To Deflect and To Swerve?

     Over ten years ago while I was still in the military, I was shocked and dismayed to hear that the sheriff of Madera County had been busted in West Sacramento, for driving under the influence. Not only was he busted, but busted while driving a county-owned vehicle. I remember thinking that the voters of Madera County were going to have a field day with this guy, and would most assuredly seek his immediate dismissal. The following is a re-post of the original Associated Press article, dated November 2nd of 2000:


Madera County sheriff arrested on drunken driving charge

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) 11-02-00– The Madera County sheriff was arrested for drunken driving and evading arrest early Wednesday, police said.

The arrest came after Sheriff John P. Anderson had pizza and beer with friends, a spokeswoman for his office said. “Apparently he had a few too many beers,” said Rita Valdivia, a public information officer with the Madera County Sheriff’s Department. Valdivia said Anderson was in the Sacramento area Tuesday on business and got together with a few friends Tuesday evening in West Sacramento.

As Anderson was driving back to his hotel early Wednesday, he pulled over to rest and a West Sacramento police officer stopped to check on him, Valdivia said. Anderson told the officer that he was OK and identified himself as the Madera County sheriff. After the officer headed back to her car, Anderson assumed the conversation was over and resumed his drive to his hotel, but the officer pulled him over and arrested him, Valdivia said.

Sgt. Ed Hensley of the West Sacramento Police Department said Anderson drove off after the officer told him to step out of his car. “She was not finished with him because she smelled an alcoholic beverage,” Hensley said. He said Anderson was given two breath tests. The first one showed Anderson had a blood alcohol level of .13 percent. The second showed a level of .15 percent, Hensley said. The legal limit is .08. Valdivia said Anderson was freed after posting $10,000 bail and returned home later Wednesday. She said he was “saddened, embarrassed, regretful and apologetic. He is really taking this hard,” she added.


     Boy was I wrong! Sheriff John Anderson is still the sheriff of Madera County, to this very day. What is even more disconcerting than this is that now, the Madera County SO no longer responds to emergency calls from within the county, having to do with drunk drivers! Now, I have a few obvious issues with this. First off, if you’re IN Madera County, say….out on Road 36 and Avenue 8 and you see someone swerving all over the road and call the county sheriff’s office because you noted a deputy’s car about a mile back, they should respond! Instead, they push these calls off onto the CHP.

     Second, John Anderson is a former CHP guy. Could THAT have anything to do with it? Third, how hypocritical would it be to be busted by a guy who is guilty of DUI himself!?

     Do you want to know who I am angry with in this whole thing? The people of Madera County. The voters. THEY are the ones that have kept this situation as the “status quo” for the past ten-plus years, then they wonder why things are so munged up in their county, and why the SO can’t or won’t respond to traffic or DUI calls. Oh well!


7 comments on “To Deflect and To Swerve?

  1. Billy Coltra says:

    John Andersons deputies attacked myself [sic] on the 10 Jan 12 at gunpoint, handcuffed me and while on my stomach in the middle of the road, slammed my head into the blacktop, while handcuffed. I was interrogated for over an hour but finally released with several injuries that I can prove with pictures. My problem is I am looking for an attorney that will work on a pro bono base . I have wrote to many goverment agencies to no avail.

    (Editor’s note: Comment edited from duplicate submissions.)

    • Mr. Coltra, please drop me a line in personal feedback, (the form for which can be found on the “About” page) and expound a bit on what brought the deputies to your location, if you would…

      • Billy Coltra says:

        Mr. Morgan I was only walking on my daily hike on road 426 when a deputy by the name of J> Cushing drove his patrol car behind me and jumped out behind me with his pistol pointed at me and proceded from that point to inflict several injuries of which the most serious is a spinal injury. The DA and the Grand Jury of Madera County has covered this up putting all seniors in Madera County at danger. And no one is addressing the entrapment people who are roaming the streets of Oakhurst and probally Madera as well. Some of these people stalke ,use narcotics, and fabricate lies to entrapment unsupecting citizens of Madera County. I wonder why no one is checking the budgets as to who is behind these tactics? Anyway the DA has been sued recently and I understand that there may be another lawsuite filed against his office ?

  2. RemainAnonymous says:

    I don’t vote for him – blame the other people in Madera County. Most of them don’t even seem to know about this and are surprised when I tell them. He still drives drunk, and I’ve heard he takes kickbacks in the form of “consultation fees” or as campaign donations. It seems like more of a shakedown.

  3. Given the events of the past few days with regards to Chukchansi, I may have been hasty when I wrote this article last year. Anderson has faced a difficult situation in the handling of the crisis, and risen to the occasion. In spite of my misgivings about the man, I have to grant the kudo here.

  4. Yeah, that doesn’t quite sound like a guy who is “saddened, embarrassed, regretful and apologetic” about the situation, does it?

    From the outside looking in, I’d say you’re absolutely right. It’s high time the voters of Madera County pushed for this guy’s ouster.

  5. Big Red says:

    Anderson still drives drunk today. He’s given rides home by CHP and Madera County SO all the time instead of taking him to jail. The man must go.

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