Norm Wielsch, the disgraced former commander of Contra Costa County’s drug task force, has repeatedly denied that his alleged drug dealing and other acts of corruption ever extended to sex trafficking. But that’s not the story a Concord woman has told to state Department of Justice investigators.
Jodi Simms, 37, told investigators she ran a Pleasant Hill brothel with the approval of Wielsch, then the commander of the multi-agency Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team. He received weekly payments from Simms and protected the business from police raids, Simms said. She also alleges that she and another employee of the business, located in a strip mall on Gregory Lane, met Wielsch at a hotel room. They thanked him for his protection by performing sex acts with him.
Simms’ allegations are outlined in a report in Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle. Simms said she met Wielsch in March 2009 when she was arrested in a prostitution raid at a Walnut Creek home. Wielsch later intervened on her behalf, she said, to have her prostitution charges reduced to a misdemeanor disturbing the peace.
By that time, Simms was also working with the private detective agency run by Wielsch’s alleged partner in crime, Chris Butler. She worked as a decoy in Butler’s infamous private eye schemes that involved attractive women luring cheating husbands into compromising situations. Butler would document these seductions for aggrieved wives who hired him.
Wielsch and Butler have been indicted on federal corruption charges, including allegations that they stole drugs from police evidence lockers to sell on the street. They also face one count of extortion in connection with the alleged brothel.
Simms opened the brothel in the summer of 2009 and said she and the employees would each pay $500 to Wielsch and Butler.