Santa Clara County oversight agency to use subpoena power on sheriff’s office

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — In the latest development of alleged mismanagement of county jails by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, two reports made public last week shed light on how a case of a mentally ill man, who was injured while in jail, was consequently handled.  

A nearly 30-page preliminary report by the county’s Office of Correction and Law Enforcement Monitoring (OCLEM) calls the decision to close an internal investigation into the case of Andrew Hogan before it was completed as “highly irregular and problematic.”

In 2018 while in jail, Hogan suffered a severe brain injury after he repeatedly hit his head against a jail van wall while being transported from the county’s Elmwood correctional facility to the Main Jail. 

According to reports, correctional officers and medical staff allegedly did nothing as Hogan beat his head until he eventually left himself unconscious. 

“This is something that the public has a right to know, our board learned about much of this more than a year ago and now that the case has been settled there’s no reason why this information shouldn’t be public,” said Supervisor Joe Simitian. 

“But beyond the facts of the case there’s a series of questions here around the fact that the investigation was suppressed, spiked, squelched, whatever you want to call it,” Simitian added. 

“And without any explanation as to who made that decision or why they made that decision.”

Consequently, Hogan now lives with long-term disabilities and as a result, the county would end up settling the case for more than $10 million. 

According to a second report, County Counsel James Williams wrote in a Feb. 10, 2020 memo to the board that jail staff “did not adequately monitor Hogan,” and “delayed his medical care and transport to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC).” 

“The obvious question is who put a stop to the internal affairs investigation and why?” said Simitian.

“What is it that we don’t know and should know frankly, about a multi-million settlement and a life that was damaged and destroyed.”

The reports made public last week follow calls by County Supervisors last month to launch an investigation into the sheriff’s office managing the county’s jail system. 

Last month, Supervisors Simitian and Otto Lee brought forward that politics could potentially be influencing the internal investigation into Hogan’s case. 

“Without an investigation that comes to conclusion, we’re all at a loss,” said Simitian.

“The folks in the system who did the right thing, who comported themselves well will never have that exoneration because there is no report,” Simitian added.

“By the same token, the folks who should be held accountable have not been held accountable because there is no report.”

At Tuesday’s board meeting, the project manager for OCLEM, Michael Gennaco and Williams were unable to answer Simitian’s questions regarding who called for an internal investigation into Hogan’s case to be closed. 

Gennaco said it has requested the information from the sheriff’s office three times since April and has yet to receive a response. 

OCLEM says it plans to use its subpoena powers to retrieve the missing information from Hogan’s case.

Source link

Leave a Comment