By Linda Sutter – April 14, 2021

The Board of Supervisors meeting held on April 13, 2021 had at least one questionable request from the Sheriff’s department. On agenda #5: Approve and authorize the Del Norte County Sheriff to enter into the Safekeeper Agreement C5609989 with the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) to house an inmate for the Del Norte County Jail as requested by the Sheriff-Coroner.*

Sheriff Apperson was requesting $77,380 to house an inmate by the name of Brejon Williams in Pelican Bay State Prison. Rewind…

Brejon Williams was already an inmate at pelican bay serving a 11 year term for manslaughter where he was convicted 1/20/2011. On Feb. 6, 2020, he picked up an additional charge for possession of a weapon and was charged by the District Attorney. His expected release date was not provided in the court records.

On April 1, 2021, Williams went before Superior Court Judge McElfresh and was released on his own recognizance until April 15, 2021. Mr. Williams was sent back to his county of commitment Alameda. Before Williams left he signed a 977 waiver of personal appearance for non crucial court appearances.

Penal Code 977 is the California statute that allows a defendant to “waive” his appearance in court for most misdemeanor proceedings. This even includes his appearance at the arraignment, or the first formal proceeding in a criminal case.

In a probation report provided Del Norte County the author of that report stated, “do not release this person as he has a high risk score and defendant has pending violent offenses and is considered a risk to the safety of the community and a flight risk.

The author of the probation report wrote absolutely nothing to substantiate this inmate was a threat to the safety and security of the community or a flight risk. The author of this report used language that was so ambiguous and vague that it suggested this author was a neophyte who did not understand what would be considered a threat to society or a flight risk.

In fact the author wrote, Williams had participated in a riot in 2016, had assaulted an inmate in 2018, had made manufactured alcohol (pruno) and possessed a phone component. This information was available in the Del Norte Superior Court house records. This was brought to the attention of the Board of Supervisors at the meeting.

The Sheriff didn’t bother attending the meeting so the Supervisors had to table the issue and wait one hour and 10 minutes before someone from the Sheriff department could answer questions. You would think when the sheriff is asking to spend nearly 154,000 dollars for two safe keepers he would attend a meeting? Maybe that is too much to ask.

One hour and 10 minutes later Lieutenant Stevens appeared before the Board. He stated this request had been created in October 2020. Why are the Board of Supervisors just getting it now? Who is not conducting their due diligence in these matters? $77,380 to house one inmate at Pelican bay as a Safekeeper, is a lot of taxpayer dough to piss off by not doing your job. The county is supposed to be reimbursed through the state controller’s office under the AB109 bill.

Lieutenant Stevens stated there were four Safekeepers that the state has not collected on. The Safekeeper is a program where inmates who pick up a charge in our County from Pelican Bay, who are about to be released and who are deemed a threat to the local jail.

The Sheriff’s department was asking for two separate individuals. One was Loera, who is verifiably a Safekeeper; the records at the courthouse demonstrated his violent tendency. The second was Williams who had already been released.

In comes Lonnie Reyman, Chief Probation Officer who gave the case factor that Loera had indeed received four additional years. But, had nothing to say about Williams.

Supervisor Hemmingsen asked, “Why don’t we do this upfront when it first occurs?” Stevens stated, “the state takes over 6 months to collect on a bill.”

The Board voted 5-0 to sign the contract and pay the amount requested, approximately 154,000.00 for Inmate Loera and Inmate Williams. Williams was released to the streets in Alameda County.

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