Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman’s testimony to a criminal grand jury last month, transcripts reveal, was characterized by long, rambling answers and frequent references to his poor memory. Wasserman cited his forgetfulness for his inability to remember whether he’d gone to the county’s gun range for weapons testing, as is required for issuance of a concealed weapons permit.
Prosecutors questioning the county supervisor under oath testily coached Wasserman to answer questions after he veered off into unrelated personal subjects.
Wasserman, who represents the district that includes South County on the board of supervisors, is not accused of any crimes and appeared as a witness on July 27 and 28. He appears to have received a gun permit however, in violation of state laws that require recertification of proficiency in using a handgun each time a permit is renewed. The requirement is clearly posted to the county’s website and in California Penal Code section 26165, which mandates “live-fire shooting exercises on a firing range” for permit holders. Wasserman performed the range shooting tests for previous issuances of the gun permit.
Sheriff’s Captain James Jensen faces up to 11 years in prison if he is convicted on seven felony counts of falsification of public record by a custodial officer. Jensen on or about April 6, 2019, “did willfully falsify the whole and any part” of Wasserman’s CCW firearms proficiency form, according to the grand jury indictment.
Wasserman, who registered two Glock pistols, said, “My memory is my Achilles heel.”
”I don’t recall the birth of my children. I don’t recall high school, college. I don’t recall my marriage—excuse me, my getting married. My mom calls me the absent-minded professor.
“People I don’t see often, I don’t recall. I saw a person from the DA’s office a week or two ago, and while I was waiting to come in here, I thought I was talking to that same person in the waiting room and it was not that person. He said, ‘Oh, no, that’s not me.’
“So when I’m walking with my staff and somebody is coming up towards me, it’s my staff’s job to tell me who is approaching so I can say, ‘Hi, Tom,’ or ‘Hi, Mary,’ because I just don’t—I don’t remember these things.
“I know I have been to Spain. I couldn’t tell you if I took my kids to Spain or if my parents took me as a child to Spain. Most people can’t understand that.”
Public Integrity Unit head John Chase, who handled the questioning of Wasserman, admonished, “Let me just ask some questions about this case.”
The prosecutor proceeded to ask Wasserman about James Jensen, the sheriff’s captain who is charged with falsifying gun range test results.
Q. So did James Jensen ever take you to the range to do the shooting test?
A. I don’t recall.
Wasserman continued bringing up items unrelated to the questions, such as the address of the home in which he grew up and his family’s phone number during his boyhood. At one point, prosecutor Chase asked him, “Okay. Are you finished?”
“I think so, unless there is something I didn’t address that you would like me to,” the supervisor replied.
“No,” Chase responded. “I just wanted to give you the full opportunity so that I can ask subsequent questions without necessarily having to go through that.”Jensen was charged by the grand jury with a total of 10 felony counts in a wide-ranging investigation into bribery and corruption at the sheriff’s office. The investigation was conducted by DA Jeff Rosen’s office. Also charged in the scheme are lawyers Christopher Schumb and Harpaul Nahal, as well as gun parts manufacturer Michael Nichols and Christian West, former CEO of security firm AS Solutions.
Transcript of Testimony by Supervisor Mike Wasserman
Santa Clara County Grand Jury
July 27, 2020
Supervisor Mike Wasserman was questioned by prosecutors Matt Braker and John Chase in an inquiry into the issuance of concealed weapons permits by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department. The grand jury issued four felony indictments stemming from an alleged bribery conspiracy.
MIKE WASSERMAN, called as a witness, after having been first duly sworn,
testified as follows:
THE WITNESS: I do.
MR. BRAKER: Have a seat right there. I wiped it down. Make yourself comfortable. If you are
comfortable, take off your mask.
THE WITNESS: Oh, that’s right. Thank you.
EXAMINATION BY MR. CHASE:
Q. You can bend that microphone up. Supervisor Wasserman, have you ever testified before in court?
A. Not that I can recall. No, I don’t think I have been in a court except for a tour.
Q. Okay. Are you okay? Are you feeling okay today about testifying?
A. Oh, yes.
Q. So you are here to testify about your CCW license, but I want to ask a few basic questions first. What is your occupation?
A. I’m District 1 county supervisor for the County of Santa Clara.
Q. And when were you first elected county supervisor?
A. I’m in my 10th year, 2010.
Q. So you were re-elected in 2014 and 2018; is that right?
Q. Now, before you were county supervisor, did you serve in any other elected position?
A. Any other elected position?
A. Yes, I did for the town of Los Gatos. I served two terms there, the eight years prior to coming here.
Q. Have you also been in business?
Q. Can you describe that.
A. Several different businesses. I was a certified financial planner CFP, an RPT, a registered tax
preparer. I did each of those things for about—I don’t know—25 years. I had a small tax practice, a property management company, managed commercial and residential, DBA South Bay Consultants. I worked with my wife side-by-side under the same roof for 30 years.
We have been married 40 years. Working under the same roof works for some people and doesn’t work for other people. So property management, data processing, did payroll, tax returns and a baseball card shop. I had a baseball card shop called Collectors Corner 2.
Q. Are you involved in any of those businesses today?
A. Yes. We still—we don’t manage other people’s properties; so we manage properties that either my wife and I own or my father owns. Before it was a business, other people owned the properties. We managed their apartment or duplex or whatever, and we got paid a fee
for managing other people’s properties, and this now it’s managing family property.
Q. But as far as for income purposes, you are not involved in any businesses today?
A. The property that my father has, two properties, we manage those, and we get a fee out of the income for doing that.
A. I have done that for him for 25 years. He is not involved.
Q. All right. According to your Facebook page, you graduated from Bellarmine in 1976, then went to Santa Clara University and USC. Did you graduate from either of those colleges?
Q. What was your major degree?
Q. Do you have a CCW license issued by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office?
Q. When did you first apply for a CCW license?
A. I don’t know the year. It was early on when I became a county supervisor and I learned about CCWs.
Q. Okay. Let me do this. Let me open Exhibit 6 in the “Wasserman” folder, A, which I will describe as 13 pages from “Mike Wasserman SO CCW.” Page 1 of this exhibit is a copy of a license. Do you see that? Is that a copy of the one you have right now?
A. No, that looks—that says expired 2015. The one I have now is not expired.
Q. Is this the first one that you got?
A. I would guess so, because I came into office in 2010, November, and I got one shortly thereafter. So that one is good for three years. I’m still not sure if it’s good for two years, three years, or four years, but that’s probably the first one I got because of the starting date.
Q. We are going to go through that. So this one, for some reason, is checked off, as you can see—unfortunately, this thing is—for some reason this says judicial on it. You aren’t a Judge, I take it?
A. No, I have never seen that before.
Q. Judicial licenses last for three years; so for some reason, you got a judicial one. You don’t recall any discussion about that, that they were going to give you a judicial one?
A. No, I sure don’t.
Q. One trick about testifying is you need to actually wait, like a beep, after I’m done with my
question before you answer so the court reporter can get both of us.
Q. Now, page 2 of this exhibit is—that’s the receipt—is what’s called a firearms proficiency form.
Now, in this particular one, I’m going to show the whole form, and hopefully we can see that at the bottom—first of all, it happened in November of 2011; does that make sense, given the timing that you thought you recall, this was your first qualification?
A. It makes sense on the timing. Does it say Jim Cannon at the bottom?
Q. We will get to that. I’m going to ask you about that, who was the person, the rangemaster who tested you?
A. The only one I remember is Jim Cannon. From the very beginning it was—I remember his last name Cannon and that—I thought cannon, guns, I remembered that, and it was the first one; so I was probably nervous, but I can remember that one. My memory is my Achilles heel.
Q. So—but you remember this guy, James Cannon, his comment is that you got 100 percent on qualification. Do you recall that?
A. Do I recall that? No. Do I—I’m sorry.
Q. Do you recall that you got 100 percent on the qualification?
A. I’m just waiting for that—I don’t want to interrupt you. Do I recall that I got that? No, I do
Q. Since I haven’t done this, what would it mean to get 100 percent on the shooting test?
A. You have to fire a certain number of shots, I don’t know what the number is, from a certain—two or three distances back, and you have to come within a certain range. If you picture, like, a silhouette of a person, there is a dark area here and you have to get a certain number of your shots within that dark area. I know I became very proficient; so that would not
surprise me that I got that score.
Q. When you were showing where on your own body you had to shoot, you kind of showed your chest area and abdomen?
A. It’s a paper figure of a person that goes up on, like, cardboard or bale of hay, something to absorb the bullet. It shows the head, and there is a dark space here, and then there is a body and there’s a dark space here.
Q. What was that second part?
A. There’s a head and there’s a body. I don’t remember if we shot head and body or just—I don’t
remember the testing.
Q. Okay. So the next page, page 3, this is a copy of your—same—these dates are the same, but I have to go back to the first one—there is an additional gun on this permit. I’m going to go back to the first one. The first one has just one, the Glock, then this on page 3 shows a Smith and Wesson gun as well. Do you recall getting that an added gun?
A. I have those two guns. Are these both the same date?
Q. The license—the issue date and the expiration date are the same, and there is no date for, like, when it’s given to you.
Q. So I will show you the next page, which is page 4, which might help clear this up. This is another of those firearms proficiency documents, this one is dated instead of November of 2011, this one is now dated 12 February of 2013. You can see a little Post-it, it says permit reflecting additional gun. Do you recall having to qualify again to add another gun to your license?
A. No. What I know now, my permit has me qualified for two guns, and I have a total of three guns, and in the beginning, I qualified for a Glock, I don’t remember which model number, and a revolver. And a while back, I switched instead of a Glock and revolver to two Glocks, and that’s what I qualified with. This one I think it said a Glock and a revolver; so this had to be the earlier one of the permits.
Q. Who was the rangemaster who qualified you to add this gun?
A. I don’t know that. If it’s at the same time I assume it would be Sergeant Cannon.
Q. This one is in 2013, as you can see, February 2013. The other one was November 2011; so did—first of all, where does this qualification happen?
A. Up where they have the Best in the West, the Sheriff’s range. It’s an exit off of the freeway. You go to the left—the public range is to the right and the Sheriff’s range is to the left. You go by a facility that cares for pregnant women, and up to the Sheriff’s range where the annual Best in the West is held.
Q. Is it down 101, kind of near Morgan Hill?
Q. You were talking about the Best in the West, we have heard testimony about that. It’s quite a different scene, I take it, when Best of the West is going on there and when you are there to qualify, right? There is a lot of people at Best in the West?
Q. Obviously, we are talking about two completely different things. Have you qualified at that range—not been to the Best in the West, but qualified at that range on more than one time, to your recollection?
Q. Who was the rangemaster who did it on more than one time?
A. Beyond Sergeant Cannon, I don’t remember the names of the other people.
Q. Was it Sergeant Cannon more than once?
A. I don’t remember that. He was the rangemaster when I first got here and first asked the Sheriff about a CCW. She sent me out there, and I met Sergeant Jim Cannon. He trained me. He tested me and I don’t remember the people after that.
Q. Okay. Let me—what I want to do now is I want 5 to —
A. May I interject for a moment?
A. Thank you. There were people after that; I just don’t recall who those people were. They kind of rotate different positions. Somebody is a rangemaster one or two years and somebody else—they get moved around, and I don’t know the other people’s names.
Q. Was James Cannon the one who qualified you on more than one occasion?
A. My best guess is it would be yes. I know he qualified me on my first time until you showed me that I did not recall that I qualified once with one gun and qualified again to add the second gun. I would have thought each time it was two guns, two guns, two guns. It had just changed from a Glock and revolver to two Glocks.
A. That’s all I know.
Q. Okay. Let’s go on. So page 5 is showing another permit that was issued in 2015 and expired in 2017. So this one, if you notice, is a standard. It shows, you know, the other one was a judicial, this one is a standard one that goes for two years. So it also says, if you see there is a checked box up here—I will try to zoom it in a little bit, you can see it’s “subsequent.” It’s your renewal. Is this your first renewal of your license to your recollection?
A. I don’t recall that. Like I said, I hadn’t seen judicial or standard prior to this—us doing this, but
I see now my confusion over two years, three years, four years, because it went from three years to two years, but from the date on the other one I believe it expired 2012 to ’15, and this one says ’15 to ’17; so I would conclude this is the one that came after the other one.
Q. Then on the next page, which is page 6, another firearms proficiency form. This one—that was March of 2015; so just before it expired. Is that your printing, by the way, on the top of this form?
A. Where it says Mike Wasserman, that’s my printing. The rest is not.
Q. Okay. This one again, same signature on it; so now this is three with James Cannon’s signature on it. Do you recall that he was the one that qualified you at least three times down there at the range?
A. No, I didn’t recall three times. I would have guessed two, but again, I do not recall—I thought I tested the first time with two guns and then two guns subsequently. I didn’t realize it was one gun and another gun and then two guns subsequently. So it ended up with Jim being on there three qualifications. I would have guessed two, but it’s clearly three.
Q. Do you recall any rangemaster besides James Cannon qualifying you at the range?
Q. Who was the rangemaster that qualified you that wasn’t James Cannon?
A. I don’t recall any of the others’ names—yeah.
Q. Let me show you what’s been marked B in this folder. Do you know who this is?
A. I believe James—it was just on—Jensen—no. James Jensen is my guess.
A. Just because I have seen that name the last couple days.
Q. Have you seen that person before?
A. How—I guess I—
Q. To your recollection.
A. What probably everybody here doesn’t understand is I don’t recall the birth of my children. I don’t recall high school, college. I don’t recall my marriage — excuse me, my getting married. My mom calls me the absent-minded professor. People I don’t see often I don’t recall. I saw a person from the D.A.’s office a week or two ago, and while I was waiting to come in here, I thought I was talking to that same person in the waiting room and it was not that person. He said, “Oh, no, that’s not me.” So when I’m walking with my staff and somebody is coming up towards me, it’s my staff’s job to tell me who is approaching so I can say, “Hi, Tom,” or “Hi, Mary,” because I just don’t—I don’t remember these things. I know I have been to Spain. I couldn’t tell you if I took my kids to Spain or if my parents took me as a child to Spain. Most people can’t understand that. My wife is the opposite. She has a great memory.
Q. Let me just ask some questions about this case.
Q. Have you had any interaction with that person shown in B in the “Wasserman” folder—have you had any interaction with him related to a CCW license or application?
A. I don’t recall.
Q. What about with the name James Jensen, have you had any—even if you don’t remember that person by sight, do you remember that a James Jensen was related to your CCW license or application?
A. Was he also a PIO? Was he a public information officer?
Q. I’m just asking you, do you remember him as being a PIO?
A. I remember the name James Jensen. If I were to walk by him on the street I would not know where I know him. Unless he was in that uniform, I would not know where I know him from. The reason I asked about the PIO is when my office works with the Sheriff’s Office, it’s the public information officer that is the liaison that arranges for me to go to the academy graduations, to be there to hand out diplomas. So every couple of years she seems to rotate her PIO, but that is the one deputy or officer that I meet. So when I heard James Jensen, I thought of him as the PIO. I did not think of him as a rangemaster. If you would have asked me did I know he was a rangemaster, I would say no.
Q. Maybe this answers the question, but was that person—or James Jensen, because it’s not clear that you link the person and the name together—but was this person, or James Jensen, ever the one that was the rangemaster who qualified you when you went to shoot?
A. I don’t know. I don’t know the name of the person, nor would I recognize. Jim Cannon is the only one I recognize, although I do know I tested there several times with different people because James was moved to, like, Saratoga—whatever the Sheriff’s Department called—Saratoga patrol.
Q. So did James Jensen ever take you to the range to do the shooting test?
A. I don’t recall.
Q. All right. So a week ago, when you talked to our investigators, did you tell our investigators that he did not take you to the range to qualify?
A. I don’t recall saying that. I go to that range two, three—sometimes two, sometimes four times a year, either to practice, or for the Best in the West, sometimes I go a couple of days. When I go there I shoot at that time as well. I could not tell you who those officers were that had me shoot.
Q. The question, if you will, Mr. Wasserman, the question has nothing to do with Best in the West. It’s a completely different scene out there when you are at Best in the West versus qualifications. So regardless of your memory issues, you should be able to distinguish between shooting at Best in the West and shooting to do this test.
A. Yes, I can. I can do that.
Q. So let me do this—I would like to mark as — not going to mark, it’s already on 6—it’s going to be C. It’s going to be audio. The court reporter does not need to report the audio because there is a transcript attached do it. I’m just going to play it at this time.
(WHEREUPON, an audio recording is played.)
THE WITNESS: That’s what I was saying.
Q. (By Mr. Chase) That seems a little different than you just don’t know the answer, that time you said you don’t remember him taking you to the range.
A. I don’t remember either way, him taking me or not taking me. Nobody took me to the range.
Q. Do you remember James Jensen as anything other than the PIO, meaning as a rangemaster? Do you remember that?
A. No. I don’t remember any of the other rangemasters.
Q. To your knowledge, as far as you can recall, James Jensen was never the person that tested you in shooting; is that right?
A. I don’t remember after Jim Cannon who the different rangemasters were that tested me. The
question you just asked was more—I’m concerned about how I answered because it would be affirming that he wasn’t. I don’t know who it was. It could have been James, it could have been somebody else. I know I tested with several different people over several different times.
Q. When would you estimate was the last time that you qualified at the range?
A. I was guessing it was two or three years ago. The investigators who I spoke with told me it was last year. I asked when. They told me it was in April of last year. I then—we were at my house. I then said to my wife, “Kim, do you recall my testing for my CCW at the range last year?” She said no, she didn’t recall one way or the other. She said, “When was it?” The investigators said —
Q. I’m not asking about the investigator. It’s important you answer the question. When do you estimate was the last time that you qualified at the range?
A. Sure. I answered that it was two to three years ago. What I was saying was they said it was April 6, my wife said, “Oh, my brother died April 5.”
Q. Let’s try—Mr. Wasserman—
A. May I finish my answer?
Q. You are not answering the question. Let’s get this question answered. You said two to three years, but when you spoke to the investigator you said three years, didn’t you?
A. Okay. I believe you.
Q. Let’s just check the tape. This is going to be 7 D.
(WHEREUPON, an audio recording is played.)
THE WITNESS: Yeah, two to three, maybe three. Yes, I would say.
Q. (By Mr. Chase) You are saying two to three now, but when you were talking to the investigators, it was three?
A. No, sir, I said maybe three. You just played it.
A. “Maybe three” is not three.
A. I don’t understand what you are doing.
Q. Regardless, it was in April of 2019?
A. Correct. What I was saying—
A. My brother-in-law died—
Q. Your brother-in-law is not relevant to the question.
A. Yes, it is, because my memory is at question here and I did not recall that my brother-in-law died last year. I just wanted you to know that.
Q. Okay. So you did not qualify at the range in April of 2019. That’s correct; right?
A. No, I didn’t say that.
Q. I thought you just said that.
A. No. What I said was I didn’t remember qualifying at the range last year. They told me it was
last April. I did not remember that. I did not remember my brother-in-law died last April. I asked the question on the tape, and with you now, similarly, “maybe three years ago” on the tape and two to three years ago with you just now. I was very consistent.
Q. All right. Mr. Wasserman, unfortunately, these proceedings end at noon. We are going to need you to come back tomorrow. It should be short, but not short enough that we can keep going. If the foreperson would please admonish the witness.
MS. FOREPERSON: You are admonished not to reveal to any person, except as directed by the Court, what questions were asked or what responses were given or any other matters concerning the nature or subject of the grand jury’s investigation which you learned during
your appearance before the grand jury, unless and until such time as the transcript of the grand jury proceeding is made public. Violation of this admonition is punishable as contempt of court.
THE WITNESS: Thank you. May I ask what time?
MR. CHASE: 8:45, but we start at 9:00.
THE WITNESS: 8:45 tomorrow?
MR. CHASE: Yes.
MR. BRAKER: I’d like to get marked as Grand Jury Exhibit No. 7 the jurors’ seating chart by number, name and number.
(WHEREUPON, Grand Jury Exhibit No. 7 was marked for identification.)
MR. CHASE: Mr. Wasserman, you are excused.
(WHEREUPON, the grand jurors were excused until Tuesday, July 28, 2020.)
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA JULY 28, 2020 PROCEEDINGS
MR. CHASE: If the secretary would take the attendance.
(WHEREUPON, roll call was taken on the record, after which the following proceedings were held:)
EXAMINATION BY MR. CHASE:
Q. Okay. I’m just going to remind you, because we didn’t excuse you last time, you are still under the same oath you took yesterday.
Q. The first question I want to ask you is—I realize I kind of cut you off yesterday. I want to give
you a chance to fully express the issues with your memory; so if you would do that at this time.
A. Sure. My entire life my memory has not been normal. My mom called me the absent-minded professor, as I expressed yesterday, and it’s very unfortunate. I don’t remember the birth of my children, the wedding, high school, college classes, people, any of those things at all. Some of it is short-term; some of it is long-term.
As it relates to this particular issue, I can remember getting elected to be a county supervisor ten years ago. I can remember shortly thereafter finding out about a CCW, which I sometimes called it a CCR, practicing, testing, qualifying with Sergeant Jim Cannon. I remember then every few years I had to go through the same process again. I don’t remember—I saw yesterday up on the screen some of the permits were for three years, some were for two years. I did not remember that I had my last testing last year. I remember testing several times. I remember passing each time. It’s just an ego thing, I guess, pride. I remember passing each time that I tested. Because it’s been 10 years, I would guess that I have tested three or four times because each of the permits are good for two to three years. That pretty much—well, beyond that—if you asked my chief of staff, if you ask my staff people what my Achilles heel was, they would say memory. If you ask my chiefs what part of the responsibility was, when we were out in the public events, they are to tell me the name of the person coming. I can recognize faces that I have seen before, but I can’t always place them. Sometimes, because of my world, all the people I’m around, I think I remember a person correctly and it’s not that person. The most recent was just yesterday when there was a gentleman from the D.A.’s Office sitting in the room that I was waiting to come in here yesterday for my first session with all of you and a few days prior there was someone—an investigator with the D.A.’s Office that was at my home asking me questions.
When I was in there I thought it was the same person, at which point he politely said, “Sir, we haven’t met before.” That’s just the reality of it. I’m very good with numbers. I can remember I grew up 12391 Blake Drive and 252-7530 was my phone number. I know my Social Security number. I know my driver’s license number. And at the county they call me the numbers guy
or the numbers supervisor; so that’s my strength. My memory is my weakness. What I can tell you as pertains to this hearing is that I trained and tested and I did testing several times, but the only person I can remember whose name it was was Jim Cannon, and I mentioned yesterday because he was my first, and Cannon sounds like a gun, and that’s how I put things together.
Q. Okay. Are you finished?
A. I think so, unless there is something I didn’t address that you would like me to.
Q. No. I just wanted to give you the full opportunity so that I can ask subsequent questions without necessarily having to go through that. I want to ask you something about yesterday, which I assume you will be able to remember yesterday, it’s very simple, which is I neglected to ask you when I played those two audio recordings, whether that was your voice on those recordings. I mean, I can play them again.
A. Yesterday on the screen?
A. Yes, that was my voice.
Q. That’s just a technical thing I have to do.
Q. You said a little bit about this in your first answer, but I just want to clear it up because yesterday when we broke, we were kind of getting into a back and forth about whether it was two or three years ago that you remember and—but setting all that aside, in any event, you agree that you did not—you don’t remember, anyway, qualifying at the range a year ago in 2019?
A. No, I do not remember that.
Q. So I want to go back to the exhibit. Again, it’s in the “Wasserman” folder, it’s Exhibit A, it’s the
13 pages of materials from the Sheriff’s Office CCW file on Mike Wasserman. I want to start right off with page 10. I want to ask you about—so this—we have seen this for other years. You have seen this. I have shown you these. And this one is for the year—the date there, at least it says April 6, 2019. So my first question to you is, there is some blue writing printed of your name and your full name, and I want to ask, did you print that?
A. That—the blue writing of my name is my printing.
Q. What about—there is quite a bit of black writing. There is the date right next to your name, and then there is the weapons and the serial number and then at the bottom there is a rangemaster—that’s the next page—on this page, page 10 it’s the date and the weapons, is any of that in your handwriting?
Q. Do you have any recollection of printing your name on this on page 10?
A. No. I don’t have any recollection of printing, but I will affirm that is my printing. This ties into
yesterday when I asked my wife, “Do you remember my testing?” She said—told her the date and this is when I—not learned, but was told, that my brother-in-law of 40 years died the day before. I did not remember my testing nor did I remember his dying last year. I thought it was two to three years ago. But no, the black printing is not my writing; the blue printing is my writing.
Q. To clarify just the answer you just gave, so your brother-in-law died on April 5 of 2019?
A. Yes, that’s what my wife told me.
Q. So I want to ask about the next page, which is page 11 of the exhibit, there may or may not be anything you can say about this, but it’s the second page and well—let me go back to the first page. I just want to know and ask you if you have any knowledge about it, but there is nothing noted under the guns about the condition of your guns. Let me ask first, do you recall that on other times when you qualified, that that’s one of the things they would note is whether your gun was in good working order or not?
A. No, I don’t recall.
Q. Even with Lieutenant or Sergeant Cannon, you don’t recall that that’s one of the things he did was inspect your gun to see if it was in good working order?
A. I don’t recall any inspections of any of the guns.
A. They did—they would do a safety check to make sure there weren’t any bullets left in it. They would give X number of bullets and we would shoot. I would shoot. When it was all done and we were exiting the range, there was a tube, and we put the gun in the tube as everybody came off the range did and clicked one more time to make sure there is no ammunition left in the gun, and that will be it. A physical inspection of, like, taking the gun apart and looking inside, I don’t recall that that ever happened.
Q. Regardless of whether it was taken apart or not, just whether it was looked at and there was a notation made of whether it was in good condition or not, sounds like you don’t recall.
A. I don’t recall that.
Q. Okay. Because I’m just saying this to see if it refreshes your recollection. One interpretation of the fact that the condition isn’t noted on this form is that whoever filled this out didn’t actually have your guns to note the condition. Does that refresh your recollection of maybe there was a time when you had printed your name on a form but the person filled out the rest, but you didn’t have your guns, and so it didn’t get filled out? Is there any recollection of that at all?
Q. The next page, page 11, is signed by a rangemaster and there is a date, the same date, it’s the second page of the same form. Then in this case, the boxes for your firearms handling proficiency, none of them are checked off; so I’m just wondering, again, the question is, do you recall a situation where you put your name on a form but you ended up not actually showing how good you were able to shoot so the person wasn’t able to check off your proficiency? Any
recollection of that at all?
A. No, I don’t have any recollection except for the Sergeant Cannon days.
Q. Right. This would be—right.
A. I know I tested with other people subsequent to Sergeant Cannon, but I don’t recall any of them marking condition—condition, safety, familiarity, any of these things at all.
Q. Is that because you just didn’t watch what paperwork they were filling out?
A. Correct. I would note on my permit it says when it expires, I contact the Sheriff’s Department, say I need to test again, then we would arrange an appointment for me to go out, meet with somebody there, they would introduce themselves. I would introduce myself. We would go do the testing. They would sign it off, and then at some point was the thumbprint—did the thumbprint and a new permit was issued.
Q. It’s probably implied by your previous answers but I will just ask it straight-out: Do you ever recall a time when someone—one of these rangemasters or PIOs or someone from the Sheriff’s Office basically told you that you could just skip the qualifying this time?
Q. At least you don’t remember that; is that right?
A. That’s what you asked me, if I remember it, and no, sir, I don’t remember that ever happening.
Q. I’m now looking at page 13 of 13 of this. This is—it’s called a Hold Harmless Agreement. Do you recall, on any of the times you went to the range, that the Sheriff’s Office had you sign a form that would release them from liability, I guess if someone shot you or something?
A. No, I don’t recall what the forms were. I know there were forms that I signed, did some practice rounds, did the test, then at some point, like I said, I did a thumbprint. Might have been a photo involved, once or twice. I don’t recall if my current one has a photo on it or not, and then I would get a permit extension.
Q. Right. So but in this case—I will ask you again about the blue printing of your name. Do you know who printed that?
A. That blue is my printing. I’m guessing the 4/6/19—if I could—do you mind if I scribble 4/6/19
for a minute?
Q. Of course. Do you need a piece of paper?
A. I have a paper towel here. Yeah, that’s—I would say that’s very, very close—very close. I can
do it a few more times. Yeah, I would say the numbers are my numbers.
Q. One thing we notice from this particular document again, it’s blue ink as opposed to the other
document where the date was in black ink, and at the bottom there is black ink and another signature?
A. Yeah, those are not my numbers.
Q. Right. That makes sense, given the different color. What’s interesting on this document, as you could see, is there is no signature of the participant, which would have been you. You didn’t sign this document. Do you agree that you didn’t sign this document?
A. Yes, I agree that document doesn’t have any signature on it.
Q. Right. So I guess what I’m trying to get at is at least on its face—I’m going to try to back it up
here a little so you can see the whole document at once. On its face it appears that you started to fill out the document that would let you qualify at the range, but then something happened and you didn’t execute the document. Does that make sense to you?
A. What I can tell from this is that’s my printing, from my name and my date—obviously, not as you said, the blue and black. Why my name is printed on there and not signed, I don’t know. I don’t know if they had me print on there first and wait until you completed and then signed. I don’t know. When you go there, they say, “Give us your right thumb,” do this and that, pose for a picture, sign your name here. They obviously fill out what type of gun it is. They put in what the serial number is. I go there to get the original permit and they tell me I need to do these things, and then, when the two or three years is up, I go to get my extension, subsequent permit, and they tell me to do these things,and that’s what I do. I fill out what they say on the forms, and I don’t fill out what they say on the forms. I can’t explain why that is partially filled out and not signed by me, but signed by the witness.
Q. So I just want to ask you—you, I’m assuming over your long life—and you’ve filled out releases of liability for various things over the years; am I correct?
Q. And so it’s a fact that generally the release of liability are always executed before you do the activity that you are releasing liability for; otherwise, what’s the point, right? So do you recall a time when before you went to the range you didn’t end up going to the range, and therefore you didn’t sign this document?
A. No. If I understand your question correctly, I don’t know when that occurred. My assumption is April 6, 2019. Again, that was last year. I didn’t remember testing of last year and why it’s not signed, I don’t know. When I would go to the range to qualify, they had forms that you had to fill out, then you went and tested, and then there was other things that had to be done at the Younger location where the Sheriff’s Office is, that you had to go in and go to the left to do thumb and photo and things like that. I don’t know what documents were signed out at the range and what documents were signed at Younger. If you’d asked me what documents—did I sign two documents or three documents, I have no idea. Again, I went there to do something and they said okay, sign this, sign this, do this, okay, now stand at—whatever—five yards,
seven yards, ten yards, shoot these numbers, okay, come back up, and then that was all done they said nice job, and that was it.
Q. So let me ask you about the date that looks like it might be in your writing, meaning the blue ink. Can you think of any reason why you would put a false date on a document?
Q. So then it’s reasonable to conclude from your prior testimony that this was at least the date that it was contemplated that you would go to the range at some point. Is that a reasonable conclusion?
A. My reasonable conclusion is the date I signed it was the date it was.
Q. You didn’t sign it, you —
A. Excuse me—the date I dated it was the date it was.
A. I can’t recall signing the date that’s either pre or post that date.
Q. Right. Okay. Let’s see if I have any further questions. I have no further questions, but the jurors or my colleague may have additional questions.
Q. So it’s a little early to take a break. Let’s just hold on a second, and I will ask the jurors if they
have any questions. I received two. Okay. The first question is from Juror No. 16. The question is: Would you see yourself normally going to a range qual the day after the passing of a relative?
A. No, but may I?
Q. Go ahead. Whatever you need for the answer.
A. Sure. Deek was my brother-in-law and he lived a few hundred miles away, and we’d see each other about once a year. He was in hospice. He was suffering from cancer for many, many, many months. He had a lung removed at one point, had his lip removed at one point. He was brought home to die and he was at home for a few weeks, and his wife and his three sons and his grandchildren were all at his home. He lives out on a big ranch. He was in a hospital bed hooked up with formulas, juices, hospice there administering morphine, and he died on April 5. We knew weeks before that that hospice was there to provide enough morphine to keep him
his pain controlled and that ultimately he would fall asleep. And the day before we were told this was probably going to be his last day; so this was not a sudden something. And then the funeral services were arranged a week or two later. So although very sad, it was life as normal afterwards. I didn’t stop because my brother-in-law died. I still answered emails, answered phone calls, held whatever meetings. I’m sure the following week I had meetings on Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays—my job is seven days a week. So I would not have cancelled what I was doing because he passed on the 5th. That would not have changed. What would have changed was whatever date they had scheduled his funeral for—because I went to his funeral and my scheduler would have had to cancel—I don’t recall if we went back in a day or stayed overnight—but would have had to cancel a couple days so that I could go to his funeral and come back, but certainly whatever appointments I had after that, excluding the funeral, I
would have done my schedule as normal because it was expected he passed. That was kind of a blessing he was in such pain.
Q. Okay. Just to clarify—initially your answer was no, but it sounds like now you are saying yes, you would have gone to the range if it didn’t conflict with the funeral; is that right?
A. Yes, I would have continued my normal schedule, and if going to the range was on my schedule, I would have gone to that. If meeting with a constituent in Gilroy, I would have gone to that. I would not have altered my schedule because this was not an unexpected something. I did alter it the following week to go to his funeral.
Q. Okay. Then there is a question from Juror No. 5. How did you submit your CCW applications all three times you applied—I’m assuming this includes renewals—did you drop them off or did you mail them in or somehow otherwise submit the physical applications?
A. As I recall, I would go to the range, sign papers, I would do my testing, and then a few days later—I think I did fingerprints every time. You know, sometimes on your driver’s license they continue the photo and sometimes you have to take a new photo. I don’t know if the photo on my current CCW is the one I took initially, but there were times where I had to take photos, and that was done at—is it West Younger? Younger, the Sheriff’s Office, and there were times I had to do fingerprints, and that was at the Sheriff’s Office. None of those things, as I recall, was out at the shooting range. So they would have the paperwork that I would have to fill out. I would fill it out, do my qualifying, and then I would be told to come over to Younger to do the fingerprint or the photo, and then I received it, I think, a few days later. It had to be processed. It used to be on a piece of paper, now it’s on, like, a credit card. It’s on a piece of plastic.
Q. I just want to be clear, because I think the juror—maybe you were talking about this—I think
the juror is talking about the application. I have one to refresh your recollection up on the screen right now. It’s got some stuff typed in about you, such as your city of residence, it’s a 13-pager, although some of the pages just have printing and these Bates numbers go from SW SO 7710 onward. I think she is asking about—the juror is asking about this thing. Then there is a part, I believe, that shows the cause, like, why you need the—you can see here, it says, “I’m requesting a license for personal safety.” So she is asking about this document, like, when would you submit this document? Was that done at the range or somewhere else?
A. I don’t know—if I filled it out—I don’t have a typewriter; so if I filled it out, I don’t know why that was printed. What I remember back with Sergeant Cannon, when we were discussing what was
allowed for reasons for a CCW, I filled it out, and the reasons that were written down there were my reasons, and the form that we got—I don’t recall anything ever going through the mail. I recall saying that I wanted to get one, what the process was, going to the range testing and qualifying. When I got there, there was paperwork to sign, to fill out, and I did that. And then I tested, qualified, then went back not that day—went back on a subsequent day to the Sheriff’s Office on Younger to do whatever else they needed, photos, fingerprints, et cetera. I don’t remember anything going through the mail.
Q. This particular document I want to—7718 is the Bates number. It’s interesting, this application, because it’s dated two days later than that other document relating to the range qualification. Do you recall that sometimes you do the range training first and then submit your application?
A. You have to do—again, when you go to the range, there is paperwork there, then you qualify, then you are done there, and then you wait to go over to Younger—I think the other one was dated April 5, and that was dated April 8—I don’t know what day of the week April 8 is, but they’re open Monday through Friday. It wouldn’t have been Saturday or Sunday. I don’t know if April 8th—
Q. It was a Monday.
A. It’s a Monday. Okay. So to me, that looks like—that was my writing. That was my signature, and so on April 8th, I signed that document.
Q. I’m going to mark as item E in the “Wasserman” folder—this is all Exhibit 6—so this is something taken from—the evidence was taken from the cell phone of James Jensen, his calendar, and what it shows is you can kind of see, it shows—he’s got you as a summary,
“Wasserman,” and then he’s got starting at 10:30 ending at 11:30 a.m. and the location is 70 West. So is 70 West the address of the Sheriff’s Office?
A. No, 70 West Hedding—I’m assuming he means 70 West Hedding when he says 70 West, that’s my office at the intersection of Hedding and First Street.
Q. So then does this refresh your recollection that James Jensen actually came to your office at West Hedding and had you sign your application and do some other paperwork?
A. No, I don’t remember if he came to my place or I went to his place. We are across the street.
Q. Okay. Do you have any recollection ever of a someone from the Sheriff’s Office bringing CCW paperwork over to your office to have you fill it out there?
Q. I’m going to ask—because there has been a few questions, I’m going to ask if there is any more from the jury.
A. My recollection was filling out paperwork at West Younger and filling out paperwork at the range.
Q. Are there—based on that, are there any further questions from jurors? Seeing none. You may step down.