A criminal grand jury has indicted Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung in connection to a suspected pay-to-play scheme involving concealed gun permits.
An additional indictment was handed down for Capt. James Jensen, who was among four defendants already charged in the case.
When asked for comment, the Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement:
On Nov. 20, 2020, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office was made aware that Undersheriff Rick Sung has been formally indicted by a grand jury. Undersheriff Sung has been placed on administrative leave and we continue to cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office was also made aware that an additional indictment was issued for Capt. James Jensen, who has been on administrative leave since August.
The Sheriff’s Office is committed to maintaining the highest level of public trust and keeping public safety as our highest priority.
DA Jeff Rosen plans to make “an important announcement” about the indictments at 10am Monday, according to his spokesman Sean Webby.
Media Advisory: District Attorney Jeff Rosen will make an important announcement about the “CCW” License Bribery Scheme case. The event will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 23, 2020 on the back patio behind the DA’s Office. Please wear a mask pic.twitter.com/uPjNRSfJvL
— Santa Clara DA (@SantaClaraDA) November 20, 2020
Attorneys for Jensen and Sung did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
To date, three people have pleaded guilty to participating in an alleged scheme in which prosecutors accuse members of an executive protection firm of conspiring with two attorneys and a gun manufacturer to make campaign donations to an independent expenditure fund in exchange for permits to carry concealed weapons.
AS Solution CEO Christian West entered a plea a few months ago. Two of his managers, Martin Nielsen and Jack Stromgren, followed suit in October.
The other defendants include attorneys Christopher Schumb and Harpaul Nahal and The Gun Co. owner Michael Nichols.
Sheriff Laurie Smith—who, like other top cops in California, has the authority to issue the gun permits—has not been charged with a crime.
The trial over the initial indictment has been put on pause because Schumb’s attorney, Joe Wall, has asked an appeals court to determine whether Rosen should be taken off the case because of alleged conflicts of interest, including personal ties to Schumb and his political rivalry with the sheriff.