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Sheriff: 22 Santa Clara Co. Jail Guards Fired In Last 6 Years

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Data released Thursday by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office shows 22 correctional deputies were terminated and 27 others were suspended in the past six years.

The data, comprised of 83 sustained investigations on deputies and civilian workers between 2010 and 2015 by the sheriff's internal affairs unit, was released in a 21-page report in advance of Saturday's meeting of the county's Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations.

The 26-member commission was formed in response to the late August death of 31-year-old Michael Tyree. It is chaired by former Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge LaDoris Cordell, a former independent police auditor for the San Jose Police Department.

Jereh Lubrin, 28, Matthew Farris, 27, and Rafael Rodriguez, 27, have pleaded not guilty to the death of Tyree at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose in late August while they were on duty, prosecutors said.

The three guards are scheduled for a preliminary hearing next month.

Saturday's meeting includes a study session on the discipline system for correctional deputies.

The report found that large number of employees formed inappropriate relationships with either an in-custody or former inmate with knowledge that the person was a convicted felon.

There were also workers who used force on inmates either at the correctional facilities or at the intake lobby, according to the report.

In some of the cases discussed in the report, the officer provided contraband including drugs to inmates and checked confidential information on the county's network system, the data showed.

Some deputies were also arrested for DUI and hit-and-run collisions, sheriff's officials said.

In one 2011 arrest, an off-duty officer involved in a car crash took out an ammunition cartridge that was on the arresting officer's duty rifle, according to the report.

A few of the cases involved deputies who gave false information on logbooks, reports and to department investigators, the data showed.

"Day in and day out the overwhelming majority of our custody officers and staff conduct themselves honorably and professionally," Sheriff Laurie Smith said in a statement. "In the instances where that has not been the case we have a strong record of holding those individuals accountable and we will continue to do so."

"The discipline applied toward custody staff that have not measured up to our high expectations includes letters of reprimand, suspensions, terminations and, in rare cases, arrests, as was the case with the three individuals we suspect of murdering Michael Tyree," Smith said.

© Copyright 2016 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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