A former Roseville Police officer is pushing back against the department after being terminated for having an affair.
Janelle Perez never made it through the probationary period of her stint with the department, she was fired for having an affair with another officer.
But that hasn't stopped her from filing a suit against Roseville PD.
Her suit, filed via her attorney Marion Cruz, claims the department treated her differently than other officers from the time she signed on in January 2012, including being required to read a book about emotional survival for law enforcement officers that no male officers were required to read.
The lawsuit claims that new Roseville police officers complete a mandatory field training officer program, but several males that joined close to the same time were allowed to complete it early. She says she was not afforded the same opportunity.
The crux of the case though was the affair with fellow officer Shad Begley that began after they met on the job. Both Perez and Begley divorced their spouses in April 2012. Several months later officer Begley's ex-wife contacted Roseville Police Chief Daniel Hahn and the Internal Affairs Department.
According to the lawsuit,
"Leah Begley's letter claimed the PLaintiff and her husband, Shad Begley, had developed and maintained a personal relationship while on duty, including the use of their cell phones to exchange personal calls and text messages with each other, and meeting each other at the fellow police officer's house while on duty."
Cruz maintains that the investigation that followed concluded they did have an affair and exchanged calls and texts while on duty, but no allegations of inappropriate physical contact while on duty were substantiated.
Fast forward to the following AUgust and the city sent memos to the officers informing them the investigation was finished. Captain Stefan Moore told both officers of the sustained allegations against them.
Moore's memo said that the officers were involved in an "on duty extramarital relationship" and further conduct of that type would be followed by further discipline, including being fired.
After two weeks, Perez was called into Chief Hahn's office and terminated. The letter she received stated the reason was that she had not successfully completed her probationary period.
Begley was neither fired nor demoted.
Cruz doesn't believe the explanation given to Perez, and said,
"We believe attributing her termination to her probationary status is merely a pretext for gender discrimination. She and a co-worker each engaged in the same conduct for which only she was fired. The Department has a history of discrimination at the workplace and we believe there may be evidence to support a custom and practice of unlawful discrimination at RPD."
News10 reached out to Roseville Police Department for comment, however they declined, saying they don't discuss ongoing legal matters.
They did confirm that Begley is still employed by the department and provided a copy of their interoffice relationships policy, which reads,
"This regulation does not prohibit romantic relationships between employees in different departments and between co-workers in the same department as long as the employees are not in a supervisory/subordinate relationship."
A federal judge is giving the city of Roseville until Jan. 31, to file a written response to the lawsuit.