Fullerton seeks to fire police officer who allegedly groped women
A Fullerton Police officer who was allowed to return to work despite accusations he groped several women has been informed by the department that it now wishes to fire him, the city attorney said Tuesday.
Officer Albert Rincon, who was placed on leave in 2008 and returned to work after an investigation into allegations made by seven women, was again put on administrative leave July 9.
City Atty. Dick Jones said the city has issued a notice of intent to terminate Rincon. "His badge and gun have been taken," Jones said.
The city last week agreed to settle a lawsuit by two of the women Rincon allegedly groped for about $500,000. Jones said the city chose to reach a settlement in the lawsuit before announcing the action against Rincon.
He said that Rincon's prior disciplinary record would play a roll in the termination proceeding but declined to say what new issue arose to initiate the effort to terminate him.
Last week, a federal judge reprimanded the Police Department for allowing Rincon to return to street patrol. It was another blow for the agency, which is already reeling from criminal charges filed against two officers in the death of homeless man Kelly Thomas.
In a strongly worded opinion, U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford refused to throw out a lawsuit filed by two of Rincon's alleged victims. In the wake of the ruling, the city of Fullerton agreed to settle the case.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Fullerton Police Department has been under fire. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images