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SFPD whistleblower to get $100K settlement

The filing of a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by a former San Francisco Police Department officer has resulted in a $100,000 settlement offer from the city. A woman, who had worked for the department for 22 years, asserted in her legal claim that she was forced to retire because she feared dismissal after blowing the whistle on an embezzling colleague.

Court records showed that attorneys for the city rejected the validity of her allegations. The proposed settlement, however, is headed to the Board of Supervisors, which is expected to approve it.

Problems began for the former employee when she, in her role as vice president of the SFPD Pride Alliance, learned that the group’s previous treasurer had embezzled $15,000. Her court filings detailed how she reported this to Internal Affairs in December 2014. The police department then allowed the alleged embezzler to resign with a satisfactory service record. In February 2015, she blew the whistle on the him on a local television station. She then believed that the police chief intended to fire her, which prompted her to retire immediately to protect her pension benefits. The accused embezzler eventually accepted a plea deal for misdemeanor grand theft.

This case revolved around the concept of whistleblower retaliation, which often takes the form of a demotion or a wrongful termination. A person confronted by this situation could consult an employment law attorney to learn if an employer might have violated the law. If so, then it might be advisable to file a lawsuit seeking appropriate compensation for the losses that have been incurred.

Source: San Francisco Examiner, “SF to settle with police whistleblower over alleged retaliation for $100K”, Michael Barba, Jan. 15, 2018