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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135 Responses to Former Mono Sheriff Sergeant goes public with concerns

  1. Fernando Vilar October 15, 2020 at 1:18 pm #

    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.

  2. Chip Chipperson March 20, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    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 other people’s success for their failures. Hell,there is even a political party in this country that promotes and perpetuates this kind of dependent lifestyle. Because if they didn’t keep the takers taking, they would be out of power in a second. Go to a lil area where i grew up in LA called South Central.Nothing has improved economically in the almost 40 yrs since my Dad moved us away.[ya you can call it ‘white flight’] I know families who I still talk to that were my neighbors that are still one the dole-for 40+ yrs!!!! 3 generations. They have no hope or goals because they have been trained by the culture of dependency to rely on the taxpayers to take care of them. Yet they keep re-electing the same old tired ‘progressive’ politicians to ‘represent’ them..BUT TO THEM ITS ALWAYS SOMEONE ELSE;S FAULT…..Its about choices, not blame.

    • familygal March 20, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      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 worth.

      She is living in a government shelter, they don’t require her to work, she can volunteer instead, gets money for food, free health insurance, job training, has others cook her meals for her at the shelter, etc. AND she has “plans” to get into HUD housing and live there for the rest of her life.

      she spends her days drinking coffee at starbucks, talking on her blackberry, carrying her coach handbag, visiting museums, reading books…you get the picture….basically doing stuff that I do while I am on vacation…and “we” are paying her do live like this….but she insists that she paid into the system and now has a right to use “the system”…t

      oh brother.

      • Jeremiah's stance March 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

        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 the surface. So good job carrying the argument the establishment would like the people to be making since it diverts the attention on each other and not the real culprits, Again Good Job You Two you get a “at a boy”.
        My Opinion is over half of the people that do consume these services, that they would rather work for themselves if given the opportunity to have a good paying job.
        Not that I expect anybody to be receptive to my views but I am gonna share them anyway,
        What about Carnival? the cruise ship Carnival? Oh you don’t know what I am talking about? well maybe you should change your media choice, But back to the cruise ship Carnival, The tax payer pays for carnival’s short comings even though we get pennies back from the tax revenue it creates, the reason is because Carnival has spent millions of dollars lobbying for the company’s best interest, That is my reason why we are in the predicament we are in now. The legalized bribery that runs rampant in our system is the downfall of our country!

        • Jeremiah's stance March 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

          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 March 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

          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 have been preaching to them for years. It’s a lost cause trying to appeal to them.

          They must not have noticed that we are trapped by a complex web of corporate and and governmental behemoths that might as well be called the “New Slave Master” that today controls our airways, educates our children, and manages every facet of our lives.

          The most liberal of us have the liberated and empowered ourselves to:
          liberate the slave within, redefine success, unchain the spirit, escape the religions of of work and beliefs that enslave us. Our liberal message is spreading and like Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” captures the underlying malaise of this country, and is leading the way to transforming it into a national dialogue that promises a groundswell for a meaningful democracy in America in the coming years.

          • Big AL March 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

            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 or any of us don’t, but unless we change something, that is where we will be.

        • Big AL March 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

          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 brother? You’re right about carnival cruise, it is just one example of the give aways given, the scraps thrown out, the pay offs. As I responded to chips post, it is a cancer, being one of the cancers that is taking us down today. Just one of them, and you pointed out another with the carnival cruise fiasco.

          You’re right bribery, not necessarily legalized as it is out right criminal!

          And yes I do believe that the freeloading people are part of the problem … (Notice I said … Freeloading, not legitimate users) They are no different than the freeloading companies getting subsidies and making huge profits off of those subsidies. They are no different that the politicians that give out money to them!

          Do you think it is right for such things to happen .. do you think Familygal’s sister is right to live off of the system as such? C’mon brother don’t cover for for that system when you call for reform in other areas, it is a legitimate cancer.

          • Jeremiah's ego March 21, 2013 at 10:44 am #

            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 it to be. Its just hard to swallow hearing those points be made when the problem isn’t from the citizens, the problem is the “to big to fail” attitude from those at top.
            I do need to take a chill pill when blogging, and sorry folks if there was something I said that you still can’t stand. We are in this mess together, directly and indirectly.

          • Big AL March 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

            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, being apathetic to it.

            The cure is with us Jerry, we need to make changes, to bring back some order to the chaos. Keep speaking what needs to be said.

    • Big AL March 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

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

  3. Philip Anaya March 20, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    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 had a family whose dynamic hasn’t been Paradise but it has had whatever I needed and then some. I have also had the reflecting pool of the Eastern Sierra where I can exercise the experience of the isolation and find the joy,the beauty,the fragility, the fear etc. in places that are devoid of other people’s stuff. At the same time that I love the mountain ,the sky, the isolation and all of Nature’s majesty, it only seems to become Paradise if I share it with another. My ego needs constant reinforcement. My ego needs company. My ego is the reflection of myself that I see in another persons eyes. I really don’t want to see my awhole self reflected in someone’s elses eyes.
    I can only see the world through my own eyes even thought I try real hard to have the vision of others. I cannot learn or feel anything with out other people in (the big word is IN) my life I have been lucky to have played every role in family except for the mother birthing part. Not every person on the planet has been lucky enough to have had that kind of life. Every person on the planet however has had their own life . I suspect that the outcasts ,outlaws and awholes of the world are all disengauaged from themselves and their egos are not intact let alone personally understood. It is not an easy road to travel for many, this life, and once you are lost, it is not so easy to find your way back. ” All you need is love” is a mantra for the journey.”Get by with a little help from my friends”, more wisdom there. Maybe Boomers and everyone else needs a little more rock and roll, love from someone and the Sierra Nevada.

    • Tiresome anti-government slams March 20, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      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 from calling it a storehouse on curbing one’s destructive emotions.

      But there are so many lost souls out there it is nearly impossible to suggest focusing on compassion and tolerance for each other.

      • Letter from a dying veteran March 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

        “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 make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

        I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues.

        I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

        Iraq war veteran, Thomas Young, United States Army

        • Wow March 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

          How ignorant.

      • Big AL March 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

        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.

  4. Trouble March 20, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    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?

  5. Mark March 18, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    “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 March 18, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      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 do, that would also help the U.S., is work closely with Mexico to improve their economy so
      their citizens would not want to leave. We should also help them get rid of the drug cartels –
      possibly legalizing marijuana would go a long way to do that.
      Benett Kessler

      • Mark March 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

        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 legally is pretty upset with those that haven’t and are allowed to stay.

        Any effort spent on improving an economy should be spent on improving our own right here in the United States. It’s wishful thinking anyway. The only way a government can improve an economy is to allow the mining of resources, and less regulation so we can cost effectively manufacture products here and be competitive in the World market.

        But I truly believe we are locked into these low paying service jobs due the inability to manufacture products competitively.

        • Benett Kessler March 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

          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 March 19, 2013 at 6:34 am #

            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 March 18, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

          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 work, restore pride in all of our manufacturing.

        • Jeremiah's stance March 19, 2013 at 10:33 am #

          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 that continue to go to profitable oil companies that is hurting us, it is the fact the legislators are willing to cut the real producers of this country’s (middle class) wages and services without cutting theirs or the waste they contribute to!
          No we are locked in these low paying jobs because those wage increase people where able to get through good work in the past, that portion of money went to cover the tax breaks for the rich you voted for! that’s why a lot of big industry’s can’t even afford to give raises because the money is already in somebody else pocket!
          The more we divide one another from each other, the better off Republicans and Democrats will be, It’s not Dems Vs Repubs, it’s Dems and Repubs VS the American People.
          We need to stop blaming the citizens and start blaming the real culprits for the predicament we are in!

          • Mark March 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

            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 March 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

        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, but we have put so much effort into and have seen a lot of the effort slip away because of the massive corruption that is laced throughout the govt. and their society.

        In some ways I see our country heading to that same level, as someone here stated, corruption is rampant. I don’t think it is rampant on the magnitude that plagues Mexico, and …. the other south American Countries. It is fast approaching it.

        It is not just Mexico where illegal aliens come from, they come from all of the countries south of the border. Over the years we have poured money and efforts, advisers, equipment, you name it .. into these countries And where has it gotten us, and more importantly where has it gotten those countries and us?

        Take for instance, the Mexican army, we have trained them, trained with them, we still do joint exercises with them. This is all well and good, but, a fair amount of the CARTEL’S soldiers come from the Mexican army, and to some degree, our own armed forces.

        The CARTEL is a force to be reckoned with. It is not easy to get rid of them, as we don’t seem to remember, we get rid of one bunch, the next weakest bunch is ready to fill that void to become the big dog. A lot of time, with people we have trained.

        In order for a change to come about there and in the other countries, there has to be a strong desire to overcome the corruption, with a strong fortitude to stand against the terror that keeps people cowering in fear. To have people in govt. positions who are righteous in their desire to make a better country.

        The trouble though, with all of this, is that our govt. and mostly some of the big corporations are always self serving and they want things the way it is. That sort of junk has jacked with these other countries and us. It’s kind of a vicious cycle that never seems to be able to quit chasing it’s tail.

        I do agree some sort of enforceable immigration policy, reasonable is more fleeting, I think, It seems that reasonable will only invite more influx, besides, there is a reasonable immigration process, there area buttload of people who have immigrated here legally, some still doing the same today.

        I’m not sure there is a reasonable solution or compromise? In any event, how will we be able to house and feed everyone that comes in, at some point it will be way too much to bear. I would venture to say, that it is already at that point. When people are out of work, and looking for jobs that are disappearing and being taken by others, not just immigrants, but also those … others, who are out of work who have lost their jobs due to such things as out sourcing.

        Not only is it more people coming in, it is also jobs going out, jobs being eliminated due to technological advances.

    • The ugliness of scapegoating March 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      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 and outbreaks of violence (e.g., lynchings) against blacks.

      Today, certain political groups are directing their wrath and predudice towards our hispanic brothers and sisters.

      Unwanted thoughts and feelings can be unconsciously projected onto another who becomes a scapegoat for one’s own problems. This concept can be extended to projection by groups. In this case the chosen individual, or group, becomes the scapegoat for the group’s problems.

      Say the word and I’ll show you some youtube Tea Party meetings and conventions that clearly show how paranoid personality disorders happen and catch hold in bad economic times.

      • Big AL March 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

        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 get along, and not call attention to the junk?

        As long as we point out all of the bad in people, that is all it will seem to be, and all that will be seen. Why not show youtube videos that show people getting along with one another and doing good, and being right in how they relate to others?

    • Today's racism caught on camera March 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      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)

      this is much more typical of the angry lunatics that are out there today thinking they are the ultimate “patriots. (beware, the language is rough)

      • Big AL March 18, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

        Show us acts of kindness caught on tape!

        • A nation of crazy people March 19, 2013 at 5:37 am #

          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 of proof is up to YOU Big Al to show us those “acts of kindness” from that certifiable group that you yourself might belong to. (Judging by the numerous angry posts) Any kind act will do.
          Good luck!
          Meanwhile, it seems to me the sooner the angriest and nastiest of the Boomers die off (they’re not all nuts) the better off America will be as it ushers in a younger and more liberal-minded generation.

          • Benett Kessler March 19, 2013 at 10:02 am #

            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.

          • Creepy boomers March 19, 2013 at 10:50 am #

            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 are feeding them on the talk-radio circuit: 3 straight hours per day, 5 days a week, and reruns on weekends.
            It behooves the angriest of the boomers to dig a little deeper into their personal past and find out what’s eating them – as a lot we other boomers have done.
            Otherwise the angst-ridden of the boomers better understand how they are creeping people out searching for some type of therapy.

          • Tim March 19, 2013 at 11:29 am #

            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 to the old Westerns that taught strong admirable values? What happened to social pressure to do good? Why are we so reliant on government that we have to constantly work to pay the taxes to support it? How many of us go to work, come home, watch TV, go to bed and repeat. Welcome to slavery. Of course kids are going to act out, they are the smart ones, they know that they are being served a bunk deal and they want more.

          • Benett Kessler March 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

            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 ego instead of the former values. As you pointed out, life used to be somewhat more simple.
            It’s up to us as individuals to work on ourselves, find a way to love and not hate, give young people a reason to feel part of
            a family, a community – loved and wanted. The ones who picked up guns seemed to feel deeply alienated, unloved, unwanted and
            without a reason to live and grow.

            Just a reporter’s view,

          • Boomers and depression March 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

            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 things happen, we begin chastising ourselves with thoughts such as: I’m no good, I’m a total failure or Nothing ever goes my way. Our feelings follow what we are thinking, and negative thoughts like these can send us spiraling down into depression.

            This concept is the guiding principle behind cognitive therapy, a type of psychotherapy developed by psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s. If we think something often enough, we begin to believe it’s true and our feelings match what we are thinking about ourselves. To conquer depression, we must stop those automatic negative thoughts and replace them with more positive, truthful ones. By nipping these thoughts in the bud, we can halt depression before it even starts.

            Meanwhile stay away from the talk-radio pundits. They are clearly hate-mongers adored by other hate-mongers.

          • Big AL March 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

            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 some good to the table instead of bantering about all the junk about hate groups and hate mongering, and liberals, and dems and repubs. and conservatives, and racism, … why perpetuate that?

            My statements stands …. don’t try to throw that responsibility on me, that is how it seems to be now days, you don’t like what someone is saying, you try to slam them and deflam them, make it look like they are the ones with hate in their hearts.

            Step up to the plate brother, and leave the junk behind.

          • Benett Kessler March 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

            Right on, Big Al.

          • Big AL March 19, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

            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 March 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

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

      • Guns 'R Us March 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

        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 March 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

          “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. Illegal workers are a symptom, corporate greed is the root problem. Corporate profits along with financial markets are at all time highs. Why are more americans going to bed hungry than in the last 50+ years? Wake up and smell the gun powder folks, desperate people will do drastic things in order to survive. My weapon of choice to prevent many gun crimes, would be a living wage and healthcare benefits, corporate america would prefer low wages and guns.

          We all know who are politicians answer to at every level of government, looks like it’s low wages and guns from where I live.

        • Teabagger Boomers March 20, 2013 at 7:45 am #

          Needs no comment.

      • Do what I say not as I ... March 20, 2013 at 6:24 am #

        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 of you referring to the President of the United States as “Obummer.”

        Keem ’em, comin, Big Al

        You are truly hilarious.

        • Benett Kessler March 20, 2013 at 8:44 am #

          Cheap shots are not necessary.

          • Stereotyping government-haters March 20, 2013 at 9:24 am #

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

            Thanks in advance for the clarification.

          • Benett Kessler March 20, 2013 at 10:36 am #

            I do not know what you are talking about.

        • Big AL March 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

          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 in my point of view, and starts being our president, I will give him the respect he deserves …. as far as I see it.

          That does not have anything to do with what I said. I understand you think differently of the president, for your own reasons. That has nothing to do with leaving the junk behind as I stated and that you lovingly pointed out.

          So keep it coming Dr. you’re only showing everyone all of the same junk you put out, the same junk you seem to despise.

          • Benett Kessler March 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

            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.

          • Teabagger's style. March 21, 2013 at 5:26 am #

            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 put it).
            But this sadly is the style of today’s teabaggers.

          • Big AL March 21, 2013 at 10:30 am #

            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 see worth in your posts, but it is buried in all of the rantings about conservatives versus democrats, left versus right.

            What I see you say, is that you are pointing out the hate in conservatives, you label them as such, you say they are either klan types or have ties to groups like that. Ether as a whole, or in part.

            You talk about the racism they seem to exude, how they constantly trample everyone who is not like them. That is what I see in your posts.

            All of the foam at the mouth things they do, yet through all of that, I see you as being the same way they are, foaming at the mouth rantings about their junk.

            It just always seems to be the same, but then I see at times some good stuff, bits of truth, and it gets lost when you start slamming the people who are not lined up with your way of thinking, yet you line up with theirs in these attacks.

            Not everyone who is a conservative is a foaming at the mouth hatred filled person, I know what you’re saying though, I see where some are. Some people just hate from their heart, but that is not everyone.

            Just like not all who are liberal are bad either. Being a liberal or a conservative is not wrong, it is how someone believes about things, about life, about politics, neither is really wrong, but one will not line up with the other’s thoughts at times, or more often than not, sometimes views come into sync.

            And what really is wrong, when someone forces their views on someone, and or forces them to submit to their views.

            But the trouble is … when there is such a polarity that it is like putting two magnet’s positive poles together, they just seem to not want to connect, they can not connect, the polarity is wrong.

            You know I read things like this in your posts, and I can see that and agree with it, because I see it happening. But then you attack with such vinegar, and you do it with the same wrath as you seem to appose.

            I understand that in a way, it is hard not to just let fly with the wrath, I fall into that trap as well at times, there have been times I have done the same in response to posts here, I have to set back and think about it before I respond, I can better articulate my thoughts.

            Sometimes we can not see what we are saying for immensity of the passion we are feeling.

          • Big AL March 21, 2013 at 10:33 am #

            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 are seeing.

  6. Curious March 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm #


    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 March 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      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.

  7. Bummed March 3, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    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. Nelson was a great employee. Now he’s somebody else’s great employee.

    • leo March 5, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      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 he had more to say on this issue then what was published…where is the rest of it…?…In fact I’m sure that he stated more on all 3 of the current articles…

      But what you won’t hear is what he can’t say…people in this state…law enforcement included and at times even more so…are protected…there is generally more information about employees past (both good and not so much) then we have access to…and that’s a good thing for some and not so much for others who want to know more…however… those protections are there for the benefit of the employee…not the public…

      I have to say that once again our department is being bashed without all the facts…not a single current employee was interviewed…and the timing places a dim light on a new department…I cannot and will not argue against Nelson on some of the issues…However that was 2004-2011…and the players were different during that time…the two Parasites that Plagued our department are gone…and they are gone for a reason…I can’t speak for Ralph Obenberger because I don’t have the facts…but I… along with others on the department believe that we have Obenberger to thank for those two being gone…true or not true we don’t know for sure…but one thing is true…there are no Parasites on our department…there is no one sucking the life from it…there is however a positive and forward moving administration…

      We now have a Sheriff who is a leader…who will stand tall for the department he serves…yes SERVES… (Matthew 23:10-12…it’s in the Bible… look it up…!!)…who has given us the direction of the department…who has restored our confidence in the department…who will hold each one of us accountable for the position we swore to uphold…We have a Sheriff that is open minded and forward thinking…and we have a Sheriff who truly cares about Mono County…he owns a home here…he raised his children here…he volunteers his time to numerous organizations…People…he is part of this county…I could go on and on…but I think this audience wants negative and hatful comments from a MCSD employee…sorry not happening…!!!…these people are my family…!!!

      What does all this new and very positive stuff mean to the department…?…I’m glad I ask that for everyone…It means we have Pride in our patch and that star on our chest…it means that we have the confidence to do our job to the best of our ability…it means we as a department can think outside of the box to resolve issues…it means we are coming together as a law enforcement family and are no longer being torn apart into individuals…it means that we now have the cure for Parasites and the Plague…!!!

      Now…for the comment… “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.”… I would say that there was some truth to that between 2004 – 2011…but again it goes back to those two Parasites sucking the life out of our department…it doesn’t matter what a person does in life…no one wants be in a negative environment…At last check we have hired 4 new deputies with no one looking or trying to get out of here…the people who wanted to leave are now gone…and the majority of our department members own homes…we aren’t going anywhere because we don’t want to…we as a department for the first time in a long time can see a very bright light…

      In closing…Nelson is a good man…a good husband…a good father…and was a good cop, supervisor and friend to us…unfortunately he along with many of us were the victims of two spineless parasites… one that took enjoyment in negative contact with employees and one that allowed him to do it…I thank the Lord that they are gone…it was an answered prayer…

      As I said in my last post under Braun…Ask questions…!!!…Talk to current employees who have been there done that…We as people can and should always learn from our history…and that is what this half true article is all about…history… Like it or not Mono County… you have a great Sheriff’s Department…and once again we will always be there for you and each other…!!!

      Ephesians 6:12-19…covers hate and how we as people should deal with one another…God Bless all of you…haters included…!!!

      • Parasites? March 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

        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 to change the outcome? I am sure Mr. Obenberger appreciates your support.

        • Hate groups on the rise March 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

          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 away their guns, and put people in jail if they don’t give up their guns. These hate groups also believe the local police force is part of this conspiracy and are paranoid that the federal government is planning to stuff the jails with these self-proclaimed “patriots.” My guess is the poster is part of that far-right movement.

          • Benett Kessler March 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

            That is your usually assumed guess.

          • Extremists and the state March 6, 2013 at 6:42 am #

            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 head believing their racist activity is for God and America.

          • Assumed hate groups on the rise March 18, 2013 at 10:02 am #

            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 Law Center. In 2000 the center reported that there were 602 hate groups; in 2011 that number had climbed to 1,018.

            “We’ve never had a count that high before,” Mark Potok, the author of the report, told ABC News. “It’s just steady significant growth, 3, 4, 5 percent every year going back to the turn of the millennium.”

            Potok said the increase from 2000 to 2008 was primarily fueled by the immigration debate.

            “Around 2000, we saw very dramatically neo-Nazi groups, Klan groups and similar kinds of groups simply drop their propaganda about the alleged evils of black people, of gay people, of Jewish people in order to concentrate pretty much 100 percent on illegal immigrants,” he said. ”In 2008, we have two more factors come into play. We have Obama and the economy.”

            The most recent report reveals that there where two types of hate groups that saw a significant increase from 2010 to 2011: anti-Muslim and anti-gay groups.

            Anti-Muslim hate groups tripled from 10 to 30 last year, and anti-gay hate groups increased from 17 to 27.

            Potok attributes the rise in anti-Muslim groups to the debate over the ground zero mosque in 2010 and to “opportunistic politicians and activists.”

            “It was a completely artificial thing,” Potok said. “That anti-Muslim wave is the work of propogandists and nothing more.”

            In regards to the rise in anti-gay groups, Potok believes it is likely the result of desperation that public opinion is not on their side.

            “Basically, we’re seeing real anger, real fury, on the part of some religious right groups, and I think that’s related to the fact that they are losing,” he said. “Every year the majority of Americans who support same sex marriage grows. … What we’re seeing is a kind of rage on their part.”

            Potok expects the rage to grow and the number of hate groups to continue to rise if President Obama is re-elected.

            “I think it has the potential to get worse before it gets better,” Potok said. “As it becomes more likely that Obama will ultimately win, these groups are getting angrier and angrier. They’re looking at four years under a black guy who they hate.”

      • Jeremiah's stance March 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

        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 your bias viewpoints about law enforcement. Take a look at what isn’t working and lead the way!

        • Big AL March 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

          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 am not make this an attack, rather to make light of

          I think you just need to chill on the hate kinda happening, I think we all have to try to leave the anger by the way side.

          I agree with some things you say, and I disagree with some, I’m always of the mind to read what you post. I get what you’re saying but man the harshness really diverts one’s attention. Then I feel like all bowed up at the harshness. I just have to step back and see what it made me feel, forget that, and re read it with no emotions. I get it … but not everyone gets it the way I do .. or how it is intended in thought, sometimes hard to dis-cypher in this medium.

          I know how it feels to be misunderstood in what I intended to say and how it actually came out. LOL … sometimes not so LOL. but sometimes serious S**T as Clampers say.

          But man, I never down what you say, I will say how I see it, just as you do, or we all do. Hmmmm As I say .. just saying. I’ve had a mouth full of feathers a time or two, because I was not paying attention while I was plucking a bird down wind.

      • Big AL March 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

        Amen good word.

        • Jeremiah's stance March 6, 2013 at 10:47 am #

          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 done and trying to find a solution to help, not everybody shares the urgency even though I believe it effects us all equally, at the same time getting resistance or criticism is met with aggression.
          We live in a sick system, I understand it works for a lot, and those are the ones that try there best to keep it the way it is.
          Our well being and future is being compromised for a profit, in the name of capitalism. If only we could receive truths in acceptance, rather in denial, if it conflicts with our own personal belief. But that’s it, I think we are all to content with our own lives to really take proper action to help leave our kids and grand kids a Mother Earth that will nourish them, a political system that actually represents people, a monetary system that actually holds weight, a Owens valley that can actually sustain itself, and a justice system that actually holds all to the same book no matter if you are a celebrity/politician/cop/or a bum.
          Your right it is his right to express is beliefs, but to me when somebody references to a bible it holds no weight, humans have been referencing to the same bible to justify killing blacks, discrimination of many types, and all kinds of brutal things people do to one another. They reference to the same book and both feel they are right.
          One of these day’s I will grow out of my radical stage and learn how to deliver a message. . .

          • Big AL March 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

            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 does the damage.

            Those that use the bible … God’s word to justify their hate, are simply wrong! It is they alone who are responsible for all of the junk you mentioned, it is not God, God does not do it and furthermore does not condone it. that karma is on their shoulders.

            Because the refer to the bible in relation to their deeds does not make it the culprit, or a focus of the wrong doing, it should rest solely on the ones doing the wrong.

            Like anything, such as the injustices you call attention to, the broken adulterated system, it is the human condition that does the damage and carries the banner for the junk going on, not God!

            Some of us draw strength from the bible to be right in this world, we can use it for the good it is intended to do, not the bad joo joo that some use it to hide behind.

            But your points have validity, and the word came forth in that post Jerry, with no junk.

      • Get Real March 6, 2013 at 9:24 am #

        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.

  8. John March 2, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    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 March 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

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

  9. david mcneill March 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    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, drug addicts, welfare frauds, child and animal abusers, whores and assorted sub humans are treated with respect, cordiality, laughing, joking and wonderful friendship.

    There is no place you can go to for help because corruption runs rampant from top to bottom, from the supervisors, the cops, the courts, child protective services, adult services and that is just locally.

    The last people we want to call or see in Bishop are the deputies. The last person we want to see out on the highway is the Round Valley CHP Nazi. Or his CIA wife.

    • Desert Tortoise March 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      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 than $200 grand per year. That is more than the governor is paid. NOW you have something to complain about.

      • Benett Kessler March 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

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


      • Sean March 1, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

        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.

        Like I said before – this blog is filled with cop haters. When crap hits the fan you haters will be the first cry babies to dial 911 to save your sad a$$.

        • Big AL March 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

          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 March 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

          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 is getting drugs off the street. I can’t stand to see resource used in that manner and I can’t stand cops who support that. I can’t stand that cops seem to rather combat then serve. And I can’t stand how cops don’t hold themselves to the standards they hold us to.
          I no longer fear telling any law enforcement how I feel, And you know whats funny to me Sean? I think it is funny how people go out of their way to take a picture of a cop that is actually doing something to help another person, That should speak volumes!

      • Big AL March 2, 2013 at 2:10 am #

        Nice Tortioise .. way to incite people to hate.

    • Big AL March 2, 2013 at 2:08 am #

      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 man, and he is fair, it pisses him off to see what some officers do, he always strives to show people what good cops are.

      I won’t just sit back and listen to your flagrant attacks on him and the rest of the good people in that department, it is BS! If you want to attack a certain person then have at it, but don’t include them all!

      The CHP as well … I personally know officers in that department who are good people, I have heard form other people who have talked about how some officers who have counciled them and let them go with a warning or only wrote them for one item when they could have added a few more on.

      I have seen some .. act pretty puffed up and do things like what was reported to have happened at that rock art site.

      Yes there is BS that goes on at times, but what I see .. a lot of it is hyped up as well. So please spare us the acid wash from your hate for what ever reason it is.

  10. Real World March 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm #


    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 detrimental thing. I guess it goes to show the small minds that we are dealing with and that they don’t even have the common sense to find out from another county if this happens frequently there. It sounds to me like the GOB group was looking for any reason to harass Madrid or sully his reputation. Funny this is coming from a sheriff that admitted to an affair while at his prior department….. just saying…

    I guess that alone proves investigation isn’t their strong suit…. to bad they are in the Law Enforcement Game, that is usually a requirement for a Sheriff’s department!

  11. Tonto March 1, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    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 granishments routinely to limit disputes in the future.

    Can Weber or Obenberger conduct a real investigation if they can’t handle something like this?

    • Tonto March 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      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.

      Come on “Sheriff” Obenberger… us your stats or are they protected too?

  12. fish dude February 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    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 not respond is just proof of how wrong they are. The MCSD is and has been corrupt for a very long time. They walk around the county very heavy-handed. They let the Clampers and their friends drive drunk. They get paid unjustifiable salaries and mess up about every SAR that they are involved with. The list goes on and on..Will the “new” supervisors, supervise? Unfortunetely, for us, probably not.

    • like breath of fresh air March 1, 2013 at 6:31 am #

      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, perhaps they can also determine what the journalists themselves would ask to be paid or whether or not these people are benefit to society.

      That would be a breath of fresh air – wouldn’t it?

    • Hike Across The Country March 2, 2013 at 11:04 am #

      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 that you obviously have no idea about. Before you go start bashing people who do great work for people in need that you are unfamiliar with, maybe you should think before you speak.

      • Mark March 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

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

    • Big AL March 2, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

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

  13. Samantha February 28, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    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 got charged with a DUI, have seen it with my own eyes and personally know someone who has admitted to being let off by their “friend” who is a local officer. It might not have anything to do with this, but the point I am making is that it would not surprise me if any of the above is going on, and it doesn’t surprise me that the current crimes being committed by people are probably repeat offenders that have been let off the hook tons of times simply because they are friends of law enforcement, or now that this is brought to light, possibly because law enforcement was encouraged not to pursue certain criminal activities.

    • Douglas Foley February 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      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 February 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

        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 yourself.

    • When cops go disgruntled February 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Unfortunately there are too many Christopher Doners out there.

      • Mark February 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

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

        • Big AL February 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

          I hear ya Mark

      • Goddess February 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

        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 March 1, 2013 at 6:19 am #

          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 are the dark times we live in.

          • Mark March 1, 2013 at 9:34 am #

            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, USA.

            The Mono County Sheriff office has a credibility problem, and the only way it will go away is by cleaning house.

        • Angst and destructive emotions abound March 1, 2013 at 7:27 am #

          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 March 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

            Oh … spelling error eh?

  14. Keeping It Real February 28, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    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!

  15. Samantha February 28, 2013 at 11:11 am #

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

  16. Samantha February 28, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    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 kinda says something there too….Interesting food for thought, and actually quite frightening to think this is happening with our local law enforcement, the people who are suppose to be protecting us.

  17. Lone Ranger February 28, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    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 for making a threat and not fighting. Obenberger & Goode supported the finding while Tim Hansen dissented. Who came up with this twist? Was it County Counsel or Obenberger or both? Who is covering up? BOTH?

  18. June Local February 28, 2013 at 9:32 am #

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

    Just saying.

    • Samantha February 28, 2013 at 11:47 am #

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

  19. Dingo February 28, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    I think my boss and Sheriff Ralph Obenberger are brothers.

    • Big AL February 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      LMAO Dingo!

  20. John February 28, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    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) the laughing Grand Jury, which is apparenty the protege’ of the District Attorney; try getting them to investigate fairly. An agency from the outside needs to come in and investigate Mono County.

  21. Desert Tortoise February 28, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    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 limit and give the cop a reason to pull them over. It doesn’t require a lot of detailed investigative skills or the ability to cultivate relationships and dig out information to sit and write traffic tickets all day. It is pretty easy work.

    But a Sheriff is as much a manager as anything else. The number of people and manhours of labor available to do work is limited so the Sheriff has to tell deputies what their best use of limited time is, and for a Sheriff in a big rural county, traffic enforcement isn’t a priority. That is what the CHP is for. So you tell deputies not to sit on 395 writing tickets, do other things, and that gets conflated to “selective enforcement.” You don’t see Kern or LA County Sheriffs sitting on the side of roads with radar guns. They have bigger fish to fry. I imagine this sheriff made a similar decision.

    • Inside Job February 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

      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 February 28, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

        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 of 395 writing tickets. That is what we are paying CHP officers well in excess of $200 grand per year (go ahead and see what they are paid on the State Controllers web site, it will break your heart) to sit there with a radar gun waiting for some poor slob to come at them at ten or fifteen over. They don’t have to investigate anything or chase criminals. Their business drives right to them.

        • Waxlips March 1, 2013 at 5:12 am #

          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 February 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

      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 don’t usually pay attention to people who are speeding on the state routes, I said not usually, but they will if something brings you up on the radar.

      And what you said about Kern County and LA applies to just about all S/O departments.

      Just saying.

  22. Bad man from Bodie February 28, 2013 at 4:56 am #

    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. I hope you are fired for this mess you have been a part of.

    Benett, please keep the heat up on these guys. The truth needs to prevail for the citizens and deputies sake.

    I see a civil suit coming for abuse under the color of authority $$$$$

    • Inside Job February 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      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. March 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

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

  23. Cut out the cancer February 28, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    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 chiefs, deputy chiefs, commanders, captains, and lieutenants from agencies all over this nation that would be happy to fill these rolls and live in the beautiful scenic wonderland that is the Eastern Sierra.

    This is a decades old problem that can only be solved by a “re-start.” External experience must take over the management of this corrupt, atrophied agency. Promotion from within will only continue this cancer.

    Please B.O.S. exercise your discretion an good judgement or I fear the Mono County Taxpayers are going to soon be paying Town of Mammoth Lakes style lawsuit judgements where the interest alone is in the millions…………….

    • Hypocrisy February 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      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 no uniform, badge or gun.”

      How about the taxpayers saving money on Obenberger and Weber’s salaries? Seems they are costing the county a large sum of money or will be very soon!

    • Mike J March 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

      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!

  24. Mono Man February 27, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    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 retirement party. It was the only way they could fight back in a small way, against a totally morally and ethically corrupt administration. Who do you call when the sheriff is corrupt?

    Nelson nailed it about employees. “Those who want to go somewhere else and those who can’t go somewhere else.”

    It is essential that the Board of Supervisors order a complete and unbiased investigation of the Mono County Sheriff’s Department and submit any evidence of criminal violations by the administration, past and present, to the Attorney General.

    • Goddess February 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      Thank you,

      Heidi Nelson

      • From one you know March 15, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

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

        • Craig Nelson March 17, 2013 at 8:26 am #

          @”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 the department was inexcusible and could not be tolerated. Hang in there and keep your head up. Its an honor to wear the badge, not a right.

          Thanks again for your kind words,

          Craig Nelson

  25. dm February 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    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 February 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

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

    • Samantha February 28, 2013 at 11:22 am #

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

  26. Lone Ranger Returns February 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    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?

  27. Hypocrisy? February 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    “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 duties? Could this really be a hypocrisy? NO WAY! Shocking!

    • Big Rick OBrien February 27, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

      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 resume probably not a good thing. You know what the BIGGEST joke is ?
      Taken directly from the Mono County Sheriff website…”We will perform our duties in a professional manner….we will treat EVERYONE with dignity and RESPECT, and the BIGGEST load of crap…Mission Statement; INTEGRITY,HONOR,COMMITMENT.

      • Big AL February 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

        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 some individuals, there is still honor held by some in the department. This goes for any department.

        I hate it when some officers and deputies use their authority and badge to their own means. I will be the first to call it out. We have to put the light on those who are wrong, and recognize those who are doing their job.

        • Big Rick OBrien March 1, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

          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 at. I have the greatest respect for the rank & file deputies who do the job. Their boss…not so much.

          • Big AL March 2, 2013 at 1:49 am #

            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.

  28. EK February 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    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 county employees and managers that do a fine job and are able to maintain good ethics in light of the fools that are making it difficult.

    • Like a drive-by shooting February 28, 2013 at 7:34 am #

      “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 this is fair and totally accurate journalism (presenting only one side of the story). The saddest part is the journalist believes this is the ethically correct thing to do.

      • Mark February 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

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

      • Inside Job February 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

        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 years, for additional insight. This is pure, professional reporting.

        If she just reported the story without asking Obeberger about the allegations and giving him a chance to respond, it would be a drive by as you described.

        You are clearly an Obenberger/Weber good ole boy, hack. Nice try. People here are much smarter than you.

  29. Scholl Bowl February 27, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    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!


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