Broken Promises: San Diego Sheriff Won’t Release Internal Reviews After All

San Diego County Sheriff Kelly Martinez has reneged on one of her signature campaign promises, which was to release the department’s internal reviews of in-custody deaths. The Sheriff’s Office tells the San Diego Union-Tribune that it will only release summaries of the review board findings. The reports will date back to last year and may exclude certain details in cases that prompted a lawsuit or criminal charges. 

Retired Sheriff’s Cmdr. and former candidate for sheriff David Myers criticized Martinez for her about-face. Department summaries are “not transparent or thorough,” he said.

San Diego County jails have the highest in-custody death rate out of 12 major county jail systems in California. The crisis of in-custody deaths plagued former Sheriff Bill Gore until his early departure last year and was a central issue in the November election.

Martinez, who served as Gore’s undersheriff, won that election against John Hemmerling with 58.58% of the vote, becoming the first female sheriff in county history.