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Glendale police officers on leave over allegations of sex solicitation, hostile work environment

March 21, 2011 |  8:22 am

The Glendale Police Department has placed two more of its officers on administrative leave in separate alleged incidents.

One involves alleged sexual solicitation and the other involves allegations that an officer created a hostile work environment by pushing a colleague to join a lawsuit against the department, sources told The Times.

The actions come a month after Glendale police placed six other officers on paid administrative leave for alleged incidents that included using a police vehicle for a trip to Las Vegas and a case of off-duty road rage.

Although police officials have refused to discuss the cases, saying they are prohibited from publicly speaking about personnel matters, the raft of disciplinary moves is part of what officials say is an effort by Glendale Police Chief Ronald De Pompa to enforce a zero-tolerance policy on police misconduct.

Sources familiar with the new cases, but who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigations, said one officer was placed on paid administrative leave after he allegedly engaged in solicitation but did not elaborate.

In a separate case, an officer described by sources as a plaintiff in a pending civil discrimination lawsuit against the Glendale Police Department was also was taken off active duty after a colleague filed a complaint for a hostile work environment, the sources said. The colleague alleged that the officer repeatedly tried to persuade him to join the lawsuit, the sources said.

All eight cases are still pending. One misconduct case dates back two years and involves an officer who allegedly had a sexual relationship with the estranged wife of a man who was a suspect in a criminal investigation.

A more-recent incident involves three officers accused of using a police vehicle for a personal trip to Las Vegas during the holiday season, according to multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Another case involves an officer who stands accused of a road-rage incident in Burbank in October. According to court records, Officer Eric Ritter allegedly got into a dispute with another motorist that ended in a fight. The Burbank city attorney's office charged Ritter with misdemeanor battery in December. Ritter has pleaded not guilty and says he was acting in self defense.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

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