Seven employees from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were indicted on felony charges related to falsifying training documents to get unjustified increased compensation, District Attorney Michael Ramos announced Tuesday.
If Hoops was investigating this crime, why did it take the grand jury to intervene and force his hand. This all stinks. Same old business as usual. District Attorney Michael Ramos also knew about this and could have investigated, but he was running for DA and could not risk fighting with Hoops.
A special criminal grand jury indicted Cpl. David Pichotta, retired Lt. William Maddox, Lt. Russell Wilke, retired Assistant Sheriff Michael Stodelle, retired Capt. Hobart Gray, Custody Specialist Angela Gray and Training Specialist Sallyann Christian. The four current employees were placed on paid administrative leave Monday.
The staff are accused of falsifying records for the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, the state agency through which police can earn certificates that boost their compensation. The officials’ names were allegedly added to rosters of training classes they never attended, enabling them to claim higher pay and retirement benefits, the DA said.
The thefts range from $2,000 to $15,000 per individual, according to the DA. Ramos said when factoring in retirement benefits some of the thefts may be as high as $100,000.
“We owe it to the citizens of San Bernardino County to go after any of the monies that were obtained in the process,” Hoops said. What did he say? This has been going on for a long time. We need reform in San Bernardino County Government.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say this is a very disappointing day for the Sheriff’s Department,” Hoops said. “But if you look at the reality of it, we have 3,500 employees in our department. This Sheriff’s Department will not be defined by the alleged acts of a very few number of individuals.”
Hoops ends his speech by trying to lessen the fact, that sworn law enforcement officers have broken the law. It is sad to say but the Department has been defined by the alleged “criminal” acts of a very few number of individuals.
Until Hoops makes this Department transparent and they immediately investigate wrongdoing inside the Department, he will continue to be part of the problem.