County Sheriff, Inspector General and Board of Supervisors: Roles Defined (Brenda Main, LWVSC, 12/10/19)

County Sheriff, Inspector General and Board of Supervisors: Roles Defined (Brenda Main, LWVSC, 12/10/19)

On December 10, 2019, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved the selection of a new Inspector General for the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office.  The selected candidate, Mark Evenson, served for 11 years as the Chief of the Brentwood Police Department in northern California.  Before that, he spent 21 years with the Seattle, Washington, Police Department, where he was a Training Officer, Chief of Internal Affairs, and Precinct Commander in a large, diverse urban community.

Evenson replaces former Inspector General Rick Braziel, whose contract expired over a year ago after he was “locked out” by Sheriff Scott Jones.  Jones disputed Braziel’s findings in the investigation of the officer-involved shooting death of Mikel McIntyre.

To avoid such lockouts in the future, the Board revised the Scope of Work for the Office of the Inspector General. In addition, the Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by Sheriff Jones and Board Chair Patrick Kennedy. This establishes protocols for the working relationship between the Sheriff and the Inspector General and creates a process for mediated dispute resolutions between the Inspector General and the Sheriff.

While the new Scope of Work clarifies responsibilities of the Sheriff, Inspector General and the Board, the MOU provides a means of resolving disputes between the Sheriff and the Inspector General. Numerous members of the public and several supervisors expressed the opinion that more civilian oversight of the Sheriff’s Office is needed for improving trust between the community and the Sheriff.  Board Chair Kennedy noted that the Board must continue to work with the public and Sheriff to ensure community involvement and oversight.