Four Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies have been fired after they were caught attending a party thrown by a former lieutenant convicted of child molestation, sources told NBC Bay Area.
Sources told NBC Bay Area in an exclusive interview that Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith wasted no time in firing the deputies after she found out they were associating with a known felon.
The deputies were at a recent party for former sheriff’s lieutenant Armand Tiano who served time in prison after being convicted in 2001 of lewd conduct with two underage female relatives.
NBC Bay Area has obtained a photograph from Tiano’s recent birthday party which was attended by former deputies and by four men who still wear the badge.The sheriff’s office won’t confirm it, but sources tell NBC Bay Area the sheriff fired the deputies after she saw the picture.
“The sheriff’s office does have standards of conduct policy. That policy reflects on-duty conduct and off-duty conduct,” Sgt. Rich Glennon of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said. “Deputies are not to associate with felons in their off-duty conduct.”
The four fired deputies were also retired but returned to work as extra help in the courts as sworn peace officers.
Ric Abeyta, former president of the Santa Clara County Police Chiefs Association, spending 32 years in local law enforcement.
Abeyta says the sheriff did the right thing by firing the deputies on the spot.
“Its disappointing because of all peace officers, when they come into the business, they know their conduct, their associations are critical because they’re held to a higher standard,” Abeyta said. “I think it seems appropriate but it sends a message, not only to other deputies but the public that we want our people to maintain a good moral approach to their lives.”