Judge Dismisses Long Beach Officers' Claims of Retaliation by LBPD for 'Whistleblowing'

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Thursday dismissed two Long Beach officers’ claims that the Long Beach Police Department retaliated against them when they reported time card fraud and alleged traffic ticket quota, the city attorney’s office announced.

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Officers Alberto Vargas and Pablo Orduno originally filed discrimination lawsuits against the police department, claiming they were discriminated against because of their ethnicity. They voluntarily dismissed that claim and proceeded with another one, which alleged that the LBPD was retaliating against them for filing the original discrimination lawsuit, among other reasons, according to the city attorney’s office.

“In their amended lawsuits, Vargas and Orduno contested an order requiring them to wear a recording device for a period of time, claimed that, at various times, they reported alleged time card fraud, and maintained that the department required each officer to write a specific number of traffic tickets,” attorneys said in a statement. “The Plaintiffs also alleged that the department retaliated against them because they were ‘whistleblowers.’”

The LBPD denied all of the allegations.

According to the city attorney’s office, the department’s Internal Affairs Division investigated their claims and found no evidence supporting their allegations. A trial court judge examined their allegations as well and found no evidence supporting any of their claims.

“The Court rejected each plaintiff’s contention that the police department had acted wrongfully in any regard, and entered judgment in favor of the City of Long Beach and against the officers,” stated officials. “Since the City is the prevailing party in this action, California Law requires the Plaintiffs to pay a portion of the City’s costs of suit.”

Since there was no evidence supporting the claims to be able to move forward with a trial, Judge Michael P. Linfield granted the city attorney’s pretrial summary judgement motion.

“We are pleased that the Court, after review of the motions and allegations, agreed with our position that there was no evidence to support their claims,” said Long Beach City Attorney Charles Parkin. “This ruling at the summary judgment stage will save the City significant costs of trial.”

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