In a decision rebuking the Sacramento PD and Chief Venegas for withholding from a Sacramento POA member the personnel complaint index maintained by Internal Affairs, the Third District Court of Appeal has given to California police officers the right to review and respond to internal affairs records which do not result in disciplinary action.
On September 3, 2002, the court issued Sacramento Police Officers’ Association v. Venegas (2002) WL2005779, ordering the Sacramento County Superior Court to compel the department to allow Lieutenant Michael Kime to review and rebut adverse comments on an internal affairs index card that did not lead to discipline. The decision will be published.
Kime was charged in 1995 with neglect of duty when his take-home vehicle was stolen and later recovered. He was temporarily transferred from the bomb squad. An internal affairs investigation sustained the charge, but no punitive action was ever taken against Kime. A record of the allegation and disposition, however, was maintained on an index card in the SPD Internal Affairs Division.
MH&A Filed Writ After Department Refused to Comply with the POBR: Government Code sections 3305 and 3306, part of the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBR), prohibit law enforcement agencies from entering adverse comments in an officer’s personnel file “or any other file used for personnel purposes,” unless the officer has read, signed or refused to sign the document. (§3305). The officer has 30 days to file a written response to any adverse comment entered in the officer’s personnel file. (§3306).
Kime’s request to review and respond to the department’s record of his neglect of duty complaint was denied in 1995. In early 1996, the Law Firm of Mastagni, Holstedt & Amick petitioned for a writ of mandate to compel the department to allow Kime access to the complaint under sections 3305 and 3306.
The department claimed its decision not to impose any adverse action negated Kime’s right of access to the documents. The department also asserted it had no obligation to disclose the information to Kime because (1) the documents were confidential; (2) the document would not be used for disciplinary or promotional decisions; and (3) the internal affairs file did not constitute a personnel file within the meaning of the POBR. The trial court denied the Petition for Writ of Mandate because the department had not imposed discipline and had claimed the internal affairs files were not used for “evaluations, assignments, status changes, or to impose discipline.”
Decision Gives Officers Access to Any “Potentially Adverse” Document: We appealed the decision to the Third District Court of Appeal on grounds the index card was an “adverse comment” to which Kime had a right to respond. In the briefs to the court, we argued the plain language of sections 3305 and 3306 required disclosure. Other appellate decisions already had held citizen complaints and other personnel documents that did not result in disciplinary action per se nonetheless were “adverse comments” under the POBR. (See, e.g., Hopson v. City of Los Angeles (1983) 139 Cal.App.3d 347; Aguilar v. Johnson (1988) 202 Cal.App.3d 241). These decisions, we argued, warranted disclosure of Kime’s records because a record of complaints maintained in an internal affairs file are “adverse comments” used by a department for the “personnel purposes” of evaluating an officer’s job performance and imposing future discipline.
The court agreed. A panel of three judges held sections 3305 and 3306 provide Kime, and all officers, the right to see and reply to a discipline record in an internal affairs file because the file contains comments “adverse to his interest.” Citing our Supreme Court in County of Riverside v. Superior Court (Madrigal) (2002) 27 Cal.4th 793, the court stated those sections should be construed broadly to include any documentation in any department file that may affect an officer’s employment status: “Regardless of whether the employing agency contemplates or has rejected further action regarding an adverse comment made against a peace officer employee, the officer is entitled to disclosure of the comment if it is entered in an agency file used for a personnel purpose.” The court’s holding relies primarily on the Aguilar case and on the more recent decision of the state Supreme Court in Madrigal.
The decision means any documents which may affect an officer’s employment now must be disclosed for review and an opportunity to respond regardless of whether the employer intends to use them for discipline. “The broad language employed by the Legislature in sections 3305 and 3306 does not limit their reach to comments that have resulted in, or will result in, punitive action against an officer.” The statute is aimed at a common law enforcement practice of using non-disciplinary and non-appealable comments to evaluate officer performance, however unfairly. As the court explained in the SPOA decision,
“The Legislature appears to have been concerned [in the POBR] with the potential unfairness that may result from an adverse comment that is not accompanied by punitive action and, thus, will escape the procedural protections available during administrative review of a punitive action. . . . Even though an adverse comment does not directly result in punitive action, it has the potential of creating an adverse impression that could influence future personnel decisions concerning an officer, including decisions that do not constitute discipline or punitive action.”
Court Rejected Department’s Claim the Records Were Confidential: In resolving the issues before it, the Court of Appeal first examined and rejected the applicability of Government Code section 3303(g), which allows a department to prevent disclosure by deeming investigative documents “confidential.” The department contended §3303(g) provides the department absolute discretion to deem information to be confidential forever. Denying this claim, the court held confidentiality applies only during the conduct of an investigation. The POBR, the court said, “does not give the department an absolute right to deem any and all information confidential and to assert such confidentiality against any and all requests for access.”
The court’s holding is significant because the court rejected the department’s attempts to hide the adverse documents behind a label of “confidentiality.” The court found persons other than internal affairs investigators already have access to discipline files. (See Pen. Code §832.5(c)). Any “shield of confidentiality” over personnel records “would make it difficult for an accused peace officer to respond to and rebut a false claim of misconduct.” Peace officers must have access to their own discipline records to explain or refute sustained charges.
City Loses on Argument Attempting to Protect Complainants: The department argued unsuccessfully that giving an officer access to the internal affairs card would discourage citizens from filing complaints against peace officers because there would be no guarantee of confidentiality. “Some people,” wrote the court, “might view a shield of confidentiality as a license to make false allegations of police misconduct.” While acknowledging others may be dissuaded from alleging misconduct without the “shield of confidentiality,” the court aptly noted the Legislature had articulated a countervailing public policy in declaring the rights and protections afforded peace officers by the POBR to be a matter of statewide concern. “The Legislature has resolved these policy conflicts in favor of peace officer employees.”
Government Code §3306.5 Likely Broadens the Court’s Ruling: The SPOA court held an internal affairs file is a “personnel file, or . . . file used for any personnel purposes.” But the court excluded from Kime any information on the index card that was not adverse. Thus, the court implied Kime, and any other officer, would not have a right of access to the entire investigative record.
Another POBR provision, §3306.5, may narrow the court’s ruling. Section 3306.5 provides peace officers a broad right of access to any information in a personnel file that may affect employment status. The original petition in this case was filed before the Legislature enacted that section and the effect of the statute was not before the court. As §3306.5 is not limited to “adverse comments,” however, the statute likely provides a right of access to the entire investigative file regardless of a complaint’s final disposition.
The SPOA already has obtained a favorable decision using this analysis. In April 2002, Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly issued a writ of mandate compelling the city of Sacramento to provide Officer Aaron Wyley access to departmental investigation summaries, opinions and analysis, and disciplinary recommendations in his internal affairs file, pursuant to §3306.5. (Aaron Wyley v. City of Sacramento, Sacramento County Superior Court No. 01CS01453).
Officer’s Appeal in 1998 Preceded Supreme Court’s Madrigal Decision: As the court implicitly acknowledged, the SPOA sought groundbreaking access to internal affairs files at the time the original petition was brought in this case. Our arguments in Kime preceded by four years the addition to the POBR of §3306.5, which gives officers a procedure for access and review of their personnel records, and the recent spate of published decisions expanding the right of officers to see, respond to, and appeal various adverse documents placed in those records. The SPOA is to be congratulated for the foresight and persistence of its members and executive board in fighting for expanded police rights.
Any SPOA member with questions regarding their rights to investigative materials contained in internal affairs or other department files is welcome to contact David E. Mastagni or Kasey Christopher Clark at (916) 446-4692.
PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.
- Jon Seabron Oceanside POA
[My Representative] was the best and if I ever need to call al lawyer again for anything, I'll be calling her.
- Dan Lovelace Chandler LEA
Thank you for the funding and support. I would be in jail right now if it were not for LDF. I would not have had the funding to pay for the case. It was a tremendous help having [my representative] and his support team and the many experts supplied by LDF. I speak for myself, my family and other members of my association.
- Stephen Woodward Palm Springs POA
Great job by my LDF lawyer. I have had to use them several times over my 20 year career and their service is invaluable.
- Kip RIngen Lake Co DSA
My LDF rep kept me well informed concerning the progress of my case. I was extremely satisfied with the service I received. Thanks.
- Brad Young Oakland POA
[My representative] is an excellent attorney and I am very happy he picks up the phone and answers my questions whenever possible.
- Scot Hicks Humbolt County DSO
My experience was made much less stressful thanks to the LDF representation.
- Alvaro Ancheta Glendora POA
I felt I was represented in a thorough and professional manner.
- John M. Laser Oceanside POA
[My representative] always took my calls or returned them within hours. Put my mind at ease and kept me well informed. LDF is well served by this law firm!
- Michael Sexton Manteca POA
[My representative] was awesome.
- Alex Camarillo LASchool P A
[My Representative] did an excellent job with my case. He was very professional and kept me well informed throughout this case. Thank you for an awesome job.
- Grace Castro AFGE Local 2455 – Laredo, TX
My representative was very kind and showed he cared when explaining what my legal rights were when dealing with an internal investigation.
- Stacey Bonilla San Mateo County DSA
[My Represenative] is an excellent attorney. He is very professional yet personable and I would definitely use him again. Thank you!
- Rodd N. Joseph Clearlake MMA
I appreciate the fact that my representative met with me in a social setting prior to the interview, during which time she learned the facts of the case. She was prepared for the interview. She seemed to have a genuine interest in my case.
- Yvonne Heuston ERS/SPPOA Supervisors
My representative was outstanding and knew what to lookout for and how to handle situations as they appeared. He told me what to expect and how he proposed to handle the hurdles. Just telling what to expect helped put me at ease as the situation was so foreign to me, and intimidating.
- Brad Young Oakland POA
[ My representative ] is an awesome attorney.
- Steven E. Lopez Santa Maria POA
Keep up the Good Work! Your service was extremely helpful to me. Thank you.
- Sherri Coral Riverside Community College
He was very professional. I trusted him to defend and he did! I am very thankful he was here for me.
- William Burdette Newport Beach PMA
26 years and I have never needed a LDF rep, but the one time you need one, it was worth the fee’s paid.”
- Cathleen Weldon Siskiyou Correctional POA
Very Comforting to have a knowledgeable person looking out for my best inerests. Thx!
- Roy Iler San Benito CO LEM
[My representative] always returned phone calls and let me know if he was contacted with information.
- Gary J. Foppiano Oakland POA
[My representative] has been in my corner for 28 years. I have been represented by this firm probably 6 times in my career from minor to major discipline cases with a great outcome for me. They're batting 100%
- James Beckman Miracosta College POA
Excellent service everytime.
- Ricky L. Hemphill Los Angeles School PA
[My representative] was an excellent lawyer.
- Richard Salcido Brea PA
LDF is a great organization that not only helps their clients but many of those around them such as coworkers and family members.
- Jaime Kim Oakland POA
My rep did a good job. First we met and he explained that there might be culpability on my part but not nothing close to the allegations. I appreciated his honesty as we have all done things that can be taken out of context so it was important he told me to realize that.
- Billy Aldridge Chico POA
[My representative] was awesome! He provided an excellent explanation of the process and was very professional. This was my first IA in 11 years of LE and [my representative] did a great job of reassuring me that I had nothing to worry about. Thank you so much for all your help.
- Kim Prout Upland Firefighters Assoc
It was great comfort to know somebody would be there for me in this matter. I was able to finally sleep @ night & wake up with confidence that I would be ok. Thanks.
- Gary Silva East Bay Region Parks POA
Thank you for providing this service. My experience with LDF was very much to my satisfaction.
- David Heller Yolo County DSA
The charges against me, if sustained, would have likely ended my LE career. I was rightfully exonerated on all charges. I was well represented by [My Representative] and thank him for a job well done!!
- Jason Kearsing Elk Grove POA
Very happy with LDF.
- Gina Romines San Joaquin Co Corr POA
I couldn't have been more satisfied with the representative!
- Daniel Smock Ventura County PPOA
Everything went smooth. I think the current system works very well.
- Linda Mendez Imperial Co Prob and Corr
I'm very pleased with the services offered by the LDF. I feel so fortunate to enjoy the benefits of having the membership. The services provided by LDF to its members is simply 110% professional, supportive, great!! LDF care for its members is reflected by the quality of Best Law Firm offered, simply the best!
- RIchard Okeson Hesperia USD POA
I can't express how satisfying and comforting it was to have such a well qualified and pleasant attorney at my side. Thank you so much for everything you did for me, and if you can, please thank [ my representative] again for being there for me.
- George Fierro El Monte POA
I am a firm believer that LDF serves an essential part in the assistance to protect an officer's POBR & in the integrity of an investigation or complaint. I highly recommend the law office of [My Represenative].
- Robert Muelberg Denver PPA
I could not have had a better attorney. [My representative ] went way above and beyond his duties. I would not have had a better experience with my representative. I believe that the LDF is the single most important benefit a police officer could have!
- Jurell Snyder Oakland POA
My LDF representative had a power point presentation, which was extremely professional.
- Kenneth Nelson Plumas Co SA
Good job. Thank you! [My representative] does an outstanding job representing the employees and seems to be very intimidating to the [County Management]. We like it this way!
- Katherine Comesana Mountain View POA
Hope to never in a situation again, however, glad to know that LDF is there to help.
- Larry Fitch Shasta Co DSA
My LDF rep was great, always returned my calls quickly and kept me up to date with what was going on with the case. Thank you.
- Paul Figueroa Oakland POA
LDF was there when I needed them!! In this litigious world, it's nice to know LDF has GREAT lawyers on our side who look out for us!! [My Representative] is a great attorney and a person I would trust in any circumstance!!!
- Marshall Henderson Vancouver Police Officers Guild
I have used LDF in 3 OIS's. Each time I have been very well taken care of. I highly recommend [ representative ] and the PORAC system. Well done and thank you.
- Paul Barrolaza Twin Cities POA
- Kenneth S. Blonski East Bay Regional Parks PMA
I was very pleased with my representative.
- Gerhard Wallace Santa Clara Co DSA
I think that [my representative] did a great job in presenting my case. I would recommend her to any deputy (officer) facing disciplinary action. My case was minor compared to other cases but [she] still did a professional job.
- Heather Fontes San Joaquin Co POA
I appreciated the thorough follow up by LDF staff. Many thanks and blessings for the work by LDF.
- Sean Tinney Berkeley PA
[My representative] was very attentive to my case and thorough with his investigation. I would request [him] again in the future.
- Carlos Gonzalez Oakland POA
Very well informed group.
- Greg Harman Kensington POA
[My representative] is the best!!
- Jack Ellis Lompoc POA
An excellent plan. Very valuable to its members.
- German Alvarez Anaheim PA
[My representative ] was great!
- James Walker Yakima Police Patrolsman Assn
This attorney and her legal team were one of the best I’ve seen and interacted with. I was always in the loop and constantly updated on the case status. I would use (my attorney) again if the need came and recommend her to anyone.
- Anthony Zack Vernon POA
This was the first time in my twenty-five year career that I had to use the services of my legal defense fund. My LDF Representative was extremely courteous, informative and professional.. She addressed all of my concerns and answered all of my questions. She did an overall outstanding job of representing me and handling my case. I could not have been any more pleased or satisfied with the job she did! I would definitely request her to represent me in the future if I needed representation.
- Gilbert Garcia Oceanside POA
My attorney provided outstanding representation.
- James Hika Border Patrol Supervisors Association
They did a great job!
- Gina Reyes Broadmoor POA
[My representative] was wonderful! Even though my situation didn't end in my favor, he was very supportive, informative & patient. He always answered every email in a timely fashion and was very accessible. I appreciated everything he was able to do for me.
- Erik Kusmerz Lyon Co SEA
Amazing job, Thank you.
- Toinie Lee Jackson Madera Co DSA
Unfortunately, I have been placed in the position to use LDF several times in my career. Without their valued services, I would not be here to write this. I and my family thank you.
- Aaron Delgado Monterey POA
My representative called me back promptly and kept me informed. I had the impression she cared and was there to help.
- Robert Hartman Contra Costa Co DSA
Quick response, experienced and knowledgeable attorney which assisted in every step. [My representative] kept me apprised through the process. Thank you.
- Gregory Carbett Ontario POA
The attorney assigned to my case was GREAT! It's sad, but it's impossible to be an officer in today's world without a defense fund like PORAC LDF. I am now retired and signed up for the retired officers CCW LDF. Thanks!
- Miguel Suarez Monterey Co DSA
[My representative] was very knowledgeable and courteous. He knew his stuff, and I couldn't have asked for a better guy to be on my side on this matter. Thanks.
- Tai Pena-Hornung Oakland POA
Those who foolishly feel LDF is not a valuable resource, do so only because they have not yet needed legal representation.
- Anthony Alonzo South Gate POA
Very pleased with the way the process was explained to me. Received updated info faster than I expected. Overall a good experience in a not so good situation. Thanks to LDF.
- Christopher Wirth A F G E Border Patrol
LDF referred me to [ representative ] in Spokane, WA. [ Representative ] did an outstanding job representing me. Thank you very much for the referral ! I would not be employed any longer had it not been for [ representative ] and his legal team.”
- Shandon Murphy San Mateo POA
Great work! Thank you so much!
- Korey Lankow Assn Highway Patrol of Arizona
Outstanding service from bottom-to-top.
- Brian Markert Lakewood Police Indp Guild
I feel that I was very well represented by the LDF regarding a fatal officer involved shooting. Both attorneys assigned to assist me - our guild attorney plus a criminal defense attorney - were very aggressive and helpful. Their work was instrumental in helping me to navigate the criminal and internal investigations so that I could return to full duty status.
- Diana Drummey Coronado POA
I so appreciated my LDF rep - his kindness and understanding re my case during an embarrassing and uncomfortable time - he was so caring.
- Kristen Patterson Contra Costa Co Prob. Assn.
[My representative] was helpful and made me feel supported. I got the results I desired. Very pleased with the process.
- Oliver Sansen Concord POA
In 14 years I have never had to deal with an "IA." [My representative] was wonderful & put my mind at ease throughout the entire process. Thank you!
- Robert Curato Anderson POA
He did a great job for me!!! He always returned my phone calls within 24-hours. He showed an interest in my case and we were able to get the issue resolved in less than 45 minutes. Thank you for being there when I needed the legal assistance.
- Nick Bannister Phoenix LEA
I was extremely grateful for professional representation provided by ( my attorney ) during this extremely stressful situation
- Patricia Goss San Anselmo POA
[My Representative] is fabulous! Thanks for all the exra work she did for me!
- Joseph A. Henderson Merced POA
The firm I used was very valuable to my career and kept me updated as to status of the case. Thank you!
- Christopher Connally Assn of LEA
To whom it may concern: Let me start by saying how much I appreciate the opportunity to join the PORAC Legal Defense Fund. This is a great benefit for our membership. During the past twelve months I was fortunate to have access to the Legal Defense Fund through MPCA. Earlier this year I was both surprise, and disappointed, when realized that I needed to provide counsel to mediate pending litigation. In accessing the Legal Defense Fund I found your staff to be very professional and reassuring. The staff felt that [my representative]., would be the best ft for the situation. I would like to take the opportunity to express my appreciation for being represented by [Rick Barry]. Not only was he a good fit for the circumstances, at times it seemed as if he was the only attorney out of several involved that really had a grasp on the issues. Again, I would like to thank the PORAC staff, and know that I could not have been better served than by what was provided by [my representative].
- Roman Fernandez Inglewood POA
My representatives were always well-prepared and organized for hearings and meetings. Their efforts, hard work and full support is truly appreciated.
- Alfredo Hernandez El Centro POA
[My representative] was very attentive, [informative] and knowledgeable. He spoke very clearly and explained things in ways easy to understand. [He] made me feel like he truly cared about what was going on with this case and me. Not to mention [he] was funny and witty, traits which made him trustworthy and someone who would stand by me and other police officers.
- John Tinder Chino POA
Having an LDF attorney who is experienced, knowledgeable and professional is an outstanding quality. [My representative ]exhibit all of these qualities and more. They are outstanding and I would not entrust my career to anyone else!
- Robert Morales Rialto PBA
I was very pleased with the service I received
- Gregg Palmer San Joaquin Co Corr POA
Everything was explained very well prior to my questioning. I was not worried at all during the investigation. Very professional and a great asset to its members.
- Christopher Delaney Upland POA
Your rep was very personal. Even though my case involved something minor, your rep made me [feel] my case was his most important. I am very satisfied with my LDF team.
- Thomas E. Lorente III Bart POA
[My representative] did an excellent job! I would highly recommend him to any officer in need of LDF services.
- Robyn Delaney Mono County PSOA
[My Representative] truly is an exceptional attorney. He has always represented me with honesty and compassion. Well Done.
- Keith Stiver Hayward POA
[My representative] brings a superlative reputation, a comforting and confidence building demeanor and a clear expertise to the table. In particular I appreciate her philosophy that she gives her total undivided attention to her clients during their appointments.
- Melvarene Hayes LA Airport POA
They were there when I needed them and my whole case was handled on the phone. I met my representative after my case closed and he was at our union meeting when I had the pleasure to meet him and thank him in person.
- Christopher Boyd Carlsbad POA
[My representative] was an outstanding attorney to work with. Even though I did not receive a desirable outcome entirely, I was exceptionally satisfied with his representation. Thank you.
- William DeWitt CPPA
Everything was awesome...could not be happier!
- Albert Contreas Imperial Co. DSA
Thank you for your services.
- Joe Charvez Santa Clara Co DSA
I could not be happier with the interest, work put into my case, and assistance from [my representative]. Thanks !!
- Tamboura Nettingham Claremont Custody Center EA
My representative was an outstanding rep. I was very fortunate to be represented by her and the firm should be very proud to have her in it. She's courteous, smart and aggressive when needed. I would not ask for anyone else, if any other situation evolved, she's the best. Thanks.
- Michelle Foerder Pinole PEA
I thank God for the support of LDF and my attorney. I had a letter of intent to be fired and he helped me turn it all around. I still have my job and I'm so grateful.
- Miguel Masso Oakland POA
[I'm very satisfied and grateful] for LDF representing me. My attorney was professional, honest, and very knowledgeable of his profession. During these tough times my attorney would contact me on a regular basis to see how I was doing. This was obviously not part of his job description, but it kept me at ease and not losing my mind. I'm thankful that I was represented by LDF.
- Christopher Adams Modesto POA
Thank you for all your help!
- Jeff Stanley Upland POA
Excellent program, no one should be without this coverage.
- Gilbert Salazar Montebello POA
Can’t say enough. Both representatives that I had in 2016 were excellent. ( My attorney ) made himself available to me in late night hours, which made me feel comfortable and at ease. This program is essential to us in law enforcement.
- Phillip Flores Oxnard POA
My attorney was excellent. I would use her again.
- Byron Kies Santa Barbara Co DSA
Everything was great!
- Derwin Longmire Oakland POA
Outstanding [law firm] - incredible firm. And, LDF was easy to work and correspond with.
- Melissa Geraci Oakland POA
This is my 1st time using LDF and was very pleased with the service I got. [My representative] was so friendly & always returned my calls & even called to update me without provocation.
- Joseph Barrett LA Airport POA
I was very well represented by a professional. I felt well represented and got great advice.
- Chad Sakamoto National City POA
Although this incident was unfounded, it's still stressful. My LDF rep kept me informed and kept "work" at work.
- Katie Angermiller Tuolumne Co DSA
I was very satisfied with the work the LDF performed. The lawyers and clerical staff at [law firm] were all very kind, professional and they always assisted me when I called and never made me feel like I was a burden. Thank you LDF!
- Stephanie Haas Lyon Co SEA
When I first contacted LDF re: my case I was unsure of how well/poor I'd actually be represented. I was impressed beyond belief. From the timely responses from my attorney, his knowledge in my case, advising me what my rights were and where I stood. I felt like I was genuinely being protected from unwarranted and unfounded accusations and believe, as long as I am in the right, I have someone fighting for me. Thank you, Thank you.
- Raymond Fisher Colorado State Patrol Assn
I have known for sometime that PORAC would provide the services I needed at the time I needed them. This is a professional competent organization prepared to handle the appropriate legal matters our officers face in today's environment.
- Dennis Leach National City POA
[My Representative] is a knowledgeable attorney and I would highly recommend him to anyone needing representation.
- Greg Gladson LA Airport POA
[My representative] was very professional and helpful. She kept me informed with my options and the direction of the investigation.
- Jay Garacochea Culver City POA
[My representative] not only did he do a great job but he listened to my concerns. He did not force his views or game plan and we worked well w/ each other. We agreed on a goal and achieved it.
- Scott Cox Tulare Co DSA
I just want to say [my representative] did a great job! Thank you.
- Russell Wise Alameda POA
- Caitlin Collins Tiburon POA
[My representative] made himself available 7 days a week understanding that those were my needs. He was very well informed and kept me on the right track and in the right frame of mind.
- Brian Schopf Elk Grove POA
Keep up the good work.
- Todd Costa Santa Clara Co DSA
This was my first Internal Affairs investigation, my lawyer walked me through every step and answered all of my questions, without my lawyer's advice, I would have been lost throughout the investigation and a complete disadvantage against my department.
- Ron Ruddy Riverside POA
- Craig Caches Fremont POA
I have only used LDF once for myself, which with the circumstance was great. I work with LDF in my assignment ( OIS investigator ) and after approximately 4-5 OIS's, I have great experiences with LDF.
- Tia Dixione Inglewood POA
My representative was very helpful and informative.
- Tigran Topadzhikyan Glendale POA
[My representative] is an excellent attorney. I would use him again. He communicates with his clients and is very competent.
- Rachael Van Sloten Oakland POA
LDF is absolutely essential to help make a system that is somewhat broken work more effectively. [My Representative] is excellent and takes a great deal of time to lisen and represent.
- Kevin Hullquist Siskiyou Co. Correctional POA
[My representative] did a good job representing me. Kept me informed.
- Adam Laird Eureka POA
Dear PORAC Legal Defense Fund, This email has been weighing on my heart and should have been sent a long time ago. However, time seems to move fast even though your life has been put on hold. I have been on administrative leave since December of 2012. In April of 2013, I was arrested for the performance of my duties. Since the administrative side this case has not been resolved, I won't be getting into specific details regarding my case. However, I will say that I never thought that my life would turned upside down by doing the job that I love, and doing it in a way that I had been trained. I have been in Law Enforcement for 10 years, and I have been paying my monthly dues all along. I never really understood how important paying dues might be for me, I just thought it was the "cost of business". After being arrested, I understood the real worth of that investment. Because of politics, my case was given the "full court press". On January 3rd of 2014, the case against me was dismissed. It took no less than 5 experts to convince the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office to request dismissal. The time, effort, and money that this case cost couldn't have been endured by me as the sole provider of a family of four. LDF was there, big time. The panel attorney's under LDF were the best in the business. In the uncertain time during the criminal process, I couldn't have imagined how much help they could be. What a relief to know that LDF had my back. I am used to defending those who can't defend themselves. That's my job. When I was defenseless, LDF and the attorneys assigned to my case were my advocates and defenders. I thank you. My criminal attorney said it best at the conclusion of my criminal case: "Adam and his family are thankful that they can now move forward. The evidence showing Sgt. Laird was innocent was overwhelming. The expert EPD hired said that the suspect was rising up when Sgt. Laird pushed him back to the ground. The two experts that the DA’s office hired said that the force was reasonable and appropriate. The defensive tactics instructor who trained Adam said he acted consistent with his training in apprehending a high risk suspect in a dangerous situation. In total, five separate police practices experts reviewed the case and unanimously said Sgt. Laird acted appropriately". "It is hard to imagine what it must be like to risk your life apprehending a known gang member only to be charged with using excessive force when the suspect stated that he did not even feel the contact at issue. It is simply bizarre that Sgt. Laird was ever charged with a crime". Thank you. My family and I will forever be grateful for your service, Sergeant Adam Laird
- Rich Stepper Montana PPA
[ My representative ] was very knowledgeable regarding dept & legal rules regarding officer involved shooting. Provided good legal advice & was very supportive.
- Wendy Morrow Chico Public Safety Association
I had never been through an I.A. in my 21 years. I was scared and ashamed and humiliated. ( My attorney ) was excellent. He helped me through one of the worst times of my life. Had great outcome and I am grateful.
- Steven Moorehouse Redding POA
Thank you for your help.
- Jeff Stanley Upland POA
Excellent representation. [My representative] is a great attorney.
- Jason Boust Sanger POA
My rep was very helpful in explaining the processes and stayed in contact throughout the ordeal.
- Robert Glock Oakland POA
I am always satisfied with LDF and all their representatives.
- Micheal Chad Heiser Santa Rosa POA
LDF is a valuable resource that no law enforcement officer should be without.
- Shaun Luciano LA School PA
LDF assisted by taking a stressful situation and calmed it down by thoroughly explaining the entire process. It was nice to know that I had an ally when I was sure that I was alone.
- Eric Olson Escondido POA
You guys did an amazing job! Thank you L.D.F. !
- Nicholas Ward Antioch POA
[ Representative ] did a great job. My case was extremely complicated and difficult. She did a great job.
- Brendan Dolan Milwaukee PA
Everything went very smooth and they handled everything! Thank you.
- William Jackson Santa Maria POA
Keep up the great work.
- Doug Plumhoff Ridgecrest PEA
Great job by all! Always great to know LDF is there when needed.
- Anthony Russo Clark Co School District
The members of my Association are very pleased with the level of representation that PORAC has given to us. As the President I can not thank you all enough.
- Matthew Gardner Colorado PPA
I would not want to be an officer without this coverage. It was great to have it and kept my mind at ease.
- Juan Pascua, Jr. San Diego Co DSA
Very helpful and very informative!
- Omar Daza-Quiroz Oakland POA
I have had (2) two cases in which LDF represented me. Both lawyers were exceptionally professional, intelligent and caring for me. They were friendly and very helpful.
- Chris Moore Palo Alto POA
No Complaints. Great Resource.
- Jason Walters Claremont POA
LDF was very informative and provided me with the direction on how to handle my case. I was very happy with LDF and their staff.
- Erick Gaunt Palos Verdes POA
- Andrew Hill Statewide University PA
I have used this law firm for union related business for the last several years. It was a no brainer to call them for LDF.
- Eric White Emeryville POA
Very satisfied with the LDF services provided. Thank you.
- Michael Shephard Suisun City POA
LDF is a very valuable resource. I would not do this job without it.
- Andrew J. Brice Santa Maria POA
As always... an excellent result.
- Keith Braden Los Angeles School Police Mgmt Assn
Great work, no complaints.
- Martha Tschetter Carson City Sheriffs PA
The LDF process was painless and I was able to get immediate representation in an urgent time of need. Thank you LDF
- Emery Eccle Culver City POA
LDF is THE most important asset / resource that police officers have. "Thank you" to all involved and keep up the good work!
- Nancy Page Aurora PA
I didn't end up needing his service but he was awesome in what conversations we had before the matter was resolved. Very valuable - LDF!
- Robert Mickschl SAN DIEGO HARBOR P O A
From my initial call to LDF, to my "Thank You" email to (my attorney ) I had the best representation I could have hoped for. The "800" number call receptionists were very professional & understanding. (My Attorney's) office & staff kept me informed & updated. I am forever thankful to LDF & exceptional representation by ( my attorney ) & staff.
- Malcolm Norrington LA School PA
I am very pleased with LDF and would use and recommend them again and again and again.
- William Pryor Statewide University PA
Very helpful program. Helped keep department personnel focused on the issue regardless of their personal issues.
- Allison Clark Twin Cities POA
[My representative] is the best attorney LDF has. Her attention to details, professionalism, and intelligence were off the charts. If I did not have her as a rep I would probably be out of a job. She is fair and she was honestly concerned about me, my family and my case.
- David Baker Placerville POA
My experience through dealing with this matter was horrific. Without the efforts of the LDF and more specifically [my representative], I would most certainly have fallen victim to a corrupt and unethical administration. The LDF has saved my career and brought me justice.
- Noe Cordero San Diego POA
Thank you for your help. I feel very secure as you assisted me.
- Patrick Beggs Fresno Co DSA
Good service. Thank you.
- Nicholas Belliveau Sebastopol POA
High quality service, proficient, well informed. Overall, very happy with experience.
- Andrea Salas Sonoma County DSA
[My Representative] was great! Thank you.
- Michael Kan Palo Alto POA
I have always been and will continue to be a strong supporter of LDF and would not work as a police officer without it. I am extremely happy with the service I have received both from LDF and [my representative].
- Juan Espinoza Fresno DSA
[My representative] did a great job. He is both thorough and well educated. I would use him again.
- Rodney Kirkland Oakland POA
Being a police officer in the city of Oakland, I appreciate the services that are offered.
- Anthony Gregori Sonoma Co Jr College P O A
Excellent work and well worth it.
- Scott Hamilton San Bernardino Co SEBA
Don't go to work without LDF!
- Brendan Tinney UC Berkeley POA
[My representative] has represented me twice now and both times I have been very pleased with his thoroughness with handling my cases. I appreciate all what LDF and [my representative] have done for me.
- Robin Gonzalez Yolo Co. DSA
[My representative was] very quick to respond, helpful and professional. Thank you!
- Chris Lyon Tulare Co DSA
Very thorough group of sharp/smart government concerned [attorneys]. They understood what was happening and briefed me on everything. I was very impressed.
- Ernest Marugg San Diego Deputy DA Association
The LDF responded immediately upon my request for counsel. LDF provided the best representative I could receive! When I called LDF for advice, I was given advice again immediately. Thank you LDF for your concern.
- Ken Burbank Shasta Co DSA
[ My representative ] was professional, articulate and prepared, but most importantly he understood the emotional impact the investigation was having on me as a person and peace officer. I highly recommend [my representative].
- Rachel Tyner Transit EOA of San Diego
All the LDF representatives were very courteous and attentive with a punctual response to all of my concerns, inquiries and appointment scheduling. My representative was very informative about the legalities and kept in contact with me regularly. He was also very patient and straight forward. I would definitely want to use the LDF again and felt more confident through my proceedings because I had representation!
- Brent Teasley ERS/Reno PSAEA
[ My representative ] was bogged down with multiple cases when he represented me, but I feel he did an excellent job. I would not have wanted anyone else to represent me during a very troublesome time.
- Steven Mayorga Ventura County DSA
I was well represented and very glad to have LDF. Thank you.
- Evelyn Hooks Shasta CO PPOA
Thank God for the L.D.F.
- Marco Flores Ventura County PPOA
Great program. I was lost until the attorneys explained the situation. I was very impressed and satisfied. Thanks LDF.
- Tyler Robins Pasadena City College POA
At a time when no one cares about you it's nice to have someone on your side who does. (My attorney ) made a stressful six months a lot more tolerable.
- Christine Farmer Tehama Co DSA
Mine was a fairly simple situation and I may not have needed representative. I am glad I called for help, it gave me peace of mind and reassurance.
- Patrick Davis Oakland POA
Very knowledgeable and thorough and would use the rep again.
- Jorge Garcia San Joaquin Co Corr Officers
No criticism to give. Very well.
- Kelly K. Roe San Joaquin Co Corr Officers
[My representative] did a fantastic job at returning my phone calls and keeping me informed of any and all information pertaining to my case. I would recommend him to anyone.
- John Dougherty National City POA
My LDF Representative was [Representative]. He did an outanding job with my case and I am overjoyed with the results.
- Kim Jasper Alhambra POA
Excellent service, prompt and courteous.
- Douglas Mansker Bakersfield POA
(My attorney) is a very good attorney, despite his young age. He kept me well informed throughout my legal matter and returned phone calls in a prompt manner. I was very satisfied with his performance and would not hesitate to be represented by him again.
- Paul Spencer Santa Paula POA
[My Representative] was great!
- Nestor Hernandez San Diego POA
This is a great program designed to protect LEO’s in need
- Dennis W. Ostini Lake County DSA
[My Representative] was fantastic, knowledgeable, professional and easy to talk and work with. Even though the allegations lodged have not been resolved, [My Representative] continued to communicate with me, to offer his assistance.
- Christopher M. Fuzie Modesto POA
I was very impressed with the speed at which the case was handled. Thank you!
- James Beckman Miracosta College POA
Highly recommend this program for any LEO!
- Kerry Carlson Midpeninsula Ranger POA
I have held leadership positions in our POA most of my career. Because of my role as President and Vice President I have been a target to management. I feel that if it were not for LDF I wouldn't have a job
- Carl Miller Clearlake POA
- Steven Moorehouse Redding POA
You guys are Great! Very professional and well informed. THANK YOU!
- Christopher Walters Antioch POA
My LDF rep was very attentive, and courteous. She made every effort to keep me informed, and kept my best interests at the front of the process. I was very satisfied with my LDF rep, and the entire process.
- Ronald J. Danison El Monte POA
The LDF is a tool available to me which I hope never goes away. It makes me feel that much more confident to do my job knowing LDF has my back when police work gets ugly. And it usually does..
- Christopher Wells Hollister POA
My rep was great.
- Jonathan Smith San Diego D.A. Investigators
I couldn't be happier or more satisfied with my LDF Representative, the process and the outcome of my case.
- Scott Muir Tracy POA
Very satisfied with the service I was given.
- Scott King Ripon POA
[My representative] is the best LDF rep I have ever had. If I were to need an LDF rep again I would want it to be [my representative].
- Dan McDow San Luis Obispo POA
[My representative] is the poster face representative of the greatest attorney (representative) that anyone could possibly ask for. She gets a 12 out of 10 star rating. Nobody works harder.
- Dwayne Sue Oakland POA
[My representative was] great! She kept me informed and was very professional. She would be my choice if I should need her services in the future! (But I hope I won't) Thanks!
- James Stephenson Petaluma POA
Outstanding service. Thanks.
- Jeff Griffin Downey POA
My experience with the LDF, and in particular my attorney, was extremely positive. [ My attorney ] worked very hard and kept me informed along the way.
- Rick Stephens Alpine CO DSA
My representative was very good. I highly recommend my lawyer to anyone.
- Clyde Williams San Diego Harbor POA
Thank you for all of the work related to my officer involved shooting case.
- Cherie Rye Lyon Co SEA
I am very happy with the service I received from LDF. I am grateful that our association includes LDF as part of our dues.
- Steven Curtiss Shasta Co DSA
This was my first need for LDF support and I was very happy with the level of service. Thank you.
- James F. Beland Lake County SDA
- Paul Hernandez LA Gen Services POA Inc.
[My Representative] was very helpful in my situation and I can't thank him enough.