A former Ventura County sheriff’s deputy, who says he was forced to resign after he refused to destroy a police report involving a relative of another deputy, has filed a $150,000 claim against the county.
Lance W. Aylor, who headed the sheriff’s anti-drug program in Ojai and was named officer of the year in 1988, contends that he resigned in 1989 because of discriminatory treatment that he received from fellow officers after he refused to destroy the police report.
According to the claim filed this week, Aylor has been unable to get another law enforcement job in the area because of derogatory statements made by his former superior officers.
Assistant Sheriff Oscar Fuller said Thursday that he had not seen Aylor’s claim but said, “We will look into his allegations.
“This is the first time I have personally heard of these allegations,” he said.
A spokesman for the department’s internal affairs division said Aylor has never contacted his agency about the alleged request to destroy a police report.
Aylor could not be reached for comment Thursday, but his attorney, Robert Brennan of Los Angeles, said Aylor unsuccessfully tried to get his superior officers to investigate his allegations.
In the claim, Aylor asks for $150,000 and a written promise that the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department will “cease any derogatory comments regarding him to any future potential employers.”
A claim is a legal document that must be submitted to the county before a lawsuit can be filed.
According to the claim, Aylor arrested a juvenile in the summer of 1985 on theft charges. The claim said the suspect was a relative of another sheriff’s deputy in Ojai, Larry Weimer, who has since been promoted to head the Sheriff’s Department’s office in Ojai.
For unknown reasons, the charges against the theft suspect were dismissed, according to the claim, and Aylor was ordered by Senior Deputy Tim Pfleuger to destroy his report on the arrest. Aylor refused, the claim said.
A sheriff’s spokesman said Pfleuger resigned from the department in 1988 to work for another law enforcement agency. However, the spokesman said he does not know where Pfleuger is now working.
According to the claim, nothing more happened until Weimer was promoted to lieutenant in 1988.
“Shortly thereafter, the invidious treatment began,” according to the claim. “Weimer’s discrimination against Mr. Aylor led to increasing job stress, which caused Mr. Aylor to take a leave of absence from the Sheriff’s Department.”
The claim said Aylor soon was given an ultimatum by his superiors: Return to work or quit. “Given the stress from which he was suffering, Aylor had but one alternative, and he resigned from the Sheriff’s Department,” the claim said.
Weimer declined to comment on the allegations, saying he does not “want to decide civil litigation in the media.”
Aylor applied for a position with the Ventura Police Department in 1990 but was told that his qualifications for the job were below standard, according to the claim.
In his claim, Aylor alleges that he failed to get a job with the Ventura Police Department because of “slanderous statements made by members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department,” including Weimer.
Aylor, who worked for the department for seven years, has an undergraduate degree in law enforcement from Weber State College in Ogden, Utah, and has successfully completed narcotics investigation school at the Los Angeles Police Academy, according to his claim.
In 1988, he was named officer of the year in Ojai for his work in the DARE anti-drug program. A sheriff’s spokesman said Aylor was named officer of the year at the recommendation of his superior officer, Weimer.
Times correspondent Thia Bell contributed to this story.