Cops investigated for crimes in small LA-area city
Officials say a former sergeant and two current officers from the tiny Southern California city of Irwindale are under criminal investigation.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Sacramento Bee Newspaper.
#1 Feb 26, 2013
Don't forget about their Lieutenant who is also being investigated!
Ex-Irwindale police cadet charges sexual harassment by lieutenant
Woman's lawsuit says Lt. Mario Camacho pressured her to accept his advances in exchange for favorable treatment at work and a reduced rate on a rental condo.
January 03, 2013 | Los Angeles Times
A cadet who said she was sexually harassed and later forced to quit has sued the Irwindale Police Department, the second lawsuit in six months to question the behavior of a high-ranking police lieutenant
Both lawsuits filed against the agency name Lt. Mario Camacho. In July, Officer Rudy Campos filed a federal lawsuit alleging that he didn't get overtime and received negative performance evaluations after he voted against a contract provision Camacho favored. That case is pending.
The most recent complaint, filed Dec. 11 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Camacho sexually harassed Alma Chavez, a non-sworn police cadet who started working with the department in 2008. She alleged that Camacho held her hand, kissed her and groped her while they were on duty, sometimes in his office or city-owned car.
Initially, she rebuffed his advances, but gave in when he created "a hostile work environment," according to the lawsuit. When Chavez accepted Camacho's advances, he promised her a full-time permanent position with the city.
Camacho "would be really mean to her and make it difficult for her at work, but when she accepted the advances he was really nice to her," said Brandi Harper, a lawyer representing Chavez and Campos. "When she started, she was 19 years old, her dream was to be a police officer and he knew it."
Irwindale Police Chief Dennis Smith referred questions to attorney Jeffrey Thompson, who is representing the department in both lawsuits. He declined to comment on any specifics.
"The city takes these type of matters very seriously and believes it has done nothing wrong in this case," Thompson said. "We will be defending it aggressively."
During Chavez's more than four years of employment at the Irwindale Police Department, Camacho gave her gift cards worth hundreds of dollars at Victoria's Secret and Forever 21, as well as a Tiffany's bracelet and Louis Vuitton purse, according to court records..
In an October deposition, Camacho didn't deny that he gave her gifts and admitted kissing and holding Chavez's hand while they were on duty because they "were close friends."
He said he also lent her money and rented Chavez a condo he owned at below-market value to help her out, but later asked her to move out when he discovered someone else was staying there and not paying rent.
In the lawsuit, Chavez said that she felt forced to quit and that Camacho was upset because she was living at the condo with her boyfriend. He allegedly called her into a meeting and told her, "I can't stand working with you anymore, this meeting will be your two weeks' notice."
She submitted a resignation letter after that meeting, according to the complaint.
Thompson declined to say whether Camacho had been disciplined or placed on administrative leave.
#2 Feb 28, 2013
Help the Victim.
She cant keep her own legs closed ,, Did she give those gifts back.
Why didn't she file a complaint before the gifts and money. She is NO victim.
There was a investigation and it was determined that NO crime occurred
#3 Mar 2, 2013
It took me a while to read all these posts and get a clear picture of what is going on n irwindale . I have some.advice 4 u. U must stop participating n a pissing war with other posters. It really makes u look as bad as them. To b most efective I sugest u create a new topic with key words for search windows in mind. Post tbe facts and use news stories when ever posible. They are most credible. Always respond by coping the same facts. This is most efective in getting the fact out to new visiters and your friends can help u keep the topics on top nd the facts frlm being buried. Good luck and keep up the good work.
#4 Mar 2, 2013
Thanks for the advise, I will give it a try It makes since. Thanks
#7 Mar 3, 2013
I want to thank you again. I want to keep the light shinning on the facts of the corruption. I had not realized that the news stories were buried so far back. I think its great that Breceda's family is keeping it currant and right on top of the blogs.
#8 Mar 3, 2013
All I care about is exposing you as the corrupt yet vengeful person you are. You have no morals due to your exsesive double standards. As I have stated before, all you have privided was opinion. Were you there ? Do you have first hand knowledge. The true answer is no. You create misleading information twisted to your benifit. Do I really need to keep posting about your criminal record, lack of business knowledge or carelessness of public safety?
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