Galisky altered memos to the Grand Jury. Why?

A good update to the release of the Grand Jury transcripts on the Chamberlain murder investigation is over at Total Buzz by Peggy Lowe.

The night that John Chamberlain’s bloodied body was found on the floor of an Orange County jail – his skull bashed in and misshapen from a beating – Undersheriff JoAnn Galisky was one of the main decision-makers on what to do next.

The Sheriff’s Department would be the lead investigator of the death, she concluded, even though long-standing policy dictated that the District Attorney’s office handle inmate death investigations. Why ignore that policy? Did she know of allegations that the deputies on duty were derelict in their duties? Was it part of a cover-up?

No, Galisky insisted in her testimony to the grand jury. She didn’t have an inkling about the allegations against her deputies yet, and said she didn’t even know the names of those involved. She felt the Sheriff’s Department had to lead the investigation because it knows better than anyone how the jails work, how inmate culture works, and how to best protect those still incarcerated – among whom the alleged killers currently resided.

This wasn’t a run-of-the-mill situation, she told the grand jury. It wasn’t an officer-involved death, it wasn’t an inmate suicide, it wasn’t a natural passing, the sort of things the D.A.’s office handled. This was a homicide. And the Sheriff’s Department handles homicide investigations, not the D.A.

The fact of the matter was, the D.A.’s office had handled every investigation into inmate homicides in the county jails for decades. And when a grand jury began probing the matter, Galisky edited a memo to erase that fact, instead inserting that the Sheriff’s Department had always investigated “ALL” murders in its jurisdiction, including the jails.

The result: The altered memo was presented to the 2006-07 grand jury, and mislead the grand jury.

There is more in Peggy’s story, I just get sick reading it, so be forewarned. If this represents the culture of leadership in the Sheriff’s Department, no wonder the culture is apparently so bad among some deputies on the line in the jail.

  1 comment for “Galisky altered memos to the Grand Jury. Why?

  1. RHackett
    April 8, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I wonder if the deputy that was watching TV while Chamberlain was getting
    beaten to death is personally liable?

    Now that Chamberlain’s dad has settled with the County, I wouldn’t
    be surprised if he went after the individuals who weren’t doing their jobs.

    I’m thinking Taylor and Gallisky would be a good start.

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