SJPOA executive fired after being charged in drug distribution scheme

Zach Fuentes Image
Friday, April 7, 2023
SJ police union fires exec accused in drug distribution scheme
San Jose's POA executive Joanne Segovia has been fired after allegedly importing drugs from overseas, distributing them throughout U.S.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The executive director of San Jose's Police Officers Association has been fired following her arrest for allegedly importing drugs from overseas and distributing them throughout the country.

Sixty-four-year-old Joanne Segovia was charged with attempting to import illegal synthetic opioid drugs from overseas, specifically a form of fentanyl.

RELATED: Activists demand answers after San Jose POA exec's drug trafficking bust

Investigators say she used her personal and office computers to order the drugs and agreed to distribute them elsewhere in the U.S.

The San Jose Police Officers' Association said that they had no knowledge of what their 20-year employee was doing. The POA has reportedly completed the first phase of its internal investigation into the federal drug charges against Segovia and has terminated her employment.

"As a result," said POA president Sean Pritchard. "We have terminated her employment."

The POA would not elaborate on what findings in that investigation led to the firing.

ABC7 reached out to Segovia's attorney and has not heard back.

RELATED: Drug smuggling allegations against police union exec hurts trust of SJPD, former police auditor says

Former San Jose Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell reacts to drug smuggling allegations against SJPOA Executive Director Joanne Segovia.

The POA says the next phase of the investigation will be bringing in an outside independent investigator.

"We are looking to identify someone with an indisputable record," Pritchard said. "Someone that's an expert to be able to come in and take a look at our overall protocols or procedures, things that we have in place, (to see) could there have been something that was in place that would have identified this type of behavior sooner."

Police accountability groups and human rights advocates raised questions Wednesday about the years-long drug smuggling case.

"We need to not have the POA just say- we're going to do an internal investigation. That doesn't work," said Laurie Valdez at the Wednesday San Jose rally.

RELATED: SJPOA executive turns herself in, appears in court after being charged in drug distribution scheme

The POA says their search to bring in an external investigator was planned and is not in response to calls from the community groups.

"We planned this from the very get-go," Pritchard said. "We have taken it as serious as we possibly can from minute one from the time we were notified until this very moment and continuing to move forward."

The POA says they have no target date for when an independent investigator will be hired.

"There's one reason why we don't," Pritchard said. "And that's to ensure that we're doing this the right way. We don't want to just rush through something."

Segovia's next court appearance is set for April 28.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live