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The Court of Appeal published their ruling on the case of a Riverside Sheriff’s captain who was fired April 10, 2017, after an internal investigation found he had sexual relationships with three subordinates and sexually texted two others.

Former Sheriff’s Captain Andrew Shouse argued on appeal that the department violated the one-year limitations period outlined by California law that says internal investigations of law enforcement must begin no more than a year after the misconduct is discovered.

Because Chief Lyndon “Ray” Wood heard rumors about Shouse’s relationships with a female deputy a year before the investigation began, the investigation started too late under the law, Shouse argued.

The Court of Appeal disagreed.

Although Wood heard about the relationship, it was not obviously an act of misconduct at the time, and did not trigger the one-year clock, they ruled.

“(R)umors of sexual relationships are not a sufficient basis to trigger the duty of investigation of misconduct leading to discipline,” the ruling says.

Robert Rabe, Michael Stone, and Muna Busailah of Stone Busailah represent Shouse.

Donald Le and Jennifer Rosner of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore represent Riverside County.

Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two, Justice Frank Menetrez wrote the ruling, which Acting Presiding Justice Art McKinster and Associate Justice Michael Raphael joined.

Superior Court Case No. RIC2001031

Appellate Case No. E076975.

Read the ruling here.


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