46-year-old Ingrid Braun sees a disconnect between the Mono Sheriff’s Department and the communities they serve. “It’s an us versus them mentality,” she said. Braun hopes her run for Sheriff will change that. The former LAPD Lieutenant and current Mammoth Reserve Officer said she came to the decision to run for office reluctantly.
Officer Braun said she did not accept the idea of running for Mono County Sheriff easily or even voluntarily. Braun said she thought about it earlier and dismissed the idea, but then, she said, she was contacted by many people throughout the County – leaders and others who asked her to run. After talking with family and friends, she decided she would take on Sheriff Ralph Obenberger. Braun said without a challenger, there would be “no forced discussion. There has been a lot of talk” she said, “but not a lot of answers.”
Braun declined to make personal comments about Sheriff Obenberger, but she did say, “It’s time for a change in leadership and how the Sheriff’s Department interacts with local people and tourists.” Braun said she believes there is a disconnect between the Sheriff’s Department and the community it serves. Braun said she heard feedback on what has been described as Sheriff Obenberger’s defensive response to questions from County Supervisors about his saturation patrol in August. Braun concluded that “the Supervisors were just doing their jobs.” She also made it clear her Department would enforce the law but have more involvement within the community and less on Highway 395.
Since she announced, Braun said the feedback has been “really enthusiastic.” One of her supporters, she said, is former Mono Sheriff Digger Wilson. Braun now spends time on organization of her campaign and collection of signatures. She said, “I have about 100 signatures in less than a week. I’m talking to Supervisors, former Supervisors, community leaders and others.”
Braun worked for the Mono Sheriff’s Office briefly as a deputy. Obenberger terminated her a week before her probationary period ended. He told Braun it was best for the “big picture.” He declined to comment to us at the time. Sources have said the Sheriff is now telling some people that he ended Braun’s job because of three mishaps with her patrol car. Braun admitted she is “not the best off-road driver. She said, “I’m better at driving in the snow now. Nobody’s perfect. Deputies do have crashes. It happens a lot when covering 3300 square miles.”
Braun has 21 years under her belt as a Los Angeles Police Officer with experience as a watch commander, head of a gang narcotics’ unit, an investigator and supervisor of an Internal Affairs Unit and other tasks. She retired as a Lieutenant.