iepolitics: SB County: Update on Sheriff’s training records investigation

From left to right:  Sheriff Rodney Hoops, Captain Bart Gray, Captain Mark Marnati

t came to my attention today that 3 additional people have been identified in that scandal involving San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Captain Bart Gray.

Those named were Captain Mark Marnati, Lieutenant Jerry Davis and Sergeant Bill Zehms.  All are reported to be good friends of Captain Gray.

It is also my understanding that Mrs. Gray has returned back to work from being on administrative leave.  It seems there will be no investigation on this very widespread scam involving what has been reported to be up to two dozen others.  No doubt some of the others who’s names are not known, could possibly be higher ranking Sheriff’s employees.

This fraud or theft which ever you choose to call it is a felony under California law if the amount of money received by those involved exceeds $400.00. It is also a felony to forge training documents such as these, as they are public documents.

These individuals perpetrated their acts by having Mrs. Gray forge training documents which at some point were submitted to Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) in Sacramento.  With these false training documents these individuals were able to obtain Advanced POST and Supervisory POST certificates.

Having these certificates, allowed these individuals to receive a higher percentage of pay each month.  Somewhere between 3 and 5 percent.  Over a period of months and years in could be several hundred or several thousands dollars. This is where the fraud or theft comes in.

Captain Gray is said to have obtained $27,000.00 or $47,000.00 in pay for the certificates he had under false pretenses.  It is not know how much money the others involved, obtained through this scam.

The other issues involved simply time card fraud where Mrs. Gray falsified documents indicating employees were at and did complete training classes they were suppose to be attending in order to keep their POST Certificates current and update as mandated by Peace Officers Standards and Training. These employees never attended the training, but were at home or other places instead of at the Sheriff’s Training Facility. But they were paid the normal hourly rate or salary for attending.

These cases, if totaling more than $400.00 would be a felony for each and every time this was done and could have multiple felony counts for each individual involved.

For those who might ask why these individuals are being given a pass despite what others have seen or heard about in recent time is quite simple. Sheriff Rod Hoops along with past Sheriff’s cannot throw their higher ranking employees under the bus as easy as they do rank and file Deputies and recently some Sergeants, because to many Captains and Lieutenants know where the bodies are buried and might spill the BIG beans if treated like rank and file employees.

But with the cooperation of the Safety Employees Benefit Association’s Bill Abernathie who controls the attorney’s who might represent these Deputies and Sergeants, their level of representation can be controlled, thus giving the Sheriff’s Department an upper hand on throwing more Sergeants under the bus than ever before.

We will see more of these cases in the future, because what is going on in the Sheriff’s Department with this case and others is no different than what we are seeing in the other departments County wide.

High level managers are excused for their misdeeds or when the heat get’s to be to much, they retire quietly. Most of you would know that if you have been paying attention.

It is reported that Sergeant Zehms is out on a medical condition, and is not expected to return to work. Imagine that.

But the rank and file will continue to get fired and disciplined for a lot less than this. Why?  To give the appearance to the public and the Board of Supervisors that the Sheriff’s Department has ZERO tolerance for misconduct.  But those we choose, when we choose them.

So what do you think about Sheriff Hoops and his good ol boy regime?  A breath of fresh air?  I don’t think so as it looks right now.

3 Responses

  1. Well if she is back to work then they aren’t going to do anything. I’m sure some other scandal will crop up and everyone will forget this mess. Anyone who is holding a high ranking position without the legitimate credentials needs to be ashamed of themselves.

  2. Why isn’t the California Attorney General’s Office investigating this?????????????

  3. You don’t mention who identified the three additional individuals. Are they all involved in an active investigation?

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