Category: Press Release

Statement from Sheriff Laurie Smith regarding San Jose Mercury News article dated April 1, 2018

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2018

The Mercury News article titled “Tale of the Tape,” dated April 1, 2018 is simply false. The Mercury News knew the truth and chose to perpetuate a false narrative.

The record of these nearly 30 year-old false allegations is clear; everything done was according to procedure and known by my superior; there was never any interference with an investigation or tampering with evidence as alleged in the Mercury News article. In fact, independent investigators completely cleared me of any and all wrongdoing. My exoneration is widely known and numerous press accounts, including articles in the Mercury News, have repeatedly reported on my innocence since 1998.

Here are the facts:

  1. As Assistant Sheriff, I had assumed temporary custody of a tape recording of general allegations about gender discrimination and delivered that tape to the office of the Equal Opportunity Department (EOC).
  2. This delivery to the EOC was made within the scope of my duties and with the full knowledge of my superiors.

As for the tape itself, the County investigated the allegations and found no merit to them.

The insinuation by the Mercury News that I was “protecting” myself as an interloper in the investigation is completely false. More importantly, the charge of violating the law is completely untrue. As the Assistant Sheriff, my duties included evaluating the tape and turning it over to the appropriate investigative body. As reported in 1998, all of my actions were proper.

This is a nearly 30 year-old allegation that political opponents have consistently used as an attempt to damage my credibility with the voters of Santa Clara County. The fact that I have been elected Sheriff five times since these allegations first surfaced speaks to their lack of credibility.

This statement serves as my official response to this issue.

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View the Demand for Retraction of 4/1/18 Mercury News Story.

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