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Paso Robles police union issues statement on chief allegations

Members of the Paso Robles Police Officers Association are calling on the city to ensure a safe working environment for their employees in light of recent allegations against police Chief Lisa Solomon, according to a statement Monday.

Online news site Cal Coast News reported last week that some officers in the Paso Robles Police Department accused her of sexual harassment and other allegations.

The Tribune is not detailing the allegations because it hasn’t been able to independently determine their credibility with the officers involved, documents or local officials. “We’re doing so out of fairness to all involved,’’ Executive Editor Sandra Duerr said.

In its statement, the union told City Manager Jim App and the Paso Robles City Council that “they are mandated by law to provide a safe working environment for their employees.”

In addition, the union statement said, “the POA membership expects to be treated with respect and dignity by our administration, as is expected from us.’’

The union, which represents the city’s officers, sergeants and dispatchers, also said that membership desires “a fair investigation which seeks to discover the truth” and that they expect Solomon “be afforded due process.”

On Monday, App confirmed that Solomon remains employed with the city but declined to comment on whether she is being investigated. Solomon confirmed Monday she’s remaining on the job.

App and members of the Paso Robles City Council have said they can’t comment on the issue because of personnel laws that specifically protect the privacy of police officers.

Solomon was named police chief in 2007. She oversees 48 employees in the Police Department, which includes 27 sworn officers and seven reserve officers.

The state Fair Employment and Housing Agency has not received any formal grievances from any Paso Robles police officer in the last three years. FEHA is the state agency in charge of investigating claims of sexual harassment.

The city has declined to disclose whether any grievances or complaints have been filed against Solomon, citing personnel privacy laws.

On Monday, the association released the following statement:

TO MEDIA:

On behalf of the members of the Paso Robles Police Officers Association, we provide the following statement due to recent events discussed within the media:

We as Police Officers and Dispatchers are honored to serve the great citizens of Paso Robles and do so with pride. We know the responsible citizens of Paso Robles work very hard, pay their taxes and deserve quality service from their officers. The men and women of the Paso Robles Police Officers Association strive to provide the citizens of this community the very best service possible, even under difficult conditions.

As officers and dispatchers, we expect that Chief Solomon be afforded due process into the serious allegations that have recently been reported by Cal Coast News. The POA membership, desire a fair investigation which seeks to discover the truth. We cannot and will not discuss this issue at this time.

I write this letter to publicly inform City Manager Jim App and the Paso Robles City Council that they are mandated by law to provide a safe working environment for their employees. The POA membership expects to be treated with respect and dignity by our administration as is expected from us.

We are very grateful for the incredible and positive support the Paso Robles Police Officers Association membership has received from our community we so proudly serve.

— Paso Robles Police Officers Association

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