Governor Jerry Brown is not happy with how Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims is opposing Proposition 57. Prop 57 is a measure on the November ballot designed to make certain non-violent prisoners eligible for early release.
Mims does not support Prop 57. She recently put her name on an anti-Prop 57 flyer that shows a prisoner who would supposedly be released under the new law. Brown saw the flyer and called Mims to express his disappointment.
His voicemail to Mims said, “Hey Margaret, I got that mailing on Prop 57 that you signed with the sheriff of Orange County, Larry Morse and Greg Totten. You enclosed a card of a guy you said would be released under my proposition, I just want you to know that’s completely false and that makes that mailer extremely false and I would even say malicious. So I hope if you’re lending your names to things you can at least have due diligence so they don’t purvey easily refutable facts. This guy was sentenced to 100 years. He’s a registered sex offender, so on both accounts he would not be getting out. So that’s the kind of scare tactics that I think are unbecoming of a public official and certainly will not build the kind of mutual respect and trust that we all need to do our jobs. So that’s all I can say, maybe I’ll see you up at the sheriff’s meeting. Thanks.”
Mims said on Thursday that the voicemail got personal and it didn’t have to be. Mims said Brown is wrong about saying Arthur Lindsey, the inmate on the flyer, would not be eligible for release under Prop 57. Lindsey has been convicted of rape among other offenses.
According to Mims, Brown has said he will put regulations on the Prop to make sure inmates like Lindsey don’t get out, however, “Regulations can always be changed. If we sign this into law, this Governor and future Governors can change those regulations. That’s why we need to not pass Prop 57 and vote no.”
Legal analyst Charles Magill listened to the voicemail in our newsroom.
He said, “He has to deal with the reality that California’s prisons are overcrowded and he’s under Federal mandate to reduce the populations of those prisons, and Prop 57 along with Prop 47 is another attempt by the State to reduce prison populations.”
Mims said Prop 57 will allow for tens of thousands of prisoners to be released early from jail.
She said, “Crime rates are going up. This also includes some people that may have been sentenced to lifetime in prison that they would in fact be released.”
Mims said she saw Brown Wednesday night at a California State Sheriff’s Association meeting up north, and they are very much cordial to each other. She said intelligent professionals can disagree, and it seems in this case, it’s agree to disagree.