School district chief sues employer over alleged retaliation

BAKERSFIELD (AP) — The police chief of a California school district has sued his employers, claiming he faced a hostile work environment after blowing the whistle on alleged misuse of a criminal database by district employees.

KBAK-TV reported Monday that Kern High School District Police Chief Joe Lopeteguy has filed a $2.2 million claim against the district.

The suit alleges his superiors retaliated against him by placing him on administrative leave after he reported the alleged misuse to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's investigators recommended criminal charges be filed against former district police chief Mike Collier and administrator Otis Jennings for allegedly furnishing information to people not authorized to receive it. Prosecutors ultimately declined to press charges.

District officials did not return phone calls seeking comment about the lawsuit.