By Robert Haugh
Major news shook up the local law enforcement community yesterday when Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith suddenly announced her resignation.
Smith sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors while a jury was deliberating Smith’s public corruption case.
Smith is currently on trial for six civil counts of corruption and willful misconduct.
The accusations against Smith were based on the findings of the Civil Grand Jury last year:
- Trading concealed carry weapons (CCW) permits for campaign donations to independent expenditures
- Special treatment of VIPS for CCW permits
- Accepting gifts in excess of $500 (San Jose Sharks suite tickets) and failing to report it
- Perjury for not reporting the gift on financial forms (Form 700)
- Failing to cooperate with the investigation of an injured inmate during transfer procedures
If Smith hadn’t resigned yesterday and the jury found her guilty, she would have been ousted from office immediately.
Smith was not seeking re-election and would have left office in January.
Undersheriff Ken Binder becomes the acting sheriff until a new sheriff is elected in November and takes office in January.