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CHP Agrees To Pay Nearly $1 Million...

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  • CHP Agrees To Pay Nearly $1 Million...

    http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/1003328.html

    By John Hill - [email protected]
    Published 1:51 pm PDT Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    The California Highway Patrol has agreed to a legal settlement of almost $1 million with a former chief who made an unwelcome bid for commissioner and blew the whistle on activities he considered improper.

    The CHP will pay $995,000 to Art Acevedo, now the police chief of Austin, Texas, according to the agreement released Tuesday.

    The settlement of Acevedo's lawsuit is on top of more than $600,000 in legal fees the CHP has paid to defend itself in legal actions arising from Acevedo's treatment.

    "I'm glad to be putting this behind me," Acevedo said in an interview this afternoon.

    He credited CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow for "showing the leadership" to end the long-running case. The CHP did not comment on the case, except to refer to a statement in the settlement to which the two sides agreed.

    "The settlement does not represent any admission of fault on either side," the statement says. "It does allow both parties to move forward and put the potential of protracted litigation and escalating costs behind them."

    The case began when Acevedo bucked the CHP establishment in 2004 by applying for the top job when then-Commissioner Dwight Helmick was considered vulnerable. Around the same time, Acevedo sought to expose a pension-spiking plan that would allow officers past the mandatory retirement age of 60 to benefit from a pay hike.

    In January, the State Personnel Board agreed with Acevedo that the CHP retaliated against him because of his whistle-blowing. It found that the CHP trumped up disciplinary charges against him, tainted his promotional exam and used other means to try to discredit him.

    The CHP's behavior "was designed to cause maximum stress, embarrassment and damage to (Acevedo's) reputation, and was particularly egregious," an administrative law judge wrote.

    As part of the settlement released Tuesday, the CHP agreed to drop its appeal of the State Personnel Board action, except for one chief's challenge of a 30-day suspension.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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