Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith Resigns During Her Corruption Trial

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.


  1. Laurie Smith convicted of corruption in office. Two of the charges she was found guilty of was accepting gifts (VIP access at sporting event) and fraud for not entering it on her 700 form, exactly like the actions of some of our council members. Oh, and who are the “others” that are in the photos with them? Are significant others, children and other family members allowed on these so called “Operational Tours”? Who paid for them? Smile, you’re on Candid Camera and in the sights of the District Attorney. Not long now!

  2. Robert, to follow up “Ted’s” post, (Ted
    NOVEMBER 2, 2022 AT 10:18 AM
    Robert – Please delete howard dyer’s [sic] post about Gays Against Groomers. This group is a noted anti-LGBTQ group. No it’s NOT a pro-tomboy group, it’s a radicalized right group that actively campaigns against gay rights.
    There is NO PLACE for this TRUMP hate rhetoric he is spreading on this blog.
    Thank you”),

    a simple google search would have told you Howard Myers appears dangerous with his apparent Trumpist inspired homophobia. Yet your blog regularly gave props to Myers. Search, Google, Howard Myers and scroll down to Myers tag in your blog. Rhetoric matters, especially in this time where officials have been the recipient of death threats, as has been Anthony Becker. Again, I suggest you be more judicious allowing posts (especially from anonymous sources) which can reasonably be construed to incite.

    • Byron,

      I am glad that Howard’s comment was taken down and I thank you for bringing it to Robert’s attention.

      But Howard’s comment and views on matters outside of Santa Clara politics are not the norm for commenters on this site. The vitriol that is expressed here toward Anthony Becker is quite tame in the context of online political comments and it is silly to purport this site as one that incites anyone to make death threats or homophobic verbal attacks upon Becker.

      Nobody should do that and there is no reason to believe any reader of this site has done that. Becker has not even publicly shown any truly concerning attacks or threats directed toward him though I would not be surprised if he has gotten a few from a wacky person or two.

      I also would not be surprised if Lisa Gillmor has gotten death threats or misogynistic comments directed toward her by a wacky person or two. But I would be surprised if Lisa Gillmor called a press conference to lay the blame for this at the feet of the Silicon Valley Voice or its staff or the people who comment on it.

      And I would be surprised if Lisa Gillmor got womens political groups and local female politicians to cosign a silly demand that Anthony Becker denounce one of the several local news sites that relentlessly attack her because they supposedly have inspired death threats and misogynistic attacks against her.

  3. Haugh did act responsibly just now. It was pointed out to him an insult to gay people. He followed through. Can anyone inform me why denying Jamie McLeod her status is not an insult??

  4. Openly Gay is Anthony Becker’s only accomplishment. Otherwise he is a giant failure in his career and is trying to monetize his political aspirations. At Anthony’s age it’s a sad position to have to rent a room from someone successful. Aunt Patty and Uncle Jed can only do so much, then Becker shows his ture self.
    All and all a real a loser.

  5. Monday, October 31, 2022

    Dear Mayor Lisa Gillmor,
    On October 14, the San Jose Spotlight reported that Santa Clara Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Anthony Becker, who is the first openly gay official for the city, has been the victim of frequent homophobic slurs and death threats. Many of these hateful comments have been posted on a website, Santa Clara News Online, promoting you. Becker has repeatedly asked you to speak up, but even after learning about the issue, you continued to amplify the blog. Following the October 14 story, several LGBT advocacy groups called on you to denounce the blog. It has been weeks, and yet you still have not done so.
    Since the original story, in the absence of your leadership, commenters have continued to post new statements minimizing the danger of homophobia and denigrating Becker’s experience. Your refusal to denounce Santa Clara News Online has also allowed these sentiments to metastasize to other sites like Nextdoor. On the national stage, we know that when hateful comments are allowed to stand, they evolve into boldfaced bigotry and physical harm. So we have no choice but to take these comments seriously. It is our understanding that much of what is published on Santa Clara News Online is favorable to your political
    campaign. Genuine allyship takes more than empty virtue signaling – it’s forged during hard situations. If you truly value principles over politics, you would set an example for your residents that there is no place for hate speech in Santa Clara – regardless (and especially) if the perpetrators are friends. We call on you to 1) immediately condemn Santa Clara News Online in its entirety, and 2) issue a public apology to Councilmember Becker for allowing this hate to fester for as long as you have. The stakes could not be higher for LGBTQ+ people like Councilmember Becker, and anything less than your complete condemnation is complicity.

    Equality California
    California Democratic Party LGBT Caucus
    Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee
    Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
    Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
    Silicon Valley Stonewall Democrats
    Senator Scott Weiner
    Assemblymember Alex Lee
    Assemblymember Ash Kalra

    • “who is the first openly gay official for the city”

      Uhh no, Jamie McLeod was the first and served 8 years on the Council. Nice try distorting the facts.

    • Equality California you must be confused this isn’t Mayor Gillmor’s email address this is Santa Clara News Online you might want to send it to her at her email address I call BS on Becker. He’s not getting homophobic slurs and death threats on here that’s just his desperation, trying to scrounge a couple more votes before the election He is just playing the professional Victim. Over the years I’ve called Becker
      no respect
      a hole
      no class
      drug addict
      Low hanging fruit
      Quick tempered

      All true lol Whenever I would try to slip in something even close to resembling a homophobic slur Robert would edit it out of my comment so take your drama somewhere else, try Silicon Valley Voice they like this kind of stuff over there

    • Equality California,

      You are doing a disservice to all and trivializing all the times when your advocacy is needed by pushing this narrative that is at best ignorant but at worst nakedly and cynically political.

      First of all Anthony Becker is not the first openly gay official for Santa Clara. It was almost twenty years ago that Jamie Skinner-Macleod was elected to our city council as an openly proud lesbian woman. She has since returned to her native Oregon and is on the national stage running for the US Congress and she has endorsed Lisa Gillmor.

      There is nothing here at Santa Clara News for Lisa Gillmor to denounce except for editorializing and partisan politics which is common at other local “news” outlets. In your entire grossly exaggerated comment you do not even attempt to substantiate the allegations you leveled at Robert Haugh and his website. If you did then you would know that the allegations are comically overexaggerated.

      Out of thousands of comments on this site every year one was posted referring to Anthony Becker as the “monkey pox candidate” and another referred to him as “low hanging fruit” and a “dingleberry.” The first was shameful and should not have been allowed and the slur was edited out. The second may not be at all homophobic depending on the context. And the third is simply an insult that has no homophobic meaning and is merely a schoolyard insult.

      You are making baseless and defamatory allegations of homophobia and demanding a denunciation for a laughable lack of reasons. You are right that genuine allyship takes more than empty virtue signaling and should take that to heart yourselves. You should also practice what you preach about valuing principles over politics.

      Shame on you.



    • Dear Equality California,

      Your organization states, “On October 14, the San Jose Spotlight reported that Santa Clara Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Anthony Becker, WHO IS THE FIRST OPENLY GAY OFFICIAL for the City of Santa Clara.”

      This was your opening sentence. What you stated is completely and utterly a total lie and fabrication.

      When Becker has to stoop to such lows of completely telling a LIE, it is obvious he is losing and desperate.

      As the first line of your post is a complete fabrication, whatever you wrote that follows, and the groups aligning themselves with Becker and Equality California, have zero credibility as you are proven liars.

      People are sick and tired of identity politics.

      How many of you that live in Santa Clara are fed up with Becker and the other candidates labeling Santa Clarans as HOMOPHOBIC RACISTS??

      I have lived here for 6 decades. Santa Clara has always been a welcoming city and is a melting pot of every sexual preference, color, race etc etc.

      I look at just my own street, and my wonderful neighbors of decades from every spectrum, and our great relationships that embrace the differences. Our entire city is like this. It is not some evil place and evil intentions. Becker and the 49ers only say this to be divisive, so they can slip in false identity politics to try and divide and conquer.

      This time, I believe, our citizens can see that Emperor, Jed York, is wearing no clothing, and his court jester looks like a fool.

    • Just a suggestion. Robert, you really need to do a better job of monitoring posts. This string is a good example. See, homophobic comments below. Enjoyed your articles on HS wrestling etc., but now you are appealing to a very, very small subset of Trumpsters and homophobes, all anonymous.

    • Come on really? Lisa has pretty much kept quiet about all the lies spoken about her and now why should she speak up about anything as it appears no matter what she says someone will twist it. Let’s see the proof about threats to Becker? I for one didn’t even know he was gay until he got his news report on channel 2. Did he think this would help get more voters or did he really have threats?

    • Robert – Please delete howard myers post about Gays Against Groomers. This group is a noted anti-LGBTQ group. No it’s NOT a pro-tomboy group, it’s a radicalized right group that actively campaigns against gay rights.

      There is NO PLACE for this TRUMP hate rhetoric he is spreading on this blog.

      Thank you

    • Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I had no idea that the comment mentioned a hate group. That comment has now been removed.

  6. Dimwit award goes to Lori Garmany for going after Lisa Gillmor for allegedly talking to the press.


    gee, Suds usually takes the dimwit award.

    • Wasn’t Jamie McLeod-Skinner the first openly gay council member. Didn’t Pat Mahan sponsor an attack on her??

    • Robert should attack Geoff Goodfellow, ot write a letter on ropers and majeski letterhead attacking mission trails, their client!

  7. A Grand Jury – that is the only similarity between the report investigating corruption in the Sheriff’s Office and the report looking at the City of Santa Clara council member business relationships.

    The differences: a grand jury was able to substantiate multiple criminal allegations against Smith whereas the grand jury looking into allegations against Chahal, Hardy, Becker, Park or Jain couldn’t confirm any allegation as true. Only a dolt would see similarities in those findings.

    • And so the fun continues…
      “A Rose by any other name”…
      Here is what I know.
      Your “49er 5” are under investigation. They are the sole focus of a on going Civil Grand Jury investigation.
      The crazy 49er spending spree is even getting crazier. My guess is their own numbers are coming back showing our current Mayor’s run is not going to end on Nov 8th.
      Things are so bad, in last night’s Monday Night Football game, Becker had a TV add?
      Apparently, Becker is not Better.
      Our City is now educated in areas that none of us ever went to school for.
      Neighbors who have never spoken to each other now have something to talk about.
      Of all things, some of us are having to learn how to organize a Recall.
      And yet you want to discuss semantics?
      Makes sense
      Page one 49er 5 Playbook
      When challenged do not blink.
      1. Deflect, deny, delay, devalue, dismiss, distract, and discredit.
      2. When that does not work, spend more money.
      3. When that does not work, start to yell and pound the nearest table pointing fingers at anyone around, but make sure to call them a “Dolt”

      Ouch, that really hurts them. I was hoping for nincompoop, clown, simpleton, or muttonhead, but never a Dolt….
      Now I’m really irritated…indignant, or darn such language… I’m just mad!!

      Burt Field

  8. Yes…..action after a grand jury report….coming to the city we live in soon……one can only hope. Resignations would sure save the recall committee a lot of work.

  9. Hmmm. Seems like I’ve read similar Grand Jury findings somewhere. Can’t really place it, though.

    • I believe your referencing Dominic Caserta (predator) – close friend of Anthony Becker (anger issues), or are you referring to now disgraced Chris Stampolis (anger issues) also a supporter of Becker (anger issues)?

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