PITTSBURG (KRON) — A former Pittsburg police lieutenant has filed a lawsuit against the department and the city, claiming that he faced retaliation for being a whistleblower.
On Tuesday, KRON4 spoke with the officer’s attorney.
Wade Derby is no longer with the Pittsburg Police Department. He is working in Sacramento now.
But Derby said he was kind of pushed out of Pittsburg for calling attention to the way the department reported some of the crime statistics. KRON4 spoke with attorney Dan Horowitz, who represents Derby in the suit.
Horowitz said Derby noticed several crimes, mostly against minorities and poor people, that the department was classifying as “suspicious circumstances,” so that their crime stats would look better than they really were.
The suit alleges one was even a violent stabbing, and it was listed as a “suspicious circumstance,” until the victim later died and the department allegedly reclassified it as a homicide.
Meanwhile, Horowitz said his client was given embarrassing assignments just for calling the department out and was eventually forced to resign, the suit says.
“So, what he had was a great reputation as a terrific street cop, and the community, and the people loved him, but within the department, he was a pariah because he was violating the code of silence,” Horowitz said.
As of now, the police department isn’t making on-camera statements because it is a very fresh lawsuit filed on Monday. But KRON4 has received a statement from Pittsburg Police Chief Brian Addington.
Addington said he and the city are aware of the lawsuit, and he adamantly denies the allegations.
Here is the full statement from Addington:
The City is aware of the lawsuit filed by former officer Wade Derby, and the City and I adamantly deny the allegations. As Mr. Derby’s complaint states, he resigned after investigations into allegations of sexual harassment against him. Neither the City nor I in any way retaliated against Mr. Derby, and his Complaint contains numerous false allegations. The City and I look forward to defending the lawsuit and demonstrating the frivolous nature of the allegations.
Addington also said the department never retaliated against Derby and that Derby left because there were sexual harassment allegations against him.
KRON4’s Vince Cestone contributed to this report.