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Dozens of Alameda County sheriff's deputies suspended after audit reveals failed psychological tests

OAKLAND -- Dozens of Alameda County sheriff's deputies have been taken off active duty after an internal audit revealed they were wrongfully hired after they score below passing grades on psychological exams, the sheriff's office confirmed on Monday.

The deputies were informed of the suspension in a letter from Sheriff Gregory Ahern on Friday. The letter also indicated the deputies would have the opportunity to be retested. In the meantime, the deputies would not be authorized to carry a firearm, make arrests, or perform any functions of a peace officer.


Sheriff's office spokesman Lt. Ray Kelly said the audit was conducted following a double homicide in Dublin earlier this month in which an active duty sheriff's deputy, Devin Williams Jr., was arrested and charged in the killings.

The 47 deputies had scored a D on an ABCDF scale on their psychological exams, which up to 2016 was a passing score. Kelly said the department had received guidance the D-level scores were still acceptable but later discovered the scores were not passing and the deputies should not have been hired. 

"Once [Sheriff Gregory Ahern] was aware, the sheriff ordered those officers be placed on Admin duties and suspended their peace officer powers," said Kelly in an email to KPIX 5

Kelly also said the deputies would take reexaminations in the coming days and weeks and would be reinstated to full duty if they get a passing score.

Williams was charged with two counts of special circumstance murder in the September shooting deaths of Benison and Maria Tran in their Dublin home. Williams' mother told reporters that her son had been in a romantic relationship with Maria Tran and he believed she was unmarried.

Bay Area News Group reported Williams was hired by the sheriff's office in September 2021 after failing to pass a probationary period with the Stockton Police Department.

The sheriff's office did not say whether Williams was among the 47 deputies who had failed their psychological exams.

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