July 25, 2016 5:53 PM
REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) — A former Peninsula police officer accused of threatening his rape victims into having sex while he was on duty made his first court appearance Monday.
31-year-old former San Mateo police officer Noah Winchester returned to his San Mateo County jail cell shortly after his brief court appearance. It was his first since being arrested last Thursday morning.
Winchester was only before the judge for a few moments as his attorney asked for proceedings to be delayed in order to become more familiar with the case.
Winchester — who also worked as an officer with the Sacramento Police Department and the Los Rios Community College District police force in Sacramento — faces 22 felony charges including rape and kidnapping for sexual assaults on five different women.
Investigators said he would pull over young women, tell them they did something wrong and he’d arrest them unless they had sex with him.
“They did what we teach people to do, which is follow the directions of a law enforcement officer,” said San Mateo County District Attorney Jim Wagstaffe. “Not knowing that they were about to be victimized by someone who was putting a dark stain on that badge.”
Winchester’s attorney is Michael Raines, a well-known Bay Area defense lawyer. Raines has represented such big-name clients as Barry Bonds during his doping trial and Johannes Mehserle, the BART police officer who shot Oscar Grant, among others.
“Countless times where one witness makes an allegation, others hear about it,” said Raines. “And then we all of a sudden have a flurry of allegations, some of which turn out to be true in some cases. Many times, they turn out to be false.”
Raines specializes in law enforcement defense. There is also a chance that Winchester’s police union may end up assisting in his defense.
If convicted of all of the charges, Winchester could be facing life in prison.
A federal judge sentenced Joseph S. Martin, 20, of Peoria, Arizona, to 96 months in prison, and Christopher J. Heikkila, 21, a U.S. citizen previously residing in Weilerbach, Germany, to seven years in prison for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in Landstuhl, Germany in October 2013, officials, announced Monday.
In September 2015, a jury convicted the men of one count of sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact each.
Court evidence indicated the following:
On Oct. 19, 2013, Martin and Heikkila sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl in Landstuhl while she was incapacitated after they had used social media to specifically target the victim and plan the assault.
At the time, Martin and Heikkila were employees of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service on Ramstein Air Force Base in Ramstein, Germany, as well as dependents of civilian employees of the military, according to trial evidence.
The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act gives U.S. federal courts jurisdiction over felonies committed abroad by certain persons employed by or accompanying the U.S. military, officials said.
FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There was no remorse Thursday from the veteran Neptune, New Jersey police officer who gunned down his wife – the mother of their nine children.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, prosecutors want Philip Seidle either to die in prison or be almost 80 years old when he walks free. He agreed to a plea deal in court Thursday.
The longtime Neptune police sergeant chased his ex-wife’s car into Asbury Park last June, with his 7-year-old daughter riding in his sport-utility vehicle.
Tamara Seidle crashed, and her ex then approached and fired 12 times, killing the mother of their nine children.
He admitted that after the shooting, he sent a text to his children that said, “Your mother is dead because of her actions.’’
On Thursday, prosecutors agreed to a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter in order to spare the children from testifying – a move supported by the oldest Seidle child.
“To avoid further trauma to our family, we have thoughtfully accepted this guilty plea,” said Kirsten Seidle. “My family and I will not be answering any questions.”
Wearing an orange prisoner jumpsuit with his hands shackled in court Thursday, Philip Seidle had a lot to say – hinting that he was driven to act because he was outraged that his wife’s new boyfriend had moved in.
“She had condemned me to my children for three and a half years for being with someone else, and then, I never even introduced my kids to my lady. And now she moves this guy in and replaces me with him, and makes him their father,” Philip Seidle said. “You know, she commits adultery.”
During a standoff with police after the shooting, Seidle texted a friend, “I got tired of Tamara’s (expletive) and shot her.”
“This is, hands down, one of the ugliest cases we’ve seen,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
Gramiccioni called the victim a great, loving light, and said he will refute the ugly comments from the killer when sentencing comes around.
Seidel testified he was with his youngest daughter that day to buy her a dress for a daddy-daughter dance. The nine children are suing various Monmouth County agencies, claiming that given a history of domestic disputes, Seidel shouldn’t have been a police officer and shouldn’t have had a gun.
Prosecutors will ask for 30 years in prison for Seidle. The defense said there are “mitigating circumstances” that justify a shorter term.”
Sentencing is set for August.
A business owner plead guilty this week in federal court to filing false tax returns by recruiting people who had debts, such as home mortgages and car loans, so the debts could be filed as income, according to authorities.
Daniel Heggins and co-conspirator Joan Clark, both of Charlotte, conspired to defraud the federal government by filing false tax returns, officials said.
Sixteen false tax returns claiming more than $4 million in fraudulent refunds were filed with the IRS as part of the scheme, officials said.
According to court documents, Clark and another individual, Marlowe Williams, filed three false tax returns, requesting $900,000 in fraudulent refunds from the IRS and received $601,780, officials said.
Heggins faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
On Nov. 5, Clark, also plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States. She is facing up to five years in prison.
On Nov. 9, Williams of New London, North Carolina, plead guilty to conspiring with Clark to defraud the federal government. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
On Sept. 24, Cheryl Jones of Chicago, Illinois, plead guilty to presenting a materially false document to the IRS. Jones submitted false tax returns to the IRS at the direction of Heggins and Clark. She faces up to a year in prison.
The court has not yet set sentencing dates for any of the defendants.
(May 2015 Channel 9 TV News Report)
BY RAUL HERNANDEZ
What a defendant describes as the “criminalization of dissent” through retaliation by the Oxnard Police Department, prosecutors argued in court that this is simply a case of a community activist getting five jaywalking tickets during a protest march because he was recorded on video violating the law.
The trial of Francisco Romero got underway in Ventura County Superior Court on Monday. Romero was the only protestor to be cited for jaywalking where police testified that there were between 150 to 200 marchers.
Romero claims he was singled out because he was one of the leaders who organized a march on Oct. 13, 2013 to protest the deaths of young men by police in Oxnard: Alfonso Limon Jr and Jose Zepeda in Oct. 13, 2012. Before Limon was killed, Robert Ramirez Jr. died June 2012 under police custody, followed by the slaying of Michael Mahoney in August 2012.
During opening statements in the trial, Romero’s lawyer Jaime Segall Gutierrez, of Whittier, California, told Commissioner Anthony Sabo, who is hearing the case, that Oxnard police are trying to “silence protests” against police slayings in Oxnard.
“Law enforcements attempts in silencing the people’s voices has been in place since the founding of this country,” Gutierrez said.
He said the protest was held after family members of Alfonso Limon contacted Romero’s group to organize a protest.
Prosecutor Jennifer Sihn declined to make opening statements, telling the judge that the prosecution’s evidence will be sufficient. Evidence that includes five video clips that prosecutors allege show Romero leading and directing the crowd during the protest.
Gutierrez subpoenaed Oxnard police officers. Two of them — Jaime Brown and Alex Arnet — also testified Monday.
The case has been in the courts for two years because of stop and start hearings in this case; unrelated and conflicting legal issues involving Commissioner Sabo’s court and other delays.
Officers Miranda and Aragon, who were surveilling the protestors, denied that Romero was singled out because he is a leader.
During the protest march, there were more than 90 Oxnard police officers, including undercover officers, police strike teams and SWAT units, who were assigned to maintain public safety. Police also brought an armored vehicle to the protest in case it was needed, police documents indicate.
Uniformed police including Miranda and Aragon weren’t visible during the two-mile trek, which began at Camino del Sol Park and ended in front of police headquarters, court evidence indicated.
The video recordings show a vocal protest march being lead by Indian dancers. It included children and older participants along with women pushing strollers. People held up small and large signs. Some state: “Killer Cops Off Our Streets,” “No Justice. No Peace,” and “Oppression. Prejudice. Destruction.”
The protest was peaceful. There were no arrests or traffic citations issued other than the five jaywalking tickets given to Romero.
A briefing was held by the Oxnard Police Department before the Oct. 13, 2013 March where a “March for Justice Incident Action Plan” was given to officers.
On Oct. 22, following the protest, the Oxnard Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit held a meeting and surveillance video was reviewed for violations. A memorandum was written about the protest march.
Romero was the only person who officers said they could identify among the protestors. Subsequently, a letter dated Oct. 29, 2013 was sent to his house that stated that he was being issued five jaywalking violations.
Romero claims the tickets, which total $1,000 in fines, were given in retaliation for protesting against the Oxnard Police Department. He said the city of Oxnard has spent thousands of dollars in an “attempt to criminalize dissent. An attempt to silence the people who have lost fear in resisting, struggling and standing up” for their constitutional rights.
Romero, who is one of the leaders with the organiztion Todo Poder al Pueblo, once ran for the Oxnard City Council and got 7,000 votes.
Police have testified that the video recording proves that Romero was involved in leading the crowd to commit jaywalking that stopped traffic, including temporary blocking Oxnard boulevard while protestors crossed the busy street when the traffic light was green.
Miranda testified that he and Aragon were in a vehicle surveilling the protestors, saying that he identified Romero and two family members of Robert Ramirez.
Miranda said he included these names in his police report but doesn’t know why the two other protestors weren’t given jaywalking citations.
He said he gave the police report to his superior Arnet. Miranda said he doesn’t know why Arnet only chose to give jaywalking tickets to Romero.
“Did you ask,” Gutierrez said.
“No,” Miranda replied.
Miranda said his review of the video doesn’t change his opinion that Romero was jaywalking
Aragon said he was in the vehicle with Miranda but at one pointed got out of the vehicle and stood on the Third Street bridge to video record. He said he didn’t know who Romero was until Miranda told him.
“He just appeared to be one of the leaders,” Aragon testified.
He denied that they were targeting Romero or that they had been told by superiors to do so.
Aragon said police officers were trying to provide security for the march and keep people safe.
Officer Brown Takes the Stand
Officer Jaime Brown said he mailed the Oct. 29 letter to Romero after a “careful review” of the videos showed Romero “helping people across the street,” waving his hands and “standing guard” during the protest march.
“Did it look like my client was helping keep safe the marchers?” Gutierrez said, noting one video.
“Yes,” Brown replied.
He said he had been a police officer in Oxnard for 18 years when the oct. 13, 2013 protest took place. He said there were about 200 marchers.
“I didn’t know who Romero was. I couldn’t ID anybody,” said Brown.
Brown said his letter stated that Romero was jaywalking in a protest along with “organizing, leading and directing.”
Brown said there were safety concerns for the participants and motorists who were on the roads where the protests were occurring. He said if a motorist wasn’t paying attention, a protestor could have been killed.
Officer Alex Arnett testified that he was the supervisor of the Mobile Surveillance Unit . He said seven police officers were assigned to that unit to work on the protest march. He said he reviewed Miranda’s police report with three names on it including Romero’s name.
“Did you notice the names on the report?” Gutierrez said.
“I don’t recall that,” he replied.
Arnett said he drafted the letter that Brown reviewed and signed.
Arnett said other people in the report weren’t given traffic tickets because of the “totality of the situations” and that Romero organized, directed and lead the protestors.
The Limon and Ramirez Deaths
The city of Oxnard has had to pay millions to settle one wrongful death lawsuit, and most recently, a federal jury ruled against Oxnard in another wrongful death suit.
In June, a federal jury awarded the family of Robert Ramirez $2.9 million as damages as a result of a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the Oxnard Police Department.
Ramirez died while under police custody and after ingesting methamphetamine. The county medical examiner determined that the cause of death was homicide by asphyxiation.
The shooting of Alfonso Limon resulted in the city of Oxnard having to pay $6.7 million to settle the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Limon’s family which is the largest wrongful death settlement for the city of Oxnard.
Witnesses saw police shooting Alfonso Limon several times and frantically yelled at police to stop because he was unarmed. A witness recorded the incident through a cell phone camera.
The trial resumes at 1:30 on Tuesday.
BY RAUL HERNANDEZ
Before Hillary’s emails were taken hostage by political gasbags, and Edward Snowden left the country with a computer full of National Security Agency’s surveillance program’s secrets, Ventura County resident Jack Futoran got a jaw-dropping package.
It was from the U.S. Navy, and inside were a stack of secrets.
Jack expected the package but not the classified information or a list of several pages with federal employee names and Social Security numbers.
Navy officials sent Jack what he requested: a 2008 investigative report that strongly recommended that Jack’s client, Gary Biggers and others never have access to military classified information.
The Navy’s report stated that under Biggers’ watch there was a slew of security lapses that the report’s author called “lax” and “dangerous.” The unclassified report strongly recommended that at least three employees, including Biggers, be stripped of their security clearances.
Jack, who had not yet retired as a lawyer, has always denied these allegations.
Noting that Biggers was an engineer who worked 31 years with the engineering command. He had also been named its engineer of the year.
Biggers hired Jack Futoran to clear his name, and get his reputation back along with the pay he lost during his suspension.
Accused of not following rules, the Navy suspended Biggers, of Ventura, a security manager for the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center at Port Hueneme in 2008 after 10 months on the job.
“On a very basic level, Mr. Biggers has simply failed to ensure his employees performed their jobs in compliance with established security directives,” the report stated, adding that Biggers failed to recognize and correct “significant deficiencies” in the program, the Navy told Jack.
Biggers had said he was trained for the security manager position for two weeks, that he was not a security expert and that he was never provided with the expertise to do his job. He said the report’s author never even bothered to talk to him during his investigation.
The Newspaper Story
The story gets even better.
When Futoran told me what happened, I was very skeptical but by the time he finished telling the story I thought this was another defense lawyer trying to put a happy face on his client’s legal dilemma.
After I started asking questions, the Navy became tight-lipped. The no comments soon rained down.
“I am not commenting on any of it,” Darrell Waller, spokesman for the engineering center, had said.
Waller cited ongoing litigation and personnel issues as reasons for not commenting on the report or the information released with it.
Before we published the story, Navy officials showed up at the newsroom. They had asked to talk to the Ventura County Star editors, the managers and myself, and were very concerned about whether we had any copies of Navy classified information or the employee list.
They politely asked if the newspaper had any secrets or the list.
No, I said with a smile. I asked why they didn’t pick up the classified information and list when Jack Futoran called the base right after he got the package. No comment. A few more questions. No comment, citing, again, the ongoing investigation.
The less they spoke the more my built-in BS detector went haywire. I knew the boys who operate the America’ s nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines were in CYA mode.
Come Pick Up This Secret Stuff
“These people deal with some extremely sensitive stuff,” Futoran had said. “I immediately closed that (document),” and he told Biggers, “You can’t have this. I can’t have this.”
Navy officials told Jack they’d be at his law office shortly.
But for 18 months, despite letters and calls, nobody showed up to get them, Futoran said. So, Biggers rented a safe deposit box at a Ventura bank for $75 a year to store the documents marked “Secret” and “Top Secret.”
Futoran had called and talked to James Dobbins, an attorney in the engineering center’s legal department because the package had been mailed from there.
Futoran said Dobbins wanted to follow Navy guidelines and reported the security violations to higher ups or the FBI, but that Dobbins’ boss disagreed and wanted to bury the incident.
Two weeks later, Dobbins finally succeeded in reporting the security breach to Navy commanders, shortly after, Dobbins was relieved of further duties in the legal department, Futoran said.
Dobbins declined to comment for the 2010 Ventura County Star newspaper story, saying he has pending litigation against the engineering center. He was moved to the Navy base as a human resource specialist.
The Chinese stole the names of 22 million employees along with Social Security numbers and other personal information, it underscored how the federal government protects its computer system from attacks.
The New York Times published a story about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails stating that she was under criminal investigation. The New York Times story was incorrect. But the right-wing called for former U.S. Secretary of State Clinton to be indicted and put in prison for playing loose with the nation’s secrets.
It’s a political year.
Questions and accusations about the emails have dogged Clinton. She refused to apologize, saying she did nothing wrong.
She finally said: “That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility.”
Clinton recently told this to ABC’s David Muir in an interview on “World News Tonight.”
Noting that she kept a personal server because everybody else – Democratic and Republic secretaries of state did the same thing. She said she has never received or sent classified material, adding that the State Department had no problems with her and others using personal servers.
The State Department’s Email Policy
The State Department’s policy that allowed the use of personal servers to store confidential letters, memos, notes, musings and diplomatic correspondence was irresponsible and put the nation in a very precarious situation.
As it existed, a secretary of state or another federal employee were authorized to use personal servers along with being able to hire a high school geek to go to Radio Shack, buy a server and set up an email account at Hotmail.com.
Having problems with the personal server?
Call the Geek Squad or the neighbor’s kid who is a computer wiz to come and check it out.
Now, the State Department admitted that there were documents sent to Hillary that should have been classified as sensitive and Top Secret.
Fast-Forward Seven Years.
I recently caught up with Jack and his dog “Shadow” at Starbucks in Ventura to talk about the Navy stories, Hillary’s emails and what the federal government is doing to safeguard America’s secrets.
Jack said he is still disappointed at what happened to Gary Biggers, insisting that his client was merely a scapegoat to cover the Navy’s lackadaisical and flippant manner in handling of secrets and employee confidential information. He described the Navy engineering department as the “gang that couldn’t shoot straight.”
He said the FBI should have immediately gone to his office within 24 hours as the rules require to take the classified information along with the employee list.
“They didn’t do any of this,” said Futoran.
Adding that it was years later before they notified federal employers that a list of their names and Social Security numbers had been mailed out.
Futoran maintains that there is a lot of political finger pointing, grandstanding and trying to put up as many political points as possible instead of trying to find ways to better secure America’s secrets. conceding that it appears that not much has been done to plug up these huge security holes.
The Story Never Got A lot of Ink
The story the Ventura County Star published was titled: “Employee says he got little training in security”
Nobody in the media picked it up with one exception — a blog in the Washington Post.
I wonder why? Maybe, it was because it wasn’t a political year.
But after more than 30 years as a journalist, the answer becomes more clear on where much of the media in recent years has focused its shrinking resources and time when I watched the GOP debates on Wednesday.
As Donald Trump walked through the hallways of the Ronald Reagan Museum, he was followed by a flock of reporters, cameramen and photographers elbowing to get better video, photographs or close enough to ask questions, hoping Trump would pull a gem out of his ass so it can be splashed on the front page or make the p.m. television sound bites.
(UPDATED: MAY 26: So far, Ventura County has paid the Cerritos-based law firm of Atkinson Andelson Loya Rudd and Romo more than $2.3 million in legal costs for representing the county and the District Attorney’ Office in the Joseph Cipollini and Mark Volpei lawsuits, Chuck Pode, the county’s risk manager stated in an email on Tuesday.
The $2.3 million breaks down like this: So far, paid $1.7 million for legal costs for the Cipollini case, and $642,271 for legal work on the Volpei case, Pode stated. No further payments are expected on the Volpei case, Pode stated.
Also Attorney Alan E. Wisotsky, of Oxnard, was paid $69,204 for his law firm’s work in the Volpei case. Wisotsky was fired after the Velasquez case. The county hired Atkinson Andelson Loya Rudd and Romo to handle the Volpei case.
BY RAUL HERNANDEZ
Last month, the county agreed to pay former DA investigator Joseph Cipollini $750,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit against the DA.
In August, the county also agreed to pay another DA investigator Mark Volpei $850,000 to settle his retaliation lawsuit.
In both settlement agreements, the county and the District Attorney’s Office admitted no wrongdoing.
Five former DA investigators filed separate lawsuits against Ventura County, the District Attorney’s Office, naming as individual defendants, District Attorney Greg Totten along with other current and past DA employees.
The lawsuits allege retaliation or discrimination or both.
In addition to the financial damages from the lawsuits, the Board of Supervisors approved millions of dollars in payments for legal and court costs to defend the five lawsuits.
In a lawsuit filed in 2011, Cipollini alleged that the District Attorney’s Office retaliated against him after he became involved in three cases involving DA investigators who alleged discrimination or retaliation or both against the DA’s Office in 2008. Cipollini gave a desposition in former DA investigator Tammy Schwitzer’s sexual discrimination lawsuit.
Also Cipollini gave depositions in former DA investigator Robert Velasquez’s retaliation and harassment lawsuit and in former DA investigator Leslie Robertson’s sexual discrimination lawsuit
A judge later dismissed Schweitzer’s lawsuit, and Robertson dropped her suit.
Three years ago, a jury awarded Velasquez $1.3 million as damages for retaliation, The Ventura County Star reported
According to the Settlement agreement document in the Cipollini, the plaintiffs and defendants agreed not to discuss the terms of the agreement, why the case was finally settled after four years of litigation or how the monetary damage – approved by the County Board of Supervisors – was reached?
Also in the Volpei case, the county agreed to a similar nondisclosure clause in the settlement agreement.
Millions in Legal, Settlements and Court Costs
American Justice Notebook reported in December that Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved payments of millions dollars in settlement money, as payment on the Velasquez jury award and for ongoing legal costs to defend the lawsuits.
In December, the legal costs and fees alone incurred by Ventura County for hiring two law firm to represent it and the District Attorney’s Office total $2.4 million, according to information provided to American Justice by Ventura County Risk Manager Chuck Pode.
Attorney Edward C. Ho, whose Cerritos-California based law firm Atkinson Andelson Loya Rudd and Romo represented the county, declined to comment this week. He said he is “bound” by the terms of the agreement not to talk about the Cipollini settlement or the case.
He said he got a copy of the written settlement in mid-May.
Calls to Cipollini’s lawyer Mark Pachowicz were not returned.
Plaintiffs and Defendants and Nondisclosure
In both of these settlements, the legal language states that disclosure of the terms of the settlement by the plaintiffs or defendants, except as required by law, would be considered a breach.
In addition, the settlements state that Cipollini and Volpei must destroy or return documents, including files, emails, reports, memoranda and correspondence belonging to the county.
The settlement agreements state that if anyone asks: “How the action was resolved?” The response must be the following: “The matter was resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties” or “words of similar import.”
Questions Remain Unanswered About Volpei’s Allegations
Specifically, Volpei accused high ranking officials – Totten, Former District Attorney Michael Bradbury, former Oxnard Police Chief Crombach and Ventura County supervisors with the Public Guardian’s Office – of unethical, unprofessional and possibly “criminal behavior.”
In his Case Management Conference Order submitted to the court and dated April 30, 2014, Volpei makes specific and serious accusations.
But in a court filing on May 14, 2014, Volpei alleged that a “reliable confidential informant” told him that in 2001 the ex-girlfriend of then District Attorney Bradbury was leaking confidential information about the investigation of the Hell’s Angels to its president, George Christie, who was facing felony drug charges.
Pachowicz, a former county prosecutor, and then county prosecutor Jeffrey Bennett were assigned to the Hells Angels criminal case in 2001.
The May 11 court document further states: “Volpei reported the information directly to D.A. Mike Bradbury. Mr. Bradbury told Volpei to document the information in a memorandum and provide it to the Chief Deputy of the Bureau of Investigation, Gary Auer, and Volpei complied with that request.”
“On May 31, 2001, Gary Auer sent an email to Volpei on another matter, but commented in the email that ‘by the way,’ he had received two memorandums from Volpei regarding the confidential informant, and had forwarded them on to the Chief Assistant District Attorney Greg Totten, and Michael Schwartz, a Senior Deputy District Attorney.”
Additionally, the court document states: “Volpei questioned and disputed his supervisors as the propriety and legality of withholding information and manipulating events in the Hell’s Angels case and other cases and the potential that such conduct could be viewed as unethical and criminal.”
“Rather than addressing Volpei’s concerns, his supervisors retaliated against him by revoking his transfer to the Forensic Lab, removing his high-profile homicide cases, and other diminishing his job duties,” Volpei stated in his document.
Public Guardian’s Office
In addition, the document states that Volpei was ordered to limit his investigation of the Public Guardian’s Office or PGO. During the course of his three-year investigation, Volpei’s found missing client finance files, court-ordered accounting that was left out and hundreds of thousands of dollars were missing, the court documents states.
He insisted on a comprehensive audit of the estate of the conservatives under the Public Guardian’s control. His recommendations were disregarded and he was ordered to limit his investigation, court documents indicate.
“Volpei was ordered by D.A. Greg Totten not to investigate the PGO, but to only go after the ‘low-hanging-fruit’ – that is, only two lower level employees,” the court document states.
Former Oxnard Police Chief
Volpei alleged in his Case Management Conference Order that former Police Chief John Crombach was allegedly having sexual relations with Michelle Garcia, an alleged female criminal defendant that Crombach’s department investigated for fraud.
The Garcia case was sent to the district attorney by the Oxnard Police Department for possible prosecution.
It was assigned to Volpei for further investigative work.
Volpei maintains that the Garcia case findings along with two other separate and unrelated investigations resulted in cover-ups and threats against him.
Thefts and Mismanagement
Pachowicz represented one of the defendants in the Public Guardian case.
“During the course of trial preparation, Volpei witnessed County Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Wise coaching prosecution witnesses with answers he wanted to solicited at trial,” a court document states.
Pachowicz called Volpei to testify about the “improper tactics” of Wise, the court document states.
After testifying, the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation’s Assistant Chief Glen Kitzmann and “the management of the D.A.” were upset with him. Volpei claims he was transferred from the Financial Crimes Unit to oversea the Subpoena Unit, even though he had received training related to financial crimes, according to court documents.
In 2008, Volpei states he sought medical treatment for a shoulder injury. After shoulder surgery, Volpei stated that he tried to return to work. He was aware that others with similar disabilities were accommodated.
Volpei claims he was forced to quit his job in 2010 after the harassment became unbearable and no accommodations were made for a work-related injury, the lawsuit states. He began working with the DA’s office in 1994.