Voters in Ripon and Escalon face some important choices on June 5. They must elect a sheriff and a county supervisor. In both cases, we believe the choices are clear.
Incumbent Steve Moore’s dispute with renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu alone should be enough to drive away voters. The former San Joaquin County chief medical examiner and his colleague Susan Parson sent 100 pages of allegations against Moore before resigning their jobs. They detailed how Moore’s deputies cut hands off corpses (ostensibly for fingerprinting), left other corpses to deteriorate and – with no medical training – overturned their cause-of-death findings on several occasions, all in cases involving law enforcement.
Sen. Cathleen Galgiani has written legislation to separate the sheriff and coroners duties in counties over 500,000. She said of the four-term sheriff: “He’s deceitful.” There’s more.
▪ Three deputies were charged with sexual battery against a shackled female inmate.
▪ Guns confiscated as evidence were stripped of parts, sold to a dealer then purchased by members of the department. Technically, the deals were legal; ethically they were not.
▪ A software vendor says thousands of pieces of evidence were mismanaged, some going into the trash.
Moore told The Sacramento Bee, “(I take) my job extremely seriously.” If true, he’s not very good at it.
San Joaquin residents have a better choice. Patrick Withrow has been on the force 28 years, working his way up from patrol to the SWAT team. Withrow says deputies could be better deployed, which around Escalon and Ripon is a welcome change. Withrow’s brother is Stanislaus County Supervisor Terry Withrow.
District 4 Supervisor
Chuck Winn understands what the state water board is trying to do to residents of this region by demanding more water for environmental purposes. And he’s in the forefront fighting it. Winn wrote an op-ed for The Bee promising to join with officials in Stanislaus and Merced counties to oppose the water grab. That’s what we need at every level.
Winn was commander of the CHP’s Modesto unit for 14 years and on the Ripon City Council for 12 years. He knows the area and has served it well.
Galt veterinarian Julie Damron-Brown is in her first try for public office.
9th Congressional District
Twelve years ago, Jerry McNerney unseated Richard Pombo in the midst of what was being called the “most far-reaching Washington scandal since Watergate.” Pombo and staff were linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who went to jail for bribing officials on behalf of tribes trying to locate casinos. In the years since, the moderate mathematician has done a good job representing a district that wraps around Escalon and skirts Manteca and Tracy to the north. McNerney is strong on ag, immigration reform, energy and is an opponent of Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels.
Opponent Marla Livengood offers a a blast from McNerney’s past. She lists her job as Pombo’s “legislative director” prominently on her resume. Is that a good thing? Voters should stick with McNerney.