Former Mono Sheriff Sergeant goes public with concerns

monosheriffCraig Nelson worked for the Mono Sheriff’s Department between 2005 and 2011. Nelson said he ended his twenty-year law enforcement career because of the “abuse of power” in the Sheriff’s Department and a culture of selective enforcement and cronyism. Mono Sheriff Ralph Obenberger describes his Department as well-managed and thoughtful in its handling of employees and the public.

Nelson responded to the case of Mono Deputy Jon Madrid who was fired, made to sit in a chair for eight hours a day and then exonerated of any wrongdoing and reinstated by an arbitrator. Former Sergeant Nelson said, “The Madrid case is but a tiny fraction of the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to personnel matters. What happened to Madrid has happened to many others to one degree or another.”

Several other officers, no longer with the Mono Sheriff’s Department, confidentially confirmed Nelson’s comments. They described “bullying, cronyism and selective law enforcement.” Nelson said there are two kinds of people at the Sheriff’s Department – those who want to go somewhere else and those who can’t go somewhere else.

In a two-page written statement responding to Nelson’s comments, Sheriff Obenberger describes a completely different Department. To allegations of bullying and favoritism, the Sheriff said that if a problem is solved, “it is not ‘selective law enforcement’ as long as you are taking care of public safety.” He said employees who do not respond to instruction may require discipline. Obenberger said, “Although some of those individuals on that end of the spectrum might want to absolve themselves of personal responsibility and call it cronyism, it is actually good management practices.”

Former Segeant Nelson said discipline in the Mono County Sheriff’s Office was “arbitrary.” He said, “If they liked you, they were understanding. If they didn’t, you couldn’t do anything right.” He said before Jon Madrid was terminated, “I was told to write him up for everything.” Nelson said he did write up Madrid for some things but said Madrid responded as an “honest and forthright” person. At the same time, Nelson said, he had written up another deputy three times for insubordination and Lieutenant O’Hara “threw that away.”

Nelson said he witnessed a deputy who was made to sit “in the dunce chair” in Lieutenant O’Hara’s office. Nelson said the deputy’s misdeed was writing traffic tickets. Said Nelson, “He was a good cop, and it was hard for him not to write tickets.” Nelson said the same Lieutenant “called people names, and he threatened my career.” Nelson confirmed that a memo was issued by Sheriff Scholl which resulted in officers’ fear of enforcement. He said when officers were proactive they would “get taken into the office and get a verbal warning.” Other sources confirmed this same policy. One source referred to an actual memo discouraging enforcement.

However, Sheriff Obenberger denies it. He said, “I have never seen anyone placed into a fixed post for writing too many tickets in my tenure with the agency, nor would I condone it.” The Sheriff did say that former Sheriff Scholl wanted deputies to spend time within the communities and “not just work traffic on Highway 395.” Obenberger said, “We are not aware of any memo that was directing employees to ‘not write tickets.'”

In his statement, Sheriff Obenberger does make it a point to say that when he became Sheriff in December, he “instructed the supervisors to let the deputies and public safety officers do their job.” Although he earlier said there was no issue with writing tickets, Obenberger said he specifically instructed deputies to work traffic if they want and write tickets if they’re warranted.

Nelson said former Sheriff Scholl and his administration never did make it clear what they wanted from their troops. Nelson said he was ordered by a sergeant and Scholl not to conduct bar checks at Tom’s Place or Rhino’s in Bridgeport.

Nelson said the lack of accountability caused him to believe that only a state or federal investigation would clear things up. The former sergeant said he quit “because as a sergeant and a police officer, I wanted to do the right thing and set a good example. I had no support for that.” Nelson said he hopes the Mono Board of Supervisors and residents of Mono County “won’t tolerate this any more. Law enforcement has to be held to a higher standard.”

He also pointed to what he says is promotion of those with the least experience who have not spent the necessary years to build a career track. He said Officer Jeff Beard was promoted to sergeant after 18 months. Nelson said Ralph Obenberger was a deputy and in eight years became Sheriff. Said Nelson, “He was a sergeant for less than a year when he was promoted to lieutenant.”

Nelson said he believes those of higher rank hire people with less experience because “it’s the only way they can control what goes on. The least experienced are more willing to look the other way and keep their mouths closed.” The former sergeant repeated that those who “tried to step up and do the right thing had to sit in a dunce chair, get no overtime and no promotions. The Mono Sheriff’s culture was to do things not by the book but to look the other way.”

Nelson said he was particularly upset over the Sheriff Department’s lack of support when it came to light that his daughter was one of the victims in the sex crimes of a Coleville coach. He said the Department administration “quit talking to me. Ralph Obenberger said it was my problem not the Department’s.” Nelson said he and his family “were treated like criminals” by the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Obenberger called Nelson’s claim “utterly false.” He said, “As peace officers, our hearts go out to all victims and their families, including Mr. Nelson’s.” The Sheriff said he wholeheartedly believes that the Department supported Nelson during the incident.

Nelson and other sources close to the situation maintained that the atmosphere in the Sheriff’s Department was uncertain and hostile. Sheriff Obenberger said, “I do not believe there is a hostile environment in our office, nor was there ever.” Officers willing to speak to Sierra Wave Media point to the arbitrator’s opinion in the Deputy Madrid case as clear evidence of biased and mean treatment.

One other report from two informed sources said that Mono Sheriff’s administration officers engaged in a punishment called “The Gauntlet” in which employees were forced to sit silently while higher-ups screamed degrading statements at them about something they didn’t like. Sheriff Obenberger did not comment on our question about that. One former officer said deputies were “frequently subjected to this demeaning practice.”

 

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Fernando Vilar
Fernando Vilar
1 year ago

En la actualidad, las funciones del sargento, como escalón intermedio entre los oficiales y la tropa, suelen consistir en la instrucción, adiestramiento, coordinación y supervisión de los efectivos subordinados a su cargo, tanto en ámbitos instructivos como operativos o técnicos, asumiendo el mando y liderazgo.

Chip Chipperson
Chip Chipperson
8 years ago

In America we have the richest’poor’ in the world. We have a lot of people that cant feed them selves that have DVD players, flat screens,cars,smoke cigarettes are drug addicts and drunks. It has more to do with choices people make on how to govern their lives than to blame… Read more »

familygal
familygal
8 years ago

Wow! this is spot on Chip! I have a sister who just “found” herself homeless and without a job, even though she has 2 college degrees, but could not control her spending and act like an adult. So she is now “in the system” and working it for all it’s… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  familygal

Oh Please you two, You are really convinced aren’t you chip and familygal? So those are your reason’s for why things are the way they are huh? Good Job on focusing the problems towards the citizens of this nation and not the legislators and hidden agendas that are never on… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago

Chip and Familygal, what about the wrong incentive structure our political and business system has? Still think it’s the free loading citizen and not the free loading oil company that continues to get govt. subsidies whether they are profitable or not?

Liberating with Liberalism
Liberating with Liberalism
8 years ago

Right on, Jeremy! But I’m afraid you are dealing with a group of people brainwashed into thinking We The People (aka We The Little People), only care about “entitlements” and leeching off the system. That group worships the mega-rich and are duped into the bogus “trickle-down” effect their talk-radio pundits… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

The only brain washing I see going on is yours Dr. I guess you would like to liberate the slaves to entitle them. I don’t get your reasoning. But soon enough, as we are headed, you will know what it is like to be a slave. I hope you don’t… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Oh please Jerry, they are right, you didn’t seem to get the part about the politicians that Chip pointed out, who like to keep the system this way, because they can keep power that way, people will vote for them when they throw them scraps. Did you see that part… Read more »

Jeremiah's ego
Jeremiah's ego
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Once again, big brother Al comes to help a brotha out. My tunnel vision can get in the way at times. I too think it is garbage for a person to gain off the system the way some do. I also think it isn’t all glorious the way some portray… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

I hear ya about tunnel vision … no the main problem is from the certain people who are in position to cultivate this cancer, and yes some citizens contribute to it as well. They either contribute to it through .. participating in the abuse … or allowing it to happen,… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Amen Chip, it is a cancer in this country, just like cancers in the body. This cancer is one of the big societal killers.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

Children as far as we know do not come into this world with a gun in there hand ,nor with hate in their heart. “The disengaugement with oneself” probably has early beginnings maybe even in the womb. Whenever I find lonliness and isolation creeping in, I am lucky to have… Read more »

Tiresome anti-government slams
Tiresome anti-government slams
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Excellent observations of today’s society Philip. It’s quite refreshing to read personal thoughts rather than the usual political posturing that is not-so-well-hidden as civil “dialogue. The non-stop hatred for government from the usual suspects that find their way onto blogs such as these is truly tiresome and a far cry… Read more »

Letter from a dying veteran
Letter from a dying veteran
8 years ago

“I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to… Read more »

Wow
Wow
8 years ago

How ignorant.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Why isn’t it impossible to suggest focusing on compassion and tolerance for each other?

Good post Philip, I think we need to remember that we all are different and not to lump everyone into molds of who we think they should be, rather, understand the differences and work with them.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Try blaming the real culprits that ruined our pensions, benefits and unions. Oh ya, job security and rights to organize also. Both parties let this happen, just like gun control. Remember when the Brady Law was pushed threw and by who?

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

“concentrate pretty much 100 percent on illegal immigrants,”

I see no problem disliking someone here breaking our laws.

I’m glad to see people have found common ground, and a common goal.

Of course we know Mono County and especially TOML loves their illegal ALIENS.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

I don’t know what you do here, but consider that the Hispanics who work in the service industries – Ski Area, restaurants, bars, hotels, cleaning services – keep the local economy churning. And, yes, the government should work out a reasonable and enforceable policy for immigration. One thing we could… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Who said anything about Hispanics? And the problem with Mexico’s economy is the corruption runs clear to the top…. just like it does in Mono County and the good old USA. There is a reasonable immigration policy, just ask anyone who immigrated here legally. Every single person that immigrated here… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

You did. Look at your last comment.
I know several people who immigrated to the U.S. legally – two of them from the then Soviet Union.
It was a bloody nightmare of bureaucracy. We need improved policies.
Benett Kessler

Stop 'em in their tracks
Stop 'em in their tracks
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Way to go Benett!
Don’t let the far-right get away with any of their hate-filled double-speak.
They aren’t fooling anybody but themselves.
The hatred for gay people, Hispanics, blacks, gun control people, etc. in this country is reaching epidemic proportions and must be countered every inch of their angry way.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes Mark, we d need to market .. ourselves! This country … for so long now we have let this slip, we need to bring these jobs back to this country. We will not bring it all back, but we can restore a good amount of it, and make it… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

No Mark, Mining resources is not the only way a country can improve a economy! And less regulation is not the answer either. If we would step outside of the partisan arguments and realize the corporations tax loopholes and tax havens overseas is hurting our growth, it is the subsidies… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

After we close the tax loopholes and havens, and everyone has raises where do you suggest we get the material to produce a competitive product?

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

That all sounds good and happy Benett, as long as we don’t pour any more money down that rat hole, like we have in the past, and are doing even now. I mean that matter of factly, not being sarcastic. I agree their country needs to clean up their act,… Read more »

The ugliness of scapegoating
The ugliness of scapegoating
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

The scapegoating of entire people is nothing new. It’s a dark side of human nature. The Nazis blamed jews fior Germany’s economic problems. Blacks have been scapegoated in the southern U.S. Studies of anti-black violence in the southern US between 1882 and 1930 show a correlation between poor economic conditions… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

AS long as we portray this picture, it will never change until we learn to leave it behind, that goes for all sides .. all facets, all classes, all races. Why must we keep dredging it up? Why can’t we teach the kids .. principles and morals we need to… Read more »

Today's racism caught on camera
Today's racism caught on camera
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Here is an example of what some of our elders are about today. (And this guy is one of the “nicer” of the anti-hispanic types) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfrfyoEjGKs this is much more typical of the angry lunatics that are out there today thinking they are the ultimate “patriots. (beware, the language is… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Show us acts of kindness caught on tape!

A nation of crazy people
A nation of crazy people
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Since this country today is teeming with hate groups (more than ever before) with a multitude of grizzly, nasty older people (the boomers) ears glued to talk-radio shows, chock-full of hatred and foaming at the mouth against … you name it … (easily caught on tape), I say the burden… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

Take note that the crazy shooters in recent horrible slaughters have been young people. So, don’t be so sure that’s the answer.
I’m a boomer, and I don’t feel the need to hate and “foam at the mouth”, as you put it.
BK

Creepy boomers
Creepy boomers
8 years ago

Benett, I, too am a boomer. And what I am seeing in the Tea Bagger rallies/movement that are everwhere today, mostly consist of people in the 50+ in range. My personal feeling is the personal rage of these poor souls,has nothing to do with the political division their neoconservative hate-mongers… Read more »

Tim
Tim
8 years ago

Great observation on the correlation between the young and recent gun crimes BK. What do you see as the culprit? Is it parental absence and lack of participation? Desensitization due to games and violent media? Are our children hopeless because society has become so ruthlessly competitive and complicated? What happened… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Tim

I am not sure about the root of the problem, but a contributing (and maybe very large) factor seems like the lack of focus on real and important aspects of life – loving families, positive and balanced human relations, and inner harmony. Maybe people are striving for money, sensation and… Read more »

Boomers and depression
Boomers and depression
8 years ago

There is a serious problem with clinical depression of some people born between the years 1946 and 1964 – The Baby Boomers. A quick youtube study (Teaparty rally’s etc.) will show how serious the problem is. In many cases, depression actually is the result of habitual negative thoughts. When bad… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

No It is on you DR. …. you alone to lay down the hate mongering and bring forth the good! I have been trying my best to do that, but all I see from you is all the hate mongering … what is up with that? My challenge stands! brings… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Right on, Big Al.
Benett

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

I think you’re just twisted DR. there is not getting through, it seems.

Benett … yes your words about family and balanced relations is so true, I don’t see it as your reporter’s view, I see it from the heart. And those thoughts are what we need to change things.

Curious
Curious
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Why would you not concentrate on disliking the root cause which is the illegal employer$ nation wide ?

Guns 'R Us
Guns 'R Us
8 years ago
Reply to  Curious

And back we go once again to the “illegals are the root cause of all social problems” BS.
People are shooting other people more often today because it just may be too easy to get the instruments needed for the shootings.

Curious
Curious
8 years ago
Reply to  Guns 'R Us

“People are shooting other people more often today because it just may be too easy to get the instruments needed for the shootings.” That ship has sailed! Our social problems are caused by greed. Middle class america now has to compete with low wage earners not only domestically but globally.… Read more »

Teabagger Boomers
Teabagger Boomers
8 years ago
Reply to  Guns 'R Us
Do what I say not as I ...
Do what I say not as I ...
8 years ago
Reply to  Curious

Big Al, love the speech re: “…you don’t like what someone is saying, you try to slam them and deflam them” and … “step up the plate and leave the junk behind.” Truly great stuff and much wisdom to ponder. Even got a “right on” from this blog’s manager. Reminiscent… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

Cheap shots are not necessary.
BK

Stereotyping government-haters
Stereotyping government-haters
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Are you referring to calling the president of the United States “Obummer?”

Thanks in advance for the clarification.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

I do not know what you are talking about.
BK

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

You just keep it coming, if you like, again, if I saw something worth respecting, I would be more respectful. That is my point of view. When I feel we have a president who is deserving of my respect, then I will give it. If he makes a turn around… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Big Al,

It would be so rewarding if people who posted here gave well thought out and considered reasons for their views, rather
than just calling names.
Benett

Teabagger's style.
Teabagger's style.
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

I see Big Al once again has monopolized this blog with innane comments about … everything. Sorry, Al. But calling the president names (“O’bummer”) does not qualify you to be the director of this blog, political guru nor philosophical genius. Calling names is juvenile and nothing but junk (as you… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Oh no I am not the director of this blog .. I am only giving my thoughts on things just as you are Dr. There actually isn’t any director here, There is someone who administrates it to keep the heavy duty junk out. As I have said to Jerry, I… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

And just to clarify, I am not a teabagger, I am not conservative, I am not liberal, you may be able to feel you can label me and that is cool. But I don’t alley myself with any of them, because of so much junk that goes on like we… Read more »

Curious
Curious
8 years ago

leo.

What has taken you so long to speak up? Fear of the type of retaliation officer Madrid was subjected too while you and others kept quiet and protected your wallets ?

Big Rick OBrien
Big Rick OBrien
8 years ago
Reply to  Curious

If I were THAT proud of my department and had THAT much confidence in my Sheriff…I’d have NO problem putting my name on it. The entire post was pro-Obie…so you have nothing to fear. Hell, it might even get you promoted.

Bummed
Bummed
8 years ago

Mono County is a good old boy club at all levels. Advancement to a promotional position depends more on complimenting the incompetence of your supervisors, than anything positive you do for the public in your position. There are many good employees in Mono County, few of the good ones advance.… Read more »

leo
leo
8 years ago
Reply to  Bummed

Article number 3…I’m beginning to think this is a one sided publication…If you hate Law Enforcement in the Eastern Sierras let us know and we will post it…I’m sure I’m wrong but it’s starting to look that way… I’ve known Ralph Obenberger for a number of years and I’m sure… Read more »

Parasites?
Parasites?
8 years ago
Reply to  leo

As retired law enforcement, I am pro law enforcement and don’t agree with all the posts. There is a legal and right way to deal with personnel matters! “Undersheriff” Obenberger had a chance to state/prove his case and according to a neutral third party. FAILED! What possibly could be added… Read more »

Hate groups on the rise
Hate groups on the rise
8 years ago
Reply to  Parasites?

Good for you, retired law officer. I was just watching a CNN story where they pointed out the record-breaking amount of hate groups on the rise in America. The common thread of these hate groups from the lunatic fringe is they believe there is a Federal conspiracy that will take… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

That is your usually assumed guess.
BK

Extremists and the state
Extremists and the state
8 years ago

Today’s far-righters have a gigantic problem with state imposed rules and sanctions. It’s no mystery that law enforcement and consequently law enforcement officials are viewed as troublesome and even Un-American. Extremism is definitely on the rise in America and at Oberlin University the Ku Klux Klan has raised its ugly… Read more »

Assumed hate groups on the rise
Assumed hate groups on the rise
8 years ago

Benett – I respectfully must post somebody else’s “assumed guess” regarding the rise of right-wing hate groups in the U.S. This, from ABC News: The number of hate groups in the U.S. has grown each year for the past 11 years, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  leo

Miss us with all the Bible reference’s would you. You talk about parasites and plaques, but cease to acknowledge the broken procedures law enforcement uphold, and the guilty officers fellow colleagues defend. If you have a open minded sheriff and a forward thinker then lead the way and forget about… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Jerry … bro, it is his right to express his faith, last I knew, were still free to be able speak our thoughts. I think LEO is right to be able .. just as you are …. be able to have the right to speak your thoughts as well, I… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  leo

Amen good word.

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Acknowledgment can go a long way. .I hear you, I know I get my panties in a bundle over things I feel are correct or the fair way, at the same time I know I am receptive to others. But when it comes to feeling the urgency of needing something… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Dude .. you’re doing OK and yeah .. this life is a journey to learn what we need for the next life. Yeah, some people use the bible to somehow justify their dirty work, but the word alone is not the cause, it is the hate in the heart that… Read more »

Get Real
Get Real
8 years ago
Reply to  leo

You forgot the verse from Jesus, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

It was pretty ironic for Obenberger to call Madrid a wife cheater during the hearing, when he himself is one.

John
John
8 years ago

The only thing that can make life more just is to have a lot of money. (or friends in the right places) If you ain’t got no money, you ain’t got no rights!

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  John

The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” came from somewhere 😉

david mcneill
david mcneill
8 years ago

I thought that only Bishop had a corrupt Sheriff dept. There is just nothing like a good whistle blower to come forward and tell it like it is. The truth is that everything has gone topsy turvy where the decent citizens are treated like criminals and the criminals, scum bags,… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  david mcneill

If you really want a reason to hate that CHP officer, go to the State Controller’s website which has a tool that lets you look up the pay of any local, county, state or special district (like a school or water district) salary. Patrol officers in the CHP gross more… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

No need to look for reasons to hate people. There are reasons to discover what can make life more
just.

Benett

Sean
Sean
8 years ago

Wow another incredibly stupid comment from Desert Tortoise. Can we vote this person off the island? Here is the pay for CHP officers and it is inline with all CA law enforcement. http://www.chp.ca.gov/recruiting/osalary.html Like I said before – this blog is filled with cop haters. When crap hits the fan… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Sean

Yeah not even with overtime does it even get close to that mark desert tortoise, I’d say you inflated that figure some, no .. a lot! You might say that would be more like what a top official in the department makes, but the the average patrolman.

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  Sean

Sean I don’t hate cops, I can’t stand cops that cherry pick facts to justify there own stance! I can’t stand cops that think the drug war is doing anybody good, I can’t stand cops that think each little possession bust or other little bust to help fill their time… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Nice Tortioise .. way to incite people to hate.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  david mcneill

dave, I disagree with the heavy weighted slander on these departments. Yes you have bad cops .. but you also have many good cops in these departments. I know of one personally, in the Inyo S/O, that I have known since he was 6 years old, he is a good… Read more »

Real World
Real World
8 years ago

@Tonto You are correct that Child support garnishments are common place in counties that aren’t 2 decades behind. The courts prefer them, because it saves court time and guarantees timely benefits to children that need to be supported. I am flabbergasted that MCSO would even consider that this is a… Read more »

Tonto
Tonto
8 years ago

Craig stepped up and we should all commend him for his action. I am sure Rudolph thinks he was just another disgruntled employee. If so, it must be contagious! BTW: Can anybody explain why a child support “garnishment” was basis for their investigating or monitoring Madrid? These day CSS files… Read more »

Tonto
Tonto
8 years ago
Reply to  Tonto

I would like to add a thought. The concensus says Deputy Braun was terminated because of her experience and skills. Weber and Obenberger and Ms. Braun could provide the total number of felony arrests for their careers. YES….these stats are available. I suspect Ms. Braun has more than both combined.… Read more »

fish dude
fish dude
8 years ago

Thank you Bennet for printing these stories..I should not be surprised, but am still amazed at how Obenberger and his cronies deny any wrongdoing. One would think that the “boys club”, would be aware of the “negetive views”, posted towards their department.. The fact that anyone from the MCSD does… Read more »

like breath of fresh air
like breath of fresh air
8 years ago
Reply to  fish dude

Some day our local journalists might get take the time and actually follow some selected persons, who are employed in the public sector, around for an entire day observing what they do hour to hour all day long. Then when they take notes their notes for a report to others,… Read more »

Hike Across The Country
Hike Across The Country
8 years ago
Reply to  fish dude

As a member of the Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, I take great offense to your comment. Both the team and the Search and Rescue Coordinators work extremely hard to bring the best outcome to the victims involved. Plus there is a lot of behind the scenes work… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

Fish dude – can you name two SAR’s that MCSD messed up on?

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  fish dude

Fishy .. with out going into details … that post was just purely full of crap!

Samantha
Samantha
8 years ago

Probably irrelevant, but I have personally witnessed drunk drivers get pulled over by local law enforcement, and b/c they were “friends” with each other, law enforcement would allow for the drunk driver to leave their car and wait for a ride home, thus the person never went to jail nor… Read more »

Douglas Foley
Douglas Foley
8 years ago
Reply to  Samantha

Yes indeed If your friends with the deputies and get pulled over DUI, you will Not go to jail, No DUI charges either, but if ;your Native American, Mexican, or Gentile then it’s Jail, do not pass go”, do not collect $200 dollars 🙂

EK
EK
8 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Foley

Geintile ? Foley do you even no what that means. So you are saying that a Non Jew will get a night in the pokey before a Jew will get jail. So you probably think MCSD has special race detectors. Get real dude. I think you need to look at… Read more »

When cops go disgruntled
When cops go disgruntled
8 years ago
Reply to  Samantha

Unfortunately there are too many Christopher Doners out there.

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

Amazing where someone will go in an attempt to discredit an individuals comments.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

I hear ya Mark

Goddess
Goddess
8 years ago

One, are you are refering to the ex LAPD officer? If so last name is spelled Dorner genius.
Two, are you really comparing my husband and the other deputies to a MURDERER?
Three…did you even read the article?
Move on sweetie, this one’s too grown up for you.

Heidi Nelson

like a lynch mob
like a lynch mob
8 years ago
Reply to  Goddess

My, my! Don’t stories accusing of public officials of wrongdoings generate such intense nastiness? Some people exist on focusing on the negative. Some even make a living doing so. And when it comes to focusing on what these journalists call “tax-eaters” – the nastiness grows into a lynch mob. Such… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

i have never read anything here where a reporter called a public official a taxeater. This story is really about Boss Hog and the good ol’ boy club being alive and well in Mono County. Mono County law enforcement and politicians are showing the World that we truely are hickville,… Read more »

Angst and destructive emotions abound
Angst and destructive emotions abound
8 years ago
Reply to  Goddess

Goddess –
Thanks for pointing out the spelling error.
But I’d hardly say I was “genius.”
(Such is the sad state of unhappiness and destructive emotions in our world today)

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Oh … spelling error eh?

Keeping It Real
Keeping It Real
8 years ago

I can only imagine the courage officer Nelson displayed to reveal the dysfunction in this secret GOB society.
It would have been so much easier to walk away.
My hat is off to you sir.
Thank you!

Samantha
Samantha
8 years ago

@ drive by shooting, the journalist DID give the other side of the story, hence Sheriff Obenberger’s responses to everything.

Samantha
Samantha
8 years ago

What’s interesting is that Nelson has nothing to gain writing this, it’s not like he’s trying to return to the Mono County Sheriff’s department, which leads me to believe that Nelson is probably right. Also…didn’t a 20 year veteran recently get fired from the department after her probationary period? That… Read more »

Lone Ranger
Lone Ranger
8 years ago

Does anybody remember Dick Luman? He was another disgruntled employee who got terminated. Who was sitting on that panel? Who was involved in a “questionable” investigation? Does the name Ralph Obenberger ring a bell? Remember…..Luman was terminated for allegedly starting a fight with his supervisor, but his termination was confirmed… Read more »

June Local
June Local
8 years ago

The Sheriff’s department doesn’t have radar guns.

Just saying.

Samantha
Samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  June Local

That wouldn’t surprise me b/c from the sounds of it the Obenberger didn’t want them to pull people over 😉

Dingo
Dingo
8 years ago

I think my boss and Sheriff Ralph Obenberger are brothers.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Dingo

LMAO Dingo!

John
John
8 years ago

It’s not just the Sheriff’s Department that is and has been corrupt for a long time. The previous Board of Supervisors was corrupt, (the new Board probably has two members who aren’t part of the good ol’ boy club) County Counsel, (talk about equal protection of, and under the law)… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

I think the selective enforcement claim is hooey. A lot of law enforcement is hard work. Traffic enforcement isn’t so you get officers who would rather sit on the side of some road with a radar gun waiting for some unlucky soul to drive up on them ten over the… Read more »

Inside Job
Inside Job
8 years ago

When a Deputy may not get more than a couple radio calls a week, there is not much else to do tan work a little traffic. Mono County has very little crime.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Inside Job

Sounds to me, from reading this blog, that there are plenty of drug and sex crimes, internet scams and the like to keep the Sheriffs Dept busy. Not to mention the lack of police at certain times of day in the town of Mammoth Lakes. Why sit on the side… Read more »

Waxlips
Waxlips
8 years ago

Everyday I see people speeding through my town. I wish we had some kind of law inforcement of any kind to pass-out tickets.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

What shoots holes in your post Desert Tortoise …. There are are county roads don’t you know, not just the state routes, 395, 120, 203, 158, 167, 182.108, 89. The CHP doesn’t always patrol those roads, sometimes they do, but mostly they are on the state routes. And sheriff officers… Read more »

Bad man from Bodie
Bad man from Bodie
8 years ago

Obenberger was untruthful in front of all his deputies by saying, “We are not aware of any memo that was directing employees to ‘not write tickets.’” You Sir are a LIAR and the deputies of Mono County know it! You are a DISHONOR TO THE BADGE AND OFFICE YOU HOLD.… Read more »

Inside Job
Inside Job
8 years ago

Please tell me there is a Deputy out there that saves memos put out by the admistration and will give a copy of the ticket memo to Benett.

Doin my best.
Doin my best.
8 years ago
Reply to  Inside Job

The search is on and will be endless on many levels…

Cut out the cancer
Cut out the cancer
8 years ago

Dear Mono County Board of Supervisors, Please wake up and relieve “at will” interim Sheriff Obenberger and “at will / probationary” Undersheriff Weber of their duties and hire experienced management from law enforcement agencies out of the area. At the extremely high salaries these two individuals make, there are former… Read more »

Hypocrisy
Hypocrisy
8 years ago

I totally agree with you! In the arbitrator’s report for Madrid, “According to the Arbitrator, Sheriff Scholl, then-Undersheriff Rallph Obenberger and Lt. Weber decided to get “value for the taxpayers” by reassigning Deputy Madrid, even though on leave, to sit in a chair in the Bridgeport Sheriff’s Office lobby with… Read more »

Mike J
Mike J
8 years ago

I have an idea! Why doesn’t the County hire MMM and she can find some way to get rid of people…that’s seems to be her area of expertise. She’s done great at making Town employees leave, even the good ones!

Mono Man
Mono Man
8 years ago

From someone who knows all the parties involved, I can say that Craig Nelson was a good, honest, very knowledgable, and hard working Law Enforcement Officer. I cannot however say the same for Rick Scholl, Ralph Obenberger and Rob Weber. There is a reason that every Deputy Sheriff boycotted Scholl’s… Read more »

Goddess
Goddess
8 years ago
Reply to  Mono Man

Thank you,

Heidi Nelson

From one you know
From one you know
8 years ago
Reply to  Goddess

Sergeant Nelson IS Unforgettable and will always be missed to those who stand behind the oath!! Good Luck with his endeavors.

Craig Nelson
Craig Nelson
8 years ago

@”from one you know” Thank you. I miss working you guys/gals too and I didn’t want to end my career, but I couldn’t wear the badge knowing I couldn’t change the existing culture within the department. The way my family and I were treated by the adminstration and others within… Read more »

dm
dm
8 years ago

This may not be relevant to the point, but I’m a little confused about something: Why would the officers be reprimanded for writing tickets? Why would that be considered a bad thing?
Just curious….

Inside Job
Inside Job
8 years ago
Reply to  dm

Writing tickets, and arresting for DUI, people that are friends of Scholl, Obenberger, OHara or Weber, is “wrong” at the MCSD.

Samantha
Samantha
8 years ago
Reply to  dm

Obenberger probably didn’t want to deal with having to actually work and process the paperwork for tickets, lol

Lone Ranger Returns
Lone Ranger Returns
8 years ago

County Counsel: “Madrid is just a disgruntled employee.” Is the Board of Supervisors really this naive?

I swear I just heard a loud “Cha Ching”! Was that the cash drawer opening in the Mono County Treasury?

Hypocrisy?
Hypocrisy?
8 years ago

“Sheriff Obenberger denies it. He said, “I have never seen anyone placed into a fixed post for writing too many tickets in my tenure with the agency, nor would I condone it.” But he condoned Deputy Madrid being placed in a fixed post, with no gun, no badge and no… Read more »

Big Rick OBrien
Big Rick OBrien
8 years ago
Reply to  Hypocrisy?

Man, oh man…I wonder if the former Mammoth officers that were hired by Ralphy are thinking OH,SH#T ! What did we get ourselves into ? “The gauntlet, the chair, don’t write, tickets,no overtime, no promotions ? How much worse could it get ? Having Mono County Sheriff’s Dept. in your… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

No Big Rick I disagree with the mission statement being a load of crap. For the department, and those individuals who try to live by, and make that mission statement true, that is not a fair observation. While There may be corruption, and more so … dereliction of duty by… Read more »

Big Rick OBrien
Big Rick OBrien
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Big Al, I should have clarified….I was only meaning that it was a load of crap, simply by virtue of WHO was stating it. Right above the mission statement is a nice photo of Ralphie with an ear to ear grin. THAT is what (or who) my post was directed… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Right on I get that, it’s just that is how it appeared and more so I just felt to shed more light on that aspect of it, the good people. I wasn’t meaning it personally.

EK
EK
8 years ago

The more this stuff come out the more sick I feel. This whole county is corrupt to the core. Dunce chair,,,, Are we in kindergarten? I have had a friend tell me that the government here is nothing more than adult game of pretend. My heart and sorrow to those… Read more »

Like a drive-by shooting
Like a drive-by shooting
8 years ago
Reply to  EK

“This whole county is corrupt to the core.” Wow! Interesting stereotyping. I wonder how EK ever came to that conclusion? There is a style of journalism that resembles a drive-by shooting. The journalist takes the shot, then speeds away in a cloud of dust leaving the reader to determine if… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

As much as I like your analogy, even though I disagree, I think you’re actually shooting the messenger.

Inside Job
Inside Job
8 years ago

Drive By Benett did what every good journalist does. She recieved the story from a named source who was willing to go on the record, then confronted the subject of the report, Obenberger, about the allegations, then talked to her many Law Enforcement sources that she has cultivated over the… Read more »

Scholl Bowl
Scholl Bowl
8 years ago

Bravo Benett! Thank you so much for having the guts to print the truth! It is about time that the truth come forward for the public to see! Please Mono County take notice and do something about this disgrace of a department!