OC Deputy Who Discarded Evidence Must Be Reinstated
A former Orange County sheriff’s deputy who was fired for getting rid of evidence must be rehired, according to a recent arbitration ruling.
The deputy’s actions were discovered during a series of department audits that took place between 2015 and 2018. He was caught tossing a gram of white powder, a pipe for methamphetamine, a replica gun, hypodermic syringes, and a suspect’s cell phone into the trash. When confronted, he said he “panicked and threw the items away” to avoid getting in trouble administratively. He is also accused of booking evidence late in 26 other cases.
Despite the deputy’s actions, arbitrator Catherine Harris ruled that his termination was excessive and that he must be reinstated without back pay.
“It was clear the arbitrator agreed with our assessment that the misconduct was extremely serious,” said Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Carrie Braun, “however, she inexplicably ordered reinstatement. While we respect the due process rights of employees, we strongly disagree with the arbitrators award.”
Read more about the decision at the Los Angeles Times.