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Yet Another Shoe Drops in UCSB-PD Scandal

A fifth officer of UCSB's Police Department has filed suit for workplace retaliation.

A fourth lawsuit alleging unlawful workplace retaliation was filed against UCSB by one of its police officers on May 17. Jonathan Reyes, who is currently a corporal with UCSB’s Police Department, alleges that a number of violations he had noted and raised with his superiors resulted in his demotion and a lack of promotion.

Reyes, who was first with the department from 2000 to 2004 and more recently since June 2015, alleges he was demoted from corporal after complaining to Lt. David Millard about an unqualified trainee. His complaint states that an “unqualified officer with full arrest authority” was allowed to pass his trainee status and “was a threat to the safety of the public and the University.” Reyes names three other training officers, in addition to himself, who believed the trainee had not passed the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) program successfully. University spokesperson Andrea Estrada said all UCSB police officers are POST certified and were not allowed to be officers until they were so certified.

Reyes also claims Millard failed to promote him to sergeant after he took the test in 2017. The rank went to someone less qualified, he claims, Sgt. Gregory Smorodinsky, who then gave him a bad performance review. That review was overturned after Reyes complained and filed a grievance. His court papers state: “At all relevant times, Mr. Reyes performed his duties competently and satisfactorily, and Employer’s stated reasons for discipline of Mr. Reyes were pretexts for unlawful retaliation.”

The suit names Millard and Smorodinsky as defendants, as well as the university. It was filed by the same law firm engaged in two other lawsuits filed by UCSB-PD officers that also allege retaliation. The allegations in those lawsuits have been challenged by a former UCSB-PD sergeant in a third lawsuit.

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