Today (March 7), the U-T San Diego reported that the Sheriff’s Department is conducting an internal affairs investigation of a sergeant deputy who has been accused of abuses while in her uniform.
The main complain involves allegations that she – Sgt. Elizabeth Palmer – had unlawfully detained and searched an African-American male in the Chula Vista Court parking lot. Thing was, the guy she hassled was a retired San Diego police officer. Whoops.
And it turns out, that Sgt Palmer had had other complaints by others she had contact with, one involving an Ocean Beach man, Patrick Howard.
Timothy Newell of El Cajon is the primary complainant against Palmer, who has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 27 years. And the earlier complaints against her – including the one from OBcean Patrick Howard – had been determined supposedly to be “unfounded” and a third one was not investigated.
Patrick Howard, 44, of Ocean Beach, said he went to the Chula Vista courthouse on Nov. 10, 2008, to file legal papers as a process server. According to the federal lawsuit he filed in 2009, Howard walked through a metal detector for county employees only, which he had done on many occasions, and Palmer confronted him. Howard said she jabbed his chest with her fingers and ordered him through the public entry.
Howard filed a complaint two days later. That same day, he said, he returned to the courthouse and was handcuffed by a deputy while Palmer watched, and was cited for interfering with business for his improper courthouse entry two days earlier.”
The U-T reported that Palmer told Howard that “he would be ‘banned from every court in San Diego,’ and said, ‘I should have taken you down to the ground.’ ” Howard in late 2008 filed a complaint with the Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board, which found that his claims were “unfounded”. They were so “unfounded” that Howard settled with the County for $150,000.
Howard told the U-T:
“Multiple red flags have popped up. People are now coming out of the woodwork. The public should be outraged — they paid me that amount of settlement money.”