County responds to story on sexual harassment lawsuit

Last week I wrote about San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office employee Janna Huber filing a lawsuit against San Joaquin County, alleging a captain sexually harassed her and retaliated against her and that the agency did not protect her.

The Sheriff’s Office responded to the story with this statement from County Counsel:

“While the County is prevented from discussing the facts by personnel privacy, the County believes the evidence will show that there is no basis for Ms. Huber’s allegations.   As soon as Ms. Huber made an internal complaint, the County reacted by hiring an outside investigator to complete a thorough investigation and changed the supervisorial responsibility for Ms. Huber.  The County denies Ms. Huber’s claims and will defend the case vigorously”.


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More e-mail communication about missing person’s records

Another piece of email communication between the lead detective in the Shermantine/Herzog investigation and the Department of Justice about missing persons records.

Sen. Cathleen Galgiani alleges the Sheriff’s Office improperly deleted cold case records before the bodies were even partially recovered. This is one of the documents she obtained through a public records request made to DOJ. Click here

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Order in Shelley vs. San Joaquin County

Click here: Order on motion to vacation protective order on the discovery

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View motion for discovery in People vs. Mario Gates

Click here: MotionforDiscoveryMarioGates

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Local man’s letter on sheriff’s handling of “speed freak killer” case

Frank Gayaldo is a former bounty hunter, former San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office employee and currently works in the agriculture industry. He is a vocal critic of Sheriff Steve Moore.

“Dear Ms. Ford, Press Secretary for AG Kamala Harris,

Yesterday the Stockton Record suggested that concerns over the alleged gross mishandling of the speed freak killer case would best be investigated by an outside agency. Concerning how many family members have been lied to about remain notifications, the multiple law enforcement officials (including one from Nevada) that say Moore obstructed their ability to conduct their investigations, and the Sheriff’s own bizarre behavior which included pulverizing a crime scene, I must agree.

Senator Galgiani immediately responded publicly by suggesting the U.S. Attorney would be the logical agency to review the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Moore retorted with claims he has already been having conversations with CAL DOJ supervisors about this (is that true?) and would prefer that your agency handle the investigation instead.

Yet the county is fighting in federal court to keep records sealed and even CAL DOJ employee depositions from being made public, making the Sheriff’s claimed gracious preference absurd at best. The sheriff’s duplicitous behavior makes absolutely no sense, unless of course the county is now willing to release the information they have been paying private attorneys to hide from the public.

My personal concern is that your press office claims the Sheriff utilized a purported 2010-2012 Cal DOJ unwritten missing persons policy that was based on partial remains recovery when there were no known partial remains recovery as of 9/10/10.(See attachment).  I am therefore questioning if Cal DOJ is the right agency to initiate this investigation since there is an apparent conflict of interest as your office clearly is having trouble explaining just exactly what your missing persons policy was at the time. (See link to my latest column below.) Would AG Harris agree, or does she even know about this?  Maybe you were acting hastily (but without malice) on your own, or did someone else supply you with this nonsensical information about “partial remains recovery”? Again, your previous written comments to the press that can be found at the bottom of the attachment simply do not reconcile with any known timelines. Does CAL DOJ somehow have some partial remains of the five known deleted names in question that the public does not know about? Did the Sheriff claim he had discovered partial remains at the time he was canceling records? What other evidence did SJSO allegedly  “transfer” to CAL DOJ between 2010 and 2012? These questions must be answered sooner or later.

On 4/14/15 I verified with the FBI in West Virginia that the Sheriff’s bizarre definition of “cancellation” does not match up with the NCIC manual whatsoever. I am happy to share with you portions of our written correspondence if you have questions about this. Apparently Moore’s definition of cancellation only matches up with your press office’s purported “informal” policy that it appears your own employees did not even know existed. (See Kaycee Leonard’s emails to Chanda Bassett.) Regardless of who is mistaken, NCIC policies supersede CAL DOJ’s policies, would you agree?

You have failed to acknowledge my April 7, 2015 email and multiple subsequent emails and calls to you, but maybe you will have more time to assist the media I am privately copying.  I am also openly copying Sheriff Moore, his loyal undersheriff John Picone, his personal driver and public information officer Les Garcia, his County Counsel, and apparently his San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors so all can be fairly prepared for this simple question: If transparency, truth and justice is truly the goal, wouldn’t it benefit all investigations to allow CAL DOJ employee Kaycee Leonard, along with her supervisor Erin Brooks, to openly provide testimony that the public could read? It appears that Kaycee was being very honest, professional, but direct in her 3/14/2012 email exchange with SJSO detective Chanda Bassett. Conversely, Chanda said some things that creates more questions than answers. I like Chanda. I wish she would come forward now so she doesn’t get in any more serious trouble. I fear that Sheriff Moore is going to throw her under the bus.


I fully anticipate I will be retaliated against for whistle blowing so I am hoping this level of transparency will provide me at least some level of protection. Please feel free to scroll down to end of this email to read my latest column.

Based on your past performance, I do not anticipate much consideration, but I do thank you for your time.


Frank Gayaldo”

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Court denies state’s motion for stay in Norsworthy vs. Jeffrey Beard

Norsworthy Order denying stay

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Reports on Vanderheiden’s remains

Cremation document:  Vanderheiden Cremation Report 4.23.15 (1)

DOJ field report:  DOJ Vanderheiden Report 0002 (3)

DOJ field report: DOJ Forensic Report Vanderheiden 0003 (2)

The Sheriff’s Coroner’s report: 2015 Release Coroner’s Report (3)


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Screen shots of suspected drunk driver’s Facebook page

Today’s story on Joe Victor Zigler reveals that the father, whose 12-year-old daughter died in a crash in which police say Zigler was driving drunk and speeding, has quite a history of DUIs and violent encounters. Zigler has not been charged, but authorities are likely to book him into jail after he is released from the hospital.

These are screen shots from his Facebook account. Warning: graphic language. Screen Shot One      Screen Shot Two 


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Galgiani’s “proof” sheriff deleted records

Press Release for Motion Filing- March 9, 2015


Senator Cathleen Galgiani today announced that the family of JoAnn Hobson, a victim of serial killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog, filed a motion in their lawsuit against San Joaquin County. Hobson’s family is suing because they say the Sheriff’s Office improperly handled the 16-year-old victim’s remains.

In the motion, the family wants a protective order lifted on the investigation records, saying the disclosure will show the Sheriff’s Office improperly deleted missing person’s records from the national database before bodies were found, including Hobson’s record.

Galgiani, who is helping Hobson’s family, obtained emails, or “proof” of the wrongdoing. An interview with her will be included in my story at

Two out-of-area detectives investigating missing persons (believed Herzog and Shermantine victims) in their jurisdictions declared in the motion that the Sheriff’s Office would not cooperate in their own investigations.

Their interviews will not appear in tomorrow’s story because of limited space.

This is what was cut out:

The motion, which was filed on Monday, includes declarations from Reno police detective Allan Duane Fox and Hayward police detective Kevin Atkins.

Fox alleges the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office was not willing to cooperate with him in the investigation of a woman, Terri Ann Fourcher, missing from his area since 1996. He said Bassett was “immediately dismissive” and met him with “passive denial” when he brought forward information he had gathered.

Fox said that in one instance, he followed up on a lead from Shermantine by taking a cadaver dog to one of the locations he described. The dog picked up a scent at a burn pit, which a witness he spoke to had also described. The Sheriff had the site excavated two days after Fox found it.

“The fact that the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office did not know about this site disturbed me and left my impression of their investigative skills waning,” Fox stated in a declaration.

Atkins was looking into the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl, Michaela Garecht, who was believed to be killed by Herzog.

“Det. Bassett expressed no interest with my investigation, no offered any assistance whatsoever,” Atkins said in his declaration. “Det. Bassett stonewalled my efforts and would not provide me with any information regarding evidence found in the dig of the well in Linden, where other remains of bodies were found associated with the Speed Freak Killers.

“In a subsequent phone conversation, she stated to me in a whisper that ‘(she) can’t do anything without ‘say-so.’”

Moore said his agency disagrees with the detectives’ declarations.

“San Joaquin County personnel have always been willing to work with any law enforcement agency, concerning their investigations,” Moore said.

Moore said his office remains focused on finding all missing persons and brining closure and justice to the victims and their families.


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County: February is “Grand Jury Appreciation Month”

Last week, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors proclaimed February 2015 as “Grand Jury Appreciation Month” at its Feb. 10 meeting.

Ward Downs, the 2014-15 foreperson, and Gary Spaugh, president of the local association chapter, received the award that was presented by chairwoman Kathy Miller.

Civil grand jurors are charged with investigating issues raised involving local government agencies. The jurors conduct confidential investigations and draft reports that include recommendations to address the issues raised.

The County’s proclamation says:

“Whereas, Grand Juries are crucial components of California’s justice system; and

Whereas, like other California counties, San Joaquin has a Grand Jury composed of individuals who dedicate their time for a full calendar year to serve in the Grand Jury system; and

Whereas, county Grand Juries are impaneled to act as an “arm of the court,” as authorized by the state constitution, to be a voice of the people and a conscience of the community; and

Whereas, the primary duties of the San Joaquin County Grand Jury is to investigate and report on local governmental operations to assure  that the responsibilities are being fulfilled efficiently, honestly and in the best interest of the public; and

Whereas, the California Grand Jurors’ Association and local chapters strengthen juries statewide by providing training, tools and techniques to assure that each jury operates under the same standards of efficiency and integrity to which they hold local government; and

Whereas, it is appropriate to provide a designated opportunity to recognize the efforts of those who have volunteered, and are volunteering, their time and service to advance the work of the San Joaquin County Grand Jury; and

Whereas,  the reward of being 19 grand jurors is the satisfaction received working with fellow residents of the county to improve local government for all of us.

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that this San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors does hereby proclaim the month of February 2015, as ‘Grand Jury Appreciation Month'”


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