Following multiple allegations that District 4 supervisor candidate Jimmy Paulding has not been transparent because he refused to identify several large donors, the family of Andrew Holland announced they had donated $40,000 to Paulding in early March.
Andrew Holland, a mentally ill man, died in January 2017 at the age of 36 after jail guards left him strapped in a restraint chair. Last July, the SLO County Board of Supervisors settled with Holland’s family for $5 million.
“It is time that the Holland Family publicly announce that we were the donors who anonymously matched a $40,000 fundraising effort for Jimmy Paulding, which eventually allowed him to raise more than $112,000 over a two-and-a-half-week period,” the Holland Family Alliance said in an email. “The way our elected officials, including the Board of Supervisors, handled the tragic death of Andrew Holland is deeply disturbing.”
Following Holland’s death, the county implemented “13 significant changes” to improve the treatment of inmates with mental health issues at the county jail, Compton said in response to the Holland’s announcement.
“The Holland family suffered a tragic loss,” Compton said in an email to Cal Coast Times. “However, after I voted to implement these reforms and pay a $5 million medical malpractice insurance settlement to the Holland family, I find it disconcerting that the Holland Family Alliance would make a $40,000 contribution to my political opponent and question my commitment to serving the constituents of the 4th District.”
Specifically, the family accused Supervisor Lynn Compton of covering for other officials by classified Holland’s death as medical malpractice.
“The cover up of Andrew Holland’s death at the county jail is widespread and far reaching,” the family said in an email. “Lynn Compton’s misleading efforts to classify the case as ‘medical malpractice’ to cover for other elected officials is shameful.”
After county counsel negotiated the $5 million settlement with the Holland family, the county’s medical malpractice insurance companies paid more than $4.9 million to the Hollands, with only a small portion of the settlement paid through the county’s general fund. The Holland family, who does not agree with the classification, finds SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson, along with a group of deputies at the jail, primarily responsible for the death of Andrew Holland.
The Holland Family has aligned their political endeavors with the SLO County Progressives, donating to several Progressive candidates including $25,000 to the challenger in the county sheriff race and another $25,000 to the candidate attempting to unseat the county’s district attorney.
Following Holland’s death, the FBI opened an investigation into the deaths — now 12 — that have occurred at the SLO County Jail since 2012. Officials from the county district attorney’s office said they were not investigating the deaths because of the ongoing FBI investigation.
Hollands’ family has said neither Parkinson, nor District Attorney Dan Dow, are performing their jobs properly and that the two law enforcement officials maintain a close relationship with one another. The family then put their financial support behind former police officer Greg Clayton, who is running for sheriff against Parkinson, and retired judge Mike Cummins, who is challenging Dow.