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Northern California Police Captain Sergeant resigns over text messaging scandal fallout

It appears the Captain and Sergeant implicated in the Eureka Police Department texting scandal resigned last week.

Eureka City manager Miles Slattery would not identify the captain and sergeant, who resigned March 25. However, many of the offensive texts that caused the scandal were sent by Captain Patrick O’Neil, who was placed on administrative leave in May 2021, and Sergeant Rodrigo Reyna-Sanchez, who was also placed on paid administrative leave.

The captain’s and sergeant’s resignations were effective immediately, and a press release from Eureka said appropriate corrective action was taken on other officers involved, although Slattery declined to specify what specific action was taken against the officers.

The scandal began after a Sacramento Bee Report detailed violent, occasionally sexually explicit, text messages between officers. The text messages ranged from extreme disgust towards a multitude of people, including the homeless, protesters and suspects, to death wishes.

“The text messages brought to light by the article and confirmed during the independent investigation were abhorrent and not representative of the respect that EPD members have for our citizenry,” said interim chief Todd Jarvis in a press release. “These actions are at odds with the extensive efforts our team has made to ensure we approach every challenge with a clear focus on human dignity, professionalism and respect for the individual.”

An officer who was placed on administrative leave in March 2021 for investigations left the force on September 17.

Slattery said he was not allowed to speak about the corrective actions that would be imposed on officers as a result of the investigation, but this Public Records Act requirement could change that.

“The legal representation of the individuals involved in this clearly had the best interests of their clients in mind, and that definitely doesn’t always align with what is in the best interests of our community, so that’s where we ended up,” Slattery said. “The City will continue to seek to be as transparent and open as possible whilst still bearing in mind the rights of the individuals involved that we intend to and be able to comply with any requests for public records or anything similar in relation to this to release the information that we are allowed to release.”

https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/03/29/epd-captain-sergeant-resign-in-texting-scandal-fallout/ Northern California Police Captain Sergeant resigns over text messaging scandal fallout

Joel McCord

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