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<b>BATTLING BADGES: </b> Sheriff Bill Brown’s tenure as the county’s top cop has been defined by fiscal damage control, but he said things are looking up and reductions may soon become a thing of the past. His challenger, Sgt. Sandra Brown, claims the sheriff has mismanaged his limited resources and that she would focus on family education and community policing as alternatives to incarceration.

Paul Wellman

BATTLING BADGES: Sheriff Bill Brown’s tenure as the county’s top cop has been defined by fiscal damage control, but he said things are looking up and reductions may soon become a thing of the past. His challenger, Sgt. Sandra Brown, claims the sheriff has mismanaged his limited resources and that she would focus on family education and community policing as alternatives to incarceration.


Inside the Race for Sheriff of Santa Barbara County

Sandra Brown Challenges Bill Brown for Top Cop


Thursday, May 8, 2014
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It’s no secret that morale is low in the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office. Even its leader admits as much. But where Sheriff Bill Brown says occasional grumblings come from six years of budget cuts that whittled the department’s ranks by a 10th, his challenger in this June’s election, Sergeant Sandra Brown (no relation), claims there is pervasive discontent among the troops who fear and distrust their boss.

Motivated by that concern and a list of desired changes both practical and philosophical — like focusing on education and intervention rather than incarceration, rethinking and reworking public safety strategies, and creating an environment of shared leadership — Sgt. Brown represents the first organized challenge to Sheriff Brown’s seat since he was elected in 2006. He ran unopposed in 2010.

With 36 years in law enforcement, the sheriff previously served as Lompoc’s police chief and held the same post in Moscow, Idaho. He’s married with three children and is a Lompoc resident; he’s a self-described history buff who likes to fish and golf in his limited off time. From Governor Jerry Brown to former congressmember Elton Gallegly, and from District Attorney Joyce Dudley to Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, his endorsement list is long and diverse, as are the donors to his reelection campaign.

Sgt. Brown has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 17 years and currently oversees its Coroner’s Bureau. A former narcotics detective, she’s also heavily involved with area nonprofits, sits on the board of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), and was a cofounder of the Deputy “Explorer” program. She likes to paint and sculpt, and her Orcutt home is filled with eclectic artwork. Her donor and endorsement roster is similarly mixed though not as deep, and she counts Supervisor Peter Adam among her biggest supporters.

Through conversations with both Browns, as well as their fans and detractors, it’s clear that this election is defined by differing opinions over a few key issues, namely fiscal management, problems at the jail and the need for a new North County jail, the lead-up to and the fallout from the Deltopia riot, and possible dissension in the ranks.

By Paul Wellman

Money Matters

Sgt. Brown claims the Sheriff’s Office is bleeding overtime costs, explaining that by the end of March it had already accrued $5.8 million in overtime when last fiscal year the number topped out at $6.2 million total. She also worries how the county will find the money to operate the Sheriff’s Transition and Reentry (STAR) Complex, a $38.9 million, 228-bed wing that will focus on recidivism-reducing programs and be attached to the new $96.1 million, 376-bed North County Jail.

“He has yet to give us real numbers about staffing and maintenance,” said Sgt. Brown

While the county has been setting aside $17 million or so every year for the last five years to staff and run the new main jail when it’s opened by 2018, there’s been little to no public discussion about how to fund ongoing operations at the STAR complex. “He has yet to give us real numbers about staffing and maintenance,” said Sgt. Brown, also questioning the wisdom of investing in county-sponsored programs and training. “How good has government been at that?” she asked. “It’s something that would be much more effective with outsourcing rather than Santa Barbara County growing its pension.” Sgt. Brown agrees a North County Jail is needed, but said, “We need to be honest with the taxpayers about it, and we need to have really crystal clear numbers.”

Sheriff Brown acknowledged overtime costs have ballooned somewhat in recent months. However, he stated, “Overtime is always a concern, and it’s something that’s always under-budgeted. It’s the way we have to go through the county budget process.” The problem, he went on, lies in the fact that the department has been reduced by 64 full-time positions since 2007 but is still tasked with keeping safe the unincorporated areas of the county, as well as four of its eight incorporated cities. (The department’s overall operating budget is approximately $120 million a year.)

Disagreeing with some of Sgt. Brown’s previous calculations over jail costs — “It’s indicative of the naïveté of somebody who has never really worked with a budget,” he said — Sheriff Brown said he’s confident questions over funding will soon be hammered out in ongoing discussions with county staff and upcoming meetings with the Board of Supervisors.

Janky Jail

Of the criticisms lobbed at Sheriff Brown over the course of his last term, the most consistent and audible have been those about the state of the old, overcrowded jail and the safety of both its inmates and staff. “The decay that’s going on there is inexcusable,” said Sgt. Brown. “The fact that there’s graffiti on the walls, the fact that they’re allowed to yell and scream? It’s unacceptable, it’s not appropriate behavior, but it’s what happens when you mismanage staff.” Sgt. Brown also claimed there’s been a mass exodus of custody deputies as both rookies and veterans have quit out of frustration and anxiety.

Admitting the jail is understaffed but offering different reasons for why that is, Sheriff Brown agreed that the facility off Calle Real is insufficient to hold the 1,000-plus inmates who live there, a number that swelled after the state changed its incarceration guidelines in 2011. That’s why he’s worked so hard to secure the money and manpower to build a new, more modern jail in Santa Maria that can keep dangerous people off the streets and also help them reintegrate into society when they’re released, he said.

Sheriff Brown also explained that while a few custody deputies have quit because of the reasons Sgt. Brown described, a high number coincidentally reached retirement age at the same time, leaving vacancies in the roster. Plus, he said, a complicated budget reduction coupled with last-minute union concessions in 2011 “blew a hole in the custody side of the house” and led to a “big churn factor.” Of the 192 custody deputies in the department, about a third of them are new hires, Brown explained. Sixteen positions remain unfilled. But, he went on, it’s a lot harder than merely plucking someone off the street to oversee a building full of accused and convicted criminals.

“It’s a difficult process to select people, but the people we have been selecting are really top notch with diverse backgrounds,” said Sheriff Brown.

During a recent recruiting effort, 520 people applied to become custody deputies. After qualification reviews, physical agility tests, written tests, oral interviews, and background checks, the pool was reduced to around 100, of which a dozen were hired and began their lengthy training. “It’s a difficult process to select people, but the people we have been selecting are really top notch with diverse backgrounds,” said Brown. “Much of it relates to high standards. Many agencies have lowered standards to fill positions, but have come to regret it.” In the Sheriff’s Office as a whole, 41 of 640 full-time positions remain unfilled. Sheriff Brown said that vacancy factor has hovered between zero and 7.5 percent under his watch but that there was only one pay period in the last seven years where every position was filled. “And that was a fluke,” he said.

Lastly, he said the jail has been understaffed since long before he became sheriff and that he’s always wanted and fought for more boots on the ground. “My first staff meeting after I was sworn in, I had a commander who looked me in the eye and said we need more people,” said the sheriff. “That was 64 people ago.”

Safety Strategies

From the start of her campaign, Sgt. Brown has contended that Sheriff Brown is too singularly focused on the new jail, that other priorities have suffered because of it (like the gang unit and community policing), and that the Sheriff’s Office should be spending more time, energy, and money on strategies to keep people out of jail rather than building new ones. Of the STAR complex and its anti-recidivism programs, Sgt. Brown quipped, “We have an adult population that we’ve institutionalized, and now we’ve decided to fix them. Wouldn’t it be nice if the system actually worked on the front end with our youth and families?”

“If our focus isn’t on youth and family, I don’t know why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Sgt. Brown said. “It has to start there.”

Sgt. Brown said that if she were elected, she’d start a parent academy with a civilian employee who would work to get a host of nonprofits on the same page and “give back the art of parenting.” She also promised to provide better public education on evolving crime trends — especially avoidable property crimes — and how to curb juvenile delinquency before it starts. “If our focus isn’t on youth and family, I don’t know why I’m doing what I’m doing,” she said. “It has to start there.”

Sheriff Brown didn’t disagree with the need for outreach, but again pointed to his thin ranks, who, despite cuts, have managed to keep crime numbers down and do the job with what he described as precision and pride. He touted the Day Reporting Centers that help former inmates find jobs and housing and that have been a feather in his cap during conversations about repeat offenders. If he’s to serve another term, Sheriff Brown said, he’d like to expand the centers’ services and contracts. But mostly, he said, he wants to preserve the Sheriff’s Office’s current resources and “stop the hemorrhaging.” This year, no positions were cut, and next year may actually see a couple added.

Also at the top of Sheriff Brown’s to-do list is the implementation a new data collection system to better track what projects are actually working and where funds should be funneled. Sheriff Brown said the office received input from the National Institute of Justice and will be asking to hire a business systems analyst to extract and analyze data.

Deltopia Dispute

Though the fallout has mostly faded from the public’s memory, Sgt. Brown is still confused and troubled by how the Sheriff’s Office handled this year’s Deltopia riot and last year’s mega-party. She claims the planning was poor and the response late and disorganized, and that many of the issues came from Sheriff Brown not listening to his advisors. More alcohol enforcement should have been conducted earlier in the day, she asserted, and the event should have been handled like Halloween. It’s the purported mishandling of such things that de-motivates the deputies from performing their jobs, Sgt. Brown said.

“Those are people’s kids, and it’s inexcusable that we aren’t providing them an umbrella of safety,” said Sgt. Brown.

While Sheriff Brown touted this year’s response to the violent crowd as a success, Sgt. Brown asked: “What is that, a successful failure? Because no one died and no one was hospitalized? So what would you say about 2013, when someone did die, multiple people were hospitalized, and the property damage was horrendous?” Sgt. Brown also accused the sheriff of dragging his feet in recent years to install more lighting in Isla Vista and work on ways to make the notoriously rowdy college town safer for its inhabitants. “Those are people’s kids, and it’s inexcusable that we aren’t providing them an umbrella of safety,” she said.

Before next year’s Deltopia, Sheriff Brown said he and his staff will examine “all of our tactics and ideas” to better manage and corral the often inebriated crowds. He said the office will use social media — which drew thousands of out-of-towners to the seaside community — to discourage attendance. “There will be communiqués from deputies and partiers who’ll say, ‘This was not real cool. This was not real fun. A lot of people went to jail,’” Brown explained. He said his office will also look at potentially closing the streets next year but cautioned there are pros and cons to the move.

The problem is bigger than Deltopia alone, he went on, as it was only one example of a “disturbing trend of an absolute suspension of responsibility in people who, for one reason or another, get in a crowd mentality and condition and they do things they would otherwise never do. … Much of it is fueled by an over-indulgence of alcohol.” Of Sgt. Brown’s claim that Sheriff’s deputies have been unmotivated to do their jobs because of a reported dissatisfaction with leadership, Sheriff Brown bristled. “It was a preposterous statement. That’s absolute nonsense. They do a great job each and every day, and I’m very, very proud of them.”

Leader Lines

Sgt. Brown says she fears for the future of the department if it stays under Sheriff Brown’s watch, that many of the rank and file are close to throwing their arms up and quitting because they’re frustrated by a boss who’s obsessed with his new jail and who’s more interested in rubbing elbows with politicians and celebrities than making sure his people are satisfied and safe in their jobs. “We’re doing more with less, but what the men and women want to see is a sheriff making decisions not for politics but for mission,” she said. “Then it makes sense for them.”

If she were to lead, Sgt. Brown said, she would work more closely with her executive staff and let her experts inform her decisions. “The difference between Bill Brown and I is that he’s never trusted his staff and allowed them to do their jobs,” she said. Sgt. Brown said she’s the right “puzzle piece” to get the department moving in the right direction again. “I’m not running out of narcissism or some self-motivated issue,” she explained. “I’m doing this for the department and the county, and I don’t think anybody would question that.”

Morale, while a little lower these days, is not as bad as Sgt. Brown makes it out to be, Sheriff Brown said. The happiness barometer is a roller coaster that’s dependent on a lot of things, and much of the current angst is rooted by a seeming nonstop slashing of the department’s budget and ranks, he went on. In addition, the Great Recession generated a lot of animosity against public employees and their pensions, but the wrath was unfairly focused, he said. “Anger should be directed at Wall Street and the corporate and personal greed that torpedoed us and the world economy,” the sheriff said, “not the people who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve.”

“I have to make decisions that are unpopular,” Sheriff Brown said. “You’ll always have a few people who will complain and whine, but it’s a minority.”

Of the murmurs and shouts of discontent, the sheriff said in any large organization there are often a few people who are disgruntled, who think they can do a better job than the boss. “I have to make decisions that are unpopular,” he said. “You’ll always have a few people who will complain and whine, but it’s a minority.” Some of the dissatisfaction may come from a misunderstanding of roles, he theorized. “The reality is, the sheriff today is not like the sheriff of yesteryear,” he explained. “I don’t sit at my desk and have everything that happens in the organization run past me and make a decision yea or nay.”

The role of the sheriff, he said, “is really to go out and get resources for the organization. My job is to advocate for public policy that would help us and oppose proposed legislation that would hurt us.” He denied spending an excessive amount of time in Sacramento lobbying for jail money and support, and he said he wished he had more time to spend with his troops, but the reality is the department is spread over 28 works sites throughout 2,300 square miles of county. “The simple fact of the matter is I can’t be everywhere at once.”

Of his opponent, the Sheriff stayed relatively mum. “I admire Sandra’s ambition, tenacity, and I respect her ability to run for the office,” he said. “But I’m not going to say anything negative about her. I’m not going to tarnish her badge so I can shine mine.” But, he went on, their respective qualifications speak for themselves. “I encourage people to research us and make their choice,” he said. “You also might look at how endorsements have lined up.”

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Good article!

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 9:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sandra Brown can't lead anything. She is vacuous in the experience department. This job calls for high level administrative skills; she has none.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 10:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

SGT. Sandra Brown will be a fantastic Sherriff.

bigjim (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 10:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

In a nutshell, don't trust her.

The problems we've had have been due to flawed characters of lower level officers. It's they who should be out of a job. Bill Brown's done alright with the hand he's been dealt.

Her character's in question here, leaping to benefit from someone else's misfortune.

jazzifier (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I used to work for the SB Sheriff's Office. I quit because Bill Brown is absolutely miserable to work for, he makes the office impossible. He micromanages every one and every thing and no one can get their job done. Sandra's got my vote. If she wins, maybe I'll go back to work for the SBSO.

ooshea (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 3:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Interesting an employee complains about her boss micromanaging her, but doesn't have a clue this means she was not doing her job in the first place.

We need more hands-on managers like Bill Brown, if we are ever going to get county work done instead of always listening to county worker sob stories about their poor little morale.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 8, 2014 at 3:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bill Brown's behavior during the Sarah Palin visit to the Reagan Center should be evidence enough of his wobbling narcissistic orbit. Having been refused entry onto the elevator carrying Palin's security and entourage, he managed to run upstairs and arrive gasping as the elevator doors opened, only to be brushed aside by the offloading surge and left to stand alone with an adolescent frown. This same exercise was repeated when Dick Cheney arrived. And then, of course, there is the embarrassing episode of chasing down royalty in Montecito, apparently to give them a gift of SBSO coasters (sorely needed at Buckingham Palace), only to be left clutching his hat in a cloud of helicopter dust. Sad and desperate. In this article he defines his job as a politician, and that is precisely what he has modeled, which is why so many in his department don't trust his motives, or believe a word that comes out of his mouth. Bill first, deputies later.

RadiantHeat (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2014 at 9:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Foofighter and jazzifier, did you read your posts before you posted them. Do you mean to tell me that if a boss is micro managing, it's because the employee's aren't doing their jobs right?

Let's look at things from a different perspective. If the CEO of a fortune 500 company does not put executives in place that he can trust emplicityly to do the right job for the benefit of the organization, he/she has failed as a leader.

Such is the case with the Sheriff's Office. The fact that management is handcuffed to the point that they can not make a simple personnel transfer without the Sheriff's approval, shows that he has handcuffed the department with his mocro management. The result of that is an inability of this paramilitary department to function properly within its command structure.

Politics are what they are, but let's not loose sight of the fact that Bill Brown has not been right for the SBSO from the start.

VoiceofSB (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Problem is it is hard to fire incompetent workers when they have government jobs. So why are using the example of a Fortune 500 company for comparison?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2014 at 3:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Does anyone know if the lady Brown is anti-concealed carry like the Mister? We need and I will only vote for a Sheriff that supports concealed carry and will open that door.

vonG (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2014 at 3:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

foofi never reads his posts before clicking "send" -- that's why they all say the same thing. Pension reform, anyone?!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2014 at 3:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Radiant, my favorite is when Bill Brown begged and plead his way into the Kim Kardiashian wedding in Montecito. Is he buddies with her or anyone in the wedding party? Nope. Had he even met any of them? Nope. Was he just looking for an excuse to hobnob with celebs? Yup. Like you said, politician first.

The bottom line is that it's time for Bill Brown to go. Eight years ago, he campaigned on the promise of improving employee morale of the sheriff's department. Eight years later, sheriff's deputies' morale is as low as ever. Bill Brown had his chance to prove his worth. I won't say he hasn't accomplished anything, but compared against where we should be, it's not worth the chance of four more years. Vote for Sandra.

GoodlandGreg (anonymous profile)
May 9, 2014 at 8:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Notwithstanding Brown v. Brown, Joyce Dudley is seeking re-election and has no official opponent. Initially Josh Lynn ran against her, but the voters were duped into electing the inferior candidate. Consider this letter to the editor of NP by Santa Barbara Dr. William Santoro, MD:
The official voting guide for the upcoming election lists no competition to Joyce Dudley for the office of District Attorney. There is, however, a line for "other."

I am not thrilled with the performance of the D.A.'s Office. While they cannot (or will not) get a conviction of anyone of prominence, they seem to go out of their way to prosecute ordinary or less enfranchised residents, like the truck driver who lost control of his vehicle coming down the grade on Hwy. 154.

I suggest we fill in the "other" line with the name of Joshua Lynn, who dared to run against Ms. Dudley last time and lost not only the election against her but also his job in her office.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2014 at 12:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Notwithstanding Dudley vs. Whoever, the article is about the race for sheriff not the race for DA, and I think it's way past time for a change. It's time for Sheriff Brown to move on.

However, I'm not sure if Sergeant Brown is the right replacement, but I think she deserves some respect for standing up and making an issue re the internal problems in the department that I think the public needs to know about. I think Sheriff Brown needs to stop making excuses about these issues, put the North County Jail Project folder down, and do something about these internal problems. The Jim Peterson scandal was a disgrace, and I find it very telling that many/most of Sheriff Brown's listed supporters are not active members of the department.

I also hope there's no retaliation against Sergeant Brown for having the audacity to run against the Big Guy.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2014 at 1:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I've heard, but can't recall where, that Sandra is not anti-concealed carry.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2014 at 1:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I love the commercial. Big Fat Yankee riding a horse, really poor seat, trying to portray a Western image.

Time for new blood instead of the same old, same old, going for Sandra.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2014 at 3:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I created an account to comment on a couple things. First, this was an excellent article. For the first time, I read something from the media that didn't confuse readers (me) as to which "Brown" was being referenced or quoted. Kudos to Tyler Hayden for doing it right.

Second, I have worked for both Sgt Sandra Brown and Sheriff Bill Brown. I was far removed from Sheriff Brown, and he is a bit out of touch with the line folks. However, the man is not expected to be pushing around a black-and-white. He's expected to run the agency at levels that were far beyond my pay grade and far above Sgt. Brown's pay grade. Neither of us truly know what that is like. He is a masterful politician, and yes, that contributes heavily to him being a good Sheriff. He is saving this County millions by obtaining State funding for the North County Jail. He has had to weather the worst recession in my lifetime (I'm old), yet has continued to keep things humming along. It's not perfect, but he's done extraordinarily well considering the circumstances. He is educated, smart, connected, and can actually get things done. Sure, there are those that gripe about him not hanging out with the line-staff, but is that really what the tax payers (of whom I am one) expect? I think not. He is an excellent Sheriff who holds people accountable and finds creative ways to solve challenging problems.

Then there is Sgt. Sandra Brown. In many ways, she's a cops' cop. She's one of us in the sense that she understands the ground floor shop-talk, and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty. I didn't get along with her in all things, but I understood her. She's very opinionated and can be hard headed. I think that is where she and Peter Adam see eye-to-eye. They are cut from the same cloth in that manner. This is endearing, but it could be her downfall. She won't see other perspectives. It's her way, or the highway. She also has no formal education! How can you think larger, bigger, the size of an organization that the Sheriffs Department is, without being a Manager. She's a line level supervisor with no experience when it comes to managing more than a few people. I appreciate her willingness to take on such a daunting role (it sure takes guts!) but it won't help the Sheriffs Department and it won't help the County tax payers when the person running the show doesn't know how to handle a budget, coordinate with other agencies and politicians, or think beyond the small scale she is used to.

If I were still with SBSO, I would want to work for Sheriff Bill Brown. And I wouldn't mind working for Sgt. Sandra Brown either, but only in her role as a Sergeant. She has no qualifications to run any organization, especially one as complex as a Sheriffs Department.

ADeputy (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2014 at 10:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Formal Education is highly overrated.

Just ask Mr. Microsoft, Mr. Facebook or RIP, Mr. Apple, all college dropouts.

I for one am tired of career Politicians.

The couple of non SO cops that I have talked with, that have worked with her on a interagency basis, tell me she can step up to the plate, that is good enough for me.

Really tired of lifer Politicians sucking off the public trough, time for some new blood.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2014 at 11:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Vote Deputy Dog for Sheriff of Santa Barbara County.

Byrd (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2014 at 5:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

did you get kicked off your other perch or are you just trying to ruin another local website?

pecanpie (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2014 at 5:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

ADeputy is Bill Brown.

GoodlandGreg (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2014 at 8:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sheriff Bill brown is not perfect. But he is the best qualified of the two candidates in this election - period.

formersbso (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2014 at 10:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I thought there was a third candidate, a guy from UCSB police..?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 11, 2014 at 10:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

His name is Ryan Smith. He decided that with his new job at UCSB and his new family, it would be a stretch to run this term. He will be worth watching in the next 4 years in my opinion.

formersbso (anonymous profile)
May 12, 2014 at 8:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for the info formersbso. With the duplicate names on the ballot, this is one time the last name "Smith" would've stood out!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 12, 2014 at 9:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Kudos to SB Indy reporter Tyler Hayden for doing an excellent job in presenting both candidates for Santa Barbara County Sheriff in a clear, positive and articulate manner.

Like ADeputy and many of you, I do not understand why supporters of any candidate need to resort to negative campaigning, when sharing a candidate's positive contributions and qualities clearly will have a more positive affect in reaching a reader's/voter's sensibilities. Imagine for a moment if both candidates had equal or at least comparable formal education, professional experience, and life-skills -- which they do not, what characteristic would you consider as a tipping point for your vote?

For me, a candidate's integrity tops the list. Sheriff Bill Brown's comment about his opponent in this article speaks volumes of his integrity... “I admire Sandra’s ambition, tenacity, and I respect her ability to run for the office,” he said. “But I’m not going to say anything negative about her. I’m not going to tarnish her badge so I can shine mine.”

The choice is pretty clear, Bill Brown is the only candidate worthy and deserving to serve as Santa Barbara County's top cop.

RRojasSr (anonymous profile)
May 12, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bill Brown and Joyce Dudley work hand-in-glove to CYA anyone in law enforcement. Dudley drove Mr. Lynn and several other excellent attorneys out of their jobs simply because they didn't agree with her constant over-charging of defendants as a means to leveraging pleas and prison terms without the inconvenience of actually trying cases on their facts (as opposed to horribly-investigated and insupportable charges made by arresting officers).
Why is Dudley going to retain her office? Because she's never passed a camera or microphone without stopping to prattle on about--of all things, for example--"therapy dogs". Seriously?
She has, of course, the support of our local judges. Why? Because she returns the favor, and we get stuck with a local judicial system that's the laughing stock of the rest of the state and every attorney unfortunate enough to have to appear here. Can you say Frank Ochoa? Somnolent on the bench, obsequious to Dudley's crew in chambers. Among the reasons: Dudley kept his wife out of court and helped suppress media reportage of her arrests and case dispositions. Quite a sad joke that nobody should ignore.

For his part, Bill Brown is the guy who stood by while his under-sheriff played footsie with female deputies to the point that he was ultimately forced to resign. This is the same guy responsible for managing the jail--acknowledged by custody officers locally and statewide as the WORST jail in the state. Just look at the per-capital inmate fatality record. It's akin to the SBSD "officer involved shooting" stats. The SBSD is one of the three worst gangs in the county. Oh...wait...there are only two others, so...
Bottom line: Billy's nothing more than a political hack, Dudley's a clever media manipulator, Ochoa eats at their trough.

They're all corrupt, and everyone knows it.
Get rid of them all and do it NOW.

OldSchool (anonymous profile)
May 13, 2014 at 11:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bill Brown and Joyce Dudley work hand-in-glove to CYA anyone in law enforcement. Dudley drove Mr. Lynn and several other excellent attorneys out of their jobs simply because they didn't agree with her constant over-charging of defendants as a means to leveraging pleas and prison terms without the inconvenience of actually trying cases on their facts (as opposed to horribly-investigated and insupportable charges made by arresting officers).
Why is Dudley going to retain her office? Because she's never passed a camera or microphone without stopping to prattle on about--of all things, for example--"therapy dogs". Seriously?
She has, of course, the support of our local judges. Why? Because she returns the favor, and we get stuck with a local judicial system that's the laughing stock of the rest of the state and every attorney unfortunate enough to have to appear here.

For his part, Bill Brown is the guy who stood by while his under-sheriff played footsie with female deputies to the point that he was ultimately forced to resign. This is the same guy responsible for managing the jail--acknowledged by custody officers locally and statewide as the WORST jail in the state. Just look at the per-capital inmate fatality record. It's akin to the SBSD "officer involved shooting" stats. The SBSD is one of the three worst gangs in the county. Oh...wait...there are only two others, so...
Bottom line: Billy's nothing more than a political hack.
The fish always stinks from the head; Dudley and Billy are two heads who reek.
Get rid of them both and do it NOW.

OldSchool (anonymous profile)
May 13, 2014 at 11:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow! Both sides make some good arguements. I can't believe I'm going to say this but as a tax payer and married to a deputy from SBSO, it's time for some change. Sandra may surprise a lot of people with her determination and desire to improve the departments hick-ups.
The fact that she is out in the field is a good thing, she knows what works and what doesn't and what it takes for every deputy to return home at the end of their shift to their family. I personally am not fond of Sandra; however, the department does need change.
If you don't think she's doing a good job, when election comes back around, make a new change. Give her a try, let her prove that she can be the leader the department needs.

givitgood2u (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2014 at 1:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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