City Officials Commend Court Decision to Terminate Indio Police Officer

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

INDIO (CNS) – City officials Friday commended the Riverside County Superior Court’s decision to terminate an Indio Police Officer for violating the department’s policies.

“Mr. Ramirez’s actions violated the high standards we have of our police officers, as well as the public’s trust,” Indio Police Department Chief Michael Washburn said in a statement.

Former Indio Police Officer Sergio Ramirez was charged by the Riverside County District Attorney’s office in 2016 with raping a teen, forced oral copulation and bodily injury from sexual penetration, according to a statement from the city. He was acquitted of the charges in June 2018.

Though acquitted, Ramirez was still found to have violated the department policies for driving drunk the night of the encounter, resetting his department-issued cell phone to destroy evidence and for lying under an Internal Affairs investigation about the sexual encounter, city officials said. He was terminated in 2019.

On May 30, a Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled that the City of Indio had just cause in Ramirez’s termination for several violations of the department’s policy, according to a statement from the city. Ramirez appealed his termination to the city manager, who denied his appeal.

“The preponderance of evidence indicated that Mr. Ramirez violated Indio Police Department policies and the trust of our community,” City Manager Bryan Montgomery said in a statement. “We are glad that the court agreed with that decision and that Mr. Ramirez is no longer a part of the Indio Police Department. We do not tolerate that kind of officer or employee at the city of Indio.”

No other information was immediately available.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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