On Eric Magrini’s first official day on duty in his new post as deputy general manager for Shasta County, the union representing the deputy sheriff sent out a statement slamming the former sheriff.
The two-page letter details the events that led Magrini to receive a vote of no confidence from the Shasta County Deputy Sheriff’s Association as well as the union representing the lieutenants and captains of the sheriff’s office.
“The Shasta County Deputy Sheriff’s Association is disappointed with the county’s decision to select Eric Magrini as the new deputy county general manager due to his inability to lead the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office for the following reasons,” indicates the press release published by the association.
The union then lists Magrini’s “failures”:
- as a poor communicator with sheriff’s deputies and administrators,
- for his lack of staff support and for his lack of direction and vision for the department,
- and for lack of leadership.
The association also said that the department’s relations with allied agencies in the county also deteriorated under Magrini’s leadership.
County was aware of union complaints against Magrini in February
County officials, including CEO Matt Pontes and members of the Supervisory Board, were briefed on the concerns of the Deputy Sheriff’s Associations in February of this year.
Despite those concerns, the county hired Magrini this month as deputy CEO and his last day as sheriff was Saturday, 18 months after the board hired him for the job.
Pontes said earlier this month that Magrini had experience managing a large department with a multi-million budget, and his community contacts would be very helpful in his new role.
Pontes said Magrini applied for the post after opened and was announced earlier this year.
“He’s definitely made it to the top, we’ve had a lot of really good candidates, and with the board (of supervisors) and the community focused on public safety, I was reviewing his entire administrative background, and he kind of hit the top. high level. He also has a lot of connections in the community, ” Pontes said June 10.
Pontes said at a recent supervisory board meeting that he had set the county’s top priorities for the coming year, including construction of a new detention center and eradicate the illegal marijuana growing in the county.
Magrini took up his duties as sheriff in December 2019, when the supervisory board appointed him to the post following the retirement of former sheriff Tom Bosenko.
Magrini: “I am disappointed and hurt”
In a statement released Monday afternoon, Magrini said he was not happy the association briefed the media on its stance on the sheriff.
“I am disappointed and hurt by the DSA (Deputy Sheriff’s Association) and the SAA (Sheriff’s Administrator’s Association) distributing their letters to the media today,” Magrini said.
“It is common not to be able to share the details of an ongoing investigation. I have been proud to devote my entire career to improving public safety in the Northern State, with almost 24 years of service. professional in law enforcement, ”he said.
He went on to say that he was “delighted” that the supervisory board provided the necessary resources to improve services and streamline public safety services in the county.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to work side-by-side during crises and emergencies, alongside some of the best and brightest law enforcement professionals in the state. Shasta County will lead the way with its new “Strategic Plan for Public Safety”. ”
“I look forward to coordinating and running the planned modern detention center with mental health and addiction treatment capacity that our county has needed for decades,” said Magrini.
Pontes did not respond to a request for information about Magrini’s salary as sheriff or his new post as deputy CEO.
However, the advertisement for the position stated that the salary for the new position ranged from $ 146,712 to $ 187,260 per year. As sheriff, Magrini earned $ 115,486 in regular pay and $ 236,155 with pay and benefits in 2019, according to Transparent California.
But it wasn’t the sheriff’s salary that led to the Deputy Sheriff’s Association vote of no confidence in the sheriff.
Magrini invited to meet union members from May 2020
The statement released on Monday said that in May 2020, just over six months after taking office, the union invited Magrini to a membership meeting to discuss the association’s problems with its “lack of leadership, communication and vision “.
Magrini was given a list of questions 10 days before the meeting so he could be ready to answer them, the statement said.
“At the end of the meeting, our members were unhappy with his lack of preparation and the obvious dismissal of our concerns,” the union said.
The association of deputies voted the vote of no confidence at the end of January 2021.
The Sheriff’s Administration Association, which is made up of the department’s command staff, also decided to issue a vote of no confidence in the sheriff, the statement said.
Administrators also asked the county to hire an investigator to “examine the actions of Sheriff Magrini,” the statement said. The letter from the administrator’s association was also distributed to county and Pontes overseers, the press release
Deputy Sheriff’s Association spokesperson John Ruiz said he did not know what the allegations against the sheriff were. He also said he did not know the outcome of the investigation.
After Magrini was hired as deputy CEO, union MPs felt “abandoned” because Magrini took no action to address union concerns before stepping down.
“Well, like I said, we had issues and concerns that we wanted to work on and address. And those issues and concerns persist and are unresolved – neither resolved nor healed in our minds,” said Ruiz.
Union, county officials divided
Deputy Sheriff Jason Barnhart automatically takes over as Sheriff in place of Magrini. The oversight board can continue to let Barnhart remain as interim sheriff until the next sheriff’s election in 2022 or appoint a new sheriff.
The deputy sheriff’s association has not approved a new sheriff candidate, Ruiz said.
Supervisor Les Baugh said he supports Magrini in his new role as deputy CEO.
“With Magrini in place as Deputy CEO, I think we’ll see exceptionally positive progress, sooner rather than later. Kudos to Magrini and a ‘thumbs up’ to CEO Pontes for this ‘big picture’,” Baugh said on Facebook after the announcement of Magrini’s resignation.
However, supervisor Patrick Jones wondered if hiring a sheriff who did not have the support of his staff was a good decision.
“We apparently had a vote of no confidence in the sheriff. And now the CEO turns around and makes him a deputy CEO. It’s just not good. I don’t think that’s the way to go. We need a fully qualified person for a deputy CEO position and this should be verified, ”Jones said.
Damon Arthur is Record Searchlight’s Resource and Environment reporter. He is among the first at the scene of last-minute events, reporting in real time on Twitter to @damonarthur_RS. Damon is part of a dedicated team of journalists who investigate wrongdoing and find unknown voices to tell the stories of the Northern State. He accepts history advice at 530-338-8834 and [email protected] Help local journalism thrive by subscribing today!