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Congresswomen weigh in on appointment of new county sheriff

Carlos Bolanos appointed San Mateo County sheriff on 3-2 vote

Before the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 on Tuesday (July 12) to appoint Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos to fill the remaining two-plus years of retiring Sheriff Greg Munks' term, they were read a letter jointly written by two members of Congress who represent the county.

In the letter (reproduced at the bottom of this story), representatives Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier – both of whom are former San Mateo County supervisors – advocate for a process that would open the door to potential candidates to compete with Mr. Bolanos.

"For a long period of time, there have been rumors that Sheriff Munks would retire early and pave the way for the Undersheriff to take this position," according to a copy of the letter provided to the Almanac. "Whether these rumors are true or not, this has been a perception. We believe that our mutual constituents support a decision making process that is absent a perception of a pre-ordained outcome."

If the supervisors had decided to hold an election, Ms. Eshoo and Ms. Speier say in their letter, the potential advantage would be for Mr. Bolanos, given that he has been campaigning for the office "for more than a year."

"We do know that there are members of law enforcement who would be willing to compete for an appointment but who feel severely disadvantaged to compete in an election under the present circumstances," the congresswomen say.

The supervisors should undertake an appointment process that allows candidates to "openly apply and to be reviewed," they say, adding: "This seems especially important in light of the recent public concerns about policing practices throughout the country."

Mr. Munks, 61, announced July 1 that he would step down July 16 for health reasons. His term ends in December 2018. He was already on medical leave and Mr. Bolanos has been acting as sheriff in his absence. Mr. Munks had announced in November 2015 that he would not be running for a fourth term.

In announcing his early retirement, Mr. Munks said that while his condition is not life-threatening, health problems have affected his quality of life and his ability to maintain a full-time work schedule.

Voting with the majority to appoint Mr. Bolanos were supervisors Don Horsley, Warren Slocum and Adrienne Tissier.

Supervisors Dave Pine and Carole Groom dissented. Mr. Pine preferred a 30-day appointment process and Ms. Groom wanted an election.

Mr. Bolanos has been undersheriff in San Mateo County since 2007, shortly after Mr. Munks' election. Previously he was chief of the Redwood City Police Department for 12 years. He has also worked in the Salinas Police Department and the Palo Alto Police Department in his 37-year law enforcement career.

Asked to comment on the congresswomen's letter, board president Warren Slocum reiterated his earlier view, after the board announced plans to consider how to fill Mr. Munks position.

"Had there been potential candidates who had emailed us or called us to say that 'I'm interested,'" Mr. Slocum said, "I think that the (board) conversation might have gone differently.

"That's not to say that there might have been somebody to come forward" had the board decided on opening up the process to interviews, Mr. Slocum added.

--

Text of the letter by Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, and Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo:

July 12, 2016

The Honorable Warren Slocum, President

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

County Center

Redwood City, CA 94063

Dear President Slocum and Members of the Board:

We are unaccustomed to weighing in on County matters outside of measures and initiatives or local policy discussions, such as the recent ones about housing or sea level rise, that involve broad federal and local policies. Many of you, from time to time, have asked us to join you in support of these and other public policy efforts.

Some of you, independent of each other, have also recently asked us to comment on the decision before you today—whether to appoint or to call for an election in the matter of a replacement for the Sheriff. For a long period of time, there have been rumors that Sheriff Munks would retire early and pave the way for the Undersheriff to take this position. Whether these rumors are true or not, this has been a perception. We believe that our mutual constituents support a decision making process that is absent a perception of a pre-ordained outcome.

The office of the Sheriff is a critically important job, as we all know. We know that you share our belief that the public has a right to be heard. The question is whether an election within such a short time frame, and with one announced candidate -- the Undersheriff who has been working for more than a year to become Sheriff, would allow for an even playing field on which to compete. We are not sure.

We do know that there are members of law enforcement who would be willing to compete for an appointment but who feel severely disadvantaged to compete in an election under the present circumstances. We therefore believe an appointment process should be undertaken which allows for candidates to openly apply and to be reviewed. This seems especially important in light of the recent public concerns about policing practices throughout the country.

We believe that a way to build public confidence would be for the Board to conduct an open and transparent search for a successor. We also realize that the timeframe for appointment is very short and would require you to either extend it (which may not be allowed under the charter) or to add additional board meetings to your schedule in the next month so that the public is able to participate through those meetings and perhaps, if permissible, the selection process itself.

We realize that selection of the Sheriff is customarily made by voters and have for decades always supported this process. In this instance, the voters themselves may best be served by a method that increases competition for the position and that creates a zone of evaluation that is informed by rigorous, public analysis of multiple persons.

As we all seek to increase the confidence of the public in the administration of justice, we also seek ways to demonstrate to the public that its interests are at the heart of our decisions. Inviting applications, establishing a public interview and discussion with applicants, and assuring the public of a transparent selection process will, in our judgment, help to increase confidence in the administration of justice in San Mateo County.

All the best,

Jackie Speier Anna G. Eshoo

Member of Congress Member of Congress

--

Earlier story: Decision on new sheriff up to supervisors.

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Follow the Almanac on Twitter and Facebook for breaking news, local events and community news.

Dave Boyce

Comments

5 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Heavy sigh...


9 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 12, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

More of the same. Welcome to San Mateo County.


9 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 10:25 pm

What a disgrace. No mention that he was caught in an underage prostitution house a few years ago.

Anywhere else, a stunt like this appointment would be absolutely unthinkable.


5 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 13, 2016 at 12:33 pm

pogo is a registered user.

This is political strategy 101.

The official resigns just a little early so a handpicked successor can take over ... and then run as an incumbent.

They all do it. Doesn't make it right, but it happens all the time.


6 people like this
Posted by Wonton Dawg
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 13, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Wonton Dawg is a registered user.

Do any of you have the funds to conduct a special election? Isn't it too late to do this? Are there any negative reports on Mr Bolanos and his character? Do you not think the supervisors would have looked at all of this and even more? Just because it looks shaddy doesn't mean it is. And isn't what "Wow" wrote wrong, I thought that it was Monk that was caught in Las Vegas?


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

wonton dawg:

it was BOTH Bolonos and Munks that were caught in a brothel featuring under age prostitutes. Highly likely they were sex slaves. The supervisors are well aware of this and turned a blind eye. In this case it is shady as it looks.


2 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 13, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

I am very disappointed that Warren Slocum allowed this appointment to be made without interviews in a timely manner to allow the calling of an election if an appointment could not be agreed upon.

A referendum would be the petitioning process used to overturn this action of the Board.

At the very least, I would hope that Carlos Bolanos would submit to a secret ballot of the body of employees over which he would preside, and absent a 2/3 majority he should reject the appointment.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 13, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

A copy of the letter would be appreciated. It should be a public record if it was sent to the BOS.


1 person likes this
Posted by Dave Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on Jul 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

The letter by Anna Eshoo and Jackie is reproduced at the bottom of this story.


2 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 13, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

I watched the video of the meeting. They didn't even take a roll call vote! What a travesty.

My understanding of the referendum process is that if filed within 30 days of the action, the action is suspended until the petitioning process has run its course.

I used this process with the Sequoia Healthcare District in 2003 to derail the effort to shut down the hospital at its present location and rebuild it down by the Bayshore Freeway.


2 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 13, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

I have asked each of the 3 supporting supervisors to make a motion to reconsider at the next meeting.

Failing that, I suggest a referendum on their action to suspend enactment until the petitioning process has run its course.


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 13, 2016 at 5:20 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Jack:

Unfortunately, the sheeple of SMC will not step up to deal with this. They're either too lazy or uncaring. After all, they reelected Munks after he was caught in a brothel featuring under age prostitutes.

Welcome to San Mateo County. The most corrupt county in the state.


2 people like this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2016 at 8:06 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

John Maltbie <JMaltbie@smcgov.org> Jul 11 at 2:40 PM
To
Michael Stogner

Mr. Stogner, in our terminology he is an unclassified employee, which is essentially they same as an at will employee.

JM

From: Michael Stogner
Reply-To: Michael Stogner
Date: Friday, July 8, 2016 at 1:25 PM
To: jmaltbie
Subject: At Will Employee

Hello John,

Can you tell me if UnderSheriff Carlos Bolanos is an At Will Employee?

Thank You

Michael Stogner


2 people like this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

RE: Resolution to place Sheriff on this November ballot.

Don Horsley Jul 11 at 11:36 AM
To
Michael Stogner

Michael, I did attend but then again, maybe I went to hear what he had to say and who was supporting him. Attendance is no more than that.

From: Michael Stogner
Sent: Friday, July 08, 2016 11:41 AM
To: Don Horsley

Subject: Re: Resolution to place Sheriff on this November ballot.

Hello Don,

If you will notice I requested that you recuse yourself to avoid the Appearance of a Conflict of Interest.

Your statement "I have not publicly supported Carlos Bolanos as of this date."

If I may point out you attended UnderSheriff Carlos Bolanos's Kick Off Party for Sheriff 2018 hosted by Corrin Rankin.

That is public support.

Michael Stogner


From: Don Horsley
To: Michael Stogner
Sent: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 2:30 PM
Subject: RE: Resolution to place Sheriff on this November ballot.

I have not publicly supported Carlos Bolanos as of this date.

From: Michael Stogner [mailto:michaelgstogner@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2016 11:08 AM
To: Don Horsley Adrienne Tissier; Carole Groom; Dave Pine ; Warren Slocum
Cc: John Beiers ; John Maltbie ; Michael Callagy

Subject: Resolution to place Sheriff on this November ballot.

Dear Supervisors,

Please pass a resolution so that the Voters in San Mateo County can pick our Sheriff. I was just at the elections office this morning and we have time to make this happen. That office suggested a resolution.

I am asking that Carole Groom recuse herself from this conversation and vote because she herself was appointed. Don Horsely should also recuse himself to avoid the appearance of a Conflict of Interest being our Sheriff and publicly supporting Carlos Bolanos.

The cost to taxpayers is minuscule to be on the November 2016 ballot.

Thank You in advance for doing what's best for the residents of San Mateo County.

Michael G. Stogner




Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 8:05 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Wonton Dawg
Do any of you have the funds to conduct a special election? Isn't it too late to do this? Are there any negative reports on Mr Bolanos and his character? Do you not think the supervisors would have looked at all of this and even more? Just because it looks shaddy doesn't mean it is. And isn't what "Wow" wrote wrong, I thought that it was Monk that was caught in Las Vegas?

The BOS of Supervisors have the funds even if it cost $1.7 M as the 2008 Grand Jury recommended for filling a Supervisor Seat.

Are there any neg reports on Bolanos? Of course and the Supervisors have knowledge of Feb. 2011 he interfered with the investigation of his son in a fight at the Pioneer in Woodside, Ca. He left his home and drove to the site.

You thought it was Greg Munks that was caught inside the single family residence, because that is the story he told San Mateo County residents. Carlos G. Bolanos has refused to comment on him being inside the home when caught.
There is also the 3rd Deputy who fled the Limo.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 8:33 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Wonton Dawg asks some great questions

Are there any negative reports on Mr Bolanos and his character? Do you not think the supervisors would have looked at all of this and even more? Just because it looks shaddy doesn't mean it is.

Here is what the Supervisors knew, I told them about Carlos G. Bolanos using a Brady Officer Sgt. Jason E. Peardon to conduct an I.A. Investigation, Bolanos declared Sheriff Deputy Juan Lopez as Dishonest per Peardon's investigation.
5:18 mark
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Wonton Dawg asks some great questions

Are there any negative reports on Mr Bolanos and his character? Do you not think the supervisors would have looked at all of this and even more?

There was the March 5, 2008 Story by Vic Lee of ABC 7 News that was the huge Red Flag about Carlos G. Bolanos being the ONLY Police Chief in the entire County that thought the $20M Digital Radio Communication System was a good value. When you have that many other police chiefs opposing it as unsafe for their officers.

What was Carlos G. Bolanos thinking?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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