A veteran Los Angeles police captain who sued the city, alleging she suffered a backlash for revealing the department doctored violent crime statistics, wants a judge to turn over the personnel records of two male LAPD employees who were promoted to commander instead of her.
Capt. Lillian Carranza maintains in her Los Angeles Superior court lawsuit filed Jan. 19 that after reporting the allegedly false crime data, “it was made clear to plaintiff that she will never advance or promote in the Los Angeles Police Department.”
Carranza’s suit further states that she alerted her superiors about discrepancies in violent crime rates for four years, and was passed over for a promotion because of it. Carranza says she first told superiors about alleged underreporting of violent crime in the LAPD’s Foothill area, but after no action was taken, she also reviewed reports and found similar issues in the Pacific, Central, Hollenbeck and Mission divisions.
Carranza’s current motion seeks the qualifications and employment history of LAPD members Robert Marino and Alan Hamilton “as well as documents pertaining to the department’s rationale for selecting them over plaintiff for promotion to commander” earlier this year, despite her “extensive experience” working as an area captain 3 at the LAPD’s Van Nuys division for more than three years.
“During this time, plaintiff’s performance was rated by her supervisors generally as exceeding expectations,” Carranza’s court papers state.
No commander candidate graded higher than the 96 that Carranza scored on an examination for the position in December 2017, Carranza’s court papers state.
Shortly after Carranza’s November 2017 news conference addressing her crime statistics allegations, then-Chief Charlie Beck called her allegations “not only lies, they’re damn lies.” Both the department and the inspector general looked into similar claims and found no wrongdoing, the chief said then.
In their court papers opposing Carranza’s motion, lawyers for the city state that her request is “vague” and “overbroad.” They further state that California places ” a high priority in preserving” the privacy of various personnel records.
“By casting such an amorphous, wide-spreading net, plaintiff’s requests have exceeded the bounds of California law,” the city’s attorneys’ court papers state.
In December 2017, a supervisor sent Carranza to the command post for the Creek fire near Sylmar in retaliation for her revelations, according to her lawsuit, which says the assignment was more suited for a sergeant or a police officer.
“While plaintiff was at the fire, she was exposed to smoke and other carcinogens for 10 to 14 hours a day for three days,” the suit states.
A day after Carranza left the fire zone, she was put on a regimen of steroids, antibiotics, pain medication and breathing treatments, according to her lawsuit.
Carranza alleges she has been denied training and ignored or ostracized during general staff meetings.
Carranza previously sued the city in October 2014, alleging she was being denied promotions in retaliation for her decisions while sitting on two Board of Rights hearings involving allegations of officer misconduct. After one of those hearings, Carranza said she recommended that the officer be suspended rather than fired, and in the second, she issued a not-guilty verdict.
Her decisions were not well received by LAPD management, some of whose members believed all officers sent to Board of Rights hearing should be fired, according to the suit, which Carranza dropped in January 2015. Court records were unclear on whether she reached a settlement or decided against pursuing the case for other reasons.
Carranza joined the LAPD nearly three decades ago. She was born in Honduras, came to the U.S. when she was 10 years old and became a citizen when she was 18. She was raised in New Orleans and was the first in her family to attend college.
A hearing on Carranza’s motion is scheduled Wednesday.
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