Milpitas, CA – A high-ranking Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office (SCCSO) official was stripped of her gun and badge after she allegedly used inmate labor to build a break area for correctional staff.
SCCSO Captain Amy Le used her own money to fund the project, which included an arbor and barbeque grills accentuated by Thin Blue Line Flags, KABC reported.
Sources told the news outlet that Capt. Le failed to obtain a building permit for the project, and that she was escorted off of the property in tears after being placed on paid administrative leave on May 31.
Retired SCCSO Undersheriff and Chief of Correction John Hirokawa said that the veteran officer being suspended over the construction of a break area doesn’t seem to add up.
"It's very unusual for a captain to be walked off in that manner for a project that wasn't for personal gain, on jail property,” the retired undersheriff told KABC. “There may have been policies or procedures broken with regard to that project, but there must be more to the story.”
Another SCCSO captain used inmate labor to construct a storage shed and arbors in 2017.
SCCSO addressed KABC’s coverage of Capt. Le’s suspension in an internal memo on Tuesday, The Mercury News reported.
The department said that the story “was not accurate,” but refused to disclose the reason for the captain’s removal.
The agency said it is prohibited from disclosing “specific information about any personnel matter” due to the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act.
Capt. Le, the first woman to serve as the SCCSO correctional union’s president, has also been one of the county’s highest-paid employees, KABC reported.
She received a total of $449,767 with benefits and overtime in 2017, and had a base salary of $142,530 at the time.
She has been with SCCSO for 28 years, according to KNTV.
Capt. Le refused to comment on her suspension, KABC reported.