Another Settlement in Case First Reported Here of Rohnert Park Officers Illegally Seizing Cash and Cannabis

Sgt Jacy Tatum

Jacy Tatum being sworn in as sergeant in 2015. [Photo from the City of Rohnert Park Police and Fire]

Just recently we got a thank you call from a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the City of Rohnert Park. They told us how much they appreciated what we had started with our article that helped crack open the case against corrupt police in that Sonoma County city who roved as far as north as Mendocino County to steal marijuana and money from travelers.

Zeke Flatten

Zeke Flatten who along with Hugh Freeman was one of the two plaintiffs that alleged corruption in the Rohnert Park City Police and Fire Department and received Settlements. [Photo provided by him]

Reporter Sukey Lewis has been staying on top of that story for KQED. She posted a story last night noting that so far the City of Rohnert Park has agreed to pay over $1.8 million in settlements to two individual plaintiffs–Zeke Flatten and Hugh Freeman–as well as another settlement to seven other plaintiffs at least one of which is a Humboldt County man. The City Council is expected to vote yes on Tuesday to the settlement agreements.

Officer Joe Huffaker

Officer Joe Huffaker after receiving “a lifesaving award” in 2015. [Crop of a photo on the City of Rohnert Park Police and Fire Facebook page]

As Lewis pointed out in her article,

The joint lawsuit filed by seven motorists in August alleges that former Rohnert Park officers Jacy Tatum, Joseph Huffaker and Christopher Snyder collectively took more than 330 pounds of marijuana from them and seized $55,000 in cash but never appropriately documented, destroyed or returned the cash or cannabis.

In an unusual legal move, the suit made RICO allegations — stating that the officers were basically acting like an organized crime ring by conspiring to extort drivers and obstruct justice.

One officer, Jacy Tatum, resigned. One officer, Joseph Huffaker, agreed to leave after a $75,000 payout and at least two of the officers in charge of the department have retired early including the director of the department at the time, Brian Masterson.

For more, read Lewis’ article here.

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63 comments

  • Sadly, no one was fired the day before their retirement. That only happens to honest law enforcement personnel i guess.
    Nonetheless, good job Kym.

    • I’ll second that opinion. Thank you Kym for the reporting. In the end the penalty is being born by the tax-payers of Rohnert Park (for hiring bad-cops). Convoluted justice.

      • There is no penalty here at all. Rohnert Park paid everyone off in order to avoid further embarrassment in court. Simple.

        I am impressed by the use of the Rico statute in the suit, I would like to have seen someone, anyone, prove any of this in a court of law…

        I still, for the record, do not believe Zeke Flatten’s story, or much about the other claims, and it still looks to me like the only provable aspects of this sordid mess were that the record was not kept according to any reasonable procedure, and that the officers were well outside their reasonable jurisdiction.

        If I hadn’t have been personally stopped in broad daylight, by two CHP officers who appeared to be “running and gunning” while looking for marijuana in vehicles, I probably wouldn’t ever have believed that sworn officers would behave like this.

        Nice going, Rohnert Park, you did exactly what I thought you would do, paid everyone off, to make it all disappear…

        • you obviously don’t understand how things work at that level of service. Attorneys and Judges, and Administrators can only do so much to hide the Tactic’s of the war on the people.

          This was obviously a good example of learning how to better refine the art of asset forfeiture, against the general population.

          It’s clear to many why light is really the best disinfectant.

          • I do believe that Tatum had “credibility issues”, and that this was known to officials in Rohnert Park. In my opinion, the Plaintiffs in this case, had “credibility issues” of their own…

            I do not believe there is a “war on the people” being staged by government, but, I do believe there may have been a conspiracy to confiscate marijuana and cash, which may have benefited more than one person.

            I also believe that Rohnert Park will continue to bury the evidence, pay off everyone involved to guarantee silence, and, that we will never learn what actually happened in any of these cases.

            The only “war” here, is the “war on truth”, and, crookedness/incompetence and institutional secrecy, are winning…

  • Those dirty cops are clearly Trump supporters. They were going to donate the proceeds to the Trump slush fund, I mean the Trump Foundation. Daddy needed another fake Times Cover portrait , this time for the White House Oval Office.

  • A happy ending. Bad laws corrupt society. Something lawmakers should keep in mind as we clean up the debris from the war on drugs.

    • I basically agree except for this: Two men broke the law in a very bad way. Put yourself in the place of these victims, except imagine that yor were carrying your prized baseball memorabilia (or a similarly valuable collection) to the Bay Area to sell for up to tens of thousands of dollars. Their sole “punishment” is to lose their jobs. One fellow even got $75K for doing so. I’ve worked at (and patronized, as have most folks) places where drinking an unpaid-for coke gets a person fired.
      Those above this horrible duo—as well as whoever determined they should not be prosecuted—are complicit in this miscarriage as well. They may have thought they were doing the best for their city, but letting these two menaces to society walk freely among the rest of it is, in my view, despicable.

  • Resigned? Retired? Why not jailed?

  • One resigned, one paid $75,000 to leave, two retired, why no criminal charges? Robbery, theft, conspiracy, drug trafficking, kidnapping, there must be some law that was broken here.

  • This is not much justice. Rob citizens you are sworn to protect and get paid $75k????
    Who thinks that is justice?

  • We the corparation,by the corporation, in corruption we stand

    It isn’t real justice like would be served up to non law enforcement armed robbers,a citizen would be looking at 25 years if committing highway robbery with a firearm!! These guys get paid by the city either through retirement checks or cash settlement. Just shows how corrupt the POWER PIGS really are!!!!!

  • Whoever is getting the money paid back, is now marked. Hope they never get pulled over by the thieving POS cops friends.

  • “Same story the crow told me. The only one he knows”. My crop was stolen by CAMP back in 1987. Proved it in court with Ron Sinoway as my lawyer. Cops squirmed on witness stand but they walked and I went to jail. Pigs is pigs.

  • Rushton Sedberry Jr.

    They work with the secret police. The secret police are fired law enforcement officers. They put tracking devices on cars and call law enforcement where they have friends in the system. Its a nationwide racketeering investigation. These guys are the main cause of homelessness in north California. They have abused darpa and big tech. I have names and addresses but can’t post names. Redwoodcopwatch.com Whosarathumboldt.com . All information has been investigated thoroughly. Its easy to do drugs when being oppressed n
    By a crazy faction of the liberal oppressors.

  • Rushton Sedberry Jr.

    End police corruption. Free minorities and vote for trump!!! He is our only hope. Bernie is 700 years old in moses years.

    • Umm.. Hello. tRump is the Corruption King. Talk about a Hope killer, not to mention a pathological lier. Stop the embarrassment Dump tRump 2020!

  • Rushton Sedberry Jr.

    The police and the secret police. I.e. informants work together and illegally use civilian tracking devices and get access to evidence lockers and the cash seized. They drop charges or plea out and sell the evidence causing pockets of depression. If you have evidence of corruption let it out. Weed is not like it was when Schwarzenegger was governator.

  • Rushton Sedberry Jr.

    The police and imformants back door facebook android and apple. Stay updated and secure.

  • Tiered of liberals

    Tired of liberals is back [edit]. The only reason these guys aren’t going to jail is because they live in democratic shit hole Ca. that lets criminals go free. Fuck greasy Newsom. TRUMP Rules 2020!! [edit]

  • Tiered of liberals

    Why did you block me. I didn’t threaten anyone or cuss anyone.

    • You weren’t blocked. A banned person uses multiple ip addresses similar to yours (most likely a cell phone). In order to deal, I’ve had to put IP addresses starting with the same number on moderation which means you have to wait for me to moderate before your comment appears. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Tiered of liberals

    Kym, I apologise to you too. Sorry

  • Kym,

    I am a mendo resident, but own property in Sonoma county. I have evidence I was extorted for pound of weed by a Santa Rosa permit inspector who claimed inside information about my property and how code enforcement was targeting me for septic compliance in Russian river. Please contact me if you would like proof of my claim. Worst part is that this permit inspector was hired to help fire victims expedite their permit requirements to rebuild burnt homes. I tried to reporting this to authorities in Sonoma county but they dismissed my claims even though I have clear text message evidence I am telling the truth.

  • We need to boycott Rohnert Park. Dont spend a dime in that town…..

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