Complaint Alleges Sacramento County Sheriff Candidate Retired Early Due to Misconduct

A 2014 internal ethics complaint, obtained by Fox 40, alleges that Milo Fitch, then a chief deputy with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, used his influence to secure contracts for a program run by a woman he admitted to having a sexual relationship with.

The allegation stemmed from contracts awarded to Ascend, a non-profit rehabilitation program for inmates, which started in January 2013. The program is operated by Christine Morse, an attorney, who later became Fitch’s wife in April 2015.

The complaint alleges the relationship violated a department general order, stating, “Employees are prohibited from directly supervising or being directly supervised by any other employee who is a relative or with whom they are involved in a personal or business relationship. Chief Fitch is clearly in violation of the General Order.”

Sheriff Scott Jones forwarded the ethics complaint to then-Undersheriff Jamie Lewis, asking to investigate the allegations.

The complaint states that Fitch “used his position” to award Ascend with contracts which were “motivated by an intimate relationship that has developed” between Fitch and Morse.

When Jones spoke with Fitch about the allegations, Fitch acknowledged that an intimate relationship had developed between he and Morse.

The complaint further alleges:

  • Fitch forced inmates into the program who didn’t meet the requirements
  • Fitch intervened to have program fees waived for inmates who Morse wanted in her program
  • Fitch intervened at Morse’s request to have those who failed her program as being listed as not participating in the first place, to preserve her success rate
  • Fitch allowed Morse to have confidential attorney-style visits with inmates, which was considered a significant breach of security.

Jones wrote in a memo that Fitch asked whether the investigation against him would go forward if he retired. The sheriff said there would be no investigation if he retired.

Less than two months after the complaint, Fitch retired.

FOX40 reached out to Fitch’s campaign manager several times. He finally got back to us Wednesday and told us, Fitch *wouldn’t comment*, adding the allegations are a non-story.

FOX40 also reached out to Sheriff Scott Jones for comment. In a prepared statement, Jones said:

“The misconduct on its face appeared true and was well documented with emails, notes and memoranda. That evidence still exists.”