2 Santa Clara County Correctional Deputies on Administrative Leave After Arrests - NBC Bay Area
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2 Santa Clara County Correctional Deputies on Administrative Leave After Arrests

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    Two Santa Clara County correctional deputies were arrested last month. One for illegally recording a conversation with a superior, and the other for allegedly hitting an inmate in the face. Ian Cull reports. (Published Friday, March 3, 2017)

    Two Santa Clara County correctional deputies are now on administrative leave after being arrested.

    Each deputy was arrested in February on separate charges, arising from incidents that occurred in the summer of 2016.

    In the first case, Deputy Leonel Groba faces allegations of striking an inmate without cause.

    The second deputy, Sgt. Robert Liddle, is accused of secretly recording a conversation with a superior in an apparent attempt to use the footage as leverage later.

    The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office provided the following statement Friday:

    “The Sheriff’s Office holds its employees to the highest standards of professional conduct. However, there are moments where the actions of individual actors cast an agency in poor light and reflect negatively on the hard work of so many dedicated sworn staff. Arresting one of your own is never a proud moment, but in these circumstances necessary to maintain the community’s trust and integrity of the Sheriff’s Office.”

    The latest allegation comes on the heels of a string of violence by correctional officers in the past two years.

    Three correctional deputies will be put on trial this month for murder charges stemming from the August 2015 beating death of Michael Tyree, a mentally ill inmate.

    The Tyree family attorney on Friday reacted to the latest stain to mar the reputation of the embattled county jail.  

    "It doesn't make any difference that it happened in a jail," Paula Canny said. "A law enforcement officer can't just punch a citizen, whether that citizen is an inmate or not."

    Canny is also troubled by the fact that both alleged incidents occurred last year, but the deputies were not arrested till last month.

    "It's good that there's an investigation," she said, but that could have been done "better and quicker."

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