For Shame

The report about the government sex scandal (“Undersheriff Jim Peterson Retired Amid ‘Sexting’ Scandal”) sheds light on a management problem in the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Search and Rescue volunteer Valerie Walston did try to stop the unwanted advances and sexual assault by informing a supervisor. After she did, she was terminated, which is an illegal retaliatory move by Sheriff Bill Brown himself. But perhaps one of the most concerning moves is the cover-up. Sheriff Brown suggests that his internal investigation shows a different story in which Walston somehow shares blame in her sexual abuse. Here’s the key detail: Brown is running for reelection, so it should surprise no one that the investigation has Brown’s own personal spin to make it appear that Jim Peterson was a wise promotion and that Brown did nothing wrong.

Sheriff Brown should be ashamed of himself for personally attacking an innocent victim of sexual violence for political gain.

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