On Saturday, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata issued a statement on the investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that led to the arrest of the now-former executive director of the San Jose Police Officers' Association, Joanne Segovia.
The 64-year-old San Jose resident and the 20-year executive director of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association has been criminally charged for importing and distributing “thousands of opioid and other pills” including fentanyl (as well as using her personal and work computers to coordinate it). The San Jose Police Officers' Association has said that Segovia was dismissed from her position last week following an internal probe into the federal drug charges.
Mata’s statement was posted on Twitter, KPIX reported.
Message from Chief of Police Anthony Mata. @SJPDChief_Mata @SJPD_AC_Joseph pic.twitter.com/OaMR7xUaYX— San José Police Media Relations (@SJPD_PIO) April 8, 2023
He emphasized that Segovia was a “civilian administrative officer,” but noted that the arrest raised “concerns” in the community and led to questions that others in the police force were also involved in “illegal actions” and “complicity.” He said that the police remain committed to working with the Department of Homeland Security in the still ongoing investigation, but no police staff members have yet been accused of wrongdoing.
Indeed, community groups are criticizing the situation, as well as calling for an independent investigation into the allegations and more transparency overall by the union, according to the San José Spotlight.
“The (San Jose Police Officers’ Association) gives money to a lot of political campaigns. So now that these politicians are aware of what was going on there, what are you going to do about it?” Sean Allen, an executive board member of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP and sergeant with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, said to the Spotlight.
San Jose District 5 Councilmember Peter Ortiz also told the spotlight that the wide-ranging drug allegations were “horrifying” and “damaging” to the police union’s reputation.
The extent of this scandal remains to be seen, and more investigations are still ongoing.
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