[Editor’s note: Statement of Dave Edmonds in reply to article in the May 20, 2022, Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Neither Trade News International, Inc., d/b/a 911MEDIA nor APB Media, LLC, take any position with respect to Mr. Edmonds’ reply nor with respect to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat article.]
Newspapers save their most important stories for their Sunday edition. And the prime spot is on the front page “above-the-fold.” That’s where I found my photo and a story about me, “Old Lawsuit Follows Candidate” this last Sunday. It (again) dredges up when I was one of fourteen sheriff supervisors sued by a new deputy sheriff, Lauren Ferrara. Twenty years ago, she alleged that I followed her into the women’s locker room and yelled at her, and that I dismissed her concerns of racism within the department. Neither of those things happened, and I was dismissed from the lawsuit.
It also recounts how, before I filed candidacy papers last July, I left Lauren a voicemail asking to talk to her about the allegations. I did. That’s because at least regarding what she said about me, I believe she’s always known that she wrongfully accused me. And I also knew that this singular issue, just the accusation, could be unfairly used against me.
Apparently, Lauren had been mistreated by at least one supervisor and was under a lot of pressure. I’ve always wondered if her attorney coached her description of what did happen with me that day. But people do mature. So, I reached out to Lauren. My hope was that I might be able to tell the sure-to-come-inquisitors, and that Lauren would confirm, that when she was in crisis that night, I treated her professionally and with compassion.
So now, just as I’ve told the Press Democrat over-and-over, let me share with you what really did happen. But first, you also need to know that the Press Democrat is publicly supporting the same candidate that our failed Sheriff Mark Essick is supporting, Eddie Engram, and that’s what this is really all about.
Here’s exactly what I disclosed to the Press Democrat, in writing:
“Briefly, regarding Deputy Ferrara’s primary allegation that I barged into the women’s locker room and yelled at her, this is what happened:
On June 1, 2002, at about 10 PM, I was at the Sheriff’s Office working as the patrol shift sergeant (which, at that hour, was the highest ranking on-duty position countywide). A female deputy informed me that trainee Deputy Lauren Ferrara was on the floor in the women’s locker room crying. This deputy declined my request that she accompany me to check on Deputy Ferrara. Out of concern for Deputy Ferrara, I knocked on the locker room door, but got no answer. I opened the door and passively called out to Deputy Ferrara, but I got no response. I announced that I was entering the locker room, but still got no response. I slowly entered, and discovered Deputy Ferrara distressed on the floor, in full uniform. I approached her gently and kindly and inquired about her and how I might help. She replied that she was alright and declined any assistance. I told her that I would wait outside the locker room while she composed herself so we could talk. Eventually she came out of the locker room and I discreetly escorted her to a private room and closed the door. She was now composed. Again, I gently inquired about her, but only got that she was “fine” and that she did not want to discuss anything. I told her that I felt that she should take the night off with pay, and I asked to help her get a ride home. Again, she declined my help, but instead, went off-duty and left on her own. I was unable to ascertain any more information, and I wrote the above-mentioned memo three days later. Everything that I did concerning these events were within policy, was professional, and I cannot think of one thing I would change”.
I also provided the Press Democrat with documentation, including old memos about Lauren’s racism accusations against a deputy that I proved were unfounded (he was actually training her that if you see suspicious behavior, judge the behavior, and not the race of the subject involved).
This illegitimate accusation was the worst work thing that ever happened to me. I had a distraught deputy, all alone with a gun on her side and I went to help her, and I did. It’s consonant with my 34-year law enforcement career, which is literally unblemished and full of decades of documented outstanding performance evaluations and commendations for devotion to staff and the community. When I was wrongfully accused twenty years ago, I was so hurt and angered that I demanded that the county sue Lauren back, for defamation of my character. Now, sure enough, in hopes of propping up their publicly picked candidate Eddie Engram, the Press Democrat is using it to try to assassinate my election hopes.
There’s some back story here, too. This newspaper’s earlier story on my candidacy was so incredibly jaded and inaccurate that I contacted an editor and complained. I was the Sheriff Office press officer for years, but this terrible article was the first time that false words were actually put in my mouth. I accused them of intentional malfeasance for the benefit of their chosen candidate. Now, reading this hit piece, I suppose my justified complaint was akin to poking a bear with a stick.
They say that when candidates are responding to accusations, they’re losing. And they also say that you should never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. But I’ve never cowered to bullies, and I won’t start now. So maybe the Sonoma County voters reading this can help me to turn this unfair hit piece into a positive. Please go to my website, EdmondsforSheriff.com, click my resume link, and read all of it. I’m the only candidate who is sharing his resume, because I want a side-by-side comparison. That’s how I’ll win. Contrast my decades of documented professional, civic, and personal ethics and performance with the specter of these unfair, untrue allegations. Then, share on your social media and send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I believe that I’m the only candidate that can (and will) beat the Press Democrat’s candidate, Eddie Engram, in the runoffs. They know it, and that’s what this is really all about. And by the way, they are indeed sitting on some Sunday edition, page A1, above-the-fold-worthy stuff on their man.