Members of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association have voted twice not to endorse San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson in his campaign to keep his seat in the June 5 election, while questioning his management of the county jail.
For more than a year, deputies have voiced concerns over issues of mandatory overtime and management at the jail. In one complaint, a deputy alleges the department’s practices are detrimental to the health and safety of correctional staff.
“The jail facility is a Petri dish that is full of germs, disease, viruses beyond any imagination,” the complaint says. “The County of San Luis Obispo is creating a safety and security risk for a jail facility and jail staff whose well-being and health is compromised.”
An endorsement requires a two-thirds vote of approval. In past elections, the association endorsed Parkinson.
However, in early April, the correctional deputies union voted not to endorse Parkinson or his opponent Greg Clayton.
On April 14, the association notified both candidates that neither had received a two-thirds vote. Less than a week later, sheriff department administration staffers requested the union take another vote because nine deputies had not turned in their ballots, inside sources said.
After a second vote, the outcome remained the same, neither candidate received two-thirds and an endorsement.
In an email to the candidates, association president Lars Luther writes that the correctional deputies will not be endorsing any candidates for sheriff or district attorney.
“After completing a second vote, the DSA, the association representing employees other than patrol division will not be endorsing any candidates in the current races for sheriff or DA,” Luther says in the email to the candidates.