By Frank Gayaldo
February 6, 2017
San Joaquin County- One of the FOUR honor farm escapees from August 19, 2013 (two years after AB 109 prison realignment, but before Sheriff Moore was finally shamed into closing the front gate of the honor farm) was arrested on June 15, 2016 for murdering a teenager in Stockton.
On January 13, 2017, the public endured San Joaquin County’s 271st escape since 2004. Tremaine Stacy Norwood is also San Joaquin County’s 24th AB-109 escapee. Sheriff Moore’s follow up investigation in this matter has been so egregiously mishandled, that this is not the time and place to discuss it.
Escapees have both murdered others and have been killed themselves. Inmates, deputies correctional officers, and the general public have all been placed in unnecessary harm’s way. Do you know of any other county that has had even 1/10 as many escapes as San Joaquin County? I don’t, and I have been checking around. Two escapes every five years seems to be the average for normal counties. We have had 271 escapes since Moore first became assistant sheriff in charge of operations in 2004.
If Sheriff Moore was not allowed to waste $9 million on jail design plans (no construction plans or permits included, at least according to the grand jury’s 5/23/13 report) for a fantasy jail that was never built because there never was a plan on how to pay for its staffing, maybe today we could afford a secure perimeter around the jail we actually have. Other than the consultants, did anyone else benefit from this exercise in futility? Nine million dollars gone forever. Where did it go? I know.
Meanwhile Sheriff Moore is tacitly allowed to keep buying and selling evidence guns, such as a 9 mm uzi with a foldable stock he sold on 7/11/2012 for $750 that’s confiscation precipitated the death of Deputy Dighton Little in 1989 or a pristine .22 Colt target collector gun that Sheriff Moore and the county refuses to say how much he paid for it from a subordinate. Imagine, at least $100,000 worth of guns were sold, yet apparently none of that money made it back into the county general fund, but rather to an “in-store credit”. My numerous California Public Record Act requests to track where the money and guns went are all denied because of a never-ending investigation.
We know the sheriff’s evidence room is missing thousands of pieces of evidence. The county’s solution? To hire back retired assistant sheriff Myron Kelso at $62.75 an hour to try to cover up the mess.
Then of course there’s those pesky numerous bizarre human remains “mishaps” and murder/sexual predator NCIC warrant “computer glitches” that keep coming up, in what appears to be a very misguided effort to save the sheriff’s budget money.
Is it reasonable to suggest that just maybe the reason San Joaquin County has the highest recidivism rate in the state and Stockton is one of this nation’s most dangerous cities is because we are the most poorly and dangerously mismanaged?
I realize the Board of Supervisors likes to think they are not responsible for the Sheriff, but they are responsible for his budget. Is paying our Sheriff $489,895 in pay and benefits “fiscally prudent”? The Board invested just under $400,000 to harden the honor farm fence during the 2014 election. News flash: inmates are still escaping, including convicted felons with prior gang enhancements and serious felonies, such as Tremaine Norwood.
Again, the county spent $9 million on pure BS, how about spending say just $900,000 to harden the honor farm perimeter??? Developing a budget to appropriately harden the honor farm perimeter is something the Board of Supervisors can address.