Ex-police officer's lawsuit against city of Paso Robles is dismissed

Lisa Solomon, former chief of the Paso Robles Police Department.
Lisa Solomon, former chief of the Paso Robles Police Department. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The ex-Paso Robles police officer whose sexual harassment allegations against former Police Chief Lisa Solomon snowballed into a scandal that ended in her resignation has let his lawsuit against the city drop — for now.

A San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge this month dismissed Brennan Lux’s May 2012 lawsuit against the city alleging that Solomon made sexual advances and retaliated against him.

His lawsuit also says the allegations led to his termination in fall 2011.

This week, the city received notice that Judge Jac Crawford dismissed Lux’s case because Lux didn't hand over his evidence to the city’s attorney in an early stage of the proceedings.

“It was my fault — it was a bad time in my life I dropped the ball,” Lux, 39, told The Tribune on Wednesday.

Lux said that when he filed the suit last year and the city was seeking evidence from him, his personal life was in shambles. A divorce, depression and long commutes to a graveyard shift as a King City police sergeant made it difficult to continue with the suit and fill out the defense’s documents.

“Those are all life-changing events at one time, and it was just overwhelming,” he added.

Lux says he knows the public may not be able to accept that he didn’t follow through in the evidentiary phase but stands by his allegations.

“There’s pain in this,” he said. “It comes down to: I would never, ever, make it up or bring forward false accusations. It wasn’t about the money at all — it was about doing the right thing.”

Lux has parted ways with his Encino-based attorney Lipow & Harris and is seeking a new lawyer so he can re-file the lawsuit against the city.

The allegations outlined in his original suit claimed Solomon made sexual advances toward him and then retaliated when he rejected her — including firing him in 2011.

Lux’s lawsuit, which only presents one side, tells the story of their relationship over the years — how Solomon encouraged Lux to become a sergeant, and how her alleged advances ultimately became sexual and against Lux’s will.

It was largely Lux’s accusations against the chief, including details of an alleged hot tub incident during Super Bowl weekend in 2008, that were the focus of public outrage aimed at city leaders for much of last year.

The public outcry, Solomon has said, contributed to her resignation last April. Related contentions have also spilled into public forums during the city’s election last November, arguably playing a key role in unseating one councilman and nearly defeating another.

While Solomon said she opted for an early retirement, she was paid $250,000 in a settlement with the city to leave her top spot for reasons still not publicly known.

Some members of the Paso Robles City Council later told The Tribune that had she not announced her voluntary departure, the city would have taken action.

Lux said that if a new lawsuit doesn’t materialize, he will move on.

“If I’m not able to go on with this lawsuit, then I won’t go on with it. I’m going to try to put this all behind me,” he added.

Meanwhile, a civil lawsuit naming Solomon, the city and others that alleges an illegal traffic-ticket quota is still active.

The lawsuit is slated to go to trial, but the date is not yet set, city officials said.

The city and Solomon didn’t return requests for comment on this story.

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