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.
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.