Author: Brian Howey (Brian Howey)

Bob Jonsen leads competitor in Santa Clara County sheriff race

Last updated 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The next update is 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Former Palo Alto police chief Robert “Bob” Jonsen remains the frontrunner in a photo-finish race against retired Santa Clara County sheriff Capt. Kevin Jensen to replace former Sheriff Laurie Smith in initial returns Tuesday afternoon. Jonsen still leads the race with...

Former Santa Clara County sheriff found guilty of corruption

After several days of deliberation, a civil jury has found former Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith guilty of six corruption and willful misconduct charges, ending the sheriff’s nearly 50-year law enforcement career. A guilty verdict means Smith is now permanently barred from seeking public office, and would have been removed from her post as...

Laurie Smith is out as Santa Clara County sheriff

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is stepping down as the top law enforcement officer as her trial for corruption charges comes to a close. Undersheriff Ken Binder will replace Smith as acting sheriff until the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors chooses one, or until a new one is elected, according to a Monday...

San Jose mom slapped with restraining order after police kill son

Cindy Chavez was standing outside her apartment complex last week when a Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputy approached her clutching paperwork. She was being served a restraining order, the deputy explained, to protect the officer who killed her son. Chavez is not related to Supervisor Cindy Chavez, a San Jose mayoral candidate. The temporary restraining...

UPDATE: Will Silicon Valley water official face discipline for abuse of power?

The governing body of Santa Clara County’s largest water supplier will not decide whether to discipline one of its own members found to have abused his power until at least election day. An independent investigation determined Gary Kremen, a Valley Water board member up for reelection in November, violated several district policies when he bullied,...

Silicon Valley’s big tech donates little locally

Tech companies based in Santa Clara County earn billions in revenue but only donate a tiny portion to local nonprofits as social inequality in one of the country’s wealthiest counties worsens. A review by San José Spotlight of donations from several Santa Clara County-based tech companies shows these corporations gave a fraction of 1% of their revenue...

Silicon Valley officials lead investigation of political ally

Two elected officials in Silicon Valley are investigating one of their colleagues for alleged misconduct after endorsing and donating to his campaign. It’s a move other officials say is a clear conflict of interest. Santa Clara Valley Water Board directors Barbara Keegan and Linda LeZotte told San José Spotlight that directors Tony Estremera and John Varela...

Santa Clara County sheriff failed to investigate inmate injury

An explosive new report on the severe injury of a mentally ill person in sheriff’s custody has determined department leadership purposefully undermined the investigation of the incident. In a presentation to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, a representative of the Office of Correction and Law Enforcement Monitoring (OCLEM) said it found Santa...

Silicon Valley school conflict leaves students in limbo

On the first day of classes at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, a PE teacher greeted Evan Myers’ seventh period construction management class. It was unusual, but the sophomore took it in stride. Then the class, which teaches construction skills like using tools, began skipping all of the hands-on activities they had planned. Several weeks into the...