Former Sheriff Thomas Responds
I guess one good publishing of a post by me deserves another by the former sheriff:
Sorry, but I can't let it go by. According to a "former campaign staffer", I committed a number of sins.
#1 – That I changed from Republican to Democrat. True, but not at the time and for the reasons "staffer" suggests. I was running in 1986 against Sheriff John Carpenter. As we were both Republican's, we were invited to Barney Klinger's home in Hope Ranch for a campaign function. We were being introduced and Ken Petit was there as a guest of Howard Menzel. Petit was running for Clerk-Recorder. When Howard ( a republican) asked them to introduce Ken, they refused . . . because Ken was a democrat.
Being new to politics, my wife and I decided at that point that we did not want to be in a political party that refused to recognize the existence of another human being. We re-registered as democrats. Ken and I are not the best of friends any longer but I believe he will confirm the story. After a number of years, I found that hard-core democrats were much the same as hard-core republicans, and I changed back. Believe it or not - that's the truth.
#2 - On the issue of the law suit by Dale and Lia Schade. Of course I know about the investigation of the Schade's - I ordered it. Lia recently testified that that I started that investigation because her husband, former Lieutenant Dale Schade, said in 1999 that he might run for sheriff. Trouble is, the narcotics and money laundering investigation against them started in 1997 - two years earlier.
There is an inference that a Federal Court found guilt in a law suit against me, the Sheriff's Department, and the County. Again - not true. The county had filed a motion for summary judgment against the 8 claims made by the Schade's in a civil rights violation law suit. All but 2 were dismissed - one, a claim against one of the investigators and another against me and an investigator. That meant that they could go forward with a civil suit had they chosen to do so. Rather than go to Federal Court in LA with all the costs and the POTENTIAL of a loss, the county decided to settle the case for $2.35 million in 2005 . . . 3 years after I retired.
I would have opposed the settlement and gone to court. The claim against me was that I should have know the affidavit for a search warrant lacked probable cause- I did not. A search warrant is written by law enforcement, scrutinized by the DA, and again scrutinized and signed by a Superior Court Judge before being served. As Sheriff, after that level of review, it is normally believed that probable cause was present, or the DA and Judge would not have approved it.
An interesting side note - during the case, Lia Schade served as Jim Anderson's campaign treasurer during his 2002 campaign for Sheriff. After he won, the case settled.
My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and my personal cell # is 680-2345. Please feel free to contact me with any questions and I will be happy to set the record straight. Jim Thomas, signed in as another anonymous.