Sheriff Hutchens: Stepping off on a secretive left foot

This morning ther was a bit of a scramble at the Hall of Administration. Fifth floor staff (BOS) were surprised with a morning email announcement from Chairman John Moorlach. He informed his colleagues that he was granting a request from Sandra Hutchens for a private swearing in ceremony today, supposedly so she could get to work on her new job right away.

Pardon my skepticism, but what’s the rush here? One would think that you would want your spouse to be available to attend your swearing in. One might also want to ensure the presence of the people responsible for your appointment, in the case the Board of Supervisors.

Nope. This end of what was supposed to be a transparent, honest, and non-political selection process for a new Sheriff was anything but transparent.

There was no official notice to the public or media. The event was so hastily put together, that only Supervisor Moorlach was available from the Board to attend.

Note to the new Sheriff; If you wanted to enter office with the appearance of a transparency and open administration, it was probably mot the best idea to start off with a secret swearing in ceremony. In general, people don’t walk away with good feelings about this type of thing. Peggy Lowe over at has more on the story HERE.

  8 comments for “Sheriff Hutchens: Stepping off on a secretive left foot

  1. June 19, 2008 at 5:25 pm


    Aren’t you getting a bit excited here over nothing? So we don’t get to see her raise her hand, what is it that we are missing? Her accepting the oath is necessary to start the job, if that was the way it could be done ASAP, so be it.

  2. June 19, 2008 at 6:18 pm


    I may be getting a little excited about this but I’m hearing that at least some of the Board offices knew before the Tuesdy BOS meeting that it was probable that Hutchens would be sworn in earlier than this coming Tuesday. That being the case I just do not understand why Hutchens or Moorlach didn’t bother to anounce the fact that it was happening.

    It really doesn’t make a lot of difference since the Board had made its decision. But after 9 years of Carona a lot of us just want a little openness and transparency for a change.

  3. 18vetern
    June 19, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Congratulations To Sheriff Hutchens. I’m glad she got sworn in early as now she can give Anderson the boot and not let him s**** up the Department any more then he already has. Its not a big deal she got sworn in early as she is going to have the public ceremony Tuedsay.

  4. KC
    June 19, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Friday, 6-20-08 starts a new pay period. It makes sense to officially start tomorrow. Plus, she probably didn’t want all the hoopla . If that is the reason for the “secrecy”, I don’t blame her.

  5. June 20, 2008 at 12:52 am

    Chris –

    What do you have against Sandra? And out of curiosity, who did you think should have been appointed Sheriff?


  6. June 20, 2008 at 8:51 am


    From what I hve been able to find out, Sheriff Hutchens did want to get to work as soon as possible once the remaining clearances were achieved. The secrecy, or better phrased lack of public notice, is what doesn’t make sense. Most elected officials are sworn in once in a public ceremony usually at a public meeting. If the reason were to avoid the “hoopla, then there would be no public ceremony at all.


    I have no bias against Sheriff Hutchens. I look forward to the positive change that will come with a new Sheriff in town. My issue is the simple fact that if they had announced that the Sheriff was being sworn-in in a private ceremony so she could get to work right away, then there would be no allegations of secrecy. This is just another example of Chairman Moorlach being tone-deaf to public perception and reality.

    I have figured out that had three Supervisors been present they would have likely violated the Brown Act. This explains the absence of members that otherwise could have made it there.

    Since these people seem to be acting like gradeschool level PR directors for a Library Club, I have drafted the following statement which could have prevented any question.

    Sheriff Sandra Hutchens will be sworn in to office at 10:00 am on Thursday morning June, 19, 2008 on a private ceremony. Chairman Moorlach will administer the oath of office.

    A formal Public Ceremony will be conducted on Tuesday June 24, 2008 at 8 am.

    “Sheriff Hutchens wanted to get to work right away,” said Board Chairman John Moorlach, “I was pleased to facilitate that request.”

  7. June 20, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Chris –

    Ok, granted. So why not make the story about Moorlach. I don’t understand your logic here. She had an excuse to have a quick swearing in, and a damn good one, in saying that she wanted to get to work right away. If Moorlach had a political motivation for his decision, you should have gone more directly after him, no?


  8. Sweetelle
    June 20, 2008 at 8:37 pm


    Do I understand your criticism correctly? You are aggrieved because Sheriff Hutchens took Moorlach up on HIS offer to swear her in a couple of days early so she could start trying to accomplish the ambitious goals she has established for herself and the department? What is the secret? Why are you even writing about this? The only thing happening here that I find dubious is your suggestion that someone wanting to roll up her sleeves and get down to the business of solving her agency’s problems is anything but admirable!

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