Monterey Supervisors Expand Oversight of Troubled Sheriff’s Department
The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has been plagued by a number of recent scandals, including sexual harassment allegations against the department’s former second-in-command. In response, county supervisors moved to expand oversight and accountability of MCSO on Tuesday.
A number of recent incidents are being referred to the California State Attorney General’s Office. These incidents are also being referred to the civil grand jury. In addition, the county will hire an independent auditor to review the department’s policies and procedures and establish an oversight committee for the sheriff’s office.
"The primary thing I think I want to achieve is ensuring the people of Monterey County that when we've got a problem within Monterey County's departments, whether it's the sheriff's or any other department, we're going to take action. The board of supervisors will take action to get to the bottom of it,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Mary Adams, as quoted by KSBW.
MCSO released the following statement in regards to the board’s actions:
"The Sheriff’s Office has taken each of the referenced complaints or allegations very seriously and has either addressed and corrected the matter or is in the process of investigating all complaints. However, there were several allegations made by the board of supervisors today that we were unaware of. While the Sheriff’s Office cannot comment on any specific case due to the protections afforded personnel under the United States Constitution, the California State Constitution, and the Peace Officer Bill of Rights, rest assured that all complaints are or will be investigated. There is no evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately, some individuals have chosen to address confidential matters in the media without all the facts. These individuals seem determined not to allow legal and just procedures or processes to run their entire course."
MCSO’s scandals have taken center stage in the race for county sheriff. The candidates, Sheriff's Capt. Joe Moses and Marina Police Chief Tina Nieto, have had to address the allegations against former undersheriff John Mineau and explain how they would have handled the investigation. Read their remarks here.