Two months after the county’s elected sheriff was caught up in a brothel raid in Las Vegas, a self-proclaimed government watchdog is moving ahead with plans to recall the county’s top officer.
Sheriff Greg Munks and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos were detained, questioned and released March 21 by Las Vegas police in Operation Dollhouse, a raid on a handful of brothels near the Las Vegas Strip, according to Las Vegas police. Munks had participated in a law enforcement relay run and was looking for a massage to treat sore muscles, according to Bolanos. The two men were not arrested or charged as a result of the raid.
After the arrest, calls for resignation surfaced. Munks publicly apologized to his family, Sheriff’s Office employees and San Mateo County constituents for his “lack of judgment and the undue attention and embarrassment the incident caused.”
However, San Carlos resident Michael Stogner was not satisfied with the lack of action by county supervisors.
“Every moment that they stay leading this organization, it undermines the authority and reputation of the agency,” Stogner said.
Filing the initial petition, which Stogner plans to do this week, would set in motion the long process of gathering about 35,000 signatures from registered voters to put a recall on the ballot, county elections manager David Tom said.
If Munks is unseated, voters would have the opportunity to choose a new sheriff, according to county elections officials. Munks said Monday that he has spent 30 years in law enforcement protecting people’s rights, and would not “get negative” about Stogner’s recall effort. Instead, he plans to continue to focus on one of his department’s greatest challenges: jail overcrowding.
In the event enough signatures are garnered, the Board of Supervisors would have to call an election, said Brenda Carlson, chief deputy county counsel. Voters would not only have a chance to remove Munks but also choose a new sheriff from a slate of candidates that would be given a chance to put their names forward before the election, Carlson said.
Supervisors, who have kept their distance from the scandal, saying that only voters have the ability to unseat the elected sheriff, didn’t return calls for comment Monday on whether they support the recall.
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