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‘A waste of taxpayers' money’: Sheriff's lawyer questions nature of county probe into Batmobile case

Original post made on Sep 14, 2022

As the investigation continues into the “Batmobile” case, the attorney for outgoing Sheriff Carlos Bolanos is alleging that the Board of Supervisors has interfered with the legal authority of its attorney’s and sheriff’s offices.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 11:39 AM

Comments (16)

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 14, 2022 at 12:41 pm

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This would be hilarious if it were not costing San Mateo county tax payers so much money (and probably a lot more to come when the county is sued and has to settle with Mark Racop). If Bolanos were worried about taxpayers he would not have sent four of his officers across the country to do a favor for a guy that had already been turned down by the DA's office. This needs to be investigated and Bolanos needs to be held accountable and hopefully made to pay for his poor decisions.

Is anyone else angered by the fact that the county is paying an independent attorney to defend Bolonos? The man that already wasted our money and opened the county up to huge liability is using our money to defend himself. What a joke!

Posted by Dave Ross
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Sep 14, 2022 at 12:43 pm

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"James Touchstone, a lawyer representing Bolanos, called the county’s investigation "politically minded” and “a waste of taxpayer money.”"

Irony is not dead!

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 14, 2022 at 3:44 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


Yes, I'm angry. I've been angry about Bolanos being in office since he was anointed by the board of supervisors. And I've been angry that he faced no discipline after he, and the Sheriff at the time Munks, were caught in a house of prostitution featuring under age trafficked women. The fact that after that he still had a job and that the board of supervisor thought he was fit to be appointed to the Sheriff's position angers me. It is and was just another in a long line of corrupt acts by the powers that be in San Mateo County.

Bolanos' favor for a wealthy benefactor just goes to show how corrupt and unfit for the office he is. Thankfully, the voters of the county finally figured out he needed to go and elected someone else. Unfortunately, it didn't stop him from costing the county more money. Wagstaffe needs to go next.

Posted by Dave Boyce
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 14, 2022 at 7:30 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

The Sheriff’s Office has always been a black box.

In an earlier story, Wagstaffe was quoted as saying “Everybody deserves to be treated the same. ... And I'm sorry there's an image out there with the public that that hasn't occurred.’

When I was reporting for The Almanac, I once interviewed a deputy who told me that everyone is not treated the same. That interview was rare. SMCSO deputies normally don’t talk with reporters; they used to, and it was great when they did, but the incident in Las Vegas may have been a catalyst for a policy of silence.

As for everyone being treated the same, this deputy said that if a person of influence or with connections happens to be arrested in San Mateo County, the booking room at the jail will be cleared before the detainee steps inside for a photo and fingerprinting.

It was like pulling teeth to get usable information out of this deputy. There may have been more, but that’s all I remember.

Wagstaffe phrases his comment as everyone “should” be treated the same. Maybe he’s accounting for the possibility that they’re not.

It’s fantastic that the supervisors are acting independently and fearlessly (or so it seems). That is a light in the darkness that is San Mateo County government.

Posted by Dave Boyce
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 14, 2022 at 7:32 pm

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Sorry. Wagstaffe said that everyone “deserves” to be treated the same. Six of one …

Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 14, 2022 at 9:13 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

Isn't this absurd? A sheriff who lost the election is sending deputies to the Midwest over a contractual business dispute, in bad economic times, and now we are paying for lawyers to defend him? What about DA Stephen Wagstaffe who is acting like some sort of bystander in this article even though he had to go along with these outrageous acts and press these vile charges? It's relatively simple for the board of supervisors to pass resolutions of NO CONFIDENCE for both of these enemies of the people and ask them to resign in the disgrace they both deserve. Then once we get a real DA who will prosecute Bolanos and Wagstaffe, and send them both to jail, San Mateo County can begin to dig out of the hole of corruption that David Boyce mentions above and enter the 20th century let alone 21st century. It's called "equal application of the law", and once this simple notion actually starts getting applied, lots of problems will go away.

Posted by Taruno
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Sep 15, 2022 at 12:15 am

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I feel relieved that Christina Corpus is the current sheriff.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 15, 2022 at 8:06 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


As much as I'd like to see the corruption of SMC go away, I doubt it will. There are simply too many wealthy, entitled people in SMC. They think they are above the law and they pay for the right to be treated differently than you and me. Or, if not happy, they have the financial means to make life difficult for those that don't wan to treat them differently.

Getting rid of Bolanos was a start. If someone had the courage to run against Wagstaffe and the voters actually put him out of office, I'd have some hope. As long as the highest law enforcement officer in the county is corrupt, things won't change.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 15, 2022 at 11:05 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


Corpus isn't sheriff yet.

Posted by Menlo 2024
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Sep 16, 2022 at 6:02 pm

Menlo 2024 is a registered user.

If there is all this corruption maybe you should move out of the county. Bottom line is a judge signed the warrant so there was a reason to investigate. The optics might not be great but it is what it is. I'm more concerned with the 10 million in destroyed PPE gear that they just wrote off. If anyone should be arrested it is County Manager Mike Calegey and the board of supervisors.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 17, 2022 at 8:45 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Menlo 2024:

yes, a judge signed a warrant, but warrants can be quashed and what was found with that warrant excluded. It happens regularly. No one should have gone to the judge asking for a warrant in the first place. Wagstaffe never should have played along with Bolanos on this BS. It was clearly a civil dispute that an entitled wealthy jerk wanted to use law enforcement for and corrupt Bolanos and Wagstaffe, as is typical for them, went along with it.

I agree the manager and board of supes screwed up on the PPE fiasco, but that was incompetence, misfeasance. What Bolanos and Wagstaffe did was MALFEASANCE. One is not prosecutable, the latter is and should be.

Do you seriously not see the corruption in this county or care? Why don't I leave? That's the old America love it or leave it BS. I love America and I stay to fix it's problems. I don't run away, or like you, bury my head in the sand and pretend there aren't any.

Posted by gtspencer
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Sep 17, 2022 at 9:05 am

gtspencer is a registered user.

Ok besides Batmobile and the PPE where is all this corruption in our county you’re alleging. The sky is not falling.

Posted by Dave Boyce
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 17, 2022 at 4:07 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

The sky is not falling, it’s true. The county government does not come across as incompetent. The bureaucracy probably works sufficiently well.

The problem is the curtain with the smiley face in front of it all. We pay for what they’re doing back there, but we never get to pull the curtain back. That’s a formula for corruption.

Is it corrupt? Is it squeaky clean? How are we to know if all we get is the equivalent of a pat on the head and a “Don’t you worry your little head about it.”

That is maddening.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 17, 2022 at 4:40 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

OH deputy spencer, you're back.

The sky isn't falling, but I know you know there is corruption.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 17, 2022 at 4:44 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


And on the rare occasion we do get to see it, we get to see email from Wagstaffe to Munks when he was caught along with Bolanos in a house of prostitution featuring underage girls. And what did he say? This is no big deal to "those who matter". Those that matter aren't you, me or most of the rest of the people of San Mateo County.

Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 18, 2022 at 12:39 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

So the defense for Bolanos is going to be a judge signed the warrant, so he did nothing wrong.

Did the judge "rubber stamp" a warrant for someone in INDIANA? If so, let's understand who this judge was so we can vote him or her out for not really doing their job.

Or maybe the judge didn't even know the alleged perp was in INDIANA, in which case it comes down to Carlos Bolanos misusing county resources for trading personal favors.

One or both of these is entirely possible.

Think about it. If Donald Trump had sent the FBI to Indiana to help a campaign donor in a business dispute, to (verbally) rough up his ally's opponent, wouldn't there have been enormous outcry?

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