Richmond officials speak on changes to disciplinary action in sex scandal

Monday, February 06, 2017 07:11PM
A Richmond police officer will keep his job despite his involvement with self-described sex worker, Jasmine Abuslin, who was at the center of a sex scandal that rocked Oakland and Richmond police departments in 2016.

RICHMOND, Calif. - A Richmond police officer will keep his job despite his involvement with Jasmine Abuslin. She's a self-described sex worker who claims she was involved with dozens of police officers around the Bay Area.

RELATED: Abusilin expected to accept plea deal in Florida

Chief Allwyn Brown tells us from the beginning, the department has taken these allegations very seriously. In addition to speaking with the chief Monday, we also sat down with the city manager. He shared why he changed his mind about one of the officers investigated, who will now keep his job.

Abusilin has said she had sex with more than 30 law enforcement officers around the Bay Area in exchange for money or information, some while she was underage.

The Richmond police department investigated 11 of its officers.

"We got wind of stuff and we started digging around right away," said Chief Brown.

Investigators examined thousands of text messages, phone records and social media pages in addition to Abuslin's testimony.

"If a member is doing something they shouldn't be doing, then we want to find out about it so we can step in and correct it," Brown told ABC7 News.

In Sept., Brown recommended one officer be terminated. The following month, City Manager Bill Lindsay overrode that recommendation and called for a total of four officers to be terminated.

The officers were entitled to hearings.

Recently Richmond's Fire Chief Adrian Sheppard, who served as the hearing officer, recommended two of the four officers retain their jobs.

Lindsay partially agreed. "In another case, I didn't find those reasons to be compelling," he said.

The attorney for the officer who will now keep his job told us the officer received a one-month-unpaid suspension instead.

"In essence, the process worked the way it should work," Lindsay continued.

Brown says he shares the sentiment. He also says the allegations have provided an opportunity for the department to revisit its core values.

"To reinforce the idea that there's no compromise on the highest standard of professionalism here at the Richmond Police Department.

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Richmond's officers were not charged criminally in connection with Abuslin.
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