Is IOLERO affiliated with the Sheriff’s Office?
No. IOLERO is an independent, non-police county agency.
What happens once I make a complaint?
Your complaint will be logged by IOLERO then investigated by Internal Affairs at the Sheriff’s Office. This is called an administrative investigation. When the investigation is completed, it is sent to IOLERO to be reviewed by the director who is a non-police auditor. The director of IOLERO will conduct an independent review of the Sheriff’s evidence and investigation and decide whether she agrees or disagrees with the Sheriff’s findings.
What if the IOLERO director disagrees with the Sheriff’s Office?
If the director of IOLERO disagrees with the Sheriff’s Office, she can make a recommendation to the Sheriff’s Office for further investigation or a different outcome.
Can I make a complaint on behalf of someone else?
Yes. You may make a complaint on behalf of yourself, a friend or a loved-one. You may also make a complaint about something you witness in the community even if you were not party to it.
If I make a complaint, and it is determined that a Sheriff’s deputy/employee violated a policy, what happens?
The Sheriff’s Office will decide what disciplinary action is appropriate based on the totality of the circumstances.
Will I be told what disciplinary action will be taken?
It depends on the case. Administrative investigations involve personnel issues and there are confidentiality laws and rules which must be followed. Upon request, you may be provided with a copy of the file related to your complaint, including disciplinary results, if your complaint involved (1) discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer; (2) an incident in which the use of force by a peace officer or custodial officer against a person resulted in death or in great bodily injury; (3) Any record relating to an incident in which a sustained finding was made by any law enforcement agency or oversight agency that a peace officer or custodial officer engaged in sexual assault involving a member of the public; or (4) any record relating to an incident in which a sustained finding was made by any law enforcement agency or oversight agency of dishonesty by a peace officer or custodial officer directly relating to the reporting, investigation, or prosecution of a crime, or directly relating to the reporting of, or investigation of misconduct by, another peace officer or custodial officer, including but not limited to, any sustained finding of perjury, false statements, filing false reports destruction, falsifying or concealing of evidence. (See Cal. Pen. Code Section 832.7).
If my complaint is about damage to my property or an injury, will I be compensated for my losses?
No. Your complaint will result in an administrative investigation and, if appropriate, disciplinary action against the deputy/employee. If you have suffered damage to your property or an injury, you must request a “claim review” through risk management and/or a separate legal action for any relief you are seeking.
For more information regarding filing a claim for money or damages for injury, property damage, or loss against the County of Sonoma, visit: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Liability/Incidents-and-Claims/
Filing a complaint and requesting a claim review does not satisfy statutory requirements for initiating a lawsuit against the County. It is a separate process.
The IOLERO director is a lawyer, is she my lawyer?
No. IOLERO is an independent, non-police auditor’s office. Our job is to objectively review the administrative investigation done by Internal Affairs from a non-police perspective.
What if I have a pending criminal case?
If you have a pending criminal case, you should discuss the best course of action for making your complaint with your attorney.
What if I am in jail?
If you are in jail and your complaint involves use of force, biased policing (i.e. racism, sexism, etc.), sexual assault/misconduct, or dishonesty, your complaint will be automatically reviewed by IOLERO. At this time, IOLERO does not review grievances concerning issues such as commissary or lost property. Those grievances must go through the jail’s grievance process.
How long will it take to complete the investigation of my complaint?
It depends. Every attempt is made to conduct thorough and complete investigations which may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing body-worn camera footage, and reading police reports and other records. The length of the investigation depends on the complexity of the complaint and each complaint is investigated first by Internal Affairs, then reviewed by IOLERO. Most investigations take between four and eight months to complete.