Vallejo has reached a $900,000 settlement settlement with a former police captain who claims he was fired for exposing the Vallejo Police Division’s “badge-bending” scandal.
The Vallejo Metropolis Council accepted the settlement – confirmed by ex-Capt. John Whitney and his legal professional, Jayme Walker, on Thursday – throughout a closed session Tuesday afternoon.
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Whitney had served on the Vallejo police drive for 19 years when town fired him in August 2019. He claims the police division focused him for exposing a convention of bending again the star factors on the badges of officers who killed somebody within the line of responsibility.
“I took an oath to uphold the general public belief and that’s what I did once I blew the whistle on badge bending,” Whitney mentioned in an announcement. “I shouldn’t have misplaced my profession for making an attempt to carry officers accountable. Vallejo took a lot from me, however now I’ve lastly been vindicated.”
Walker condemned what she sees as town’s makes an attempt to cowl up a now-infamous observe.
“John Whitney tried to reform a division with a lot greater charges of police shootings than nearly another company in California,” she mentioned. “Badge bending ought to have been rooted out instantly. As a substitute, Vallejo tried to cowl it up and fired the officer making an attempt to cease it. Hopefully starting with this settlement, the Metropolis of Vallejo will begin making vital reforms in its police division and holding its officers accountable for extreme use of drive.”
The town didn’t admit fault within the settlement and didn’t reply to requests for touch upon this text.
Whitney’s lawsuit, which he filed in 2020, focused town, the police division, then-city supervisor Greg Nyhoff, and former Vallejo Police Chiefs Andrew Bidou and Joseph Allio.
Earlier in 2020, Nyhoff instructed individuals gathered at a city corridor to debate police issues that it “seems true” that officers had been bending their badges to rejoice kills and he pledged that there can be self-discipline. A 3rd-party investigation of the observe was launched by then Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams in late July of 2020.
Whitney claimed that when he introduced up the misconduct, then-chief Bidou rounded up the badges in an try to ship them for repairs however realized that if finance noticed a invoice for 10 badge repairs they may begin asking questions.
The Vallejo Police Division instructed the Instances-Herald quickly after Whitney’s termination that the explanations for that call had been “confidential.” Throughout his tenure, the captain acquired a Medal of Braveness and a lifetime achievement award from the Fee on Peace Officers Requirements and Coaching.
Quickly after, Open Vallejo reported that Whitney was terminated for eradicating private knowledge from his work cellphone whereas he was being investigated for improperly dealing with data. He was later cleared of those allegations.
Mayor Bob Sampayan wrote a letter hooked up to the ex-captain’s preliminary declare filed in March 2020.
“Frankly, I imagine that as a result of John spoke out a few destructive tradition within the Vallejo Police Division, his fame was dirty by those that didn’t need ‘soiled laundry’ aired,” he wrote.
Instances-Herald reporter Thomas Gase and former Instances-Herald reporter Katy St. Clair contributed to this text.