In yet another screw-up by SAPD Police Chief Carlos Rojas, he allowed himself to be included in a picture that featured him in his uniform on a political mailer promoting O.C. Supervisor Andrew Do (a Republican from Garden Grove). Never mind the fact that Do is running against one of Rojas’ bosses, Santa Ana City Councilwoman Michele Martinez, the fact is that it is a a violation of Government Code and Departmental Policies for our Police Chief to appear, in uniform, in a campaign mailer.
The matter was investigated at City Hall and while it was determined that Rojas was “unaware the picture was taken” and Rojas claimed that he did not give permission for the photo to be used by Do’s campaign.
How can our Police Chief be so clueless that he would not observe someone taking his picture in a crowded room during an important meeting?
How badly did Rojas screw up in this case? Here are a few of his apparent violations of City and Departmental Policy as well as Government Code violations 3202-3206:
- Per Santa Ana Police Department Policy 110, Standards of Conduct, Section #D it states: Members of the department while on duty or acting in an official capacity, shall maintain a neutral stance with regard to political campaigns or endorsements. In the Andrew Do campaign mailer its clearly represents the Santa Ana Police Department Chief’s endorsement of Andrew Do in this campaign mailer. Additionally, it is unprofessional that the Chief would endorse against his current sitting Councilwoman, Michele Martinez, who is running against Do.
- Per Santa Ana Police Department Policy 1058.4.1, Unauthorized Endorsements and Advertisements it states: while employees are not restricted from engaging in the following activities as private citizens or authorized members of a recognized bargaining unit, employees may not represent the Santa Ana Police Department or identify themselves in any way that could be reasonably perceived as representing the Santa Ana Police Department in order to do any of the following, unless specifically authorized by the chief (or in this case would be city manager). (Did City Manager David Cavazos authorize this?)
- (a) Endorse, support, oppose or contradict any political campaign or initiative. Again, this warrants further investigation in light of the current Investigation and Report into the city manager which states he falsely reported sexual harassment against Councilwoman Martinez and the report stated the city manager lied.
- Government Code 3202-3206 states: No officer or employee of a local agency shall participate in political activities of any kind while in uniform.
There appears to be many violations of Departmental Policies and a violation of the Government Code. Imagine if a regular police officer did this? Rojas would fire him immediately!
Click here to see the Do mailer in its entirety.
Coincidently, Do is also being investigated by the FPCC for other issues regarding his campaign financing. Remember that he used to be the Chief of Staff to former Supervisor Janet Nguyen. He was her bag man – and if he ever spills the beans on what he did for her it is likely that both he and Nguyen will end up in jail. That might be why Nguyen and Do are now estranged. They know full well that either of them could put them both in the clinker.
Furthermore it is likely that Do, a Republican, will have to back the racist anti-Mexican GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, in November. And Rojas, rather purposefully or inadvertently, promoted Do in a campaign mailer!
Clearly Rojas continues to be well over his head. If the current City Council won’t fire him I hope the next one will!