For example, mothers who are very protective of their own children, and who don't want registered sex offenders living in their neighborhoods, are surprised to learn that the Sheriff, Greg Munks, was detained as a customer of an underage prostitution house in Las Vegas a few years ago, but was subsequently re-elected twice.
This weekend, the Almanac deleted three postings about a San Mateo County sheriff's deputy and bailiff who brandished a gun against a janitor in the court house who expressed an opinion he did not agree with. This was deemed newsworthy in neighboring Santa Clara County by the San Jose Mercury News.
The Almanac deleted the threads because they do not want to publish the name of the deputy (even though the Mercury News did) unless and until he is charged by San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
[Editor's note: The Mercury News story Web Link said the Mercury News "is not naming the bailiff because he has not been charged." We removed comments from Town Square that named a person accused of misconduct when we had no confirmation of this information. Web Link ]
Wagstaffe is a highly political individual who is going to support whatever Munks chooses to do with this deputy. When Munks was detained in Las Vegas, he sent him an e-mail saying he did nothing wrong. When Munks wanted to send in the bunko squad to arrest Juan Lopez, who dared to run against him in an election, as well as Lopez's girlfriend, for an alleged $450 of misused campaign funds, Wagstaffe complied and brought charges.
Wagstaffe does not want to exercise independent judgment about Munks' personnel situation with this bailiff, because it would seem like he is countermanding or does not trust Munks. Never mind that is exactly his role and what his duty to the taxpayers who elected him deserve.
Of course, if there were public outcry about the situation in which a sheriff's deputy pulls a gun in a courthouse, not because there is a dangerous situation he is trying to protect the public from, but because he disagreed with what another man had to say, Wagstaffe and Munks might figure they need to do something. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for us, they have a great partner in the Almanac, who has decided it should not be reported or even discussed unless Wagstaffe brings charges. That's exactly the cover Wagstaffe needs.
[ Editor's note: The Almanac is checking into this story.]
And one good explanation for why there is voter apathy in San Mateo County. If the press, the so-called "fourth estate" is not functioning as a watchdog against elected officials, big problems start to pop up.
It is reprehensible that this deputy has not been arrested and fired yet. Juan Lopez was arrested at gunpoint for allegations that involved no violent conduct. Why is this not happening here?