Action 4 Investigates " Police officer abuse from Santa Rosa City Aldermen
Fri, 03 Sep 2010 04:06:34 GMT —
Action 4 News obtained exclusive video along with an email from a Santa Rosa city employee of what appears to be a Santa Rosa city Alderman caught on tape harassing a police officer.
In the email it states the man on tape is city Alderman Oscar Ovalle.
In the video you can hear the officer calling the other man Ovalle, we contacted the city leader to verify if it was him but he denied our offer or interview.
The email goes on to accuse at least 2 aldermen in the city of Santa Rosa of quote "being out of control" and harassing towards officers on traffic stops.
One of them, the email refers to as Ovalle while the other is Alderman Erasmo Villanueva.
This is a surprise for me, said Villanueva on the phone. I don TMt have the slightest idea where this people are getting their information." Villanueva completely denied the allegations against him. Santa Rosa city employees we spoke with who did not want to be identified said harassment is happening in the department. Some allege it got so bad that one man quit after he had enough.
He wrote a letter of resignation stating that the reason that he resigned was because he didn TMt feel comfortable working in an environment where he felt hostile, said Santa Rosa Police Chief Xavier Martinez. He puts in here that he thought one of the commissioners was harassing him and that TMs what led him to resign."
That officer was Chris Sauceda and the commissioner in question is allegedly Erasmo Villanueva
He resigned because you know I was after him at no moment or at any time was I after him, explained Villanueva.
Action 4 News tried contacting Sauceda to get his side of the story.
But in the process we did learned that the he committed suicide Wednesday night at the young age of 23 in Donna.
Many in Santa Rosa told Action 4 city aldermen have too much control vested on them through city policy and blame it as the cause of so many problems.
We requested a copy of the policy manual but city hall told us the request could take up to 10 days.