Regulatory policy

San Jose announces new policy to immediately furlough employees accused of criminal conduct

SAN JOSE — Recent incidents involving a former code enforcement inspector and a police officer prompted the city of San Jose to introduce a new policy that will immediately place employees accused of crimes on administrative leave until an investigation initial is done.

The San Jose Police Department announced the policy Friday afternoon. It applies to employees credibly accused of crimes such as sexual misconduct, assault and bribery.

“These revisions reflect our deep commitment to do everything we can to prevent similar incidents in the future,” Police Chief Anthony Mata said in a statement.

“In all cases, immediate action and collaboration with the City Manager’s office will ensure that decisions to remove a City officer or employee from contact with the public are made at the highest levels and with the utmost urgency.” , he continued. “Protection of the public is paramount; that is what this policy intends to do.

The new policy comes just days after Mayor Sam Liccardo called for an investigation into police treatment of employees accused of sexual misconduct.

Former code inspector William Gerry was sentenced last week to 35 years in prison for abusing his power to extort sex and solicit bribes from massage business owners and police officer Matthew Dominguez is being prosecuted over allegations he masturbated in front of a family while answering a call last month.

Gerry, 47, and Dominguez, 32, were on the police department’s radar for more than a year before being arrested, but were allowed to continue working in their public roles.

The new policy applies to all city employees and is intended to protect “the safety and financial health of our community,” City Manager Jennifer Maguire said in a statement.

“This preventative measure will help us ensure that potential crimes against our community by the very people they trust to keep them safe will not happen again and will be promptly addressed,” Maguire said.

“The policy,” she added, “provides safeguards so that the public has confidence in how we deal with these situations when criminal or administrative investigations are ongoing.”

Following preliminary review of an allegation, the City Manager will decide whether to maintain the employee on administrative leave or reassign the employee to other non-public duties, as appropriate, until the criminal investigation or administrative is complete, Constable Steven Aponte said in a news release announcing the new policy.

Aponte said allegations not covered by the policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

In a statement, Liccardo said he appreciated Mata and Maguire’s “swift action” in ensuring that we do not subject members of our community to any foreseeable risk of harm while investigating future allegations. of criminal misconduct by city employees”.