Freedom of Information Is Supreme

San Joaquin County

The dates at the beginnings of the listings are approximate. Access to some sources may be restricted. Go here for a list of all names in this site.

1895: James Brown, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, and Charles Ward. county hospital superintendent, accused of accepting a bribe from an architect to influence their actions in adopting plans for a new county hospital in French Camp. Ward’s conviction and sentence of 14 years in state prison was overturned by the State Supreme Court. Brown was tried twice, but each time the jury was unable to agree on a verdict.

“Bulson Tells of Bribery,” San Francisco Chronicle, July 18, 1895, page 3

“Bribery Cases Fall,” San Francisco Chronicle, December 11, 1895, page 4

1971: Superior Judge Maxwell M. Willens of Stockton, who once served on the State Crime Commission, convicted on three counts of accepting bribes for lighter sentences.

“Stockton Judge Convicted on Bribe Charges,” Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1971, page 2

“Ex-Judge Gets Prison for Taking Bribes,” Los Angeles Times, December 7, 1971, page 3-A]

2002-11: Sheriff Baxter Dunn and County Supervisor Lynn Bedford, accused of taking part in a 2002 scheme to secretly lobby on behalf of a power company seeking to build a plant at the Port of Stockton. Dunn pleaded guilty in 2005 to honest-services mail fraud and Bedford pleaded guilty to a charge he lied to federal investigators. Dunn’s conviction was overturned in 2011 after he had served six months in prison, served six months of house arrest and paid a $40,000 fine.

Scott Smith, “Clean Slate for ex-S.J. Sheriff,” Stockton Record at, April 8, 2011

Scott Smith, “Baxter Dunn’s Turn to Talk,” Stockton Record at, April 23, 2011


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