Two Tehachapi officers file harassment claim against police department


Troubling news for the Tehachapi Police Department, after a couple of their officers cry foul with department practices.

The attorney representing both Officer Peter Graff and Officer Rick Disney say his clients have been the target of harassment within the department, and together the two are seeking $3 million dollars in damages.

In the claim, the officers make a slew of allegations including Officer Graff saying a senior officer shot off their rifle in the squad room, and the bullet landed just feet from Graff.

In another allegation, Officer Graff and Officer Disney say a senior officer served alcohol to under-age police explorers.

The two claim they lead the department in felony and narcotics arrests, yet haven't received a raise and even claim officers stake out their houses when they aren't at work.

The attorney for the officers calls his clients "whistle-blowers" trying to stand-up to public corruption.

"Right now, the department is not functioning the way it should. The job of the police department is to protect and serve the community of Tehachapi, and when they are diverting officer resources to tail my clients and stake out their houses, they are not doing a good job,” said attorney Steven Wainer.

In the claim, Officer Disney admits that The Tehachapi Police Dept. had already opened two separate investigations looking into his misconduct within the department.

Tehachapi Police Chief Jeff Kermode tells 23ABC he can’t comment on the details of the claim at this time.

“I would ask everyone to keep an open mind and recognize that they are hearing just one side of the story, while I am prevented by law from discussing the details of the allegations, I look forward to discussing these allegations in the appropriate judicial setting,” Kermode said in a statement on Thursday.

As of now the allegations are a claim with the city, not a lawsuit.

The two officers' attorney says if the claim is rejected, then a multi-million dollar lawsuit against The City of Tehachapi will be filed.

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