Category Archives: Local vigilance

Solano Sheriff to seek reelection, despite controversy

JohnGlidden.com, by Scott Morris, May 28, 2021
Solano County Sheriff Tom Ferrara. (Courtesy Elect Thomas A. Ferrara Sheriff-Coroner 2022).

VALLEJO – Solano County Sheriff Tom Ferrara announced on Friday that he would run for reelection in 2022, seeking another four-year term after 10 years in the position.

Ferrara has faced recent controversy after it was revealed that several deputies posted symbols of the Three Percenter anti-government militia on social media. Ferrara declined to investigate the extent of extremism in his department, falsely said the FBI cleared the deputies of association with extremist groups, and has faced calls for new oversight of his office.

In a video message posted on Facebook Friday morning, Ferrara touted the support of the deputies’ union and the correctional officers’ union. “Now more than ever Solano County needs proven leadership,” Ferrara said. “I have shown this type of leadership through multiple disasters, civil unrest and the pandemic, which we’ve all experienced in the last few years.”

Ferrara was appointed sheriff in 2012 after his predecessor retired. He won his first election unopposed in 2014 and fended off challenges from sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Snedeker and Fairfield police Lt. Dan Marshall in 2018.

But Ferrara has faced political controversy and protest in recent months after an investigative report revealed that three high-profile members of his staff had openly displayed Three Percenter emblems on social media pages.

They included Sgt. Roy Stockton, a Vacaville councilmember who was endorsed by Ferrara, Sgt. Cully Pratt, the department’s former public information officer, SWAT team member Sgt. Ty Pierce, and Deputy Dale Matsuoka, the department’s homeless outreach coordinator.

In response to the revelations, Ferrara said in a statement that the employees named “all serve this agency and this community with passion and dedication.”

Ferrara argued that the deputies had intended to show support for the 2nd Amendment, but Three Percenter groups often call for violent resistance to the federal government if they interpret restrictions on gun possession as against their interpretation of the Constitution. Three Percenter groups have been implicated in bombing and kidnapping plots and the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The sheriff later defended the deputies by writing in letters to Benicia Black Lives Matter and the Solano County Democratic Central Committee that he “consulted with the FBI, who confirmed none of my employees are members of any extremist organizations.”

But the FBI disputed Ferrara’s statement, saying that it did not track participation in extremist groups nor is it “sufficient basis for an FBI investigation.”

Unsatisfied by the sheriff’s response, members of Benicia Black Lives Matter have called for the Solano County Board of Supervisors to create an oversight board of the sheriff’s office.

But only Supervisor Monica Brown supported even discussing the suggestion. Meanwhile, the Solano County Republicans have organized in opposition to any new oversight.

Benicia Black Lives Matter has continued to protest the sheriff’s office, including staging a rally outside the sheriff’s office on the anniversary of the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.


Scott Morris is an independent journalist in Oakland covering policing, protest and civil rights. If you appreciate his work please consider making a contribution.

Important Benicia meeting – Goal-setting needs YOUR voice!

March 25, 2019 – Notice from the City of Benicia

Benicia City Council Special Goal-Setting Meeting
has been scheduled for
March 29 & 30, 2019.

You may view the full agenda for Friday,
March 29 HERE.
You may view the full agenda for Saturday,
March 30 HERE.

The City Council Meeting will be held
Friday, March 29, 2019
at 12:00 PM
and Saturday, March 30, 2019
at 9:00 AM
City of Benicia Library, Dona Benicia Room
150 East “L” Street
Benicia, CA 94510

 

Council to discuss ordinances to deal with dirty campaigns and overwhelming PAC money

By Roger Straw

IMPORTANT – TUES., JAN 15… See Council’s agenda item 15.B. below and check out the various reports. This item is in response to the nasty attack ads, push polling and huge money spent by Valero and it’s labor buddies in last fall’s campaign.  They successfully smeared Planning Commission Chair Kari Birdseye and helped to elect their chosen candidates. Council and staff have been looking into any measures that can be taken to strengthen Benicia’s campaign ordinance.  PLEASE ATTEND THE COUNCIL MEETING ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 15!  Let Council and staff know that this is really important so that we don’t have this again in 2020.  (To send an email comment see WHERE TO WRITE…)

BENICIA CITY COUNCIL
CITY COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA
Benicia City Hall 250 East L. Street
January 15, 2019
7:00 PM

15.B -SECOND STEP OF COUNCIL MEMBER CAMPBELL’S 2-STEP PROCESS

REQUEST TO DISCUSS UPDATING THE CAMPAIGN ORDINANCES (City Attorney)

At the December 18, 2018 City Council meeting, Council Member Campbell’s two-step process request was presented to the Council to consider updates to the city’s campaign ordinances. The Council directed staff to agendize the item for discussion. Staff has included preliminary research on this subject.

Recommendation:

Provide direction on whether the Santa Clara model and any other proposed updates should be considered and whether updates should be discussed and reviewed by an ad hoc group or by the Open Government Commission prior to consideration by the Council.

Staff Report -Campaign Ordinance Updates -Campbell

      1. Two-Step Agenda Request Campbell -Campaign Ordinance Update
      2. Santa Clara Dark Money Ordinance -Campaign Ordinance Update
      3. Campaign Disclosure Forms and Filings City of Santa Clara Webpage -Campaign Ordinance Update
      4. Campaign Regulations City of Santa Clara Web Page -Campaign Ordinance Update
      5. Government Code 84222 Multipurpose Org -Campaign Ordinance Update
      6. Government Code 84211 Contents of Statement -Campaign Ordinance Update
      7. Other Possible Ordinance Updates -Campaign Ordinance Update

Coverage of local protest against Trump firing of AG Sessions

Repost from The Vallejo Times-Herald
[Editor: Thanks to the Vallejo Times-Herald for it’s front-page photo of yesterday’s local protest against the ouster of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  The Trump administration cannot be allowed to work this outrageous obstruction of justice!  Coverage of the MASSIVE nationwide protests was buried this morning by news of the California wildfires and mass murders in Thousand Oaks.  NOTHING in the SF Chronicle, but here’s the East Bay Times coverage.  (See also Google’s full coverage.)  And, oh by the way – that’s Benicia’s own Lee Wilder Snider, Susan Street and Donna Shehan front and center in the photo!  And I’m sure that’s Craig Snider behind Susan’s right arm.  See also “Oh, please – not again…”  – R.S.] 

Rapid Response

By Chris Riley, November 8, 2018 at 5:55 pm
Dozens of Vallejoans took to the street in front of the ferry building to take part in ‘Nobody is above the law-Mueller protection rapid response’ a nation-wide peaceful protest on Thursday in Vallejo. (Chris Riley–Times-Herald)