PANTYGATE AND THE FRANK CARSON CONNECTION
by Marty Carlson
The city of Ceres has approved two settlements totaling $400,000 to put to an end to lawsuits that police officers secretly took videos up a female employee’s dress, also videotaping an employee with a secret camera while she is changing clothes in her office.
Also of note 1 of the women is married to a female officer and claims she faced additional discrimination and harassment because of her sexual orientation.
So, the usual admitting no liability by the city was claimed, but the payoff speaks for itself.
There were some officers from the street crimes unit that were alleged to be involved in this videotaping, and in fact one had been terminated but has since litigated to get his job back.
I guess you’re wondering at this point what the Frank Carson connection is.
The Frank Carson case as many tentacles that reach out to many areas, and the Ceres videotaping, which is become known as “panty gate,” was done with the game cam that was used at the scene where Korey Kauffman’s remains were discovered. In fact, it created some legal issues during the Frank Carson et al. preliminary hearing, where there were some Sim cards that were not allowed to be seen by the attorneys because of the videos and or pictures that were captured on that game cam that was used in the one employee’s office. That game cam was motion activated so it could be set up and left to retrieve later.
Capt. Collins from the Ceres Police Department ended up testifying in the Frank Carson et al. preliminary hearing regarding these pictures and videos. Judge Zuniga went in camera with Ceres police representatives, and I believe she viewed the images herself to determine any evidential value. The attorneys were concerned that there was still pictures relevant to the alleged crime scene. Judge Zuniga ruled that they were not.
A second issue of note, officer Derek Perry, was also a member of the street crimes unit at that time, and it was around that time that he left Ceres Police Department and moved on to Tracy Police Department. Probably just a coincidence, as officer Perry, to my knowledge was never accused of being involved in “panty gate.”
If you recall Officer Parry had taken some evidence, CD’s, and a flash drive, to his home and then could not find them later for the hearing. This drew the ire of judge Zuniga, along with the other evidence that had been handled so poorly by law enforcement, especially with the DA’s office.
So, in my opinion some employees were justifiably compensated for the actions of a few small-minded individuals. But I do wonder why there wasn’t some type of criminal charges filed against these officers for these actions. Except for the fact it would’ve been an admission of guilt by the city by doing so thus costing them more money.
So in the last few years, Ceres had an officer involved shooting where he killed the husband of a woman he was dating , we had an officer that broke a handcuffed woman’s arm in 2012, even though she never faced any criminal charges. There have been more instances of officer involved shootings but they have to this point been ruled justifiable, sadly, those things happen in this type of work.
So, my concern is this is the caliber of police officers were getting hired into law enforcement these days, if so it’s a problem.