Fairfield man appeals ruling that keeps him off Solano ballot

By From page A3 | March 27, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A would-be sheriff’s candidate followed through on a promise and filed an appeal Wednesday in San Francisco, challenging a judge’s refusal the previous day to get him put on the ballot for the June election.

Joel “Tom” Toler of Fairfield was turned away from the Solano County Registrar of Voters Office after being told he did not have the experience and work history needed to qualify as a candidate for sheriff that is required by state law.

Specifically, officials told Toler he needed law enforcement experience in California within the past five years. Toler earlier this year worked a brief stint as a police officer in a tiny New Mexico town. He believes that was sufficient to comply with the law that does not specifically state the experience must be in California.

Judge Scott L. Kays sided with the county’s interpretation of election law and denied Toler’s request to be put on the ballot.

The First District Court of Appeal typically responds to writs of mandate within a few days. County officials have said they plan to send the June primary ballot to the printer on Friday.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 40 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Please read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy before commenting.

  • Bill of RightsMarch 27, 2014 - 5:26 am

    Yawn. This is old. Move on Toler and move on DR!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMarch 27, 2014 - 5:26 am

    Where does the election law requiring the Police work experience say ''in California'' at? That verbage is NOT found in the Statue. The Appeals Court are a bunch of jerks too---they won't overturn another judge's ruling because they are all pals----in collusion against the people. I have nothing but contempt for Solano County.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The ChiefMarch 27, 2014 - 7:09 am

    The citizenry of Solano County have been willing for far too long now, to live in a world where their Sheriff is handpicked for them, rubber stamped by the Board of Supervisors, and who then remains in that office at his pleasure, thanks to an apathetic electorate. I guess they've forgotten that we DO live in a democratic republic, and that we CAN choose our public officials. No one elected Mr. Ferrara Sheriff. He succeeded to the office through a cynical maneuver, one which bypasses the voters, and counts on their subsequent complacency. I don't know Mr. Toler. But I DO know that the Sheriff's Department is in dire need of some fresh air. I'm not saying Mr. Ferrara is a bad man, just symptomatic of a greater corruption. Elect Tom Toler - heck - elect ANYone other than the clerk that presently holds the office! Otherwise, tear up your voting cards and stay home on election day. As the good old boys have it figured - who needs you anyway?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MDSMarch 27, 2014 - 9:05 am

    So you approve a person trying to get on a ballot through corrupt means in clear violation of California law? I can't believe so many people are advocates for corruption.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • InsidetheplaceMarch 27, 2014 - 7:45 am

    I will be personally writing in. After reading the many articles pertaining to the amount of "sub-standard" admin both within the DA's office as well as the sheriffs office, it has occurred to me that unless I vote otherwise the same crap will be happening for years to come.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • sMarch 27, 2014 - 7:49 am

    I will also be writing in Mr. Toler, and I hope that many if not most voters also will. And if he actually wins and the results are made invalid, I will tear up any future ballots sent to me, since so many propositions passed by the voters are tossed by the courts anyway. So much for our so called, "Democratic Republic." We might as well be living in the old, "Soviet Union."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Depty DogMarch 27, 2014 - 8:04 am

    Toler is a man that seems to be overcome with hate and overmatched with common sence. Please do us a huge favor and move on .

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterMarch 27, 2014 - 8:16 am

    Jess, get the story straight. You wrote that Toler "was turned away from the Solano County Registrar of Voters Office after being told he did not have the experience and work history needed to qualify as a candidate for sheriff that is required by state law." That's not true. The Registrar told Toler that he DID meet all requirements. Only after the deadline did the Registrar announce that Toler did not meet the experience requirement. The Registrar is a liar... and being a liar, and depriving Toler of his civil rights, and protecting the corrupt incumbent sheriff, is just another day in the office when working for Corruption Inc. We, the people of Solano County, are victims of this corruption. Toler has been victimized many times by this corruption. I'm voting for Toler for Sheriff because I know he will not sweep this corruption under the rug.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KMarch 27, 2014 - 8:18 am

    Write In>>Write In>>Write IN>>>Toler

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Marshland MadnessMarch 27, 2014 - 8:35 am

    A write in vote is a vote thrown into the Garbage. If the man has been made aware by the courts that he is not quilified he should get out of the way. Maybe he could serve on the Suisun City council with Mike Hudson they would make a great team both unquilified fools trying to do somthing way over their head.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KMarch 27, 2014 - 8:58 am

    THROWN IN THE GARBAGE???? If true, more proof that we are about as Democratic as Putin's Russia!!! Gee let's all pass ANOTHER yet proposition that will be made invalid :-) Fairly soon ALL MY ballots are going in the trash. My Son gave up voting years ago (He's 39), and for once he may actually be right, makes absolutely ZERO difference to our lives.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Depty DogMarch 27, 2014 - 9:46 am

    A write in for Tolor is throwing your vote away. The man has somthing wrong going he lives in a diffrent world than most. No normal voter would consider him. If you want a change next time do not wait untill its too late to find a qualified candidate.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • R. LeeMarch 27, 2014 - 9:03 am

    Like it was commented the other day, no one wants to eat the costs of reprinting the ballots. It doesn't sound like there is any grey area here, the rules either say the employment must have been in California or not, if not, get him on there! From what I've heard, he has more experience than our current sheriff had when he got in.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MDSMarch 27, 2014 - 9:12 am

    If you read through the comments on the other articles about this, I have posted the laws numerous times which clearly say the experience must be in California. I have also clearly pointed out that even if we give Toler that issue, and say we'll overlook it, then the fake experience he went and got in New Mexico did not comply with New Mexico law and would not have counted even if he pulled the same scam in New Mexico. The experience required in the law is full time, POST certified, peace officer employment. Toler went to New Mexico and did not meet any of their requirements, and found some Podunk Police Chief who has many troubles of his own, to swear him into to some fake created position. It's all a scam! What I think needs to be is the officials of New Mexico need to be made aware of the scam Toler pulled in New Mexico to see if they want to conduct an investigation.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MDSMarch 27, 2014 - 9:17 am

    Correction to above, I meant to say the fake experience he got in New Mexico would not have applied even if he pulled that same scam in California and got some small Chief here to do it. The experience requirement to be Sheriff requires that the experience be Full Time POST Certified peace officer experience in a position covered by sections 830.1 and 830.2 of the Penal Code. Both California and New Mexico regulations have a long list of regulations that spell out standards you must meet in order to get one of those jobs. Toler does not meet those standards in either State.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BobMarch 27, 2014 - 9:22 am

    Toler has Federal Firearm charges in his past He was caught with a machine gun, fully auto, without proper tax stamps and license. This alone will not allow him to run Get over this or start a write in campaign

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Nicky BrownMarch 27, 2014 - 9:57 am

    Why cant this guy just go away it seems he has to make a fool of himself every 4 years. I do agree we need laughs in our lives but a diffrent approach would be fun. However I do agree with the guy who wrote that he would fit in nicely with the Butt Boy in Suisun Mike Hudson.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • boomMarch 27, 2014 - 10:05 am

    Honestly people, I've been thinking about this for a few days now. Ferrara is going to be voted in come election time. It is OUR(anyone who posted negative comments about the current sheriff's regime)time to find a suitable replacement and work to get the current Sheriff recalled. If someone can point me in the right direction, I would volunteer to begin getting signatures to begin a recall. If anyone is willing to help, comment back and I will leave an email to be reached at and we can get this thing rolling. Too long have I been an armchair commenter when I could be doing something that makes an impact on this community,hopefully someone else reckognizes the same thing and we can end this corruption in our county, instead of firing off posts on here and being complacent.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MDSMarch 27, 2014 - 11:21 am

    You're going to start a recall before he's even elected? You must have a lot of time to waste on your hands. If the Sheriff was as bad as people claim, then somebody (that was actually qualified) should have stepped up and ran against him. If the Sheriff is so corrupt then whomever ran against him wouldn't even have to campaign for the job, they would easily slide in to victory. But I have a feeling that the number of people who have issues with him is actually very small. Otherwise somebody would have stepped up to run.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • boomMarch 27, 2014 - 11:28 am

    MDS-Glad to hear your not on board.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • George Guynn, JrMarch 27, 2014 - 11:32 am

    MDS, I have read the laws cited about running for Sheriff and they do not disqualify Mr. Toler, as you claim. Bob, Mr. Toler was never covicted as you claim of having a machine gun. I know Mr. Toloer and think he is the best choice for Sheriff. I plan to write him in if the courts don't put him on the ballot.and hope that the public realizes that the negative people on this blog against Mr. Toler have an agenda of more of the same no real vote of the public leadership.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TaylorMarch 27, 2014 - 1:09 pm

    No one wants to run against the current Sheriff because they recognize what an uphill battle it would be. Past SO deputys have even commented on the corrupt nature of the SO. Who would want to attempt to take on that after having worked in and amongst it?! I'll tell you who...someone who doesn't back down from the scare tactics of the law. Someone who has the guts to stand up to these guys time and time again in court and WIN! Something has to be said for the fact that he has won multiple cases against the SO. He's not just winning these cases by chance. He's proven their wrongdoings to a judge and won. I don't know Toler (only what I've read over the last couple weeks and from his own website while trying to recall Stanton) but I certainly admire his tenacity of constantly going against "the machine". Most people would just conceed to the law and assume they are in the right, but Toler fights on. I don't know much about Ferrara's time in office, but I can say it sounds pretty scandalous the way they "retired" Dr. Hogan. How is it that the SO and the Dr. have two different versions of her departure? One says fired and they other says retirement. In all of the coverage of this ever evolving story have they even said what made them feel that the Dr was incompetent? Or is incompetent another word in SO language for not being a "team player". I personally hope Toler wins his bid to get on the ballot.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Leonard R Alexandre - Former Deputy SheriffMarch 27, 2014 - 1:57 pm

    Taylor, I am one of those former Deputy Sheriff of twenty plus years you are talking about. I have shared my experience on several blogs and most don't seem to care. The bottom line is that people really don't care until it impacts them or a family member directly. Then it's amazing how quickly their opinion seems to change.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TaylorMarch 27, 2014 - 3:41 pm

    Leonard, I remember reading your comment a couple days ago. I agree 100%! It frustrates me that citizens want more of the same from Sheriff Ferrara after what has come to light in the past weeks. Instead of people constantly dogging Toler as a potential competitor of Ferrara why don't you people who support the sheriff try to convince us non-Ferrara supporters otherwise. Speak to the events of these past couple weeks. How do you justify the actions that the sheriff has taken as not corrupt? I look at what this current sheriff has allowed and consider the comments from Leonard and Mike (another SO Deputy who commented on the SO corruption a couple days ago) who have worked in that environment for 20+ years and am left scratching my head how people can support this current sheriff. Laws are not always clear, MDS That is why people bring lawsuits to court for Judges to hear both sides of the interpretation of the law.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • RobertMarch 27, 2014 - 4:12 pm

    There is a question I posted a while back but has never been answered by Ferrara supporters. I have read a lot of touting about his 30 plus years in law enforcement. My question is very clear...What has Sheriff Thomas Ferrara done during his law enforcement career which has benefited the community as a whole? It is a very simple question. What has he done to account for the missing assault weapons among other equipment unaccounted for in the armory( One being a Tommy Submachine Gun)? I know all about what he has done for his own personal gains, that has been transparent to some of us.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MDSMarch 27, 2014 - 1:11 pm

    George Guynn, clearly you have a reading problem then as I never said a thing about Mr. Toler being convicted of anything especially not a machine gun. So since you couldn't even read that correctly, how can anybody think you read the other laws correctly?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DeniseMarch 27, 2014 - 1:20 pm

    George was referring to Bob's comment about the machine gun not you MDS. It seems you should stop trying to act as you know everything and start reading things more carefully yourself!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MDSMarch 27, 2014 - 2:01 pm

    Denise, what did I misread? He accused me of being the one who said that I pointed out it was not me. And I don't know everything, just the law on this particular matter dealing with Toler. The law is clear he isn't qualified. What is it you think I got wrong?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TaylorMarch 27, 2014 - 1:25 pm

    Wow, MDS! You might want to apologize since most of us read GG, Jr's comments perfectly fine. That portion of his comment was for Bob. Remember this: never spit against the wind!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MDSMarch 27, 2014 - 2:05 pm

    Opps, I confess, I now see my mistake in there. So I apologize for that. I don't apologize for reading and understanding the laws that says Toler doesn't qualify.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Enough AlreadyMarch 27, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    He's not eligible for the ballot people. The section of the California Code that deals with who is eligible to become a candidate for the office of Sheriff is contained in the Government Code, specifically section 24004. Here it is verbatim: Government Code - GOV TITLE 3. GOVERNMENT OF COUNTIES [23000 - 33205] ( Title 3 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. ) DIVISION 2. OFFICERS [24000 - 28085] ( Division 2 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. ) PART 1. OFFICERS GENERALLY [24000 - 24356] ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. ) CHAPTER 1. County Officers [24000 - 24012] ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. ) 24004.3. (a) No person is eligible to become a candidate for the office of sheriff in any county unless, at the time of the final filing date for election, he or she meets one of the following criteria: (1) An active or inactive advanced certificate issued by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. (2) One year of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. (3) Two years of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. (4) Three years of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses an associate in arts or associate in science degree, or the equivalent, from an accredited college. (5) Four years of full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within the provisions of Section 830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code at least a portion of which shall have been accomplished within five years prior to the date of filing, and possesses a high school diploma or the equivalent. (b) All persons holding the office of sheriff on January 1, 1989 shall be deemed to have met all qualifications required for candidates seeking election or appointment to the office of sheriff. (Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 57, Sec. 1.) Tell me which one Mr. Toler qualifies under.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MDSMarch 27, 2014 - 2:19 pm

    This law has been posted many times. What Toler and his supporters are trying to claim is that Toler qualifies under the section that says four years experience at least a portion of which must be within the last five years. They are claiming that no where in the law does it say the experience must be in California. Even though this statute that you posted is in the CALIFORNIA Government Code and this law says the experience must be in compliance with section 830.1 or 830.2 of the CALIFORNIA penal code, and those two sections define various types of peace officers in the State of CALIFORNIA, that because the lawmakers didn't specifically say that the experience must be in CALIFORNIA even though that clearly goes without saying.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DeniseMarch 27, 2014 - 2:36 pm

    Reading the law as written is one thing, however what I am reading in these blogs are personal interpretation of these statues. Interpretations vary from person to person, just because one's opinion is different from another's does not make theirs any less credible than MDS's interpretation. Only time will tell, let's see what's the outcome of Toler's appeal.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • boomMarch 27, 2014 - 3:00 pm

    Gotta love it when the one who's screaming for everyone to READ, doesn't even READ themself and now looks like the ranting crockpot that him/her really is. Gotta love DR comments 'Justice'

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CasperMarch 27, 2014 - 3:08 pm

    @Denise. Can you kindly give us an example of another reasonable interpretation of this law? I understand reasonable people can disagree in interpretations, but what is your interpretation of this law cited above that causes you to think that Toler is qualified?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DeniseMarch 27, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    Casper, not once have I said that Toler was qualified. I merely stated my observation based on the comments posted on the blog. If I did say that he is qualified, please point it out to me where I wrote that. I am far from being perfect and not ashamed to say so.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DeniseMarch 27, 2014 - 6:43 pm

    Still waiting for a reply

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • "Yoda"March 27, 2014 - 8:48 pm

    Life works in mysterious ways. I feel a very strong disturbance in the force pertaining to Ferrara's future as "Sheriff." Somehow, I don't see Ferrara completing a full term. I do see him and his Jedis being led away by guys in suits while in handcuffs. That is my prediction! So smile you Toler supporters, I still believe in the force. Trust me, there is a lot more out there that you don't know.......................

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Anna G.March 27, 2014 - 10:28 pm

    I would like to just point something out to all of you here: Under the supervision of our current Sheriff Mr. Ferrara (whom so many seem to support and praise) there has been a great deal of corruption flourishing throughout this county. Just look to the issues that have arisen within the coroner's office and the DA. Of course he claims to be so 'hands-off', acting as if he had no idea what was really happening, but even if that is true do we really want a Sheriff that doesn't even know about what's going on within his own department? All I'm saying is maybe people should open their eyes, start to think for themselves, and come to a logical conclusion for who they can actually trust to serve and protect them. Come on people it's really time to wake up...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Special Publications »

    Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
    Copyright (c) 2016 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life and other community-driven publications.