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Atherton's Inability to Police Itself

Original post made by Colorado Aspen on Oct 24, 2010

There were a series of posts questioning the conduct of a former member of the Santa Clara County REACT Task force, who remains employed as a detective for the Town of Atherton.

The Almanac News has removed these posts, apparently on the grounds that these posts allege criminal conduct on the part of that employee.

This post makes no such allegation.

The point that has been raised on another discussion thread which is now locked is why Buckheit's case hasn't broken open despite the sophisticated forensic capabilities that reside within Atherton.

The conduct of Atherton's police officers is fair game. They are public figures. Their actions can have a tremendous impact on the lives of Atherton's residents. Questioning their conduct is fair game.

If Atherton can't trust its own computer forensics expert, it should turn the matter over to one of the many forensic experts who operate in private practice.

If Atherton can't trust its own computer forensics expert to get to the bottom of this matter, then it should ask just why such is the case and it should take corrective action.

Comments (9)

Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2010 at 3:10 pm

REACT Task Force is located in Redwood City as part of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department.


Posted by Thelma, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm

As indicated on the tread the Almanac just closed-this case illustrates perfectly the county loop that includes the current and past sheriffs offices, the Sequoia Healthcare District and lord only knows what else--Oh thats right--the D.A.'s office


Posted by Historian, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm

At one point, the Almanac made a point of not letting cases be "tried" in the message boards.

Apparently, they have softened their view.

Game on!


Posted by Thelma, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Historian are you really going to try shut down another newspaper to protect your friends?
Wouldn't life be a lot easier for everyone including yourself, if we all just played by the rules.
I am fairly certain that was the whole point of having any laws in the first place.


Posted by swan song, a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Oct 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Those calling for Atherton's computer forensics expert to solve the Buckheit mystery will be disappointed.

Sherman Hall is part of the problem, not part of the solution.


Posted by Weeping Willow, a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Oct 24, 2010 at 9:39 pm

What Athertonians don't know about the Police Department. All it takes is a single altercation with the wrong officer. Buckheit isn't the only victim. He's just the only victim with the guts to speak out.


Posted by Lindenwood Local, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 25, 2010 at 1:00 am

I've read about this for a long time now and have been amazed it's still going on.

First and foremost, if a police officer admits in court that a report was falsified, something has to give. It is irresponsible for the police department, town manager, council, etc. to not take some sort of decisive action based on this.

Second, Mr. Buckheit has won not just one, but several court actions in a row, from getting a police report, to an innocence, to keeping the lawsuit alive despite several passes at trying to kill it. If Atherton has been advised that his case had no merit to it, this has been bad advice based on the track record. This case should have been settled by now.

Next, this has all been exacerbated by the political climate in which a spotlight has been turned on public pensions and benefits, and police officers (rightfully or wrongfully) are at the top of that heap. Not a good time to have scandals break.

It sounds to me that at the very least, an officer needs to be fired. I would say this if this had been done to someone just passing through the town. Doing it to a resident makes it worse. It also sounds like the city attorney has given some pretty bad advice.

I have lived here for 15 years and have had good experiences with the police department. The problem with this case, and I hope the decision makers will listen not to mention the police themselves, is that without identifying and punishing the officer who did wrong, the entire department suffers and gets a bad reputation.

I have now heard people talking about the Atherton police department in very negative ways in neighboring communities based on all the bad press.


Posted by Arlene Triplette, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Oct 25, 2010 at 8:23 am

[POST REMOVED. Please don't use Town Square to accuse named individuals of wrongdoing.]


Posted by management consultant, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 25, 2010 at 8:27 am

Guerra has moonlighted as a management consultant. He should know as well as anybody that not one but two people must be fired. The one who falsified the Buckheit report and the one who helped cover it up.


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