A corruption probe into the Santa Clara County sheriff's office has unearthed an allegation of a bizarre bribery between the undersheriff and Apple's global security chief. Thomas Moyer, head of security for Apple, was indicted last week for allegedly bribing an official with 200 iPads in exchange for concealed carry permits. The undersheriff, Rick Sung, and a captain, James Jensen, were also indicted for allegedly requesting the bribes.
Their activities were found after a two-year investigation by the district attorney's office. According to a statement, Sung and Jensen purposely "held up" applications for concealed carry licenses until applicants could give them something valuable. These licenses are extremely difficult to obtain in the county, and the sheriff's office has been accused of using the permits as leverage for political favors or donations to campaigns.
Sung and Jensen held back four licenses for Apple security employees in order to demand something in return from Moyer. Instead of reporting the behavior, according to the district attorney's office, Moyer promised them he'd convince the company to "donate" 200 iPads, worth nearly $70,000, to the Sheriff's Office. Both parties canceled the transaction once the the corruption probe started and the search warrants started to come through.
"Undersheriff Sung and Captain Jensen treated [concealed carry] licenses as commodities and found willing buyers," district attorney Jeff Rosen said in the statement. Moyer was certainly a victim, but Rosen doesn't believe Apple's head of security should be let off the hook. "Bribe seekers should be reported to the District Attorney's Office, not rewarded with compliance.”
Apple denies the allegations against their employee. A company spokesperson told CNN Business: "We expect all of our employees to conduct themselves with integrity. After learning of the allegations, we conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no wrongdoing."
Sung's attorney also insists there's nothing illegal going on. "Apple has a history of donating supplies to law enforcement," his lawyer said to Mercury News, "and there’s no connection between the donation and permits."
Rosen clearly disagrees. "Call this quid pro quo, call it pay to play, call it give to get," he told Mercury News. "It is illegal, and deeply erodes public confidence in the criminal justice system. When high ranking members of a law enforcement agency are at the heart of a bribery scheme, it tarnishes the badge, the honor, and the reputations, and tragically the effectiveness of all law enforcement agencies."