Legality of Inspector General’s Ousting by Sheriff Scott Jones Questioned

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously during Tuesday's meeting for County Counsel to determine if it was legal for Sheriff Scott Jones to bar the county's inspector general from the department.

"There's nothing broken about this. The current IG, Rick Braziel, did nothing wrong," said Sacramento County District 1 Supervisor Phil Serna.

But Sheriff Jones disagreed.

At the end of August, Jones demanded that Braziel be removed from his post after adamantly disagreeing with his findings in the 2017 fatal shooting of 32-year-old Mikel McIntyre by three deputies.

Braziel determined that despite McIntyre striking two deputies and a police dog with rocks during a confrontation, the deputies could have decreased their use of deadly force.

"I'm not willing to give him independence to do whatever he wants," Jones said.

During the incident, bullets from two of the three deputies struck McIntyre seven times, ultimately killing him. Deputies had initially responded for a 911 call regarding a man assaulting a woman.

Jones wrote to the county's chief executive officer, urging him to replace Braziel then barred him from the facility, including access to any records.

Serna says it's their goal "to have a very appropriate balance of authority between the board of supervisors and the sheriff's department in terms of truly independent review of incidents like the one that triggered this whole conversation."

"As I stated in there, for an IG to be effective you got to balance the independence and autonomy," Jones said. "And that's independence from everybody, including the board, including me and including the media, with the ability to protect the county, preserve the integrity of the investigations."