Editor,

I’m writing to encourage your readers to support Christina Corpus for San Mateo County sheriff. If she wins, she will be the first Latina sheriff in California’s history. But, more importantly, Christina is open to community input.

In spite of years of community efforts to get Bolanos to change his policy of cooperation with ICE, San Mateo County transferred more people to ICE than all the other Bay Area counties combined. He did not update his policy until facing reelection and, even then, he ‘suspended’ the program instead of coming out with a definitive statement.

George Floyd’s murder was a pivotal moment when we as a society could no longer deny that institutional racism exists and law enforcement practices need to change. In our own little corner of the world, we can create a more tolerant, more effective law enforcement agency. As Bernie Sanders says, “We must always remember that change almost never happens from the top down, it happens from the bottom up.”

Christina has embraced the group Fixin’ San Mateo County whose goal is to establish an effective community-based Sheriff Oversight Board, to address resident complaints, investigate issues, and make policy and practice recommendations. Bolanos does not support them.

Christina Corpus is the current Millbrae police chief and has 21 years of experience in the Sheriff’s Office. She advocates for training, accountability and mental health services. She wants to rebuild relationships with the immigrant community to restore trust with the Sheriff’s Office.

Vote for Christina Corpus for sheriff.

Sue Henkin-Haas

San Gregorio

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(5) comments

Jorg

I sure hope they won’t consider the male deputy I encountered while serving as a crossing guard! He told me it was OK for a pick-up truck driver to back up across the sidewalk and half way in through a narrow gate leading into the elementary school yard, while little kids were running thorough that gate to get to school on time. It was OK, the intellectually challenged deputy said, as long as no one gets hurt! So, according to this moron, a kid must get hurt, perhaps even killed, before such a manoeuvre is considered dangerous? Foresight is better than hindsight!

Terence Y

Sue, Bolanos is the current Sheriff and has over 40 years of experience. Why roll the dice on someone who has less than a year of experience as police chief when we can re-elect Bolanos, who has a 6 year track record of keeping San Mateo County one of the safest in our region? Now if Bolanos were not doing a good job, I could understand a change, but Bolanos is performing exceptionally well so there’s no need for a change.

Westy

Chief Corpus has developed and championed so many innovative programs that make the Sheriff office more responsive to the community and address diversity in the workforce. She launched a boot camp to mentor women choosing law enforcement careers. She championed the BolaWrap, a non-lethal restraint tool after Chinedu Okobi was killed from being tasered 7 times. She partnered with LifeMoves to assist deputies with a resource for unhoused people. She finished her masters degree in law enforcement leadership while raising a family and working. And she will better support the deputies, who spoke at last weeks BOS meeting to say morale has never been lower. Our incumbent Sheriff has not shown leadership, his supporters say he has no power to get a contract for the deputies (who have been without one for 18 months), when in reality a leader would be in constant discussion with the Supervisors, the unions, HR, city managers, and whoever else it took, until a contract was settled. I don't think he even spoke about it at a Board of Supervisors meeting until last week. Christina Corpus represents the innovative, experienced, and forward thinking experience that I want for my county.

Terence Y

Westy, Corpus may have done what you detail but you know what Corpus has not done? Corpus has not attained a leadership track record of keeping a city, much less a county safe. Contrast that with Bolanos, who has attained a 6 year successful track record of keeping San Mateo County safe. The question of experience is settled in favor of Bolanos. The question of who has kept San Mateo County safe is settled in favor of Bolanos.

Jett Dee

Westy: You know what else Corpus will do for the taxpayers of San Mateo County? Cost us millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit that never would have occurred had she not lied and conspired to hire an applicant who never should have been hired.

Westy: Since you brought up the issue of lawsuits, let me tell you a (true) story about Corpus' direct involvement in the hiring of a (now fired) deputy who will end up costing the taxpayers millions of dollars.

Several years ago, the Sheriff's Office hired an applicant by the name of R.A. Unbeknownst to anyone, R.A. had serious problems with his background that would have precluded him from being hired by this (or any) law enforcement agency. R.A.'s history included a diagnosis of a personality disorder, prior 5150 holds and steroid use. What no one knew is that R.A. was friends with Corpus, who coached R.A. on how to pass the various screenings (polygraph, psychological, etc.). Corpus also instructed the background investigator to recommend R.A.'s packet for hiring. By the way, the background investigator was Corpus' own husband, then-Lieutenant John Kovach.

R.A. was hired, only to be fired a few years later after he violated office policy for discharging his taser at a fleeing suspect. The suspect sustained serious injuries and is now suing the county. See David Gusman v. County of San Mateo (US No. Dist. of CA Court case #20-CV-7820-YGR). It is very likely that he will receive a multi-million dollar judgment, deservedly so. All of this could have been avoided had Corpus not been directly involved in the hiring of a dangerous, grossly inappropriate applicant who was unfit for the job.

Is Corpus really the right choice to be the next Sheriff? Absolutely not.

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