Clovis Police Department suit tentatively settled

January 31, 2013 12:45:58 AM PST
A discrimination trial involving a Clovis police sergeant and the City abruptly ended Wednesday after both sides reached a tentative settlement in the case.

The trial began Monday at the Fresno County Civil Courthouse. At the center of the case were charges of racism against the Clovis Police Department.

The discrimination trial against the department came to a screeching halt two days after it began. "I think just working together with Mr. Campos, we determined this was in the best interest of all parties to resolve the case," said Clovis City Attorney, David Wolfe.

Sgt. Javier Campos, who is of Latino descent, claimed he was discriminated against when Clovis police chief Janet Davis placed him on leave after a confrontation at a shooting range three years ago. On Monday, Davis testified that Sgt. Campos was a great officer but his outburst put him and other officers in an unsafe situation.

In his lawsuit, Campos said the suspension represented a double standard because white officers with similar issues weren't handled the same way.

In the end, both sides felt a settlement was the best option, even with the trial underway. "Even throughout the trial process you always try to find out if this is a good time to try to resolve this case. And the parties talked about it yesterday and we came to a tentative agreement," said Poncho Baker, Campos' attorney.

On Wednesday morning, the Clovis City Council held a special meeting to discuss the settlement. Behind closed doors, the council reached an agreement but officials would not discuss the financial details of the deal.

"Financially, any impact on the city's budget will have an impact but the city has a $160 million budget with a $50 million general fund and so we have to take a look at every decision we make if it's going to have an impact on our budget," said John Holt, assistant city manager.

As part of the agreement, Campos will leave the department after working there for 22 years. "I'm glad it's over. I'm glad it's over and I get to move on and do something else," said Campos. Campos said he would love to continue being a police officer but in a different department. "To the men and women working the front lines, I'm going to miss those folks and I wish them the best," he said.

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