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County of Santa Clara Government News Digest

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Address:   70 W Hedding St, San Jose, CA 95110


County’s Low-Cost Drug Program to Expand


Santa Clara County residents can soon receive assistance in paying for various medications under a new initiative.

How Does the County Balance Public Safety?


Community and police leaders came together to discuss public safety at a panel hosted by San José Spotlight to address questions over policing and accountability, as law enforcement agencies try to de-escalate their response levels and work toward outcomes that don't end in tragedy.

Santa Clara County Official Fights Identity Theft


What began as a case of stolen identity for one official has snowballed into a scam targeting immigrant residents. Deputy Counsel David Campos has been dealing with identity theft for several months, and the alleged culprit is a familiar face.

Plan Will Swap Land to Build Teacher Housing


County officials could soon fulfill one of their long-term goals—making it easier for teachers to live where they work. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors is voting to secure approximately five acres in Cupertino to construct affordable housing for educators.

Santa Clara County Criminal Case Backlog Higher Than Its Neighbors’


A running backlog of criminal cases is a much bigger problem in the South Bay than it is in neighboring jurisdictions, with Santa Clara County recovering more slowly from a raft of pandemic-fueled closures and restrictions.

Plagiarized Santa Clara County History Book Is Canceled


After nine months of intense scrutiny surrounding a Santa Clara County-commissioned government history book project that cost taxpayers over $1 million and contained plagiarized material from sources like Wikipedia, the project has officially been spiked.

Officials Could Face Suspension Under New Proposal


When longtime Sheriff Laurie Smith faced a corruption scandal in 2021, she kept her job for months with little consequences. County officials want to prevent that from happening again.

Stanford Sues Over Tax Exemptions for Faculty Residences


Seeking to cement a tax exemption for faculty homes on its campus, Stanford filed a suit against Santa Clara County contending that these residences should be treated like other educational facilities.

Cupertino Council Addresses Grand Jury Report


Nearly two months after a civil grand jury report accused members of the Cupertino City Council of fostering a toxic work environment within city government, councilmembers concedes that, while some of the claims were inaccurate, the panel identified genuine problems.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Sworn In for Fourth Term


Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen was sworn in for his fourth term Thursday as he pledged to build a “house of justice” for the South Bay through strong prosecution and an eye for “pragmatic” reforms.

New Santa Clara County Probation Chief Draws on East San Jose Roots


After graduating in the early 1990s from San Jose State University, Nick Birchard got to work at Santa Clara County’s probation department. Nearly three decades later, his career come full circle.

Former Santa Clara County Sheriff Appeals Conviction


Laurie Smith is appealing a conviction that she traded gun permits for campaign donations, lied on campaign finance forms and covered up jail mismanagement.

Santa Clara County Shutters Hybrid Meetings—for Now


Santa Clara County is eliminating hybrid committee meetings in favor of an in-person only format, which residents said could reduce community engagement.

North Carolina Power Station Attack Has Local Parallel


An attack in North Carolina is highly similar to a 2013 San Jose power station sniping, an incident that cost millions in damage.

Santa Clara County Sheriff Starts—One Month Early


Santa Clara County Sheriff-elect Bob Jonsen will assume his duties one month early after his embattled predecessor abruptly resigned in October. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint Jonsen as sheriff before officially taking office in January. Jonsen will start on an interim basis Dec. 8—after the election is certified.

Simitian: New County CEO Was ‘Obvious and Excellent Choice’


Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian of Palo Alto said he voted to make County Council James Williams the county CEO without community engagement because that’s how counties have selected their top executives.

Victory Declared in Sheriff's Race, But No Concession Given


Former Palo Alto police Chief Robert Jonsen declared victory in a tight race with Kevin Jensen for Santa Clara County sheriff, but Jensen said he isn't conceding yet.

Santa Clara County Crisis Hotline Is Understaffed


Four months after Santa Clara County rolled out its 988 mental health crisis call center and intervention teams, the program remains short-handed, testing the confidence. In several cases, 988 calls resulted in a police-only response.

Santa Cruz City Council Sets Design Standards, Greenlights Corridor Rezoning


When it comes to housing policies in California, cities and counties are yielding more local control to the state. However, some discretionary power still exists, and the Santa Cruz City Council moved to bolster the city’s.

The People at the Center of Santa Clara County’s Concealed Gun Scandal


The concealed carry gun permits that led to the civil conviction of former Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith on six counts of corruption and willful misconduct belonged to several prominent residents.

Santa Clara County Rubber Stamps CEO Job Amid Violation


After Santa Clara County elected officials were found to have violated the state's transparency laws, they simply revoted with minimum discussion to appoint a new county executive. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors revoted 4-1 to appoint County Counsel James Williams as the new county CEO.

Low Voter Turnout Affects Local Elections


A competitive San Jose mayoral race and an open seat for county sheriff failed to inspire strong turnout in last week's election. Poor voter participation in East San Jose neighborhoods could potentially swing two key races.

Santa Clara County Violated State Law, Could Face Lawsuit


Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen is demanding the Board of Supervisors nullify and revote on its appointment of a new county executive, saying the decision—which happened behind closed doors—violated the state's transparency law.

Santa Clara County Races to Stop Fentanyl Overdoses


For one Santa Clara County supervisor, the fight against fentanyl addiction is personal. About a year ago, Supervisor Otto Lee lost a 29-year-old cousin to an overdose.

Charges and Countercharges in Jonsen/Jensen Race


Bob Jonsen and Kevin Jensen, contenders for Santa Clara County sheriff, swap charges as they near finish line for their campaigns.

Pay for Play Alleged in Sheriff Laurie Smith’s Corruption Trial


Civil trial of SC Sheriff Laurie Smith on six counts of corruption continues in San Francisco; prosecutors claim Smith let donors go to the head of the line for coveted concealed-carry permits.

SC County Steps Up Mental Health Care


Santa Clara County’s Behavioral Health Services Department announces new acute care beds for the mentally ill; 77 beds for adolescent psychiatric facility slated in October 2024.

SC Sheriff’s Race Raises Top Dollars


The Jensen/Jonsen Santa Clara County race is bringing in big money in donations. Kevin Jensen, 37-year sheriff’s department vet, is the top fundraiser, with some $730k in donations, over “outsider” Bob Jonsen.

Safety Measures Eyed for Hazardous Los Altos Intersection


23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki spearheads the effort to make hazardous Edith Ave/Foothill Expwy intersection safer. Improvements before year’s end are planned by the city and county.

South County Conservative Outraises Opponent


Supervisorial candidate Johnny Khamis’s war chest outweighs liberal challenger Sylvia Arenas’ fundraising in South County’s District 1.