For Immediate Release: November 3, 2016
For information about the lawsuit and motion to intervene, please contact Harmeet K. Dhillon at 415.682.6843.
President of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States (PBUS) and former T.V. star of the A&E hit show “Dog the Bounty Hunter”, Beth Chapman spoke out Thursday against San Francisco Sheriff Hennessy’s refusal to follow her oath of office. The comments came following an unconstitutional action by the sheriff in which she publicly announced her refusal to defend a lawsuit against San Francisco County, which seeks to declare California’s bail statute unconstitutional.
“The Sheriff’s job is to support and defend the constitution of California, according to her oath. It is clear through her recent comments, and now this action, that the Sheriff is colluding with those seeking to allow duly arrested suspect out on the street without adequate security that they will participate in the criminal process,” Chapman said. “I am absolutely shocked that the Sheriff is refusing to defend the law and, in the process, damage public safety and put more law-abiding citizens at risk. California’s bail system also specifically contemplates the rights of crime victims in having suspects participate in the criminal justice process – yet the Sheriff’s actions fly in the face of those considerations.”
The bail bond system has been in place in California since the early 1800’s, and for centuries before that in the US, and has worked nearly seamlessly as a tool for criminal justice to ensure those charged with a crime appear in court. Chapman represents the largest industry association and maintains the importance of the system for public safety.
“Our bail system protects the public while at the same time ensures criminals go to court and answer for their actions,” stated Chapman. “The opponents of bail bonding know that they cannot win this argument in the court of public opinion or in the legislature, so they have colluded with public officials to get their statewide agenda completed through a single courtroom.”
Chapman also pointed to recent pictures released that show Sheriff Hennessy, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, and Public Defender Jeff Adachi at a recent Halloween party as further proof of collusion. In the pictures, Adachi is seen wearing a prison uniform with a label which said “No Cash Bail”. Both Sheriff Hennessy and City Attorney Herrera are seen posing and laughing with Adachi.
“We expect our public officials to look out for our needs,” Chapman said. “Both the Sheriff and the City Attorney are hobnobbing with someone who is clearly advocating against something guaranteed by the California Constitution, then the next day they publicly state that they are not going to defend the lawsuit on behalf on the citizens. Sheriff Hennessy has clearly violated her oath and should resign immediately.”
Beth Chapman and the California Bail Agents Association (CBAA) are renewing their motions to file as interveners in the case, and have filed a proposed motion to dismiss the complaint on substantive Constitutional grounds also. They point to the fact that now there is no one advocating on behalf of the industry or the people at large as the necessity for the motions. Motions were filed on November 1, 2016 by CBAA’s law firm, Dhillon Law Group Inc. of San Francisco, and can be found here: http://www.dhillonlaw.com/blog/news/dhillon-law-group-files-third-motion-intervene/
“If the City Attorney and Sheriff have a legitimate problem with the Bail Law, they can contact their friends in the legislature and get the law changed to suit their agenda,” Chapman said. “Absent a popular will to overturn a system that has served our system well, they should do their duties and protect victims, taxpayers, and the public at large by continuing to enforce and implement state law.”