Four Charged in Concealed Weapons Permit Bribery Scheme, Including Dominic Caserta’s Attorney

By Robert Haugh

District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced on Friday that he’s charging four people with felonies in relation to how Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith issued concealed weapons permits.

This is big news in County government and local law enforcement. Interestingly, one person has a connection to a former Santa Clara City Councilman.

According to Rosen, a $90,000 bribe was offered in exchange for the permits. 

The four defendants allegedly did this to help Smith’s 2018 reelection campaign. 

The felony charges include bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery for local attorneys Christopher Schumb and Harpaul Nahal and Milpitas gun manufacturer Mike Nichols.

They could face three to four years of jail time if found guilty.

Also indicted was Captain James Jensen. He’s a member of Smith’s command staff and is accused of falsifying public records.

Jensen allegedly processed concealed weapons permits for political donors to Smith’s campaign.

According to Rosen, Jensen could spend 11 years in prison if found guilty.

Schumb is a politically connected San Jose attorney. He works for the local teachers’ unions to represent teachers who get into trouble

Schumb is close to Smith. He was the assistant treasurer for a committee to help re-elect her in 2018. Schumb is the person who allegedly solicited the contributions and bribes.

Christopher Schumb and Sheriff Laurie Smith congratulate San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in 2014.

Schumb’s most infamous Santa Clara client was disgraced former City Councilman Dominic Caserta.

In 2019, Schumb represented Caserta when he was accused of sexual harassment and abuse by his female high school students and campaign staffers.

Sheriff Smith was not charged with any crime. She did not make any public statements on Friday or this weekend about the indictments.

Rosen said the criminal investigation is ongoing. More indictments may still come.  This a big story that we’ll continue to follow.

Here’s the 16-page indictment.


  1. Mr. Rosen, Why bother? A conviction record is the only thing D.A.’s care about. They will engage in
    plea bargaining and the DA will agree to Jay walking instead of a felony. The DA gets his conviction to use in the next election and the charged persons walks free and the County gets the jaywalking fine money.

    Plea bargining is the most dangerous threat to law abiding citizens. Why else do you see on the news that newly arrested suspects have 3,4,5 or more past arrests for armed robbery, rape, DUI’s, etc. Why were they free on the streets to commit crimes? Because on the previous arrests their lawyers (Private or public defenders) and the DA plea bargained down to time served awaiting trail or at most a few months in jail

    Again, plea barganing allows the DA to get a conviction and the defense lawyers build their reputation and becomes known as the lawyer to hire to get their client off or serve very little jail time.

    Plea bargining is great for everyone except you and me!

  2. At the least, Sheriff Smith was utterly negligent. If she was rubber-stamping Jensen’s CC Permit apps, then the two of them endangered the safety of their own Deputies – and the safety of other sworn officers protecting the cities of Santa Clara County, too.

    I’m getting ahead of myself, but this screams out for justice for the rest of us as County residents: A deuce in County jail for all four of these guys, disbarment for Schumb and Narhaul. Fire Jensen and pull his pension. Move CC permitting completely out of the Sheriff’s Office and devolve it to the cities’ Chiefs of Police.

    And for God’s sakes, vote Laurie Smith out in the next election.

    Look at what the Sheriff’s Dept. has done to us in ten years: Pill-popping Deputy mows down two cyclists on Stevens Creek road, Incompetent mismanagement of the County Jail gets inmates killed in their cells, favoritism towards drunk-driving 49ers, firing off AR-15s seized from a 49er at the County’s shooting range…

    I dreamed (only a bit) about retirement somewhere in the unincorporated parts of this County. But that balloon popped when I considered that I’d be getting my law-enforcement services from the Department above.

    Voters and residents of the County, this is a swamp. It badly needs to be drained.

    Please stay well.

  3. I am struck by two things:
    1. It is a shame that people resort to bribing an official to be ‘allowed’ to exercise their rights.
    2. I am not convinced Smith did not know of this. It is an old charge and if she were clean she would have investigated this illegal activity. Isn’t that her job? And then to throw a capt under the bus? No class.
    Okay, yes, this is my opinion, but I have a high regard for my opinion.
    Isn’t that why we have blogs and on line news?

Leave a Reply