Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith spent $75,000 in tax dollars for a report written by a handpicked consultant who praised the sheriff for her jail reforms.
The report, “The Santa Clara County Jail System: History and Status of the Sheriff’s Reforms,” was conducted by retired Boise, Idaho Sheriff Gary Raney, who was selected by Smith’s office without putting the contract out to bid.
The report congratulates Smith for “making reforms at a highly commendable pace,” and for being “committed to forward-thinking practices and programs that improve community safety outcomes.”
Following the beating of a mentally ill inmate in 2015, the county has been spending approximately $80 million more a year on jails, and about $250 million in one-time costs.
Critics of the report say the sheriff should be required to reimburse the taxpayers for its cost. (Source: San Jose Mercury News, April 3.)