The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a no-confidence resolution Tuesday for Sheriff Laurie Smith, two weeks after launching unprecedented scrutiny into her operation of South Bay jails and corruption scandals plaguing her office.
The 5-0 vote was symbolic given that Smith is an independently elected official, but the action’s architects, supervisors Joe Simitian and Susan Ellenberg, have said they hope it will help speed up reforms and fuel external probes into Smith’s agency that the board approved earlier in August.
The no-confidence resolution authored by Simitian and Ellenberg was largely founded on major injuries and subsequent multi-million-dollar settlements — both paid and anticipated — involving mentally ill men in jail custody.
“This is a pattern of conduct that is years and years in its import, and it’s clearly conduct that is unbecoming of a public official, that is unbecoming of a law-enforcement official,” Simitian said.
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