Archive | May 2014

That’s what lawyers are for

Today we answer the question: Did Sheriff Laurie ever encourage violating campaign finance laws in order to raise more money?

It’s only illegal when you get caught, or that is how the saying goes. It appears Sheriff Laurie lives by the philosophy even today. Let us take a little lesson from the police academy. It seems fitting the first class in the academy is about leadership and ethics, Learning Domain 1 (LD1).

LD1 is the start of the academy and is the basis of everything that comes after. It teaches the basics of leadership and stresses the importance of ethics. Ethics is sometimes described as doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.

Either Sheriff Laurie was never taught about LD1 or chooses to ignore it. As a member of the POST commission I am sure she is quite familiar with the training academy program, especially since she has worked so hard to keep her academy afloat at any cost.

It’s now time to answer one of the questions as promised. Did Sheriff Laurie ever encourage violating campaign finance laws in order to raise more money? Yes she did. Many years ago she told the DSA Board she needed more money for her campaign. The Board told her they had already contributed the maximum amount. Her answer was, “I don’t care. Figure out a way and if there’s a problem, that’s what lawyers are for.”

They told her no at that time because they knew it was wrong. Clearly she knew but did not care. I guess ethics do not count when you are elected and you have gotten away with whatever you want for years.

It should come as no surprise Sheriff Laurie has once again stooped to her old tricks. There are almost 10 examples of Sheriff Laurie doing the same thing again this campaign. Let’s focus on just one today because hopefully someone will pick this up and notify the authorities.

Phil Restivo is a good friend of Sheriff Laurie’s. He owns a limo company named Le Grande Affair (how appropriate). Phil contributed $3,000 to Sheriff Laurie by using the different businesses he owns and attempted to get around campaign reform laws. It looks even slimier because the contributions were done as separate transactions even though each of the contributions were made on the same day. Likely an attempt to hide the true source of the money. The documents are linked below.

It looks like Sheriff Laurie is getting desperate. Probably because she is scared she will loose the $40,000 she loaned herself when she looses this election. I wonder if the bookies will come looking for her like they did for George Shirokawa?



FPPC file links

Restivo 1
Restivo 2
Restive 3



It’s only dirty or unethical when it’s not me

Recently, Sheriff Laurie and her political consoler Rich Robinson convinced Larry Pott to wade into the stormy political waters of the Sheriff’s Race. The Phantom heard it took some convincing to finally get Larry Pott to get involved.

Since the flyer is cited as the cause of this new anger, let’s take a critical look and actually read the flyer instead of spinning it like Rich always does. (by the way Rich, thanks for the free advertising on SJI).

The flyer reads “When will the voters finally say enough is enough of Laurie Smith?”

It then goes to point out three failed cases under Sheriff Laurie’s command.
1) DeAnza – Failure to take the case serious and deploy sufficient investigative resources. (more on this one in another post)
2) Audrie Pott – Delay in investigation leading to lost evidence and some suspects never being brought before the court.
3) Aldon Smith – Preferential treatment and using him for fundraising while under investigation for several felonies (Just convicted of those same charges on March 21 2014)

The flyer goes on to say we need a new Sheriff and vote for Kevin Jensen.

At what point did it say the Pott family endorsed anyone? The answer is no where. This flyer is all about pointing out Sheriff Laurie’s failures. How can you possibly point out how bad Sheriff Laurie and her leadership screws up cases if you cannot possibly talk about them?

But of course Sheriff Laurie wants to do everything possible to NOT talk about the problems she is being called out on. She has been doing that almost her whole career and especially this election. The first time she FINALLY talked about one of the issues (Aldon Smith and the Disney Flash-pass program at the jail) we see how transparent of a liar she is. In a statement to the Palo Alto Post she admits to using Aldon Smith was a mistake. She then follows up with “It’s probably not the biggest felony I have committed, probably…” I can’t wait to hear about the other felonies she has committed.

So why would Larry Pott get involved at this point you might ask. Well, let’s look at all the pieces and what kind of pressure he must be under.

The Pott family attorney is Robert Allard of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP, contributors to Sheriff Laurie and also good friends of slimy attorney Chris Schumb and political consoler Rich Robinson. In fact Robert Allard gave a total of $1,250 so far this year through his law firm and personally.

Robert Allard is also suing several people, one of which fell out of favor with Sheriff Laurie. It is disgusting Robert Allard would use his clients and a distorted view of the flyer to play political games. Rich Robinson’s goal is to continue to distract the public from the real issues in this race. The continued failure of Sheriff Laurie, the fact the failures keep repeating, and her refusal to answer her critics or the public.

I honestly believe Larry Pott is upset by all this and the fact the Sheriff’s Office could have done more to investigate the bullying and death of Audrie. No one likes to talk about problems and bring up issues you would prefer closed and never talked about. What he and the rest of the public need to ask is two simple questions.
1) Why did the Sheriff wait three days to start seizing evidence?
2) Would any other police department in this County or even in the State do the same thing?

My prediction on the answers are: Incompetent leadership starts at the top and NO! I have been unable to find any law enforcement agency that says they would have waited three days to collect evidence they knew was out there.

Know the difference between what’s political distraction and what is political criticism. Distraction often follows those hiding from criticism. Just like Sheriff Laurie hides from the public, hides from those asking real questions, and hides from herself because she can’t even get her stories straight.


Laurie talks….

Actually, we’ll do it for her since she won’t talk to the public and avoids every public event possible.

Sheriff Laurie still hasn’t gotten a clue yet so we’ll move onto answering another question from the previous post. Which one will it be this time? Check back here tomorrow for another answer and even some evidence it’s still happening today.


Everyone is picking on me


I received a call from Brannan Smith not too long ago. He was asking me to make a donation to Sheriff Laurie’s campaign. I have to admit I was a little confused to hear from him considering he and Sheriff Laurie are divorced. Yes, divorced and done very silently out of Santa Clara County and finalized in January of 2012.

After a short chat I received a call from Sheriff Laurie herself. She told me she did not know why everyone was picking on her. She didn’t know who to trust anymore because everyone gives her bad advice. I had to laugh inside a little. Bad advice from people like Troy Beliveau and Chris Schumb? No way!

First of all, no one is picking on you Sheriff Laurie. There is a difference between picking on you and exposing all the things you don’t want exposed. As they say, the truth hurts. The Phantom will not stop until you are gone from office. Rest assured, there is much more to come.

Second, the fact people give you advice and you don’t listen is the very reason you have failed over much of your term in office. Many, many people have given good advice and you refused to head it. I know you like to brag how you’ve promoted everyone to their current positions. How ironic isn’t it? You can’t trust the very people you’ve promoted. Once again, many people gave their advice and you failed to listen. You are reaping the very seeds you have sown for the last 21 years .

Sheriff Laurie has become an ineffective leader by her own hand. She rarely shows up to work, doesn’t take good advice given to her, has made many poor promotional choices, makes poor choices on where to spend money, and now can’t even trust the very people she promoted. Please go, you’ve already embarrassed your office enough.


So you want to run for Sheriff?

I've seen a donkey in uniform more than Laurie

Phantom is going to change gears a little. All this talk about a new Sheriff got me wondering. What makes a good Sheriff and what advice is out there for anyone wanting to run for Sheriff?

The basic qualifications for Sheriff in Santa Clara County requires residency in the County and a POST certificate.

One Sheriff interviewed gave the following advice.

  1. Get involved in the community. It’s the right thing to do.
  2. Have a good resume.
  3. Don’t take campaign-related anger or frustration home to your family. They can’t make it better, and there’s no reason to make them hurt, too.
  4. Understand that you must raise substantial amounts of money. And know where you’re going to get it from.
  5. Cops generally don’t know elections. Have a good adviser; listen to him or her, and do what you’re told.

One Sheriff made the following comments when asked about what it is like running and holding the office of Sheriff.

  • I would encourage anyone that would like to be elected to sheriff—or people who haven’t thought about it, but might want to do it in the future—to become prepared.
  • The time to run for sheriff is not within a few months of the election.
  • Sheriffs races are historically nasty races. It seems a candidate doesn’t just want to beat an opponent, but to indict them. Maybe it’s that way because what we do is investigate for a living. It just seems to be more prominent in law enforcement races.
  • Being able to run the agency the way the public wants you to run it. Being the chief law enforcement officer in the county doesn’t give me more authority, just more responsibility.

This seems like sage advice even in the race for Santa Clara Sheriff. Who was the one giving this advice? It was none other than Sheriff Puppet Laurie. The advice comes from a 2005 article published at

So let’s look at how Puppet Laurie measures up to her own advice.

1. Get involved in the community: Puppet Laurie did this a long time ago and today, can not be found in any public forum where people can actually ask her questions. All of her speeches are scripted and sound exactly the same, never deviating and lacking any compassion, honesty, or feeling.

2. Have a good resume: 16 year incumbent, not known for any innovation since she took office, prizes budget cutting over public safety again and again, several failed investigations, several examples of preferential treatment to wealthy elites and celebrities, successfully alienated allied agencies, wasting taxpayer money by refusing to use local training facilities, promoting incompetent managers, managing by fear and intimidation, shall we continue?

3. Don’t take campaign-related anger or frustration home to your family. They can’t make it better, and there’s no reason to make them hurt, too: I guess subordinates are ok to take your anger out on? Puppet Laurie is rarely seen in the office and when she is, she “can’t trust anyone.” Might the real reason be no one trusts her after seeing her true spots over 16 years? Puppet Laurie is unable run the Sheriffs Office because she has lost all respect and trust.

4. Understand that you must raise substantial amounts of money. And know where you’re going to get it from: Puppet Laurie has been unable to raise anywhere near what she thought she could this year. In fact, the challenger has raised more than her and he is a virtual unknown. He never ran for any political office before now. Puppet Laurie and her ex-husband tried the arm-twisting method of the past and found it was not working this year. Now, they are trying the “poor me” routine and hoping to appeal to peoples pity in hopes of getting donations.

Based on the limited information available online the Phantom found the following:
Since July of 2013 Puppet Laurie has raised about $65,000.
Since July of 2013 her opposition has raised about $60,000.
No one will know the final numbers until the final filling period in July.
Puppet Laurie told the South Bay Labor Council she raised $243,000 in 2010 and was planning to raise $500,000 this election. Puppet Laurie isn’t even close. Another pipe dream, just like her ballot statement and “proven leadership.”

5. Cops generally don’t know elections. Have a good adviser; listen to him or her, and do what you’re told: Political consoler Rich Robinson has done a great (laugh!) job at running campaigns. Winners like George Shirokawa, Dianne Ritchie, and now Laurie Smith. It seems all the winners pick Rich. why is it Rich takes on these kinds of clients?  Is Rich this bad or his client won’t listen?

The article at shows more to the story.  The article shows what other people interviewed said and Puppet Laurie did not.

“Determine why you’re running. Do you want the power or do you want to create a topnotch sheriff’s office? Is it ego or is it real?” (Dan Saban – Candidate, Maricopa County, Ariz. (Chief, Buckeye Police Department))

“Be truly committed to public service. You’re not an appointed bureaucrat; you’re here because the people put you here.”
“Never forget you’re a representative of the people.” (David A. Clarke Jr – Sheriff, Milwaukee County, Wis.)

“Approach the office with ethics, integrity, and leadership.” (Fred Wilson – Director of Training, National Sheriffs’ Association in Alexandria, Va.)

The next thing you are likely to see is Puppet Laurie lashing out at people who ask for answers.  Once again, attacking the messenger instead of actually addressing the real issue.



From Sheriff to Puppet Smith


Did you ever see the movie The Manchurian Candidate? The plot is about a war hero who is brainwashed and placed into politics. The very powerful Manchurian Corporation puts the war hero up as a vice-presidential candidate. Once in place, they would control him to control the government.

After reading Sheriff Laurie’s candidate statement the Phantom could not help but think about The Manchurian Candidate. Sheriff Laurie’s ballot statement is written in the 3rd person. Most ballot statements look more like this one. She clearly didn’t write the creative pipe dream of a statement. The Phantom doesn’t know at any time when the Sheriff’s Office “focused on keeping children out of gangs, off drugs, and in school.” What psychotropic drug induced fantasyland did that happen in? It sounds like the Manchurian Corporation (political consoler Rich Robinson) didn’t even do his homework on this one.

So someone else has to write her ballot statement for her? Clearly she can’t be that busy because the Phantom hardly sees her at work. She regularly shows up late to meetings, if at all.

Besides, John Hirokawa is the one who really runs (read: drives into the ground) the Sheriff’s Office. He probably can’t stand her interfering all the time. Remember the recent “Sheriff to help SJPD” story where John Hirokawa didn’t have a clue what she was talking about? Now image this scenario on a daily basis at the Sheriff’s Office and you start to understand why the place is so dysfunctional. And that dysfunction starts at the top, Sheriff Laurie.

Consider for yourself what type of person you want controlling law enforcement in this County. The Phantom for sure does not want a Puppet Laurie controlled by unknown individuals who clearly do not have the interest of the County in mind. Let’s dump Puppet Laurie this election. We can’t afford more failures.



May day. The beginning of the end

On May 1st in 1961, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro banned all elections in the country. Why? As he said, “The revolution has no time for elections.” Maybe Sheriff Laurie was right; She is a dictator and there is a coup.

Sounds a lot like Sheriff Laurie. She has no time for the public to actually engage them in discussion. She doesn’t take any time to actually talk about public safety, her primary job! In a letter addressed to the DSA, she demanded the ability to “set the record straight.” Where is she now? She has been given every opportunity and yet she is nowhere to be found.

Silence from such a “strong” incumbent is often the sign of someone who has something to hide. Sheriff Laurie, your silence also tells us you have NOTHING intelligent to say. The reasons you are not accessible and not seen in front of the media is because once people get about 1 minute to talk to you, they figure out how hollow you are.

Let us start with the answer to question #1

Sheriff Laurie was famous for making friends. She and prior Merced County Sheriff Tom Sawyer had an affair. That choice screwed up his marriage and from what the Phantom has been able to find there was evidence of a restraining order at some point. But was this an isolated incident?