Tale of Two Councilmen - Both caught passed out in a car, one city released body camera video while another hatches a cover-up

Cranston, Rhode Island, City Councilman Matthew Reilly. |  

Two weeks ago tomorrow, on May 20, in Elk Grove, Calif., Elk Grove District 4 City Councilmember Sergio Robles was arrested by Elk Grove Police and booked into Sacramento County Jail for drunk driving. Police officers reportedly were notified and found the first-term councilman, who has admitted to his drunkenness, passed out behind the wheel of a running vehicle in a nearly empty parking lot.

A few days before Robles' arrest on May 15, across the country in Cranston, Rhode Island, police officers were notified about a person passed out behind the wheel in a nearly empty parking lot. After locating the passed-out person who reportedly had a crack pipe in hand, the suspect was identified as Cranston, Rhode Island City Councilman Matthew Reilly.  

Reilly was arrested and taken into custody for narcotics possession. Specifically, he admitted to possessing about $100 of crack cocaine.   

Interestingly, during their discussion with Reilly, one of the officers gave him this sage advice, "Listen, your health and well-being is worth way more than any political career." 

While the two incidents are stunningly similar - two councilmen found passed out behind the wheel, there are some significant differences. The most obvious is the City of Cranston released the body camera video (see video below) of police officers' encounter with the impaired elected official.

There is no such good fortune in Elk Grove as city officials have refused requests to release the Elk Grove Police officer's vehicle and body camera video and have decided against release. However, according to attorneys versed in California public record laws, especially concerning police videos, nothing prevents them from releasing the video. 

More bluntly, Elk Grove city officials have decided to protect and cover up Mr. Robles' encounter with the police. 

As we have seen in these two cases, Cranston released the video in the public's interest.

So who is making this decision? When declining the request, the city did not identify who decided to stage the cover-up, but it can be narrowed down.

Three city employees report to the mayor and her city council - the city clerk, attorney, and manager. But, of course, Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen is at the top of the organizational heap and, with the city council firmly in her control, has the final say-so. 

Our best estimate is that Mayor Singh-Allen directed city attorney Jonathan Hobbs, with the support of city manager Jason Behrmann, to find a legal justification for the cover-up and refuse to provide the videos even though they can be released. After all, Robles is Singh-Allen's political protege, and she will act to ensure his safety if for no other reason than not to embarrass herself.

Furthermore, Madame Mayor Singh Allen might have initiated a life-imitating art performance. Those who watched House of Cards will undoubtedly recognize, given Singh-Allen Machiveillan's tendencies, she could be pulling a Frank Underwood on her minion Robles.  

Good luck with that, Mr. Robles. 

As we have seen in these two cases, Cranston released the video in the public's interest. All the babble from the Elk Grove mayor and her four city councilmen about transparency is worthless campaign claptrap. 

As for Mr. Reilly, given his arrest, he honorably resigned from the Cranston City Council. Unfortunately, we have no such display of honor and humility from Mr. Robles.  



You may not like us, but here you are!
Follow us on Twitter @ElkGroveNews
Follow us on YouTube
Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2023. All right reserved.


Regional News 3394779998156325383

Post a Comment Default Comments


D.J. Blutarsky said...

Every election I read the campaign flyers promising more City transparency, but no, "Boozegate" has proven that the City is operating in Little Bighorn mode--quick, circle the wagons!

Steve L said...

Yes, I have to admit the city’s failure to release the video shows a total lack of transparency, despite the mayor’s promises to promote transparency from city hall. It’s a double standard and it’s wrong. It’s a blatant example why our city hall cannot be trusted. Our elected have shamed themselves. So disappointing. I really thought you people had more integrity.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Could it be, a la former disgraced Elk Grove City Council member Michael Leary, Sergio Robles pulled the “Don’t you know who I am” card with the Elk Grove PD officers? Could that be one of the reasons City Manager Jason Behrmann and Chief Bobby Davis have refused to release the video. Just sayin. . . .

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast