A Tulare councilman has allegedly leaked part of the contents of a confidential investigator’s report detailing the conduct of officers of the Tulare Police Department.
Cease and Desist
According to a letter to Tulare City Attorney Mario Zamora from Visalia attorney Mike Lampe–who represents former Tulare Chief of Police Wes Hensley in a wrongful termination suit against the city–Councilman Carlton Jones improperly obtained a copy of the eyes-only report, which he then shared with several members of the public. Jones also shared portions of the report on social media, Lampe claims.
Jones declined to comment on the situation. Zamora could not be reached.
According to Lampe’s letter to Zamora, the city is aware Jones is in possession of the report and has demanded he return or destroy all copies. The city, the letter states, has also demanded Jones remove his social media posts regarding the report.
If Jones fails to comply, the city has agreed to file suit against him immediately to seek an injunction forcing him to comply, according to the letter.
Revealing police officers’ personnel record is a violation of the state penal code.
Damage Claims to Come
Lampe says Jones’ release of the report will lead to “filing multiple damage claims against the city.” His office, Lampe said, has already been contacted by several members of the TPD. Jones and the city will be the likely co-defendants, according to Lampe.
“I cannot stress how damaging the councilman’s actions are,” Lampe’s letter reads. “The long-term ramifications of this illegal act will be significant, both in terms of department moral and taxpayer dollars.”
Lampe is already suing the city in two separate actions. The first involves the firing of former Chief of Police Wes Hensley last year, and the second a suit alleging fraud by Councilman Greg Nunley on behalf of former Tulare police officer David Frost.
Jones’ testimony is scheduled to be taken in the Hensley case tomorrow, December 20. Lampe will conduct the examination.
This article will be updated as details emerge.