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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / San Gabriel Police Officers’ Association Files Suit Against City Lawyers Compare Scandal to City of Bell

San Gabriel Police Officers’ Association Files Suit Against City Lawyers Compare Scandal to City of Bell

by Terry Miller
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Attorney Dieter Dammeier makes a point as detectives Fabian Valdez, Martin Garcia and Dan Flores hold a press conference outsie San Gabriel City Hall Friday morning. - Photos by Terry Miller

San Gabriel Police Officers’ Association Files Suit Against City
Lawyers Compare Scandal to City of Bell
By Terry Miller

The San Gabriel Police Officers’ Association announced a lawsuit has been filed against the city, accusing city officials of misusing city employee retirement funds.
The POA’s attorney Dieter Dammeier said the city has “misappropriated and misused” city retirement funds since 2000 in a press conference held outside City Hall Friday morning and said that thousands of tax dollars have gone into private savings accounts of city employees.
The lawsuit against the city is asking officials to return $5.7 million in allegedly misspent employee retirement funds.
Detectives Fabian Valdez, Martin Garcia and Dan Flores stood along side their attorney Dieter Dammeier outside San Gabriel City Hall Friuday morning with about 30 cusious residents and local media and told their side of the story. In pointing out that they are the lowest paid police depratment dept., spokesman Valdez said he was surprised to learn that some council members get in excess of $26,000 for “essentially working two nights a month” when officers who “put their lives on the line, are paid about $84,000 for keeping the community safe 24-7.”

Fabian Valdez reads a statement during the press sonference


The suit comes after the city declared impasse in labor negotiations with the POA. Negotiations began in April 2011.
The POA filed an initial claim in January, which was thrown out in February.
City leaders will discuss the matter during March 13 City Council meeting.

Named in the suit are:
CITY OF SAN GABRIEL (“the City”) is a duly constituted municipal
corporation operating under the laws of the State of California, wholly situated in the County of
Los Angeles.
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAN GABRIEL (“City
Council”), the elected governing body of Defendant City, is responsible for establishing laws and
policies in the conduct of City business.
DAVID R GUTIERREZ is the Mayor and a Councilperson for the City
of San Gabriel. Defendant Gutierrez is named in both his official and individual capacities.
KEVIN B. SAWKINS is the Vice-Mayor and a Councilperson for the
City of San Gabriel. Defendant Sawkins is named in both his official and individual capacities.

From left,Fabian Valdez, Martin Garcia and Dan Flores - Photo by Terry Miller


Defendant JULI COSTANZO is a Councilperson for the City of San Gabriel.
Defendant Costanzo is named in both her official and individual capacities.
JOHN HARRINGTON is a Councilperson for the City of San Gabriel.
Defendant Harrington is named in both his official and individual capacities.
Defendant MARIO DE LA TORRE is a Councilperson for the City of San
Gabriel. Defendant De La Torre is named in both his official and individual capacities.
Defendant STEVEN A. PRESTON, the appointed City Manager of Defendant
City, is responsible for the administration of all City departments, and serves as the City’s chief
executive to the City Council. Defendant Preston is named in both his official and individual
capacities.

Defendant TOM MARSTON is the Finance Director for the City of San Gabriel.
Defendant Marston is named in both his official and individual capacities.
Defendant ROBERT KRESS is the City Attorney for the City of San Gabriel. As
City Attorney, Kress owes a duty to residents and employees, including Plaintiff SGPOA’s
members, of the City of San Gabriel to ensure that the City complies with the law. Defendant
Kress is named in his official and individual capacity.
Defendant JOHN JANOSIK, the elected City Treasurer of Defendant City, is
responsible for establishing and maintaining the procedures and controls over City revenues andexpenditures. Defendant Janosik is named in both his official and individual capacities
San Gabriel City Council will address the SGPOA’s tort claim against the city at its meeting on Tuesday.

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