A familiar face is heading back to lead the county’s Probation Department while court officials work to permanently replace the last chief who resigned amid a federal investigation into allegations he was receiving child pornography through the mail.
Calvin Remington, also known as Cal, has been appointed interim chief probation officer beginning Jan. 28 and serving until a new permanent chief is installed, the San Mateo County Superior Court announced Friday.
"Chief Remington is a known quantity to the court and our county and can continue to support our Probation Department while providing continuity and stability,” said John Fitton, court executive officer.
Roy Brasil, who has served as acting chief since former chief Stuart Forrest was placed on paid administrative leave in mid-December, will return to his role as deputy chief of the institution division.
Remington served as interim chief of the same department from December 2008 to May 2009 between the retirement of former chief Loren Buddress and Forrest’s appointment. Remington’s 40-plus years of experience also includes time as chief probation officer in Ventura County and most recently as acting chief probation officer and chief deputy probation officer for Los Angeles County.
Judge Robert Foiles, incoming chief presiding judge of the San Mateo County Superior Court, credits both his history and his prior connection to the county as key factors in the selection.
"Cal Remington is one of the most respected probation leaders in California,” Foiles said in a prepared statement. "He brings a wealth of experience while his knowledge of San Mateo County will allow him to hit the ground running.”
Foiles expects the search for a permanent chief to last approximately six months and Fitton said it will be both nationwide and internal. While the search will be open to candidates anywhere, Fitton said the position has some needs unique to California such as the new realignment requirements.
The chief probation officer is appointed by the Superior Court which is the same body that removed Forrest Dec. 21 after learning of the federal investigation on suspicion of possessing child pornography. Federal agents served warrants at the Youth Services Center and confiscated computers. The U.S. Postal Service Inspection Service is the lead agency in the investigation which indicates they are looking at material sent through the mail.
On Dec. 31, Forrest resigned effective immediately via paperwork delivered by a family member.
Forrest worked for the San Mateo County Probation Department since November 1977 and was appointed chief in 2009 with a salary of $140,004. He was the second chief in a row to exit under rocky circumstances. Buddress’ watch included a teenage murder defendant escaping from juvenile hall with the help of two other wards and another teenager walking away from a detention camp and was arrested for a subsequent murder.
Remington was named 2004 chief probation officer of the year by the Chief Probation Officers of California and is well-versed in Public Safety Realignment, the 2011 state law mandating certain low-level officers are supervised or housed locally rather than the responsibility of the state.
In his interim position, Remington will be paid $100 per hour on a four-day, 10-hour per day schedule for no more than 960 hours each fiscal year.
He will also receive 40 hours of time off but no other vacation, holiday or sick leave. He will also receive a county-owned vehicle and reimbursed for local housing and transportation costs between here and Ventura County up to $5,000 per month.
Both the county and Remington can terminate the arrangement with 30 days notice.
Michelle Durand can be reached by email: email@example.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.