SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The public is getting a closer look at deputies disciplined inside the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.
Internal affairs documents were revealed Wednesday, along with some videos, as part of the new police public records law. The report detailed DUI offenses, lying and use of force.
Eighteen video files were released with more than 6,000 pages of information under a new state law designed to increase transparency. They detail internal affairs investigations. including one from December 2011.
Investigators say Deputy Stephen Lomosad was on his way to work after a day of drinking when he rear-ended a car carrying a pregnant woman who later miscarried. He left the scene of the crash and was fired. As part of the investigation, his bosses said, “Although you had a duty to stop at the scene of the collision you continued driving. You subsequently left the parking lot but did not return to the scene of the accident or report the accident to emergency personnel.”
Another case from June 2008 outlines how deputy Steven Vasquez was fired for lying about probable cause during a traffic stop. Investigators said, “The information Vasquez submitted under penalty of perjury was dishonest in addition statements made by Vasquez as part of his crime report were determined to be false and dishonest.”
John McGinness was the sheriff when Vasquez was terminated. He said he fired about a dozen employees a year and hopes the release of these documents will boost public trust.
“If you look at the data that’s been released, it’s pretty clear the people who were involved in misconduct, to include use of force, dishonesty, they are gone,” McGinness said.
McGinness says he would have liked to see the files released sooner and Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna agrees.
“I’m quite frankly disappointed it’s taken this long,” Serna said.
Serna is glad law enforcement agencies are complying with the new state law, but is concerned about how it will impact the department’s culture.
“The effect of this cumulatively along with a lot of other things that have transpired over the past several years at the sheriff’s department, how that’s affecting moral is the first concern for me,” said Serna.
McGinness shares those concerns because it brings others into the equation.
“Others who are not the errant employee, and it puts their statements in the public domain. It could potentially put sex assault information into the public domain, victim information, autopsy photos,” McGinness said.
The sheriff’s department released a statement in response to the report:
“The Sacramento Sheriff’s office takes great pride in the outstanding work of the men and women wearing our uniform day in and day out. However, there are those few who are not compatible with the mission and high standards expected by the Sheriff’s office and community. In order to maintain these standards, we investigate all matters of misconduct in a thorough and timely manner in cases where misconduct crosses moral and ethical lines inconsistent with the path and duties expected of a Sheriff’s Deputy, those individuals are terminated from employment.”