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Yolo County creates ‘working group’ to examine Sheriff’s Department

Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto and the Board of Supervisors have created an “independent working group” to address concerns raised by the grand jury in a report released earlier this month.

The group will be chaired by Woodland’s outgoing mayor, Skip Davies, and could include representatives of the five labor organizations that serve the Sheriff’s Department. Davies’ term ends July 2.

In their 11-page report, “Yolo County Sheriff: Leadership Practices from the Wild, Wild West,” jurors alleged intimidation, harassment and nepotism in hirng practices going back years. The report was prompted by a complaint to the grand jury from the Board of Supervisors.

Board members were critical last week of the grand jury, saying the findings were unresponsive to employee concerns and “superfluous to the more serious allegations.” The panel stopped short of seeking Prieto’s removal.

A news release from the county states that the working group is expected to look at issues raised by the report, as well as the “workplace climate, hiring processes, current training practices and employee evaluation processes.”

The working group will make recommendations “where appropriate to improve the operational environment within the Sheriff’s Department,” according to the release.

Prieto, 70, just won his fifth election as sheriff and coroner.

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