Soon after the incident, Sheriff Munks issued a statement in which he apologized to his family, friends and coworkers and the public, saying he believed he was going to a legitimate business.
Apparently in the sheriff's mind, his statement was the end of the story, but that has not been the case. Not surprisingly, his adversaries continue to periodically dredge up the incident, especially during re-election campaigns.
Just a few weeks ago, while he was attending an invitation-only conference in Redwood Shores, Mark De Paula, a candidate for county supervisor quietly asked him to once again address the issue. According to Mr. De Paula, the sheriff responded angrily and he apparently told deputy Capt. Mark Wyss that the questioner "probably doesn't belong here," seemingly implying that the person be escorted out — an option available exclusively to law enforcement officers. The escorting did not happen and the conference went on without incident.
This response was uncalled for. While the sheriff remains unable to provide straightforward answers about his behavior from seven years ago, he should acknowledge this recent over-reaction and apologize to the candidate and the public.
In his re-election campaign, Sheriff Munks has no official challenger, but a deputy sheriff, Juan Lopez, is mounting a write-in campaign, one with virtually no chance of succeeding.
Deputy Lopez, a 26-year veteran of the department, said he missed the deadline for submitting signatures for his nomination papers to the county Elections Office. His only option was a write-in campaign, which he chose despite the long odds. He says he has worked nearly every job available to a deputy, and is currently assigned to drive prisoners to and from court and medical appointments.
The best choice is Sheriff Munks, his unfortunate behaviors seven years ago and a few weeks ago aside. His most recent positive accomplishment is steering the new county jail project through a difficult site selection process and ultimate approval by the Board of Supervisors.
Without serious opposition, Mr. Munks is the only real choice in the race. But it is time for him to publicly address questions about his earlier mistake and move on. He has apologized, but that will not be the end of it unless he accepts the burden of reassuring his constituents, especially women, that he truly regrets his actions and will work hard to combat prostitution and human trafficking in San Mateo County.
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