Opinion: Exit of undersheriff didn’t come with much warning


Daily Post Editor

San Mateo County’s sheriff’s deputies didn’t get much advance notice that the No. 2 person in the department, Undersheriff Chris Hsiung, was leaving on Friday. 

“The timing of this news came as a shock and surprise to the board, although we had heard rumors that this might be coming at some point,” Ephraim Cheever, vice president of the deputies union board, said in an email to his members. 

“We are deeply saddened by this change, as Chris was a big supporter of our organization, our union, and us as employees.”

“We know that with morale being incredibly low, this uncertainty and change makes morale go even lower,” Cheever said in the email. “There are many questions that we need to ask as a union — why did this happen? What strategic changes will occur as a result? Are any other changes coming that we need to know about?”

Sheriff Christina Corpus isn’t giving interviews — despite promising an “open door” in her election campaign. 

But in an email to sheriff’s employees on Friday, Corpus said: “As of this morning, I have made a significant leadership change within our office. After careful consideration, Undersheriff Chris Hsiung and I have come to the understanding that it is best for the organization to go in different directions.”

Hsiung isn’t giving interviews either, but he is taking the high road on his LinkedIn page, praising Corpus and the employees of the sheriff’s office.

It’s worth noting that Hsiung’s replacement won’t be coming from the sheriff’s office. Instead she’s hired San Francisco Deputy Chief Dan Perea.

I’m struck by the fact that Corpus didn’t feel anybody in her department was right for the job. She’s been sheriff since January 2023, so you’d think she would have had time to train employees so that they would be able to move up to the command team. Effective leaders are good trainers and coaches. Her handling of the Hsiung case suggests she could benefit from some training on how to do her job.  

Editor Dave Price’s column appears on Mondays in the Daily Post.


  1. Dave, I don’t think Hsiung got much advanced warning either. The unions, command staff, and deputies learned of his departure when they opened their emails that Friday morning. The Sheriff and Victor had been shopping for his replacement behind his back. Now the sheriff is prancing around making it seem like she fired him. A Sheriff we can trust…..lol

  2. Thank you for the editorial. There is no doubt Victor Aenlle had a lot to do with the way in which Chris Hsiung left. It is clear Chris Hsiung is much smarter, has more class, integrity and is a better leader than Corpus and Aenlle. Chris Hsiung has proven he puts people first and lives by service before self. The Sheriff and Aenlle can’t follow their own motto’s. The Sheriff should have taken the time to learn from Chris Hsiung but she does not trust many and has failed again. Corpus has not lived up to her campaign promises and is not a Sheriff that can be trusted. Wishing the best to Chris Hsiung.

  3. No cop, past or present, would ubruptly say goodbye to his job, especially one having a generous benefits & compensation package that. applied together, exceeds $400K a year, without giving ample prior notice to his superiors. And Fridays are always the traditional day of the week for firings. No, voters & taxpayers haven’t read the full sordid story, yet. The blue wall of silence is an obstacle here, like everywhere.

  4. Sheriff Clueless Corpus is delivering exactly what many of us expected. As the Sheriff says, “It’s always someone else’s fault.” This will be the worst Sheriff’s Administration in the history of San Mateo County in my lifetime and I go back to Sheriff Earl B. Whitmore.

  5. Corpus is a fool to believe that by hiding from the press and public, she can coverup why she hired Aenlle and why Hsiung left the department. The truth will come out. The newspaper could connect the dots, or it could come out in court or maybe the county executive could get to the bottom it.

  6. One more thing. The San Mateo County sheriff is once again cooperating with ICE. Remember how that was her major issue in the election. But it’s happening again. When prisoner’s are released, ICE officers are right outside of the jail looking to arrest them, after being tipped off by Corpus’ team. The Hispanic groups who backed Corpus ought to ask her why she flip-flopped.

  7. So in less than 18 month, two female captains, a female manager, and the undersheriff have left. Maybe Corpus should change her motto to “Aenlle before others”??

  8. Sheriff Corpus has destroyed morale at her agency by hiring command and executive staff members from outside the sheriffs office. Both Undersheriff Hsiung and Perea came from outside agencies and neither have the corrections and court security experience that is so important to the effective management of SMSO. She also went outside to hire Assistant Sheriff Monahan who also had no Sheriffs office experience. She again went outside the agency to hire Captain Fox, the husband of her campaign manager (can you say pay for play) and Captain Phillips, her friend and someone that didn’t meet the basic job requirements.

    [Portion deleted, terms of use violation — claims of this nature require verification.]

    That totals six senior positions that loyal and well qualified Sheriffs employees were unable to promote to. Corpus is the worst law enforcement leader in the history of the county and Aenlle’s only qualification is that he is a wannabe cop. This is shameful. The citizens of our county deserve better

  9. It was so disheartening to see Chris Hsuing leave the Sheriff’s Office. It was clearly a decision made by Sheriff Corpus’ appointee, Victor Aenlle Chief of Administration.

    [Portion removed, terms of service violation. Please don’t allege facts that aren’t proven. If you have a particular individual’s pre-employment job test, or other items from their personnel file, please bring it to the Daily Post, 385 Forest Ave., Palo Alto, CA.]

    As Corpus’ campaign manager, he miraculously became Chief, not a position that ever existed, and certainly not one offered for promotions from within.

    [Portion removed — we have no proof of facts claimed. Opinions are OK, but facts have to be verified.]

    His disapproval of the bond Undersheriff Chris Hsuing had earned with the line staff was a threat and clearly had everything to do with Hsuing’s departure. This is a horseless carriage leading what was once a respected department. For Corpus to be crying at the Board of Supervisor meeting of February 2023, begging people to continue to believe in her has fallen on deaf ears. It is safe to say not many left believing in you now. What Corpus has done has destroyed the morale and reputation of what was once one of the most highly respected departments in the state. No doubt Assistant Sheriff Ryan Monaghan might be the next one to jump ship, and there are 5 more elected years remaining to continue this downward spiral. The big question is, how did the County Manager allow this?

  10. If you really want to help, write a column asking people to come forward with the truth and provide an anonymous email that people can provide information to. That way people aren’t scared to come forward. People are scared to give information because there is a bigger corrupt truth being hidden. The law suits are coming snd investigations happening. The truth must be exposed before more corruption unravels. When you smell a rat there must be a rat, and a rat family! Let’s exposure what really is happening and why the Sherrif is allowing thsi to happen. Why she isn’t running her office with honesty, morals and values. Let’s expose how she blindsided her office snd what value she found so quickly to replace the under sheriff and allow a respected employee to walk away. Why not hold interviews for such an important job and what corruption is this new under Sheriff going to help pull through. Let’s expose the truth . City council needs to open an investigation and help save the County from the bad apples. Why is rhe Sheriff so weak, allowing her CEO to belittle her and make decisions that are immoral. What is really going on? Why is the Sheriff ignoring the obvious issue and bringing down her department? Likely bringing down her family too. The new Under Sheriff was not respected enough to promote beyond or even make it far in outside agency interviews- ask around. He is obviously in on this new corrupt vision. San Mateo County should be scared. The little weak chief officer needs to be exposed for what he really is and how the Sheriff allowed herself to do this. Ask for transparency and get the real truth, please. Ask!

  11. There are 23 city councils in San Mateo County. Which one are you are you talking about? Since when do cities investigate county sheriffs?

  12. How did Victor Aenlle, with only two years of reserve deputy experience, get to be on the sheriff’s command staff?

    Is this the usual way top level law enforcement officers are hired?

  13. So look at the Sheriff’s Office Instagram page. Doctor Aenlle is wearing a badge and a gun and a cowboy hat. He is not qualified to wear any of them. He is not a functioning reserve deputy and his Chief of “Shaft” position is a civilian post. Looks like we might have a crime going on here????

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