San Francisco, CA – Today, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced that a jury found former Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith guilty on all counts in her “impeachment” trial. Smith was on trial for six counts of misconduct in office issued by the Santa Clara civil grand jury last fall. The matter was prosecuted by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office after the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office, and California Attorney General each declared a conflict of interest.
“Public corruption erodes confidence in government, public servants and elected leaders,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “This scheme is particularly troublesome as it involved permitting concealed carry weapons permits and placed personal favors over government process and procedure. Concealed carry weapons permits and permitting processes exist to keep us safe and this scheme jeopardized that safety.”
Smith was found guilty of corruptly administering the county’s concealed carry weapon permit program by favoring powerful figures in the county and potential supporters by fast tracking their applications for these sought-after permits. According to the trial evidence, the applications of ordinary citizens gathered dust in the Sheriff Department’s files.
This case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Markoff, with assistance from Paralegal Reg Clay.
“It has been a true honor to represent the People of the State of California in this important matter,” said Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Markoff. “The jury correctly found the Sheriff guilty, and I thank the jurors for their service.”
Smith was also found guilty of illegally accepting and covering up the use of a San Jose Sharks luxury suite, which was a gift from a permit applicant. Finally, Smith was found guilty of failing to cooperate with a jail-oversight agency, as required by law.
As a result of the verdict, Smith will be removed from office. Smith declared her retirement from office on Monday, in an attempt to avoid the jury’s verdict and formal removal. However, the Court denied Smith’s motion to dismiss the case and permitted the jury to reach a verdict.
Santa Clara Case No 21-CV-391905