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Sometimes, I need a while to process things. This was one of those times. I’ve been writing ad-naseum about how Contract Cities are getting hammered. I was contacted by another informant and told about another ghastly rip-off of all cities, not just contract cities.
We’ve written about the incompetence of people like Captain Coby Webb (known as Captain Tripod), Lt. Werges (worthless), Captain Kurly and others that constantly are screwing Contract cities over with massive (and mandatory overtime). In the case of Webb, one time she was short 700 hours on a contract. In the case of Werges, he screws up almost as much as Colleen Walker used to. Time and time again, I am told stories about how Contract Cities are getting ripped off.
Contract Cities are paying for a certain number of deputies during certain time periods and they are not getting that service.
The Cities know about the overtime game and there is growing discontent over the budget shell games.
Contract cities can be real budget killers. If you don’t have enough manpower to cover your contract, you run short on billable hours. Deputies working OT to cover the lack of staff and create billable hours cut into the cost recovery since they are costing 50% more to provide the service. This means that Sniff’s decimation of department morale is costing the department a ton of money in the form of needless overtime, worker’s comp claims from exhausted employees (that Sniff and the County litigate and fight), and shortages of staff to cover minimum commitments.
Contract Cities are getting lousy service and their budgets are stretched so thin that it is not feasible for them to start their own departments.
It takes approximately 18 to 24 months to recruit, process, hire, and train a new deputy (laterals excluded). This costs the county approximately $150,000 to 175,000 before that deputy is ready to handle calls on their own. At that, repeated stories I am told indicate that training levels in the department are slipshod and poor.
You’d think with 250 deputies leaving the department in the last year that there would have been roughly $25 Million materialize in the Budget. Sniff miraculously claims to have “found” $10 million to put toward the two-year backlog of CCW Permit applications. This means that money is being used for a one-time band-aid so non-donors to Sniff can get their CCW Permit applications rejected sooner rather than later. Is the Riverside County Board of Supervisors aware of the horrendous attrition? Are they OK with it? Have they asked where the $25 Million went?
Rumor has it that Stan Sniff is going to announce that he has “Found” another $13 Million. My supposition is that he is ripping off one-time expenses to try and put out fires in advance of this election.
There have been several decisions that Stan Sniff has made that have had instant impact on the budget – such as losing $900,000 a year from ICE once he made the decision to discontinue cooperation with them.
The brain-drain in the Riverside Sheriff’s Office is having real-world consequences. A generation of incompetent Lt’s and Captains that can’t manage budgets are upon us. It is a daily occurrence that I get photos of broken down cars and busted equipment. The failure to maintain equipment is another sub-set of the mismanagement and incompetence.
Then in my conversation with the administrator I learned that every rolling three years, every jurisdiction does a statistical analysis of all the bookings their police departments cause. (Corona PD, Banning PD, Riverside PD, etc) The next year that number is set as a baseline.
If the jurisdiction exceeds their baseline, they are charged $600 per booking.
As you know, Riverside County has one of the most severe early release problems in the State of California. This means every city (not just contract cities) are paying for bookings where an inmate gets incarcerated for periods as short as a few hours.
It gets better. Let’s say inmate A is sitting in jail. The jurisdiction that sent him there has already paid for the cost of booking him (either thru the contract with the RSO or County Funding of the Jail or the $600 excess booking fee). Inmate B shows up, do you kick inmate A out and lose the fees associated with booking him? Or do you take the fee on B and then kick him a few hours later?
AB109, known as re-alignment shifted a lot of state level scum to the counties. Because a lot of counties were not prepared, it is effectively giving a lot of scum a get out of jail free card. AB109 was supposed to reimburse counties for the cost of incarcerating scum. It pays part of the cost, not all. However, the AB109 money that Riverside County gets is significant.
However, when Stan Sniff is gouging Cities like Hemet, Murrieta and others for the $600 booking fee, he is also getting AB109 Money. Whoops. We call this double-dipping.
Worse, Riverside County is alleged to be the only jurisdiction in the State that does not hold parole violators for the 100 day period. Probation Violators get released early, too. (as in go violate your probation, nothing will happen to you) Sources in the Probation Department indicate that it is a common occurrence for the Sheriff to early release people on a 100 day probation violation hold within 48 hours.
Now, why is Stan Sniff always whining about his budget? It is clear he is ripping off a lot of jurisdictions with poor service, overtime and now double dipping booking fees.
Stan Sniff appears to be ripping off the State of California, too. There are multi-jurisdictional (or departmental) teams that have a State Grant-Funded slot for a deputy. Several teams do not have their RSO deputy on them, yet the department still gets the grant money. Does the State of California know about this?
Basically Cities that are aggressive about arresting scum are getting double screwed, they get to pay big fat booking fees only to have the scum put back on the street the next day. The State of California is getting screwed. The citizens of Riverside County are getting screwed.
With all this money, it is an absolute outrage that Sniff has threatened to leave the new Indio Jail 80% empty. The new Indio Jail (which is a fraction of what it should have been thanks to the late John Benoit and Stan Sniff going along with him) is supposed to be 1690 beds. It is replacing a 353 bed antiquated jail.
Given all of these machinations, Stan Sniff is without an excuse for why he can not staff the new jail. The jurisdictions that are getting hammered by Stan Sniff should revolt and demand the board of supervisors address this issue post-haste. Meantime, Supervisor Kevin Jeffries needs to pull his endorsement of Stan Sniff as this is indefensible.
Chad Bianco needs to get a forensic audit of every nook and cranny of the Sheriff’s Department done. It is clear why Stan Sniff fought KPMG tooth and nail, there are unethical shell games, budget tricks and phantom deputies everywhere. Any level of cooperation and KPMG would have found it.
To be continued…