamed of yourselves and embarrassed about what you are doing to endanger voting at this critical time in history, when it is likely that the Impeached US President will be running for re-election. Please leave your egos at the door and dissolve Verified Voting, as it is now as untrustworthy as some of the voting machines and methodologies you have encouraged for adoption. The World Is Watching.
With extreme sincerity,
Rebecca Mercuri, Ph.D.
December 1, 2019
Barbara Simons, Chair Verified Voting Board of Directors
It is with profound regret that I resign from the VV Board of Advisors. When you invited me to join the board shortly after the 2016 elections, I agreed for three reasons. First, Verified Voting’s promise to promote policy positions that “are based on scientific evidence and understood best practices in election administration” offered hope in addressing a decade or more of willful neglect of those principles in Georgia. Second, I thought that lending my name to the organization would help in the fight to eliminate vulnerable, unauditable voting machines in Georgia and nationwide. Third, I understood that my voice would be joined with the voices of respected colleagues to be sought out, valued, and debated by the organization’s leadership. However, it soon became apparent that Verified Voting’s policy positions were unpredictable, contradictory, and not aligned with the values I once believed we shared. On more than one occasion, Verified Voting has taken contradictory public stances in the span of a few days, undercutting allies and supporters. The pattern of espousing new positions and making public statements that take local VV stakeholders by surprise is nothing new. Rather than seeking out advice, Verified Voting has gone to great lengths to
I have tried over the last two years to engage in dialog, but you, Marian, and her team have been unwilling to have face to face conversations, even when we are in the same city and sometimes the same building. These apparent disconnects have been seized upon and exploited in Georgia and other states to weaken, not enhance, the cause of accurate and verifiable elections. Although my concerns have been growing for some time now, Verified Voting’s involvement in a “pilot RLA” in Georgia following the recent election makes it impossible to continue as a member of the advisory board. VV issued and supported misleading public statements that those pilots confirm outcomes and even prove the security of new election systems. Verified Voting’s seal of approval for the security theatrics in Bartow County undermines efforts to make elections more accountable. This exercise conducted behind closed doors and billed as a practice run—even if flawlessly conducted—could only confirm the correctness of the tally of the unverified (and therefore possibly corrupted) ballots, not that the ballots tallied were correctly marked. No audit based on an untrustworthy audit trail can confirm the correctness of the outcome. Billing such an exercise as an RLA and touting it as a proof of security plays into the hands of cynics. Whatever benefits accrue from this practice, it does not help public understanding to aid election officials in misstating the results. A similar false claim was made in Pennsylvania the following week. Verified Voting subsequently tweeted a weak repudiation of the incorrect Pennsylvania claim, but let stand an identical incorrect assertion in Georgia. That unrefuted statement will surely be a factor in future litigation. Most recently, Marian’sessay, posted on verifiedvoting.org shortly after Philip Stark’s November 22 resignation from the board, doubled down on these and other expanded claims. It is a short essay, but I count at least nine distinct contradictions of prior Verified Voting statements and published positions. In light of this, the promise to pursue policy positions based on scientific evidence and best practices rings hollow. I can no longer lend my name to Verified Voting. Some, including anti-transparency activists, conflicted supporters of ballot marking devices, politicians trying to silence and intimidate critics, and opponents of evidence-based policy, have already mischaracterized the mainly technical debates within the election integrity community. If they are successful at confusing the public about the correctness of election outcomes in Georgia and elsewhere, I fear it will be in some measure due to the absence of values once embraced by Verified Voting.
Richard DeMillo Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Professor of Computing and Executive Director of the Center for 21st
Were the dumping of dead bodies, on Skyline Boulevard, foreseeable or something of that order inevitable? Did sheriff’s executives fail the community?
The geographic area of Skyline Boulevard, in unincorporated San Mateo County, was formerly assigned patrol deputies to provide line-level law enforcement services for each of the sheriff’s office’s shifts. It was known as the “90 Beat.” The position, that of a deputy sheriff providing patrol services, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, was fully funded for by the County Board of Supervisors and staffed by the sheriff.
Under then Sheriff Don Horsely & Undersheriff Greg Munks, staffing for this position was changed, with the deputies being removed (reassigned) and the funding being used to, first, pay for deputies assigned to East Palo Alto and, later, other pet projects of the sheriff. This practice was continued, first, by Munks who took Horsely’s position as sheriff, in 2007, and then Carlos Bolanos who was Illegally Appointed Sheriff July 12, 2016 by the Board of Supervisors and became elected Sheriff in June 2018 sworn in Janruary 2019.
In short, Horsley, Munks, and now Bolanos, respectively, made decisions to leave county residents who live at and about Skyline Boulevard unprotected, without a dedicated patrol officer, because they were deemed to have less of a need, even though the County Board of Supervisors fully fund the position and, I dare say, have the expectation that this was and is being done.
Could the two recent homicides, on Skyline Boulevard, be, in part, the result of no dedicated deputy sheriffs patrolling that area, providing an incentive for those that would engage in crime there? And, in that regard, couldn’t the resulting crimes have been foreseeable, inevitable, since there was no dedicated deterrent?
Did Horsely, Munks, or Bolanos ever inform area residents of their decision to divert resources? Did these residents not have an expectation their neighborhood was being staffed and protected by sheriff’s patrols?
Had a Deputy not been responding to an unrelated call for service and driven by and noticed the first body, how long would it have been before it was discovered? Shouldn’t County residents expect more from current Sheriff Carlos Bolanos? Has he shown the vision, decision making, results, and stewardship residents should expect from the chief executive officer of a $140,000,000 enterprise / budget? Certainly, this should be a question best put to the residents of the 90 Beat?
Another way to view this, isn’t such failure of leadership and results by Sheriff Bolanos foreseeable, given his past performance? Shouldn’t we both expect and be resigned to it?
A reasonable person would think that Criminal Charges would be filed against anyone or any group of people including Law Enforcement Employees if they caused a Homicide.
On December 31, 2018 San Mateo County Coroner’s Office determined Chinedu Okobi’s Death was a Homicide. “HOMICIDE PROTOCOL” 36-year old male involved in a physical altercation with San Mateo County Sheriff Deputies. Note: CSO Joseph Gonzales was also involved he is not a Deputy.
There were Six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees not Five. It’s irresponsible and against policy for Parking Enforcement Officer (Meter-Maid) to participate in the takedown and Homicide of Chinedu Okobi. Everybody in Law Enforcement knows that. CSO Joseph Gonzales is a civilian.
Nicole Basurto, A very good and concerned Citizen, Witness not found by Sheriff Office. She called in.“Thought it was odd the Deputies did not try to arrest Decedent Okobi when he was on the ground.”She was fairly certain that he died at the scene.” “A male deputy hit Okobi 3-4 times with a closed fist, seemed directed to his head.”
San Mateo County Deputy Coroner Heather Diaz #21 “I have determined the manner of Death to be Homicide.” December 31, 2018
San Mateo County Sheriff IT Technician Johnson Hang was unable to download Deputy Wang & Sergeant Weidner’s MAVVideo from patrol cars at the crime scene. Why?
Menlo Park Police Officer Joshua Russell unable to download his witness interviews he tried twice, Vie-Vu software owned by Axon.
San Mateo County Criminalist II Anthony Delmonico: District Attorney’s office requesting the Forensic Investigation of an “In-Custody Death.”
Caption in D.A.’s video at the 7:22 mark “ A deputy attempts to subdue Okobi with Pepper Spray, but mistakenly hits his fellow deputies and Sergeant.” Steve Wagstaffe does not identify the sprayer as Deputy Wang, Why? His Expert Jeffrey Martin says it was Deputy Wang. There is only one Deputy it could be and that is Wang. There is one other possibility and that might be why Wagstaffe chose not to identify Wang as the sprayer of Pepper Spray. “At the t 7:18 mark Civilian CSO Joseph Gonzales’s right hand can clearly be seen unholstering and discharging pepper spray.” He then puts it back in his belt and backs away.
Sergeant Weidner calls it a Crime Scene at 11:31 mark. Why is arresting a suspect a Crime Scene? It’s not, but killing an unarmed civilian who committed no crime is.
Sergeant Weidner 13:26 Mark on cellphone “Dude’s alive that’s all you need to know, We’re good.”
Sergeant Weidner 10/03/2018says Okobi was Pepper Sprayed changes story. Why?
14:35 mark says: “He’s been tasered several times and Peppered Sprayed.”
15:03 mark says: “ He’s been tased twice and Pepper Sprayed.”
Weidner Statement to Jamie Draper on 10/04/2018 prepared 10/12/2018
“He was told later it was Deputy Wang who deployed the pepper spray at that point in the struggle; however he did not see him do it.” Sergeant Weidner speculated the pepper spray was possibly directed upward at the subject’s face while he was in a somewhat prone position on the ground which caused the spray to miss the subject completely and instead strike Deputy Watt, Deputy Lorenzatti and Sergeant Weidner.
D.J. Wozniak President of the Deputy Sheriff Association, the Union calls Sgt. Weiner at the Crime Scene audio goes silent. 22:10 mark. Why is he calling Weidner?
Deputy De Martini to Jamie Draper (Sincere report)
“He said he felt a Pulse but said due to the fact he had just been struggling with Okobi he was no longer certain if he felt Okobi’s pulse or his own.”
Also said “ I kind of raised up his head a little bit.”
Deputy Watt to Jamie Draper (Sincere report.)
“Said he was speaking to Decedent Okobi, telling him to relax and breath, But he did not recall Okobi ever saying anything in response.
March 1, 2019 San Mateo County District Attorney held a Press Conference.
The members of the Public were not included.
As you watch this Presentation, remember Steve Wagstaffe knows it was a Homicide. See when he finally acknowledges it at 47:30 mark.
8:20 mark Steve Wagstaffe tells the reporters that the “Cause of Death was Cardiac Arrest.”
47:30 mark, KQED Reporter Julie Small asked “Do you know the manner of death?” Wagstaffe says “The Coroner of this County Labeled it a Homicide.” He went on to say Homicide occurring during interaction with that individual.”
Had Reporter Julie Small of KQED not ask that question Steve Wagstaffe was not going to mention Homicide
I, Michael G. Stogner Co-owner of San Mateo County News.Com asked Steve Wagstaffe @ 37:39 mark.
“After Mr. Okobi stopped breathing, You mentioned in your presentation somebody said get him in a seated position, can you identify which deputy said that?
Wagstaffe said, “It was Sgt Weidner, “He actually uses the words Positional Aphysixation watch for that, But he was breathing and he had a pulse.”
Q. By putting him in a seated position, Did his head not go forward and stop his breathing?” Note: Seated Position @ 10:27 mark
Wagstaffe said “It did not.””The belief was Not, that it did not occur.” “Because they continued to check for the breathing.” check head position at 10:27 mark it did go forward Mr. Wagstaffe.
Wagstaffe said, “But he was breathing and he had a pulse at the time.”“He actual uttered some words.” No Caption at time with words allegedly uttered
Wagstaffe said, “It was a couple of minutes, several minutes after he was turned over to the AMR people.” “Deputies are out of the picture then it’s over to the medical people.”
The video does not support Steve Wagstaffe’s statement.
Video shows AMR #37 Suzanne Holman @17:55 mark giving Sternum Rub, Checking for a Pulse, and tilting head back. If a Reasonable Person takes the meaning of several minutes to mean 3 minutes that would take you to the 20:55 mark.
Wagstaffe said, He was still breathing when the Sheriff Deputies turned him over to the ARM people.” Question, What time was Okobi turned over to the AMR people? Question, Who from the FOUR AMR people is District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe talking about? Here are the AMR people, Suzanne Holman #37, Forrest Uhland #37, Patrick Pham #94 & Ferdinand Retanubun #94
According to Daly City Police Officer Joshua McQuade who interviewed S. Holman on 10/04/2018
AMR #37 Suzanne Holman “She said she did not touch the decedent.”
AMR #37: Forrest Uhland “Did not render any medical aid to decedent Okobi personally.”
AMR #94 Ferdinand Retanubun said “His unit was assigned to treat the injured deputy who was bleeding from the face (Deputy Wang)
AMR #94 Partick Pham said he was assigned to attend to two (2) Sheriff’s Deputies whom he described as an Asian deputy with abrasions to his face, (Deputy Joshua Wang) and a bald deputy who had been exposed to pepper spray (Deputy Bryan Watt).
Wagstaffe said, “You can hear the AMR people say to him, Check the pulse make sure he is still breathing.” That sentence makes no sense at all. A Reasonable Person would have to ask, Who is Wagstaffe calling Him? He can’t be talking about Chinedu Okobi, He has been dead since 9:10 mark.
Wagstaffe said, “You don’t see them taking out their nightsticks.” -5:27 mark
Deputy Wang & Deputy Watt both brought out their Batons. In the DA’s Video at the 10:57 Mark you will see Deputy DeMartini Tampering with Evidence by picking up a Taser and Extended Baton and putting them in CSO’s Sheriff Pick Up Truck.
On October 3, 2018 in the middle of the day on El Camino Real, Millbrae, California. Chinedu V. Okobi died after 5 San Mateo County Sheriff Deputies, Tased him, hit him with extended baton, and sprayed him with OC spray, at least 4 deputies were on top of him when he stopped breathing, was he turned on his side as policy requires, who if anyone provided CPR.
The City of Millbrae has hired the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office to provide peace officers or public safety services for the residents. Captain Paul Kunkel took over the Millbrae position just 3 weeks before this in custody death of a pedestrian happened.
We are not talking about a violent bank robbery, or car jacking suspect, we are talking about a man walking down the sidewalk. At the very minimum this demonstrates the provider is incompetent and at the maximum criminal behavior.
I have not seen or heard any comments from these two gentlemen who are responsible.
Millbrae City Manager Tom Williams
Millbrae City Council members below
Millbrae Mayor Wanye Lee
Millbrae Vice Mayor Reuben D. Holober
These are the seven people who are responsible to the residents of Millbrae to provide Police Services. They have remained silent. Many Good and Concerned Citizens have been speaking up at the Board of Supervisors Meetings demanding answers to what really happened that day Release the video and audio recordings.
That night I attended a Vigil at 1400 El Camino Real, Millbrae, California it was a stormy night full of love and respect for Chindeu and his loved ones. I did not see any of the seven people above attend. I did meet two neighbors who said they are terrified of the Police in Millbrae. I told them they don’t have Police in Millbrae they have the Sheriff’s Office, big difference. They also said they are sickened by what happened to Chinedu Okobi. I thanked them for attending and sharing their thoughts.
Real Estate Investor Clyde Berg Supports Silicon Valley Journalism & Media Projects
Handshake Deal Brings Investigative Reporting to Silicon Valley’s Family Courts
CUPERTINO, CA—In a signature handshake deal, driven in part by Santa Clara County’s District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s recent refusal to prosecute another rape case, California real estate investor Clyde Berg has lent support to Bassi Productions for a collaborative project that strives to infuse substantial funding and investment to journalism, local investigative reporting and production projects that seek to bring media attention to Silicon Valley’s most shocking divorce and custody cases.
Historically, the wealth of Clyde Berg, and his activist billionaire brother Carl Berg, has attracted some of Silicon Valley’s most nefarious criminals and scam artists, yet Clyde Berg contends what attorney Bradford Baugh did while representing his former wife in a divorce case was the most elaborate legal scam of all.
As part of an alleged scam, Bradford Baugh partnered with fellow divorce lawyer Sharon Roper, who drafted a bogus post-nuptial agreement that was later determined to have been forged a year before Berg’s wife filed for divorce and made false allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence. Had Berg not challenged the forged agreement and false sexual assault claims during a divorce and related civil case, Ellena may have succeeded in fraudulently obtaining $10 million dollars from Berg’s estate. Ultimately, Clyde was exonerated of all charges and obtained a rarely issued formal “finding of factual innocence”, meaning the crimes Ellena had alleged, and garnered media attention from, never happened, and Clyde, at 73 years of age, should never have been criminally prosecuted based on false claims.
Susan Bassi, a local publisher and court watchdog who experienced her own seven-year divorce case in Santa Clara County, met Clyde Berg on social media after she had facilitated bringing national media attention to the domestic violence and custody case involving Kendra Scott and former San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald. Bassi was especially struck by Berg’s compassion to believe women like Kendra and Neha Rastogi, a former Apple manager who suffered years of abuse at the hands of her powerful immigrant CEO husband, Abhishek Gattani during their 10-year marriage.
Bassi and Berg are united in their criticism of DA Jeff Rosen. Bassi has publicly argued that Rosen has failed victims and wasted taxpayer money by maliciously prosecuting men like Berg, while giving men including McDonald and Gattani a free pass.
For the past five years, Bassi has been pushing local and national news outlets to cover family court cases, where court files are fraught with horror stories that include shocking details involving domestic violence, tax evasion, sexual assault, child abuse, rape, and fraud , all of which are typically ignored by law enforcement agencies and judges.
Mainstream media outlets historically have steered clear of investigating divorce and family court scandals, as it can be virtually impossible to sort out the “he said, she said” allegations that characterize these cases. The Berg-Bassi collaboration will seek to provide support for local reporting and production projects with added support requested from the 49ers, the Oakland A’s as well as tech and social media companies including; Apple, Google, 23andMe, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Oracle, Facebook, and Netflix where employees, investors and founders have been personally impacted by unethical private and government lawyers seeking to misuse the courts and incite conflict in families for profit.
“We live in Silicon Valley where stories arising from family courts should fill local newspapers and provide production content to an area quickly becoming known as Hollywood North. Silicon Valley has the money, drive and technology to support journalism and investigative reporting to watchdog elected officials and court systems. Justice is never served when the media isn’t watching, ” Bassi stated as the collaborative project was announced.
Berg’s support, combined with the support of other tech and social media companies, will allow Bassi Productions to direct funding to journalism projects, social media storytelling and non-profit organizations committed to social justice and bringing much needed transparency to California’s family courts and law enforcement agencies dealing with intimate partner violence, sexual assault and false claims made during divorce and custody cases.
To share a family court story, apply for grants, or to assist in project funding and support, contact: Bassiproductions.com, P.O. Box 2220 Los Gatos, CA 95031, or (831) 320-6421.
DMV under scrutiny in voting glitch
State leaders will assess whether registration errors changed November election results.
By John Myers
SACRAMENTO — Faced with evidence that some voter registration forms weren’t properly filed by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, state officials will now investigate whether any votes were wrongly rejected and whether the final results in any state or local races should be reconsidered.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla and leaders of the agency that oversees the DMV agreed on Monday to settle a federal lawsuit brought by advocacy groups including the League of Women Voters of California and the American Civil Liberties Union. The settlement, in part, states that Padilla’s office will “take steps to ensure that every vote is counted” if ballots were rejected and will provide “guidance to elections officials in the relevant jurisdiction(s) on how to count the affected ballots and, if appropriate, recertify election results.”
On Dec. 14, DMV officials revealed that staff members had not transmitted voter registration files for 589 people whose applications or updated applications were filled out before the close of registration for the Nov. 6 statewide election. At the time, state officials could not confirm whether any of those voters had been turned away on election day, or if any had cast last-minute provisional ballots that were rejected in the final tally.
Monday’s settlement raises the possibility that a full investigation of the delayed voter registration documents could reveal races in which the outcome might have changed had those voters been allowed to participate.
State officials now have 60 days to complete an investigation into the identity of those voters and why DMV staff members failed to transmit the files in a timely fashion.
The error was the latest in a series of mishaps revealed in the first six months of operation for California’s new automated “motor voter” program, under which DMV customers are registered to vote unless they decline.
“I am committed to working with new leadership at DMV and the new administration to ensure integrity of the motor voter program and accuracy of the data,” Padilla said in a statement Monday night. “This settlement continues to move those efforts forward.”
Padilla’s office said on Tuesday that a preliminary investigation had not found any instances in which voter registration delays would have changed the outcome of a race.
The deadline to register for November’s election was Oct. 22. The records in question either came in before that deadline, or included documents signed and dated before that date. A Dec. 14 letter to Padilla from Jean Shiomoto, who was then DMV director, said the registration records weren’t submitted “due to a misunderstanding on the part of the department, for which we take responsibility.”
Shiomoto retired from state government at the end of 2018. Gov. Gavin Newsom has yet to appoint a new permanent director.
“We continue to actively work with our stakeholders to ensure full transparency for the California motor voter program,” Melissa Figueroa, deputy secretary for communications at the California State Transportation Agency, said in a statement Monday. “As an agency, we are committed to getting this right.”
The settlement, filed Monday in a San Francisco federal court, said that DMV staffers failed to transmit voter registration documents in a timely fashion beginning Oct. 12 and that all documents were held back for the three weeks following election day.
Several other problems were reported just days after state officials launched the DMV’s automated voter registration system in late April.
Those included multiple registration forms sent to counties for the same voter , flawed registrations for 23,000 DMV customers and a limited number of non-U.S. citizens — permanent green-card residents — mistakenly added to the voter rolls.
The agreement to investigate why DMV officials didn’t promptly submit hundreds of voter registration forms “establishes concrete steps that California will take to investigate and improve the DMV voter registration system,” said Melissa Breach, executive director of the League of Women Voters of California.
He is upset that the Supervisors formed a Committee on Tasers to meet Feb. 11, 2019 6-8PM in the Supervisors meeting room 1st floor of the 400 County Center Building. He is not the only one upset at the Supervisors, this Committee and subject matter is not at all important to the murder of Chinedu.
EXCESSIVE & UNNECESSARY USE OF FORCE is the only topic that is important. That is what Steve Wagstaffe, Carlos G. Bolanos, Carole Groom, Dave Pine, Don Horsley, Warren Slocum, David Canepa are all distracting the public with the Committee dog and pony show. If this “Committee on Tasers” Charade sounds familiar it should 2008 the BOS did a similar performance.
Ethics committee in works
By Michelle Durand
Elected county officials suspected of wrongdoing or unbecoming conduct can be investigated by a five-member ethics committee with the authority to recommend their removal, according to an ordinance unanimously endorsed yesterday by the Board of Supervisors.
The board created the independent citizens review panel on Tuesday after revisiting an earlier proposal by supervisors Jerry Hill and Adrienne Tissier. At its July 22 meeting, the board cautiously backed the idea but asked for some fine-tuning of language to avoid the panel embarking on what Supervisor Mark Church characterized as a “witch hunt” against officials.
The approved proposal defines “serious official misconduct” based on an existing San Bernadino ordinance and allows the board to determine an allegation is unfounded before calling together the review panel. The passed ordinance also suspends the panel’s investigation when necessary as not to conflict with any criminal proceedings.
Although having such a review panel will help the county deal with questionable situations if needed, the goal is to never have them arise, Hill said.
The ordinance, which still requires a second reading to become official, also can’t retroactively address the matter which sparked its formation — the April 2007 detention of Sheriff Greg Munks and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos in an undercover brothel sting in Las Vegas.
The pair were in town for a law enforcement race and told police they mistakenly went to the raided home because they thought it was a legitimate massage parlor.
Neither was charged with a crime and the supervisors said they had no discipline authority. Approximately a year later, Hill revisited the issue of official oversight for elected county officials.
Hill and Tissier suggested an independent ethics committee as an alternative to less viable oversight ideas such as letting the Board of Supervisors remove fellow elected officials. Not even a county charter amendment gives the board authority to remove an elected official and the state constitution doesn’t allow the board to discipline an official to any less degree.
While the committee itself can’t take action, its independent nature removes the politics from the process and can spark into action the grand jury, which does have the authority to recommend an official’s removal.
The citizen’s review panel of individuals will include either retired judges, former county or city administrators, former grand juror foreperson, or former county counsels, city attorneys or district attorneys. Selection would be random and Brown Act — California’s open meeting law — requirements enforced.
The San Bernadino County charter — the one most often referenced as a San Mateo County template — allows a four-fifths vote of the Board of Supervisors to remove any other county officer for “flagrant or repeated neglect of duties,” “misappropriation of public property,” “violation of any law related to the performance of the official’s duties” or “willful falsification of a relevant official statement or document.”
While the ordinance has survived a legal challenge, it has never been used.
As you all know, the District Attorney has not yet announced if he will or will not prosecute 4 of our members for the death in custody in Millbrae last October. While I’m disappointed his decision has taken so long, we are confident our members did nothing wrong and are fully prepared to defend our members if any charges are filed. The DSA stands behind our members and the actions they took that day in Millbrae. I’m confident that if the DA’s office wanted to move forward with any charges, we would prevail in court.
NOTE: I think every San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy knows the above statement by D.J. Wozniak sounds really good, but in reality look what D.J. has done for Sheriff Deputy Juan P. Lopez.
While the DA’s office weighs its options, the NAACP and the National Black Lives Matter movement have taken a particular interest in the Sheriff’s Office. They have activated their base via social media and have inundated the Board of Supervisors with thousands of calls and emails asking them to remove Tasers from San Mateo County Law Enforcement.
While I had hoped they would simply ignore these anti police activists, they have not. Unfortunately, Supervisor Pine and Groom have given these people an audience and formed a “taser committee” where they’ll will be looking into Tasers, policies surrounding them and researching deaths related to Tasers.
This is baffling because the decision to deploy Tasers is not made by the Board of Supervisors, it is the decision of the Sheriff.
The committee plans on holding a public meeting to “discuss Tasers”. The meeting is tenatively scheduled for February 11th at 1800 hours.
Once the meeting date/ time is confirmed, I will be asking all DSA members try to attend the meeting. I’m not asking you to speak or participate in the conversation as I find it unlikely that any of activists attending are open to listening to anything we have to say. We simply don’t want the entire audience to be full of anti police activists and having normal rational people in the audience will be helpful.
Here is what I have one in response to these events:
I have had numerous conversations with Sheriff Bolanos on this issue and made it crystal clear that the DSA does not support removing Tasers from our members. The Sheriff has has told me that he supports that decision and believes in Tasers have their place in the use of force policies of the Sheriff’s Office.
I have met with the board members individually. I have explained how valuable Tasers are to public safety. I have explained how high in the use of force continuum Tasers are and how restrictive our policy and procedures are regarding their use. I explained to them that the calls/emails they are receiving are not from people in San Mateo County. The people calling are part of the social media army of the Black Lives Matter organization and know nothing nothing about use of force issues and know nothing about Tasers and their use in law enforcement and most importantly, have no idea about the events in Millbrae resulting in the death in custody.
Sheriff Bolanos has authorized me to create a “use of force” day for the County Manager, County Council and Board of Supervisors. Working with the training unit, we will give the BOS training on Tasers and run them through various scenarios, with and without Tasers so they can see their value in public safety.
I ask that any of you who happen to have a conversation with Sheriff Bolanos, convey your appreciation for his stance on this issue and supporting the DSA.
I will obviously keep you posted on any developments with this “Taser Committee”.