Solano County

Bail bondsman Toler seeks Solano sheriff’s job

By From page A3 | March 06, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A second candidate for the Solano County Sheriff-Coroner’s job emerged Wednesday to take on Sheriff Thomas Ferrara in the June primary election.

With two days left before Friday’s filing deadline, Fairfield bail bondsman Joel “Tom” Toler submitted paperwork and paid filing fees with the registrar of voters office. Toler, who says the current sheriff’s office is broken, is a 55-year-old single father of two who lives in Vallejo. He has run a successful bail bond company from an office in Fairfield for several years.

Toler says his military and past police experience show his commitment to public safety.

Staff in the registrar of voters office said documents Toler provided them would be reviewed in the next few days.

Toler tried to run for sheriff-coroner in 2010 against then-incumbent Gary Stanton. That effort was thwarted by county officials who decided Toler did not have enough law enforcement experience as required by state law for the job. Stanton, who was alone on the ballot, was re-elected and retired part way through his term of office. The Board of Supervisors filled the vacancy with Ferrara, who was undersheriff at the time.

Toler has had a longstanding feud with many sheriff’s deputies and other members in local law enforcement.

Solano County paid $230,000 to Toler in 2011 in exchange for his agreement not to sue county officials for their conduct against him since 2005. In 2009, Toler won a $90,000 judgment in a federal jury trial against former Solano County District Attorney David Paulson and the county. Toler also racked up more than $430,000 in lawyers fees that were paid by the county.

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 | 65 comments

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 05, 2014 - 6:12 pm

    I endorse his candidacy and a complete cleaning of the Sheriff's and DA's office is clearly now in good order! The latest scandal involving the DA and Sheriff illegally coaching witness testimony and altering previously concluded findings without legally admissable or sufficient cause is going to cost taxpayers even more tax money from failed prosecutions and civil rights lawsuits. TOLER FOR SHERIFF---THE CORRUPTION STOPS HERE!

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  • Blanca BotwinMarch 06, 2014 - 4:40 am

    I'll vote for Toler just like I did when he ran against Stanton, and he's right, the Sheriff's office IS broken. I can't help but LMAO at the amt's he was paid in his lawsuits. Just warms my heart when I read it. Makes me feel like the system actually works sometimes. Good Luck Mr. Toler, and Thank You for running again.

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  • Bill of RightsMarch 06, 2014 - 5:27 am

    The Sheriffs Office may be broken, but electing a rebel, who bucks the system and has No law enforcement experience is not smart! This guy spells trouble for the county

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  • rainMarch 06, 2014 - 9:41 pm

    Who to elect? An insider who has been a part of the broken-ness or someone who at least seeks to fix the broken? I welcome bucking of the broken system.

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  • A Different PerspectiveMarch 06, 2014 - 5:39 am

    God help us

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  • The MisterMarch 06, 2014 - 5:46 am

    Sounds a lot more like the Sheriff's Office and the DA's Office had a longstanding feud against Tom Toler... at least that's what a Federal Court found. And the Sheriff's Office and the DA's Office vendetta against Toler cost the taxpayers of Solano County several hundreds of thousands of dollars. And we keep voting for the crooks? Not this time, baby. VOTE THE CROOKS OUT... VOTE TOM TOLER IN!!

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  • The ChiefMarch 06, 2014 - 6:42 am

    They wouldn't let Toler run the last time because his law enforcement experience limited? Well, that should be a non issue this time out, since the current "Sheriff" probably has less law enforcement experience than Toler. He started out getting coffee for Al and the big boys, and worked his way up to head clerk. Elect Toler - he's the real deal.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 06, 2014 - 6:51 am

    I seem to recall many of us during that whole Toler vs. the Sheriff mess thinking there was something amiss and Toler was being railroaded. Then he won his case and has sat quietly since. This is an interesting dilemma for the County, not to mention the voters.

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  • No DilemmaMarch 06, 2014 - 7:15 am

    No Dilemma Here, Toler was not qualified last election and he is still not qualified

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  • CD BrooksMarch 06, 2014 - 7:20 am

    No Dilemma, why? And what are the qualifications exactly?

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  • A Different PerspectiveMarch 06, 2014 - 7:27 am

    All candidates should be required to undergo a psychological evaluation.

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  • The MisterMarch 06, 2014 - 7:52 am

    All voters should be required to undergo a psychological evaluation.

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  • NONONOMarch 06, 2014 - 8:50 am

    Even the dead voters?

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  • The MisterMarch 06, 2014 - 10:15 am

    Only in Chicago!

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  • Mayor SanchezMarch 06, 2014 - 7:58 am

    Advanced POST certificate and at least one full year of salaried law enforcement experience and high school completion are the statutory requirements A court ruled last time that Toler did not qualify. Is he qualified now? That is the question this news article failed to address. Poor DR write up.

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 06, 2014 - 10:39 am

    Sounds like he has garnered the qualification to qualify Mr. Mayor. You should be more concerned about your thug cops conduct in your ''Sewer Soon City'' ( see YouTube)

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  • BobMarch 06, 2014 - 7:59 am

    I don't suppose any of you know of Toler having a federal offense for fully automatic weapons? To those that don't know what that is its a full on machine gun he bought illegally and got caught with it, yeah he's the right guy, to go to prison Plus I'm betting none of you voted in the last election anyway

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  • The MisterMarch 06, 2014 - 8:16 am

    So you're saying that Toler is pro-Second Amendment. My guess is that if he supports the 2nd Amendment, he probably supports the entire Constitution. Won't that be refreshing to have a Constitutional sheriff in Solano County!! With so many unlawful laws out there (the latest incarnation of Obamacare being one of them), it will be great to have a sheriff grounded in the Constitution and the Natural Rights of the PEOPLE.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 06, 2014 - 8:58 am

    The Mister, ALL law enforcement takes an oath to abide by the Constitution. That is their job, to enforce the law based in that document. From what I've been reading about "Constitutional Sheriff's" they are no more than a den of Conservatives trying to push their agenda. They’re actually ignoring state and federal laws to subvert their interpretation of the 2nd amendment. Don't just tell me I'm wrong, prove it. Good luck with that. And BTW, Our 2nd Amendment is NOT under attack contrary to some of the whack jobs across the country and those visiting here.

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  • The MisterMarch 06, 2014 - 10:16 am

    Seedy.... now you are being funny!

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  • ArachneMarch 06, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    Um, YOU'RE the one making the accusation that they are subverting the laws, doofus. YOU prove it.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 06, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    Arachne, I all ready made a factual statement, I always do. There is no argument to my claim.

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  • No DilemmaMarch 06, 2014 - 8:02 am

    You must have a least one year of actual law enforcement experience within the last three years!

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  • CD BrooksMarch 06, 2014 - 8:13 am

    I found the basic qualifications. High school or GED, must be 21 years old and a US citizen with a drivers license. The other requirements vary state to state. Once considered, the candidate would have the mandatory testing and interviews, seems pretty straightforward. Bob, I did but you might be right about many others. Drive by any Bail Bond person's office any night of the week. If you had that job you'd probably want to arm yourself as well!

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  • Eugene BorghelloMarch 06, 2014 - 9:45 am

    Michael Hennessy was the Sheriff of San Francisco for more than 20 years. He had NO law enforcement experience

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  • General Fadi BasemMarch 06, 2014 - 12:34 pm

    Didn't Mr. Hennessy have one day of experience in law enforcement the second day on the job?

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  • MDSMarch 07, 2014 - 11:40 am

    Hennessey was elected Sheriff in 1980. In 1980 there was no law specifying any qualifications for Sheriff. That law passed in 1986.

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  • Tom TolerMarch 06, 2014 - 10:18 am

    . I have never been fan of leaving comments but since I have stepped into the public to be judged, I would like to offer to anyone or any group, to answer any question in person. I have not been just sitting since the last trial. I have continued to gather information on the county government out of concern for violations of the constitution.

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  • Just go away TolerMarch 20, 2014 - 11:01 am

    Ya, you've been sitting, I mean gathering information, for the last few years because the deal with the courts on your 3 criminal cases was that if you stay out of trouble for 2 years that charges would be dropped against you. Could you tell use about the civil suites against you? Especially the ones (which means all of them) that you've lost and haven't payed a dime one yet? Wasn't qualified then........ not qualified not.

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  • Tom TolerMarch 06, 2014 - 10:19 am

    To be accused of a crime, the system uses our money to come after us, spending any amount they want. The accusers are mainly government employees. Most accused, have to choose to lose their job or spent the rent in order to defend these allegations’. Not very often does guilty or not come into consideration. I believe everyone wants justice but not at the cost of violating our constitutional rights.

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  • Tom TolerMarch 06, 2014 - 10:20 am

    Of course the people want the suspect, if found guilty, to have consequences’. I believe they also want those who accuse us, those who arrest us, those who are stealing our freedom, to be held to the standard as the people. Time and again, caught. Never any consequences. I would supply a list but would booted from the blog. Any question, anytime just ask in person. You will never hear “my attorney told me not too”.

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  • Tom TolerMarch 06, 2014 - 10:23 am

    When I started thinking of what could I best do to protect my kids when I’m gone, the answer was to protect their constitutional rights. To teach them how to protect their rights. For my children or yours to get trapped in a system that has level of integrity our county government has, would be as bad as any form of child endangermen I have ever seen.

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  • Tom TolerMarch 06, 2014 - 10:28 am

    Respectfully Tom Toler Candidate For Sheriff, a constitutional sheriff, honoring the oath and not the governments desire. I want no bodys'child to experience what I have in our system.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 06, 2014 - 11:46 am

    Mr. Toler, thanks for the information. You should have remained a non-commenting fan.

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  • Just a QuestionMarch 06, 2014 - 11:43 am

    Mr. Toler, what has changed since you last tryed to run for Sheriff? California law still requires a year of law enforcement experience in the past three years. As near as I can tell, you have no experience. Answer please.

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  • Tom TolerMarch 06, 2014 - 12:15 pm

    The election code requires a "portion" of your over all time to be within 5 years of election sign up.3 years time but due to not working in the last 5 years, I had to get a job and work as a full time police officer, which I did. That's all that changed from 4 years ago.Happy to meet in person anytime for any question but in person is better. Thanks for time.

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  • Mark BranchMarch 06, 2014 - 1:10 pm

    I wonder...If the cops arrest you, and you post bail...but are never charged with an offense, nor is there even any record of your arrest or court date, or ANYTHING regarding the incident do you still have to pay the BAIL BONDSMAN that bailed you out but didn't contact you until days later looking for his money? Or does it seem fishy?

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  • Mark BranchMarch 06, 2014 - 1:13 pm

    Sorry I know that this has nothing to do with his running for Sheriff , Hell I might even vote for him, I was just wondering. What's the worst that could happen right? I might get wrongfully arrested and then have to pay to get out? never.

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  • ArachneMarch 06, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    And that's where I see a real conflict of interest. You own a bail bond company and want to be put in charge of the people who are responsible for arresting people, who then subsequently need a bail bond. Bond is set at the time of the arrest. So a week later when the DA decides not to prosecute, well, okay, you and your fellow bondsmen keep the 10% paid to you and the bond is returned. Sorry, won't be voting for you.

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  • RobertMarch 06, 2014 - 1:17 pm

    Mr. Toler you are taking on an empire which has been under control by individuals with personal ties to one another dating back 100 years. What makes you believe that you can unseat such well entrenched Politicians?

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  • The MisterMarch 06, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    Robert, Tom Toler only has one vote. It is the majority of the voters in Solano County who have the power to unseat this terrible empire.

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  • RobertMarch 06, 2014 - 6:38 pm

    It is very interesting that some are already very busy attempting to discredit this man(Toler). Why don't people stick to the real issues, such as the Coroner's Office scandal? That is the type of issue that most voters care about. Not personal attacks!

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  • YoshidaMarch 06, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    Toler needs no help to discredit him...he has done a fabulous job on his own

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  • CD BrooksMarch 06, 2014 - 7:42 pm

    Robert, he should have stayed off the boards today. I was in his corner and he succeeded in losing my vote.

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  • M SmithMarch 06, 2014 - 8:32 pm

    Are you saying you have become a full time (830.1 PC) law enforcement officer within the last three years? What agency did you or do you work for?

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  • Jose MadreMarch 06, 2014 - 8:09 pm

    Mr. Toler: Where have you worked as a full time Police Officer recently? (Within the last 5 years) And why do you let your dogs run off leash in a public place? Do you not believe ordinances apply to you?

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  • JosephMarch 06, 2014 - 8:12 pm

    Interesting how Sullivan is quick to point out the lawsuit the county lost with Toler, but he fails to point out the lawsuit Toler lost to one of his "clients."

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  • MDSMarch 06, 2014 - 8:46 pm

    Mr. Toler will be disqualified again. Nothing has changed since the last time he ran for Sheriff. He was disqualified for not have the required law enforcement experience. That means he has had to have become a full time, sworn, paid law enforcement officer (830.1 or 830.2 of the Penal Code) within the last five years. I see no evidence of this new full time law enforcement experience.

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 06, 2014 - 9:31 pm

    MDS----that's because your not privy to see or examine his Bona fides and documentation yet. As such, you are just running your mouth without engaging your brain or senses first! You need to listen and if you would just attempt to learn, you might just receive an education in spite of yourself!

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  • MDSMarch 07, 2014 - 11:36 am

    Hey Dummy, Mr. Toler came on here and offered to answer any question. So I asked the question what makes him qualified now? Why don't you answer the question if you know the answer? If he's a cop someplace then that is public record. It's not a secret. Just post on here what agency hired him as a 830.1 or 830.2 peace officer since the last election? If that simple question can't be answered then this is all a moot point as he will be removed from the ballot just like last time.

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  • The MisterMarch 07, 2014 - 11:42 am

    Hey MDummyS, Toler is happy to answer those questions in person. Go ask him in person and see what he tells you. Or is it just easier to be a troll.

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  • MDSMarch 07, 2014 - 11:45 am

    Obviously Mr. Toler has the nutball market all voting for him! Doesn't matter, he'll be disqualified shortly.

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  • A Different PerspectiveMarch 08, 2014 - 6:13 am

    The Mister, good look going to see him. I went by his office about 6 or 7 times to talk to him. His open light in the window is on, but he is never there. Several days worth of mail would be on the floor by the door. Who runs a business like that?

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 06, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    Looks like the local government suck up sycophantic employees wait until after hours to comment and spread lies, disinformation and empty charges against Mr. Toler. Mr. Toler can divest his business when he wins the election. In the meantime Candidate Ferrara has a brewing scandal along with Mr. DuBain, the District Attorney. Unless your one of their State or Local Government pets, then there's no reason to elect what appears to be a corrupt cabal of the current office holders.

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  • George Guynn, JrMarch 06, 2014 - 11:45 pm

    MDS and all the other Nay Sayers out there, stay tuned and I think your are going to be surprised that Mr. Toler is qualified to be Sheriff this time. I have known Mr. Toler for quite a few years and he has always been a person that is honest and has high integrity from my observations of him. If he wasn't, the DA's and the Sheriff's Offices would have crushed him. Furthermore, if there were a few more Mr. Toler's out there in office, I could enjoy my retirement, instead of constantly having to try to stop out of control tax and waste very inefficient government!!! Please join me in voting for Mr. Toler. Or do you prefer to keep paying for unnecessary law suits for people that should never have been charged, as was Mr. Toler?

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  • A Different PerspectiveMarch 07, 2014 - 5:45 am

    Wouldn't your endorsement hurt his campaign? How do you "retire" from a hobby?

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  • MDSMarch 07, 2014 - 8:10 am

    I'm not really a nay sayer, I don't even know the guy. I'm just pointing out there is a law that says what the qualifications are for being Sheriff and the last time Mr. Toler ran for this office he was disqualified because he didn't have that experience. The only way he would now meet the requirements is if he got a full time law enforcement job as a peace officer as defined under section 830.1 or 830.2 of the penal code. That is what the law says. I can't believe that any law enforcement agency hired him to a full time job while he still owned a bail bond company as that would be a huge conflict of interest. But I'll keep an open mind. Please tell us what agency he works or worked for since the last election when he was disqualified?

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  • CD BrooksMarch 07, 2014 - 8:26 am

    Mr. Toler should run in Siskiyou County. His chances would be much better there. Here? Not so much.

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 07, 2014 - 9:18 am

    I note with interest that those who snipe at Mr. Toler don't use their real names. I believe those cowardly people are the pets and thugs of the current local government regime.

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  • RobertMarch 09, 2014 - 6:20 pm

    Remember the Sheriff's Admin. M.O. Rich, "Deny everything and launch counter allegations."

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  • rlw895March 07, 2014 - 6:19 am

    Who's the first candidate?

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  • George Guynn, JrMarch 07, 2014 - 9:54 am

    A Different Perspective, on whose watch did the Coroner's Office Scandal happen? It sure wasn't Mr. Toler's! So, you want more of the same? I am voting for Mr. Toler and so will anyone else that wants better government!!!!!

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  • RobertMarch 09, 2014 - 6:27 pm

    George you are not alone, there are more individuals backing Toler "Behind the scenes" than some want to believe. Only time will tell. Their worst nightmare is Toler's name ending up on the ballot

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