An employee of the Montebello Police dept. is alleged to have leaked police records to a gang member. The leaked records contained information about witnesses to an attempted murder. The police records clerk may have compromised numerous citizens police records. The information had been shared with Sangra gang members. As a result two lawsuits have been filed for those individuals who had their police records leaked. Gang members used phones and social media to intimidate the 2 witnesses (Rodriguez and Fitivale).
Attorneys cited that the city should have done more to protect the witnesses. It was claimed the witnesses endured life altering hardship. Both witnesses had to re-locate. The former police records clerk (Gina Sanchez) was found guilty in November on conspiracy and witness intimidation. She awaits sentencing on June 4 court records confirm. She is currently free on bail.
The attorney for Montebello declined to comment. This is the second case which has involved Montebello police on grounds of misconduct. Only last week officer Christopher Cervantes was arrested. The arrest followed a drink driving accident (Diamond Bar) with a vehicle being damaged.
The police records breached were in relation to a shooting (Rodriguez’s home) involving gang member Arthur Sedejas on September 6th 2012. Sendejas has now been convicted of attempted murder. The other witness was next door visiting a relative and witnessed the shooting. Both gave statements to police and in turn Sanchez gave unedited copies to Sendejas. While also passing on copies of both witnesses driving licences.
Thereafter threats followed and a hit was placed on Rodriguez. The other witness received threatening calls. A private investigator also made contact who was working for Sendejas. Alarm bells rang as to how the PI had obtained her cell phone number. The leak was uncovered while a search was in progress at the home of Sendejas in August 2013. Rodriguez had become aware of the leak from a brother working as a Montebello detective. Rodriguez was re located and claimed this caused depression and anxiety.
The second witness along with her 3 children, husband and cousin had to find temporary shelter. The city paid for hotel accommodation but irregularly. Eventually another family home was found. She had claimed her children had become very afraid. The city had filed motions to dismiss the claims. Defence also put forward that they did not believe there were any concerns. Court records confirm that defence for the city also put forward that an employer is not responsible for the intentional wrongful acts of its employees.
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