Sheriff Don Barnes has set what is apparently a new standard at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, enforcing administrative discipline against deputies who plead Fifth Amendment protections. The OC Deputy Sheriff’s union is taking Barnes to court, saying it’s unconstitutional. But legal experts sought out by Voice of OC argue Barnes is right on.
After County Counsel Leon Page takes a public stand on defending the public’s right to know about police records, county supervisors order a stand down. Media representatives such as the LA Times and So Cal Public Radio, led by Voice of OC, head back into court this Thursday to oppose the action.
The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs won their bid on Thursday to shield deputy misconduct records from public release after a state law, SB 1421, was enacted that would allow members of the public to see records about use of force incidents, sexual assaults and lying while on duty. The next hearing, where full arguments on the deputy union’s request to permanently seal records is Feb. 7. Voice of OC leads a media coalition including the Los Angeles Times and Southern California Public Radio that is opposing the union request to seal records.
Today, Voice of OC, Southern California Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times will go into court together to oppose a request by the Orange County Deputy Sheriff’s union to block release of misconduct records on use of force, sexual assault and lying while in office.
Fire Authority officials say they’ve been performing air rescues for over 20 years and are well-equipped for the job, but that in recent years sheriff’s helicopter crews have been racing to the scene and taking control.
In a scathing assessment, grand jurors said key factors in the January 2016 escape included management not adequately training and supervising deputies at the jail, which allowed the guards to repeatedly violate security policies and procedures.