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.

Earlier Chapters:

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61 Comments
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kelley
kelley
1 year ago

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

Sonia Baur
Sonia Baur
1 year ago
Reply to  kelley

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.

Jesus, Chris
Jesus, Chris
1 year ago
Reply to  Sonia Baur

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…

MADE IN THE USA
MADE IN THE USA
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesus, Chris

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.

Jesus, Chris
Jesus, Chris
1 year ago

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…

Yeah,sure
Yeah,sure
1 year ago

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.

Yeah,sure
Yeah,sure
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

Yes, I need help in exposing the fact that everything that’s screwed up is because of Consertives.
And by the way, I don’t see you saying that the prolific anti-liberal that posts ridiculous conclusions needs help.

Yeah,sure
Yeah,sure
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

Conservatives

Guest
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

“The nobler sort of man emphasizes the good qualities in others, and does not accentuate the bad. The inferior does.”
― Confucius

Sparklemahn
Sparklemahn
1 year ago
Reply to  Guest

“Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.”

Government Cheese
Government Cheese
1 year ago
Reply to  Sparklemahn

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Marco McClean
1 year ago

“Hunger makes the best sauce.”

Humboldt County Line
Humboldt County Line
1 year ago
Reply to  Marco McClean

“Stay strapped or get your cheeks clapped.”
– Abraham Lincoln

MADE IN THE USA
MADE IN THE USA
1 year ago

“I’d rather be a warrior in the garden, than a Gardener in a war.”

researcher
researcher
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

Not even close. Obama and the Clintons did alot of it, from deregulating banks, targeting law abiding immigrants, increasing fracking oil and gas production many fold, etc etc and today they are doing their best (though at this stage behind closed doors) to stop Bernie from getting the nomination. The center right democrats are just as much a part of the problem as right wing republicans.

Curiouser and Curiouser
Curiouser and Curiouser
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

Thank you Kym for your true badass reporting.

W
W
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

If their Trump supporters, then why is every politician in office in California a Democrat?

Yeah,sure
Yeah,sure
1 year ago
Reply to  W

Doesn’t matter. Everything that is wrong, every crime committed is Conservative driven. Everyone knows that.

Guest
Guest
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”
― Confucius

The Real Brian
The Real Brian
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

C’mon, accuracy will matter more and more in the future.

Trump’s inaccuracies are horrible, let’s not strive to promote his type of world.

LevelheadedGenXer
LevelheadedGenXer
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

You need to change conservative, to humans.

W
W
1 year ago
Reply to  Kym Kemp

Ok, I’ll put a different way. Are all the members of the BOS in Humboldt Democrats? That everyone complains about in here, daily. Are the people who let these guys off so far Democrats?

Sparklemahn
Sparklemahn
1 year ago
Reply to  Kym Kemp

Always with the stinkin’ facts!

Antichrist
Antichrist
1 year ago
Reply to  Kym Kemp

Let us not forget that trump was a democrat back in the 90s

Dan F
Dan F
1 year ago
Reply to  W

NOT EVERY, one look at Devin Nunes he’s one of the LYING Pieces of crap who basically gave RUMP Carte Blanche to do WTF ever he damned well wants to!!!!

Sparklemahn
Sparklemahn
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan F

“Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated.”

-Confucius

Jeffersonian
Jeffersonian
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

Please . This has nothing to do with the president and there are plenty of Democrats that are criminals. What I want to know is why these cops are not being prosecuted for robbery and other crimes.

Whatever
Whatever
1 year ago
Reply to  Yeah,sure

They support nasty nancy and her despicable gang obviously.
Get a clue🇺🇸

Sparklemahn
Sparklemahn
1 year ago
Reply to  Whatever

“Moscow Mitch.”
“That dick, Cheney”!
You get a clue!

ED Denson
ED Denson
1 year ago

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

Brian
Brian
1 year ago
Reply to  ED Denson

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.

MADE IN THE USA
MADE IN THE USA
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian

“Most if the general population has been neutered, the rest are awaiting conviction”

Joe Mama

thetallone
thetallone
1 year ago

Resigned? Retired? Why not jailed?

MikeyC
MikeyC
1 year ago
Reply to  thetallone

yeah, I don’t get this either. Should certainly be in jail.

seamus
seamus
1 year ago

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.

seamus
seamus
1 year ago
Reply to  Kym Kemp

Really good to hear that, and thank you for what you do!

smh
smh
1 year ago
Reply to  seamus

Sort of encourages criminals to become cops, doesn’t it?

Volcano Man
Volcano Man
1 year ago
Reply to  seamus

First you must find a cop willing to investigate and arrest another cop. That is career suicide. The blue wall is hard to climb.

Flat girl
Flat girl
1 year ago

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

Government Cheese
Government Cheese
1 year ago
Reply to  Flat girl

it’s corporate justice flat girl.

We the corparation,by the corporation, in corruption we stand
We the corparation,by the corporation, in corruption we stand
1 year ago

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!!!!!

Perspective
Perspective
1 year ago

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

Tiotom
Tiotom
1 year ago

“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.

Bobby Shorts
Bobby Shorts
1 year ago
Reply to  Tiotom

Like the morning sun you come and like the wind you go

Rushton Sedberry Jr.
Rushton Sedberry Jr.
1 year ago

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.
Rushton Sedberry Jr.
1 year ago

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

SmallFry
SmallFry
1 year ago

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.
Rushton Sedberry Jr.
1 year ago

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.
Rushton Sedberry Jr.
1 year ago

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

Tiered of liberals
Tiered of liberals
1 year ago

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
Tiered of liberals
1 year ago

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

Tiered of liberals
Tiered of liberals
1 year ago

Kym, I apologise to you too. Sorry

Lost Croat Outburst
Lost Croat Outburst
1 year ago
Reply to  Kym Kemp

I still get a chuckle out of the “Tiered of liberals” handle. I’m in the tier of liberals that support gun rights. titter, giggle. Oh, please. Shhhhhhh!

The chad
The chad
1 year ago

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.

busler
busler
1 year ago

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