RICHMOND, Calif. - New concerns have emerged in the way the administrative investigation of Richmond police officers allegedly involved with Jasmine Abuslin was handled.
The attorney for four officers facing termination says the officers' rights were violated. The city manager admits if true, it is the city's mistake.
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Abuslin gave five lengthy interviews about her interactions with Richmond police officers. The officers she named, who are facing disciplinary action, have a right to hear what she said about each of them. It's testimony they heard about officers other than themselves that could be a problem.
Richmond Police Department's investigation of 11 of its police officers included 13 hours of recorded voluntary testimony by Jasmine Abuslin.
Abuslin has said she had sex with more than 30 police officers around the Bay Area, some while she was underage.
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Richmond's officers are not facing criminal charges but last month Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay recommended four of the city's officers be fired.
"I think the city was sloppy," said attorney Mike Rains.
Rains, whose firm is representing those four Richmond police officers, says its sloppy because he says the officers' privacy rights were violated.
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"Any officer who is accused of misconduct should get all of the information that pertains to her or his alleged misconduct," Rains said.
Rains says when each officer received a recording of Abuslin's testimony they heard more than her accusations about each of them. He says the recordings were not properly redacted.
"They got a recording where Ms. Abuslin was talking about her interactions with officers other than the officers who were the subject of the discipline and they weren't entitled to know that under the law," Rains said.
"If it happened it would be a city of Richmond mistake," Lindsay said.
City Manager Bill Lindsay says the city will look into it.
"We take any assertion that we didn't follow legal process correctly very seriously. We want to be perfect," Lindsay said.
But Lindsay also says if true it will not change his disciplinary recommendations.
Rains says the mistake is not enough to get the officers their jobs back, though he'll be fighting for them. He does however say the mistake could result in litigation.
"They could sue for the violation of their privacy rights," Rains said.
Meantime, Abuslin's attorney has already filed a claim against the city of Richmond.
Lindsay added: "The city attorney's office will review any assertions made by Mr. Rains regarding disclosure of information. However, it has no bearing on the fact that the investigation was very thorough and that due process was followed in handling the disciplinary actions, nor does it change the conclusions that the city manager reached regarding what those disciplinary actions should be."
Abuslin's attorney John Burris said the following statement: "Fairness mandates that officers are protected, however their conduct of having sex with a person that they knew was a sex worker justifies termination. Our civil case will not be affected by the officers effort to keep their jobs. Given the officers' conduct, termination is justified. In essence, if they cannot up hold the law 24/7 then they should not be police officers."
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