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Lake County CA Sheriff's Department
Wednesday July 3rd, 2013 :: 05:11 p.m. PDT

Sheriff Rivero's Comments Concerning Lakeport Police Departments Temporary Access To RiMs.

Public Information Release
July 3, 2013
Lieutenant Steve Brooks, Public Information Officer

On Monday, July 1, 2013, a Mendocino County Judge temporarily reinstated Lakeport Police Department access to RiMS, restoring access to the previous levels that led to abuses of the Sheriff’s confidential database.

In making this decision the Judge said she was not ruling on the merits of the case, which she will do in a full hearing scheduled for August 9.

Sheriff Rivero issued this statement. “The Judge’s ruling today is disappointing, but I believe she could do little else, given the time constraints and the pretext of officer and public safety offered by Lakeport's attorney's. The amount of documentation was extraordinary; she simply did not have the time to review it all and draw conclusions on the merits.”

Last Friday, June 31 at the close of business, the Sheriff was served with the “emergency order” paperwork by City of Lakeport's Attorneys, for a hearing scheduled for the next Monday, July 1. This came a full month after the Sheriff cut off RiMS access and on the heels of District Attorney Don Anderson’s announcement that he had concluded an investigation into the use of RiMS by Lakeport Police Department and found no wrongdoing.

Despite District Attorney Don Anderson’s announcement, the California Department of Justice Criminal Offender Records Information (CORI) rules require both a right and need to know. Apart from not having the authority to access the RiMS database, it is not appropriate for an officer to lookup and change information about his own wife and access information on himself and other family members as was done by a Lakeport Police Office.

The Sheriff cut off direct pass-code access to RiMS by the Lakeport Police Department after finding abuses despite receiving assurances, in writing, by Lakeport Chief Rasmussen that nobody in his Department had violated the rules for accessing the system.

In 2011, the Sheriff also cut access to District Attorney Investigators who used expired pass-codes to access, view, print or change approximately 5000 records. The DA’s investigators refused to cooperate with an independent, third party investigation that concluded the District Attorney’s investigators did not have a need to access those records.

The independent investigation was done under the oversight of County Counsel, Anita Grant, and the report is available on the Sheriff’s Web Site. The report was submitted to the District Attorney and the Board of Supervisors who took no action.

Sheriff Rivero wishes to clarify that when access to RiMS was cut off to the Lakeport Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office provided a work around system to allow appropriate access to dispatch information Lakeport Police Officers need to do their administrative jobs and the officers have been using it. They also continue to have access to a multiagency RiMS interoperability agreement as well as direct access to offender information through direct radio contact with Sheriff's Dispatch. At no time has officer or public safety been at risk. Nonetheless, the Lakeport Police Department and District Attorney Don Anderson have maintained a constant authoritative denial of the truth.

The Sheriff is responsible for managing access to the confidential information in RiMS to prevent abuses. The credibility of our law enforcement personnel is eroded when a lack of proper management or mismanagement results in abuses.

The Sheriff will comply with the Judge’s order while personally closely monitoring RiMS access by the Lakeport Police Department during the temporary court ordered re-instatement.

Lake County CA Sheriff's Department
1220 Martin St
Lakeport, CA 95453

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-263-2690

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