• Playing politics with public safety

    The embarrassing mess at the Sheriff’s Department stinks of sour grapes to us.

    We’re not arguing that an accused drug dealer should not have been arrested, no matter who his father is. But we think the whole thing was handled badly and that it was done in such a way as to embarrass Sheriff Scott Miller.

    Now we have the detective sergeant in charge of the investigation, Det. Sgt. Archie Warren, filing a lawsuit against his supervisor, Sheriff Miller, alleging that Miller jeopardized deputies’ safety and obstructed in the investigation and arrest of his son by phoning his wife moments before the officers arrived at the upstairs apartment.

    She probably already knew. Someone had tipped off the press and they were out there in droves, cameras rolling, as the arrest was made. So says our source, who was riding by on a bicycle.

    So who called the press? Not Sheriff Miller. We were on the phone with him within a short time and he assured us that he was unaware of the investigation and pending arrest until the officers were “knocking on the door.”

    Here’s who didn’t get a call: The Pacific Grove Police Department. When we called them, right after the incident, they were surprised. There had been — and rightly so — no indication that an investigation was taking place. Secrecy is vital to many investigations. But when armed men show up at a private residence in a quiet neighborhood, there’s a chance that someone will call the local police in a panic and mayhem could follow. We have confirmed with Pacific Grove Police Chief Darius Engles that there was not even so much as a courtesy call. Bad form on the part of Det. Sgt. Warren.

    Sheriff Miller has called for a California Department of Justice investigation. We applaud that action. Calling for any other jurisdiction to investigate would have had the odor of conflict of interest on the part of the sheriff.

    Now Warren’s attorney has tried to get a restraining order against Sheriff Miller and undersheriff Max Houser because Warren was questioned about the case, his office safe was searched, and he was transferred from narcotics to the coroner’s office and he felt it was retaliatory. The judge denied the request, saying that he just didn’t see anything to indicate that Warren was “facing retaliatory action.” In fact, what we learned Wednesday, July 13 was that Warren had been transferred because he tipped off the media about a pending pot raid on a cartel-run farm in Big Sur resulting, eventually, in the cancellation of the raid because of the disclosure to the public, and in yet-unknown costs for Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement helicopters and agents on the ground, not to mention their safety.

    Shortly after Jacob Miller’s arrest, we were advised that a man in South County was arrested on the same charges, but his name was withheld because it’s part of an ongoing investigation. So who made the meth that Jacob Miller is accused of offering for sale? Probably not him. Are they looking for the manufacturer now, who has been warned off by Jacob Miller’s arrest? We’d likely know if there were a meth lab in Pacific Grove. Meth labs smell a lot worse than sour grapes. Or do they?
    — Marge Ann Jameson

    posted to Cedar Street Times on July 14, 2011

    Topics: Current Edition, Marge Ann Jameson, Opinion, Snarkin' With Marge

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