In the cover story of Jan. 1 (“What happened?”), New Times made reference to SLO County Sheriff Pat Hedges’ misconduct throughout this last year. I’m concerned there is more, not known publicly, about Hedges’ involvement in the Charles C. Lynch case.
I sat through most of Lynch’s federal trial and observed SLO deputies mock the fact that they were being paid to drive to Los Angeles even though they did not get to testify on that particular day. Their comment showed a total disregard for the resources being wasted.
I don’t know what motivated Hedges to be involved in Lynch’s case. I’m guessing it has less to do with community values and has more to do with money. Does the Sheriff’s Department get to keep a portion of the funds seized from Lynch? I also want to know how much the SLO County Sheriff’s Department received from the federal government’s Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance grants.
The SLO County Sheriff’s Department has declined requests asking for reports about how much money from California taxpayers was wasted against Lynch. The State Attorney General, Jerry Brown, said the first step to an investigation has to happen locally. The SLO County Supervisors say they have no jurisdiction over the sheriff and cannot conduct an investigation into this matter.
I’m not sure who to turn to but I believe Hedges’ involvement in Lynch’s case needs to be thoroughly investigated. Can New Times pursue this on behalf of citizens in SLO County?
— Cheryl Aichele - Los Angeles
Editor’s note: We’re keeping an eye on that.