UCSB Police Department Embroiled in Lawsuits as Fourth is Filed
UC Police Station on UC Santa Barbara's campus
By edhat staff
A fifth UC Police Department (UCPD) officer at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) has filed a lawsuit against the department, making it the fourth lawsuit since November 2018.
The latest lawsuit filed on May 17, Jonathan Lee Reyes v. University of California Regents, contains similar claims as to the former lawsuits. UCPD officer Jonathan Lee Reyes alleges whistleblower retaliation for reporting misconduct in the department relating to the retention and promotion of an unqualified police trainee, reports The Daily Nexus.
The lawsuit alleges UCPD Lieutenant David Millard and UCPD Sergeant Gregory Smorodinsky blocked Reyes from receiving a promotion and provided Reyes unfair poor performance reviews. It goes on to state UCPD “retaliated against other employees based on the same protected class [as Reyes]” and UCPD failed to “discipline other employees outside [Reyes’] own protected class as severely” for the same actions, reports The Daily Nexus.
Reyes’ lawsuit makes it the fourth lawsuit filed against the police department. All lawsuits allege similar forms of retaliation against officers who spoke up about misconduct within the department.
UC Police Department Lieutenant Mark Signa filed the first lawsuit in November 2018 claiming whistleblower retailiation. Married couple and Officers Tiffany and Michael Little filed another case in early March claiming they were retaliated against by their superiors and co-workers after reporting violations and suspected illegal activity conducted by other officers. Another former UC Santa Barbara police officer filed the third suit against the UC Police Department on March 27 for violations of the California Whistleblower Protection Act, failure to take corrective action and emotional distress.
The Daily Nexus, UC Santa Barbara's student-led newspaper, broke the story and continues to investigate. Read more at dailynexus.com