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Racism complaints from 2010 surface about Monterey County Undersheriff appointee

KING CITY, Calif. (KION-TV)- The Monterey County Sheriff's Office is looking to transition with a new regime and put any controversy from the last administration behind them. However, it looks like Sheriff-Elect Tina Nieto's Staff has its own problematic past.

Keith Boyd will serve as Nieto's second in command as her Undersheriff. Boyd has been the Police Chief of King City for the last seven years.

Before that, he was a deputy with Marin County, where he served for over 20 years. In 2013, he had a civil lawsuit filed against him, alleging racism while on the job.

The complaint filed in 2013 alleges that in 2010 a plaintiff heard Boyd say, "get on the ground, you dirty Mexican," while handcuffing a suspect. Another plaintiff alleges Boyd said, "damn Mexicans, now you are going back to your country."

When asked about this complaint, Sheriff-Elect Nieto said: "I hope you would do your homework even more because that’s a summary judgment. Most of the things were dropped by the court. In other words, there was so much evidence that they said this didn’t happen. But they did say no, there's other things that you can go ahead and investigate. And Chief Boyd’s department at that time did investigate, and they also didn’t sustain it and said this didn’t happen."

While many of the summary judgments were granted in Boyd's favor, the racially motivated language allegation was not. The summary judgment was denied against Boyd for allegedly using racially derogatory comments.

The civil complaint said,"connection with Boyd's racial derogatory comments is DENIED."

Further, at the time the court concluded the complaint says, "Notably, Boyd does not deny that he made these derogatory statements. He also does not deny Plaintiffs' version of the arrests.”

Boyd responded to KION's request for an interview about these allegations with a statement. He denied the allegations against him.

 "I value all members of the Monterey County community. 

I look forward to becoming the Undersheriff and serving the community. In regard to a civil lawsuit from my time in Marin County about alleged statements made by me they couldn’t be further from the truth. 

I did not say what is alleged and did not say any comments derogatory about the Latino community.   

I look forward to working with our Latino partners and improving the services for Monterey County.   During my tenure in King City, it has been a priority to engage with the Latino community and increase the relationship between the Latino community and the Police Department."

King City Police Chief Keith Boyd

Boyd's last day as King City Chief of Police will be Dec. 29.

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