May 11, 2018 – Recently there has been a tremendous amount of opinions and comments made publicly surrounding allegations of corruption, intimidation and mismanagement within the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO)as well as the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office (NCDA). I feel the time has come to set the record straight regarding some of the allegations and I am writing this to shed a little light and hopefully dispel some of these allegations and misinformation that is being spread for political gain and personal agenda. The following comments are both based on personal experience as well as first hand conversations with many of the people directly involved with these two agencies.
I think it is prudent to mention a little bit about me and my experience for those that do not know me or my background. I have a BA in Criminal Justice Management and I recently retired from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office as a lieutenant after a 28-year career, the first 5 years of my career was spent in Riverside County with the last 23 at NCSO. Of the 23 years I spent with NCSO, the first 5 years were spent in Truckee when it was a contract city. Back then the Town of Truckee contracted with Nevada County for law enforcement services, this was before Truckee Police Department (TPD) every existed. When the decision was made by the Town of Truckee that they wanted to form their own police department, I made the decision to remain with NCSO and moved my family to Penn Valley. I have held many assignments over the years which included, the Jail, Field Training Officer, Narcotics Detective, Major Crimes Detective, Patrol Sgt., Investigations Sgt., Administrative Sgt., Tactical Commander, Investigations Lieutenant and retired as the Patrol Lieutenant. As a lieutenant I managed many other collateral duties and assignments, such as Animal Control, Special Enforcement Detail, Search and Rescue and the Truckee Substation.
What I am disturbed by and brings me to write this is the blatant misinformation being spread publicly by a candidate (Glenn Jennings) that has a personal vendetta, agenda and bias toward both NCSO and NCDA and is using allegations of corruption within those agencies for his own personal and political gain. The bottom line is that Jennings bias and vendetta were due to hurt feelings and the feeling of entitlement. Back in 2015 Jennings worked in the DA’s office as an annuitant for roughly a year then was hired as the Assistant District Attorney shortly thereafter as Cliff Newell’s second in command. Sometime around December of 2015 or so Jennings applied to the Sheriff’s Office for a Concealed Weapons Permit (CCW) and he was a relative unknown in the Sheriff’s Office at that time. His CCW application was denied due to not fulfilling the required steps to obtain one, he did not have the required 8-hour gun safety course which is a requirement for anybody other than law enforcement. Personnel up to and including the Sheriff advised Jennings that even he must attend an 8-hour gun safety course and it could not be waived, but once he completed it he could reapply and he would be issued one. Jennings was not happy about his denial which was evident by the phone calls placed to clerical staff as well as command staff, he also voiced his displeasure in person in the Sheriff’s Office, personnel at the DA’s office also told me that he was visibly upset after his denial in their office stating he would not let it go. The message received by many was that because of who he was he felt entitled and that the lack of 8-hour course should be over looked and we should make an exception in his case. About 3 months later, Deputy Jason Mackey tried to do the right and honorable thing and advised Jennings that he had possibly made a mistake on his search warrant and requested the case be dismissed. Jennings took this opportunity and the ball began rolling down a path that it never should have gone. Jennings refused to review NCSO personnel’s search warrants and refused to file criminal complaints involving the sheriff’s office even though probable cause existed. A homicide was brought to him that included DNA/Fingerprint evidence and enough probable cause to file a complaint, but yet he refused to file the case. A meeting was held with NCSO personnel as well as NCDA personnel in an attempt to extend the “olive branch” and mend hurt feelings and resolve any underlying issues. Jennings refused to put his personal feelings and opinion aside for the betterment of the community. A very short time after that meeting Jennings was asked to resign. The homicide case that Jennings refused to file and was later filed was recently resolved with two defendants pleading guilty and the third defendant awaiting trial.
What Jennings has done to Deputy Mackey is extremely unsettling and unforgiveable. He took a mistake and tried to turn it into a huge corruption allegation that involved NSCO and NCDA based solely on his opinion without having all the facts to support the allegation that Deputy Mackey lied let alone allegations of corruption. Jennings was asked to let NCSO investigate the allegations that Deputy Mackey lied which was fueled by a deputy that also had a bias towards Deputy Mackey because in his opinion Deputy Mackey did not deserve to be in the narcotics division. That deputy is no longer employed by NCSO as he resigned on or about the time that an investigation began involving his own allegations of misconduct. A full in-depth investigation took place regarding the allegation that Deputy Mackey lied and he was cleared of any wrong doing that information was given to NCDA, but Jennings refused to believe he was wrong and refused to put his bias and vendetta toward NCSO aside and came to the conclusion that there was corruption within NCSO and NCDA. Once the sealed search warrant was reviewed it was determined that Deputy Mackey actually had not made a mistake as he originally surmised. Even after these facts were revealed Jennings still maintained and continues to maintain that Deputy Mackey is a liar for his own political gain. Cliff Newell was correct to let NCSO conduct the investigation as all Internal Investigations (IA) are left to the agency to complete it is not up to NCDA to conduct IA’s except on their own personnel. Jennings is nothing more than a disgruntled former employee that is playing dirty politics by continually making allegations of corruption without any facts to support them.
The biggest concern I have regarding Jennings surrounds his unwavering bias towards NCSO and basing his decisions on his opinion rather than looking at all the facts that surround the issue. Jennings formed his opinion and labeled Deputy Mackey a liar without having all the facts so how many more decisions will he make based of opinions or public outcry without having all the facts. Right now there is a tremendous outcry by the public that the Sacramento County DA file charges against the officers involved in the Stephon Clarke shooting even before all the facts are in, I’m afraid that Jennings will cave to public pressure and make a deputy the scapegoat to appease public outcry he has already proven that even when he is clearly wrong he will not admit it. We do not need a DA that comes to snap or quick decisions without all the facts.
I worked in and around both NCSO and NCDA for decades and unfortunately from time to time we do have personnel that make poor choices and commit acts of misconduct and I have personally investigated a handful of personnel where they left our employment at the conclusion of the investigation, but that is reality it happens in every profession and every agency. NCSO and NCDA are a far cry from corrupt agencies I can assure you of that. I know the personnel at NCSO and NCDA extremely well and I know them to be honorable people that are extremely ethical and professional, but as all humans do make mistakes from time to time. A mistake that Cliff Newell made was hiring Jennings as his Assistant District Attorney.