Press Release


La Jeunesse says Smith, Hirokawa "birds of a feather" on issue

January 25, 2018
Contact: Joe La Jeunesse

San Jose – Santa Clara County Sheriff’s candidate Joe La Jeunesse is responding to the issue of racist texts emanating from deputies in the Department discussed in today’s Mercury News. La Jeunesse, a retired Army Major who served as an Equal Opportunity Officer in the military and investigated such conduct, said “This kind of deplorable activity would not have been tolerated on my watch. Anyone guilty of such actions, whether on or off-duty, would have and should have been discharged. That’s what leadership is all about.” He continued that “both Sheriff Smith and her ex-second in command seem to be of like mind on this issue, wit Mr. Hirokawa even dismissive of such ‘off-duty’ conduct in his sworn deposition. That reflects badly on both the Department and the DSA and should not be tolerated by voters looking for real change in the Sheriff’s Office.”

La Jeunesse is a third-generation Santa Clara County resident who served in the Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as in Europe, Africa, and Asia. He helped rebuild police forces in Iraq after the Abu Ghraib scandal and commanded U.S. troops on the California-Mexico border during Operation Jump Start. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and Global War on Terrorism Medal, among other honors and awards. He has been with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department since 2002.