On May 23, officer John Ampol and the San Diego Police Officers Association filed a formal complaint against the SDPD, alleging that a department hearing officer abused his power and failed to provide Ampol with an opportunity to overturn a written reprimand.
Ampol and his attorneys say the issue dates back to July 2013 when Ampol was served a formal reprimand for inappropriate conduct, abusing his position, and for accessing and releasing criminal records.
According to a January 2012 article in San Diego CityBeat, Ampol has been in the news before. Writer Enrique Limón said Ampol arrested him without reason on Christmas for a questionable jaywalking incident. Ampol has also been mentioned in articles by Voice of San Diego and U-T San Diego.
Ampol appealed the decision but, according to the complaint, the hearing was rigged.
"The written reprimand's issuance was advocated by SDPD Acting Captain Andrew Hoffman, who was also the only witness that appeared and testified in support of the written reprimand.
"During the course of the appeal hearing, the only evidence offered in support of the factual conclusions upon which the reprimand was based was the internal investigative report concluding that Ampol's conduct was in violation of department policy and procedure. This evidence was introduced by the Department's advocate/witness (Hoffman) and admitted by the hearing officer over the repeated objection of Ampol's representative."
According to the complaint, the hearing violates the rules set forth in the collective-bargaining agreement between the city and the officer's association.