Friday, July 08, 2005

Gilbert v. City of Sunnyvale (Cal. Ct. App. - July 6, 2005)

How wonderful to know that our public safety officers are looking out for the welfare of their constituents. For example, this case details the "alleged" -- I always say "alleged" lest I be all-too-easily sued -- conduct of police officer Randall Gilbert in serving the various needs of the prostitutes working at the Crystal Palace, a Korean hostess bar in Sunnyvale. Officer Gilbert was apparently ready and willing to serve, for example, when these prostitutes needed to be picked up from the airport or driven to the homes of other hookers. And when the owners of Crystal Palace (correctly) suspected that they were under surveillance by the FBI, Officer Gilbert graciously ran the license plates of various undercover FBI vehicles into the DMV computer and reported back the results to his friends at Crystal Palace. Ah, the joys of being a corrupt police officer.

Anyway, when Gilbert is eventually terminated -- and, let me assure you, even after all this misconduct is discovered, it takes a full year for him to actually be fired, all the while enjoying the comfort and benefits of administrative leave in the meantime -- rather than hide his head in shame, he instead files a petition for writ of mandate that challenges his termination and seeking reinstatement, back pay, and punitive damages.

Fortunately, he loses. And I was excited to see that Justice Elia's opinion ends with the following sentence: "Appellant shall bear costs on appeal." A tiny victory, to be sure. But it at least does something to satisfy the distaste I feel for Gilbert as a result of what I've read here. Yuk.