Home News California correctional officer union paid $2.3 million for its president’s home

California correctional officer union paid $2.3 million for its president’s home

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the union that represents state prison officers, recently purchased a home in Elk Grove, seen on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. The home sold for $2,300,000 on Feb. 25.

Wes Venteicher, Darrell Smith

The Sacramento Bee

The union representing California state correctional officers spent $2.3 million early this year to buy a 5-acre Elk Grove property with a four-bedroom house, a swimming pool and two large warehouses, according to Sacramento County records, an online listing and union representatives.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association bought the property in February, but many of the union’s members learned of it Friday, when a law enforcement-focused Instagram account spotlighted the purchase after the union’s board of directors discussed it at a meeting in Sacramento.

Some people commenting on the social media post questioned using union dues to buy the property. Others wondered whether members would be able to visit.

CCPOA President Glen Stailey on Tuesday declined an interview request through spokesman Nathan Ballard, but said in an email provided by Ballard that the property would be used for “warehouse space, for union-related functions, for political events, and for employee offsite training.”

The union, headquartered in West Sacramento, is the second-largest California state employee union by membership, representing about 27,000 officers. It has been a powerhouse in state politics for decades, helping secure the best pay for correctional officers in the country and shielding its members from strict COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Stailey said the Elk Grove purchase originated with a search for warehouse space, and that “during the process we realized that a multi-use space like this would be a better fit for the union’s needs.”

The property was listed for sale Jan. 27. The listing was removed Feb. 13, with the sale closing Feb. 25, according to Zillow. The union’s board approved the purchase, Stailey said in the email.

Stailey, who is from Visalia but spends much of his time in Sacramento, will live in the main house on the property most of the time, Ballard said.

Elk Grove house

The stone-and-wood house, located on Bond Road near Crowell Drive in east Elk Grove, is 4,975 square feet, with four bedrooms, five-and-a-half baths, a breakfast nook and a formal dining room, according to Zillow.

Built in 1981, it was formerly owned by community fixtures Jeanne and Jerry Strong. Jerry Strong, whose family traces its ranching roots in the area to the mid-1800s, died in 2017 at 80.

The house is surrounded by the trappings of a horse ranch, with pens and sheds and green-painted stables. Rows of olive trees line its driveway and stands of old-growth pistachio dot the yard, where there’s a swimming pool with a waterslide and a diving board. Nearby are a walk-in box car and caboose.

Two warehouses provide about 7,500 square feet of storage, and there’s a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment above one of the warehouses where another union official is living, Ballard said.

Ballard said the union was looking to replace storage space it leases for $8,000 a month that had been broken into several times. The union needs the space for event supplies including a wheeled barbecue, trailers, tables and chairs along with two trucks, a large van, a fork lift and boxes of records, Ballard said.

The warehouses will also include a “workshop space to make awards, plaques, and commemorative items for members who are being recognized for achievements,” Stailey said in the email. “It’s a labor of love.”

The union pays for travel and accommodations for its elected board members to come to Sacramento for contract negotiations with the state, board meetings and other union business.

The organization owns two homes in Natomas that are used by union officials who regularly work in Sacramento. It has been renting five others at a total cost of $140,000 per year, Ballard said.

Since Stailey and the second union leader moved into the Elk Grove house, the union has relinquished two of those leases, reducing rental costs to $90,000, Ballard said. The organization also plans to relinquish the remaining leases and to accommodate traveling union officials in the main Elk Grove house, he said.

CCPOA union dues

The union’s members pay $109 per month in dues after a recent small increase. Members also contribute one hour of vacation time per year to the union. Through an arrangement with the state, union leaders convert those hours to paid time off from prison jobs to conduct union business.

CCPOA’s revenue was about $34 million last year, according to budget documents. Its tax-exempt status — under IRS code 501(c)(5) — requires it to provide benefits to its members. Unlike the more common 501(c)(3), it’s not a public charity.

Eric Gorovitz, an attorney specializing in nonprofit tax law at San Francisco-based law firm Adler and Colvin, said there’s nothing categorically wrong with a mutual benefit corporation buying property.

“On its face it’s not obviously improper for a 501(c)(5) organization to own property and even a residence,” Gorovitz said. “The question is what money were they using, and for what purpose did they make the purchase. And members have standing to ask that question.”

©2022 The Sacramento Bee. Visit sacbee.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here