Carl Warren and Company responds on behalf of the city of Hemet regarding allegations of misconduct and racism by former HPD cop
■ The Valley Chronicle Staff
The city of Hemet has retained a third-party claims administrator to handle the complaint filed by former Hemet police officer Anthony Kitchen, who left the department last fall due to alleged misconduct he witnessed on the part of other officers during his short time on the job.
Kitchen resigned from the police department but kept the city’s $10,000 hiring bonus even though he was on the job less than a month. The city says he should repay $9722 of the bonus since he didn’t stay on the job long enough to earn the full amount. Kitchen is challenging the repayment saying that the city, in effect, broke its contract with him by creating intolerable working conditions.
While the police department has begun an internal investigation of Kitchen’s complaints, the claims administrator will conduct an independent investigation.
Contacted by The Valley Chronicle and asked how long such an investigation would likely take, Dan Gilleon, Kitchen’s attorney, told The Valley Chronicle that there are no time constraints or designated timeline for the investigation. Gilleon received the response dated Jan. 30.
The response from Carl Warren and Company, a claims management and solutions company out of Tustin handling the claim states in the letter, “Our contact with you does not alter or affect the meaning of any rejection nor any warning or time limit it may contain.
“At this time, we are conducting an investigation into this matter and therefore cannot comment on liability and/or damages.”
The response closes with, “As soon as our investigation is complete, we will be in touch with you in regards to the city of Hemet’s position of liability and damages.”
Returned to San Diego
Kitchen filed a claim for damages on Jan. 17 alleging racism and misconduct within the Hemet Police Department and returned to the San Diego Police Department after his resignation from the Hemet Police Department on Oct. 11, 2017. Kitchen is claiming that he had to leave due to the corrupt nature of the Hemet Police Department and that he shouldn’t have to repay the $10,000 bonus he received about two weeks after he was sworn in as an officer.
An attachment to the claim says that Kitchen “was forced to resign due to illegal activities at Hemet Police Department, including destruction of evidence by police officers, battery of prisoners by police officers, civil rights violations by police officers, and due to a hostile work environment that included discrimination based upon race, sexual orientation, gender, and physical/mental disabilities.”
The newspaper previously reported that Chief Rob Webb had stated that the investigation started as soon as Kitchen left the department back in October when he filed his complaint with the department, not when the city received the complaint mid-January.
Timeline according to the complaint
Aug. 28, 2017 – Kitchen signs a service agreement for the recruitment bonus.
Sept. 12, 2017 – Kitchen is sworn in as a Hemet police officer.
Sept. 29, 2017 – A check is issued to Kitchen for $10,000, according to the note on the service agreement for the recruitment bonus.
Oct. 10, 2017- Kitchen files a complaint by phone.
Oct. 11, 2017 – Kitchen resigns from the department.
Oct. 18, 2017 – The date the complaint is submitted to Division Captain/Chief of Police.
Nov. 1, 2017 – The city of Hemet sends Kitchen a statement for $9,722.22, the amount Kitchen needs to repay for only one month of service per the service agreement for the recruitment bonus.
Dec. 27, 2017 – The city of Hemet sends Kitchen a letter requesting the repayment of the bonus along with another statement.
Jan. 17, 2018 – Kitchen files a claim for damages with the city of Hemet.
Jan. 30, 2018 – Carl Warren and Company sends a letter to Dan Gilleon, Kitchen’s attorney, stating they will be investigating the complaints.