By Investigative Reporters
John Taft & Edward Snook
Grants Pass, OR – Shortly after midnight, Friday, April 29, a Grants Pass city police officer was dispatched to a residence on Cloverlawn Drive. A vehicle had damaged a garage and home. The driver had left without leaving his name and other information at the scene of the damage. This is required by state law, and failure to do so could cause the perpetrator’s license to be suspended. An elderly resident of the home described the impact as nearly knocking her out of bed. Since the person had left the scene, the victim thought it may have been a neighbor named Sean Valdez, an Ex Deputy Sheriff. Wonder what ever caused this elderly lady to think it was Valdez? We can rest assured that it wouldn’t be because he’s a “good cop” according to Sheriff Dave Daniel!
Sheriff Praises Valdez
And yes, this is the same Sean Valdez who recently resigned from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office. In Valdez’s last tangle with the law he was reportedly charged with fourth degree assault, a felony, on his girl friend. Apparently he attempted to throttle her while drinking. On our website, the US~Observer has the details of this sizzling story that is still dogging Valdez. The case was moved to neighboring Jackson County (JaCo) for DA Huddleston to prosecute. It appears Valdez received favored citizen status because of his law enforcement connections with the JaCo DA who presented Valdez with a chocolate-coated plea bargain. The charges were reduced to a misdemeanor menacing charge, community service, a domestic violence diversion program, and counseling. At this time Valdez still had his police certification, and Sheriff Daniel said he would hire him back since he was a good officer. With his latest escapade it’s most likely Valdez has violated the terms of his plea agreement. After reading part two of the Sean Valdez calamity, Mr. DA Huddleston needs to take a second look at Valdez’s record. Perhaps the original charges should be reinstated. A felony conviction would preclude him from owning a gun and being a police officer in the future. Cops that drink to excess, attempt to throttle women, and engage in hit and run should try another occupation. Should Huddleston excuse Valdez’s criminal actions further, the public will have little doubt regarding his poor to unacceptable job performance…
Ex Deputy Sheriff Says, ‘My Friend Did It’
The allegations against Valdez are adding up like takers for a free meal. The police report includes all the following ingredients: hit and run, alcohol, lying to a police officer, and intimidation of a victim. Initially, Valdez denied responsibility for hitting the home structure and claimed it was a friend driving his vehicle. The officer checked out Valdez’s statement and found the statement to be false. When the officer asked Valdez why he lied, Valdez responded that he didn’t know what to say.
Valdez admitted to drinking at local establishments and then having several beers when he got home. The smell of alcohol was detectable on his person as mentioned in the police report. Interestingly, no breath test was done on Valdez. The practice of Valdez’s excessive drinking and other criminal activity has been reported by the Observer in the past, only to fall upon deaf ears.
The officer states specifically in his report that he told Valdez not to go over and contact the neighbor. The officer said Valdez understood the request. Yet Valdez ignored this order of a police officer and contacted the neighbor the next day. The officer then received a call from Valdez saying the neighbor had agreed not to press charges.
The neighbor was reportedly intimidated by ex deputy sheriff Valdez. She did take a check from Valdez for $1,000 to cover the cost of her homeowner’s deductible insurance. She told the officer she failed to see why her insurance company should have to pay for the damages. The officer agreed that her insurer shouldn’t have to pay.
DA Stephen Campbell Has a Choice
Valdez is reportedly on a cruise and will have more questions to answer on his return. The paperwork on this case has been transferred from the Grants Pass City Police to the local district attorney’s office. This case will take the measure of the new District Attorney, Stephen Campbell. Will the case be transferred to JaCo as the first case was or handled in Josephine County since Valdez is no longer employed by the county sheriff’s office? There should be no conflict of interest for the JoCo DA now. Will Valdez again have his day in court or will there be another attempted cover up?
The Black Mark
The name Sean Valdez has become a black mark against the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office and of interest to the residents of Josephine County. Valdez and Sheriff Daniel are tied together as though with a nuptial knot. What Valdez has done reflects back on Sheriff Daniel. County residents should be worrying about the ethics and quality of some of the deputies in the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office as should some of the excellent officers working there. Many crimes in the county aren’t being investigated. Sheriff Daniel’s promises have turned out to be a crock of pickle juice and Josephine County residents have been left with a few criminal officers possessing the ability to charge others with crimes. And a very, very incompetent and embarrassing Sheriff.