Lawsuit claims SDPD encouraged misconduct

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SDPDCopCarsNightSAN DIEGO — A new lawsuit accuses the San Diego Police Department of looking the other way while former cops like Christopher Hays and Anthony Arevalos were guilty of sexual misconduct while on-duty.

“Everybody knew what was going on. They looked the other way because they knew they could get away with it,” said attorney Dan Gilleon, who represents three women who filed the lawsuit.

The women are alleged victims of Hays, who is facing numerous charges of misconduct.

According to the lawsuit, when Hays went through the police academy a field training officer determined Hays was unfit to be an SDPD officer and should be “washed out” — not hired.

Gilleon says Hays’ father-in-law, Assistant Chief Mark Jones, got him in.

“In this case, he was able to call in a favor and protect his son-in-law who should’ve been discharged from the police department at the academy level,” said Gilleon.

The lawsuit also claims evidence that Arevalos’ sexual misconduct was covered up. Arevalos was convicted in 2011.

Fox 5 reached out to SDPD and received the following statement from Lt. Kevin Mayer:

“It would be inappropriate for the Department to provide comments as there is pending civil litigation and a federal investigation. In addition, the Police Executive Research Forum is conducting an independent review of the Department.”