Wednesday, February 25, 2015

LAC Blood? Really!

LANCASTER – A 43-year-old man who worked as a guard at a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility in Lancaster pleaded no contest Tuesday to bringing contraband into the prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Andre Pierre Scott also admitted that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang, according to Deputy District Attorney Craig Kleffman.
The prosecutor said Scott is a member of the Pasadena Denver Lane Bloods street gang, and Scott distributed phones, heroin and marijuana at the prison in 2012 and 2013. The contraband was either smuggled in by Scott or thrown over a prison fence by civilians and then distributed by Scott, according to the prosecutor.
The criminal case stemmed from an investigation by the Internal Affair Bureau of CDCR.
An informant tipped off prison investigators in late 2013; and in November of that year, three agents confronted Scott before his shift at the Lancaster prison’s minimum support facility, according to testimony at a preliminary court hearing.
The agents searched Scott’s belongings and found vacuumed-sealed bags of marijuana, cellophane-wrapped packages of heroin, and several cell phones intended for inmates, according to court testimony by internal affairs agent William Yarbrough.

According to Yarbrough’s testimony, authorities served a search warrant at Scott’s Lancaster home, where they found packages of marijuana, a stolen loaded .357 magnum handgun, a scale, vacuum sealed bags, and letters and paraphernalia associated with the Pasadena Denver Lane Bloods street gang. Read more on the December 2013 preliminary court hearing here.
Scott, a correctional officer for more than 10 years, was arrested Nov. 28, 2013. He was fired a day later and charged with two counts of bringing drugs into prison, possession of marijuana for sale, possession for sales of a controlled substance, sales or transportation of marijuana and sales or transportation of a controlled substance.
Scott has been jailed on $1 million bail since his 2013 arrest.
After pleading no contest Tuesday to bringing contraband into the prison, Scott was immediately sentenced to four years in state prison and waived credit for two years he has already spent behind bars.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ironwood has been rocking!

BLYTHE, Calif. - Ironwood State Prison (ISP) was once again the scene of a riot last Friday after approximately 120 inmates started fighting in the "D" yard dining hall.

This time, inmates began fighting using their fists, kicks, and food trays against other inmates during the evening meal.

Officers immediately deployed multiple less lethal force options in an effort to quell the disturbance. While gaining control of the incident, there were approximately 100 inmates walking to the dining hall when the riot spread to the yard. The incident quickly escalated and mutual aid from Chuckawalla Valley State Prison was summoned.

Responding staff arrived and were able to gain control of the disturbance utilizing less lethal 40mm launchers designed to fire rubber and wood projectiles, OC pepper spray, blast dispersion grenades and expandable batons. The rapid response by officers controlled the incident within a few minutes.

All inmates were separated and placed into secure locations. Inmates who were found with injuries requiring more definitive care were transported to Triage Treatment Area (TTA) for treatment. Subsequently, 15 inmates were sent to outside area hospitals for further treatment.

There were no injuries to staff as a result of this incident. Facility "D" is on modified program pending investigation into the cause of this disturbance and identification of participants.

Earlier this month, ISP reported four of its correctional officers were attacked by several inmates during mealtime on "C" yard. In August, six inmates were temporarily hospitalized when a fight broke out, also on "C" yard.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

RJD Vest saves Officer

SAN DIEGO — An inmate at an Otay Mesa prison attacked a correctional officer with a homemade weapon Sunday night, a state official said Monday.
Jason Harmon rushed the 27-year-old officer as inmates were getting medication about 8:05 p.m. at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. Harmon stabbed the officer with the pointed end of the weapon, but struck the officer's protective vest, said Robert Brown, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabil...itation.
The officer tried to subdue Harmon, but he continued to attack, Brown said. Other officers stepped in to stop the attack and took away the weapon.
Harmon, 37, was taken to a hospital for a cut on his head and possibly a broken hand, Brown said. He was put into the Administration Segregation Unit at the prison. The officer suffered minor cuts and bruises.
Investigators are looking into what may have prompted the incident, if anything, Brown said.
Harmon is serving a life sentence for attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, carjacking, buying or receiving stolen equipment and evading a peace officer while driving recklessly. He has been imprisoned since 2011

Monday, February 9, 2015

CHP came up! The question will be what will come on our Contract? (CDCR)

Payroll costs for California Highway Patrol officers grew an average 11 percent per employee last year, new state data show, fueled by a mandated raise, more overtime and the end of furloughs in 2013.

Meanwhile, the number of officers was down nearly 2 percent from the previous year.
Officers’ total pay averaged $118,302 in 2014, an increase of $13,016 per employee. The figure includes all forms of wages, such as hourly pay and fitness pay, issued through the California State Controller’s Office. Overtime pay per officer also rose 11 percent to an average $15,241
By law pay for members of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen is based each year on the average total compensation of corresponding ranks in the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, the San Diego Police Department, the Oakland Police Department and the San Francisco Police Department.

Last year, CHP officers’ wages lagged the average by 6.9 percent. Officers netted a 4.9 percent raise with the other 2 percent paying higher pension contributions mandated by state law.
The end of one-day-per-month furloughs in mid-2013 comparatively lifted 2014 annual pay for CHP officers – and all state workers – by a little more than 2 percent.
State figures also indicate the department paid 117 fewer officers last year, an attrition rate of 1.8 percent. From 2012 through 2014, the number of rank-and-file patrol officers has declined 2.75 percent

Read more here:

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Notes from the CCPOA State Board meeting

A topic of discussion at the State Board meeting was that during the Governors proposed Budget, it looks like they are going after Health Care Benefits for retirees and new (Officer) hires.  There are talks of possible medical pension accounts, where we put in a contribution and the state would match it.  Stay tuned for updates and this unfolds.

CCPOA is considering doing an audit to verify correct seniority scores, as Tele Staff numbers may not be correct.  It is also a step to show that Tele Staff may not be the best program available.

A grievance was filed by CCPOA on behalf of Officers assigned at the Academy.  Cadets were ordered to purchase Class A pants by the academy instructors.  The Officers will be reimbursed a $150.00 each as a result of this mis-information that was being directed to them.

Former CCPOA President Mike Jimenez was elected into a position as a consultant for CCPOA.

On day two of the State Board more talks about Health Care reform are going to happen and the Governor will be pushing for a 50/50 split.

CCPOA will be filing an appeal over the walk time case.  Stay tuned for details as information is received.

CCPOA Supervisory Vice President Kevin Raymond resigned from his position.  LAC President Charlie Hughes was appointed and confirmed by the Board of Directors.

CCPOA also appointed Kurt Stotezl to the position of State Wide Vice President.  Which was vacant as a result of Chuck Alexander being elected as President.

And lastly very sad news came out at the State Board in regards to (CIM)Officer Robert “BigMac” McGowan.  He was notified that his appeal was denied for a new trial.  Rob was released from Federal Custody almost two years ago and has been living in his home town and trying to make a living, while he awaited the appeal decision.  He was noticed that he must surrender to Federal Custody at the end of February.  CCPOA is working on getting him house arrest or a possible halfway house.  Rob has approximately 10 months left of his original sentence.   This case is over 13 years old and the Feds are stilling punishing this guy!!
Have a Safe 8

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SVSP Officer Arrested

A 35-year-old Salinas Valley State Prison officer was arrested Sunday on suspicion of holding another man at gunpoint.

Brian Gertsch was arrested during a traffic stop by Monterey County sheriff’s deputies, according to a report. Inside his vehicle, deputies said they found a loaded handgun.
Earlier in the day, a man told deputies he and Gertsch were in San Ardo when they became involved in a heated verbal argument. Both were drinking, the victim said.

Gertsch then pulled out a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, and pointed it at the victim’s chest, according to the man’s report.

Lt. Eduardo Mazariegos confirmed Monday Gertsch has been in the prison’s employ for six years. As of Monday morning, Gertsch hadn’t yet been placed on paid administrative leave, which is typical procedure when an officer is arrested.

“The warden and the administrative staff will have to look at that,” Mazariegos said. “The incident just occurred this weekend.”

Mazariegos was unsure if Gertsch was scheduled to work Monday.
Until his arraignment Feb. 4, Gertsch is out of custody on his own recognizance, Monterey County Sheriff’s Cmdr. John Thornburg said.

Gertsch isn’t the only Salinas Valley State Prison officer to be arrested in recent memory. Last September, San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies arrested Officers Sergio Aranda, 35, and Travis Woolf, 36. They are accused in the bar brawl manslaughter of Alvaro Jaramillo Medrano, 54, in San Miguel.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reverse Discrimination alive and well!

A new form of discrimination now seems to exist in the workplace. Reverse discrimination is a term that describes laws and policies that favor certain minority groups, whether racial or sexual, over another group historically seen as more dominant, such as white males. In these cases, employers do not take into account the actual qualifications of a potential employee, only the race or sex.

This results in the overlooking of qualified applicants that apply for certain positions, promotions, and even higher education due to their race, which Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits. According to Title VII, it is unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of ethnicity, religion, sex, or race. This includes non-minorities.

Many believe that “Affirmative Action” is a form of reverse discrimination, as it gives preferential treatment to individuals based on their race. This is a form of racial discrimination, and according to the law, affected employees, regardless of their race or gender, need protection from unfair treatment.

Although it is not common, reports indicate that non-minorities file at least 20% of the discrimination complaints.

If you truly believe that you are a victim of reverse discrimination in the workplace and you believe that your job rights have been violated you have the right to file a charge of discrimination.  This is a required step before you are allowed to file a discrimination lawsuit.