Council Should Stay Out of Police Personnel Matters, Memos Say

After an audit called for firing police who lie to investigators, some city leaders have come out opposing the recommendation.

Labor-backed council members Don Rocha, Xavier Campos and Kansen Chu say the city should exercise caution, especially in light of the San Jose Police Department’s ongoing battle to keep enough officers on staff.

“I recognize that confrontation may get you on the front page of the paper, but in my opinion the public is better served by a council that prioritizes problem-solving instead of publicity, and that facilitates collaboration between staff, stakeholders and the public instead of conflict,” Rocha writes in a memo going before the council this week.

In her year-end report, Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell noted that two officers had sex while on duty and then lied during ensuing investigations into the incidents. She said the department should adopt a no-tolerance policy for untruthful officers. To keep them employed compromises public trust.

Council members Sam Liccardo and Rose Herrera fully supported the recommendation, saying the department should update the duty manual to make lying during an investigation automatic cause for termination.

Police Officers Association President Jim Unland quipped in a Mercury News report that if cops could get axed for lying, then politicians should be held to the same standard.

In a joint memo, Chu and Campos agree that the City Council shouldn’t micromanage personnel matters.

“Falling into the salacious media hype over the misconduct of two officers is not the job of us as a council,” they write. “Rather than react to it by adding to the media frenzy, or more regulations and more government involvement and oversight, we should take to a more effective approach by examining a larger and more systemic solution—transparency.”

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. The majority of this council led by the biggest liar of them all SHOULD stay out of this or just fire the COP and hire a puppet.

    That is why the police have a IA investigative unit who reports to the COP. Enough of this grand standing by the second and third (PO is tied for third) as the biggest liars on this council. Pete would be there too but he dropped out knowing no way in heck he could get the top spot.

    You don’t like the way your COP is working then fire him. Better yet fire your IPA who does nothing but sit on any council she can to make more money. Politically correct (yes) but WAY over paid.

  2. Xavier Compost, he’s a pill, that one. He’s the one who handed out the “Most Influential Latino of Silicon Valley” titles like they were Baby Ruth bars, and there were changos silly enough to bite. Most notably for me that pretend “activist” Adrian Vargas, a self-serving ego-tripping college-years aggressive Maoist wierdo, who travelled on a pilgrimage to kiss Fidel’s butt, which is neither here nor there for me, he can, and does, kiss any butt he likes, but a close assessment shows Vargas devoid of anything like culture or politics of any kind except being seen on stage “leading.” He reached a certain apogee when he thoroughly annoyed the director of Santa Clara Human Relations Commission by appropriating a couple of foolish employees of hers into his schemes, enshrouding his SJSU “panel discussion” about his group’s “cultural legacy” with the appearance of H.R.C. support, last year. It was I who clued her in, and she now surely takes a closer look at to whom her office gives auspices and support. Campos resembles Vargas with his “goal orientation” which uses and steps on others. Cynical and corrupt.

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