Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith refused to follow San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s demand on Monday for her resignation.
The mayor cited several suspected misconduct and use-of-force incidents as his basis to call the sheriff to step down from the position.
In a press conference Monday, Liccardo, who became the first elected official to call for the sheriff’s resignation, laid down his reasons for Smith to end his service.
“When a Grand Jury indicts the Sheriff’s top assistants and campaign fundraiser on bribery charges relating to contributions to her own re-election efforts, we should have serious concerns,” the mayor said in a statement. “But when that same Sheriff –the top law enforcement officer in the county — then refuses to cooperate with the bribery investigation for fear of incriminating herself, the time for concern is long past. Sheriff Smith must resign.”
On Tuesday, 69-year-old Smith responded to the mayor’s statement. She said there were aspects sought by the mayor which are classified as confidential. Some of the information he asks, Smith said, is not bearing in mind the inmates’ families.
Smith, who is serving her sixth term and is set for re-election next year, answered “no” on Tuesday on the mayor’s demand for her resignation.
The mayor’s office on Monday said in a statement that within the past six years of the sheriff’s 23 years, there were recurring instances of serious beating involving inmates, which lead to serious injury and even death. The office also alleged the repeated suppression of facts linked to the said incidences and consistent nonfulfillment with independent supervision, among others.
Smith said she backs the probe being required, NBC BAY AREA reported.
“Since there continues to be a lot of speculation and inferences, I welcome any and all investigations,” the sheriff said on Tuesday. “It really is important to have experts provide an in-depth review of some of the things that have been stated so we can get the true facts.”