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Third Paso Robles cop files claim against city

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Another cop has filed a grievance with the city of Paso Robles, relating to the actions of former police chief Lisa Solomon.

According to former officer David Hernandez, he sped twice in 12 hours while performing his police duties in September 2011. For this breach of protocol, he was put on administrative leave for three months. In late December, Solomon reportedly told him that he would be suspended for 14 days and wouldn’t be allowed to return to work until he underwent a psychological evaluation to determine whether he was mentally fit for duty—because of the speeding.

Hernandez quit instead.

In his claim, Hernandez alleges that the actions taken against him were done in retaliation for his work as president of the Police Officers Association (POA), a collective bargaining unit that represents cops and dispatchers in Paso Robles. Hernandez alleges that city leaders were asking patrol officers to forego scheduled raises, so he filed public records requests to see if higher ups had also opted out of their raises. He said he found that they were receiving money from a deferred compensation account to mitigate the loss from foregone raises, information he used to negotiate a better contract for POA. He said sergeants in the department warned him that his actions had angered the chief.

City Manager Jim App told New Times only that the claim is still under review. Cities typically reject such claims, and the next step would be for Hernandez to file a lawsuit. Damages aren’t specified in the claim, but would include lost income, attorney fees, and compensation for emotional distress.

After filing the claim July 5, Hernandez joins the ranks of officer Jon Tatro, who filed a lawsuit claiming unfair retaliation for his attempts to bring an alleged ticket quota operation to light, and former Sgt. Brennan Lux, who is suing the city for alleged sexual harassment from Solomon, unfair retaliation, and a hostile work environment.

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