Departments hiring of former drug using deputy has been a concern for many…

MERCED COUNTY, CA – Over the past couple of years MCNTV News has literally changed the way news is now delivered in Merced County. We were the first to use our cell phones to do live transmissions of breaking news, now many of the local TV stations do it. And we were also the first to use social media in Merced County area to inform county residents of the news and information that the local McClatchy group newspaper was not covering. We have been instrumental in how Merced County now receives its new and information, even forcing the SunStar staff to get out and cover more Merced County news and pushing the “positive press” paper to start posting crimes and other news that they never reported on before. And we are quite proud of all that we have accomplished so far.
Now many local police departments use social media to post public information, but have some gone too far or not far enough? When MCNTV News first started, the Merced PD and the Atwater PD did not know what to do. They were shocked that someone would actually ask them tough questions instead of being looked at with glossed over eyes like most of the SunStar staff does. Or at least that’s what the Chief told us.
“We don’t like the Sunstar,” Chief Andrade told MCNTV News in a meeting at his office last year in January with Cpt. West and Trindad present. “They are lazy, rude and makeup most of what they write. Many times we have found that they never even spoke with us about an incident, but write the story as if they did.”
Now that could have been just a little venting by a Chief whose son-in-law and daughter are facing a manslaughter case, but it is quite telling how the police in Merced see the local media.
And now that local law enforcement has decided to take to social media to release public information, it seems they need to understand that their page is an extension of their department and not their medium to post personnel issues like the Dos Palos Police Department has been doing recently.

A recent post by the department had a few people scratching their heads and wondering what and why they would make such public posts. The post was made yesterday and it read, “Today had an encounter with a jerk. Some law enforcement personnel, should just walk. If you hate to serve, then walk away.”

After a few readers commented asking what happened, the department responded with this, “It’s a shame when you arrest someone, go to book them, and because of the unprofessional behavior and attitude, you feel compelled to walk out of the jail with prisoner and take him home.” Could they have been talking about Dos Palos Officer Johnny Mathis?

The Dos Palos police department has undergone a few changes in recent past, but many would say not for the better. When the department hired former sheriff’s deputy Johnny Mathis who has been sued by Merced County residents for abusive actions to the tune of more than $400,000 for excessive force, many asked why? Johnny Mathis’s wife was also working at the sheriff’s department and revealed she was sleeping with her supervisor to get a promised promotion and was investigated for exposing her breast at a Sheriff’s department party. Her actions led to an investigation of the Sheriffs department in 2013 and a report that was buried by Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin and Merced County Counsel James Fincher. The report was said to contain so much damaging information about the Sheriff’s department and Mark Pazin that it would have caused a federal investigation. So Merced County Counsel refused to release the public report to the public.1db3984

Mathis was forced out of the department, but somehow won an appeal, including back pay that Merced County taxpayers paid to the drug using abusive Mathis, and went to work for the Dos Palos PD. Johnny Mathis’s record includes beating a UPS driver nearly to death during the Merced Fair because the deputy thought the man was drunk. And although a closer investigation revealed that Mathis and several other deputies were using illegal steroids at the time, they received a slap on the hand and turned loose again on the county of Merced.

A reader of the Dos Palos PD Facebook page posted a reply to the public post by writing, “When I’m shocked I don’t broadcast it out on social media, when I’m venting I do. I work closely with law enforcement and I guess I myself am shocked to see a post like this from an actual PD page. I can see one officer to another complain their personal┬áPage. But not on their community page. How is the public suppose to have a positive opinion about its police force if the officers within the police force don’t have a positive view of each other?”
Well, if the officers are seeing unprofessional behavior from their fellow officers, one can only imagine what the public is experiencing and we’d like to know. Send us your comments or stories regarding your contact with the Dos Palos PD and we may feature them in our follow-up story.


  1. You guys should ask how Kevin Blake who was also involved in the beating of the US driver got off with no punishment. He also was involved in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. Which he broke her arm. Not only was it swept under the rug, he was promoted to sergeant. Must be nice when your Dad is the Undersheriff to beat a man and a woman and then get promoted. I hope the Sheriff department never has to change the carpeting. If they do you will not believe the dirt that will be exsposed.

  2. I grew up in Dos Palos the cops were awful, some partied with high schoolers. The chief of police walked into my house one night he was not invited in. They busted a party that my brother was at and locked the kids in a barn. I was harassed constantly, I was a teenager that liked to party but I was not bad, but my friends and I were treated like criminals.

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