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Trial of corruption case against Santa Clara County sheriff to begin

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SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 28: Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith speaks to the media about the 1974 killing of Arlis Perry at the Sheriff's office in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Nhat V.

Meyer/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images) SAN JOSE, Calif. - A longtime San Francisco Bay Area sheriff heads to trial on public corruption allegations involving her office’s granting of concealed-carry weapons permits and costly jail mismanagement.The unusual case against Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is a civil process to seek removal of an elected official but is similar to a criminal case, with prosecutors from a different jurisdiction to avoid conflicts of interest.

Jury selection begins Wednesday.The trial follows an investigation into allegations that Smith’s office traded concealed weapons permits for donations to her reelection campaign and mismanaged the jails, where mentally ill inmates died or were injured.

Smith is also accused of withholding documents concerning an internal affairs jail investigation and lying on campaign finance forms.She has denied the allegations.

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