The city of San Jose, California, announced this week it will implement a new policy for city workers, placing anyone who works for the city government who has been accused of sexual misconduct on leave until an investigation is complete.
The announcement from the local police department comes after a string of incidents in which police officers and other city workers were found to have been engaging in sexual misconduct and may have continued to do so after being initially reported. The announcement also comes days after San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardi called for an investigation into police handling of sexual misconduct cases by city workers.
The new policy requires the city manager to be notified when a city worker is accused of sexual misconduct, assault or battery, theft or bribery. The city manager then has the authority to determine, after a preliminary investigation, whether the accused should remain working with the public and other coworkers during the official investigation.
“Protecting the public is paramount; that is what this policy intends to do,” Police Chief Anthony Mata said in the statement.
Last week, a former city code inspector was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being found guilty of extorting sex and soliciting bribes from the owners of massage businesses.
In a separate incident, a San Jose police officer was accused ot sexual misconduct for masturbating while responding to a call. He was charged with indecent exposure. Both men continued to work with the public after being reported.
The policy shift aims to protect the public and other city workers from possible sexual misconduct.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MERCURY NEWS
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