Officers, Residents Stand Behind Complaints Filed Against Rio Vista Police Department Heads

RIO VISTA -- Two veteran Rio Vista police officers filed complaints with the city manager, alleging a hostile work environment, disparaging treatment by administration and retaliation by Chief Dan Dailey and Commander Paul Tassone.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting it to change, and it hasn't," said Rio Vista resident and Solano County Sheriff's Deputy Randy Pratt. "You need to do something and I think the problem starts with these two."

Many residents showed their raw emotions at a Tuesday night meeting, responding to the complaint filed by Natalie Rafferty and Lisa McDowell.

"As a good cop there's one thing I don't like is a bad cop and Chief Dan Dailey, in my opinion, has been conducting a hostile work environment since he came here in 2017," said Lori Fishburn, a resident and retired officer.

Since Dailey became chief of the small police department less than two years ago, nine officers have either left or have been fired. Only two remain from the previous administration.

"The department itself is very selective in terms of the command staff, choosing what officers they like and how they treat certain officers," said former Rio Vista Officer Man Ly.

Ly was one of the officers let go by the department last year while he was still on probation for an incident that happened while riding with officer and canine handler Rafferty. She has since been placed on administrative leave.

In Officer Rafferty's complaint, she alleges that "it is my experience that Chief Dailey is very vindictive and will often retaliate against you if he thinks you are in any way challenging his power."

The other complaint has to do with the Rio Vista police chief promoting Tassone to commander, making him second in command. It was a position that was not open to other officers to test for.

McDowell, a 12-year veteran with the department and president of the Police Officer's Association, believes she was passed up for that very position.

In an inter-office memo obtained by FOX40, Sgt. McDowell said the promotion was "in violation of city rules and regulations."

"He discriminated against me by not providing me the opportunity to test."

Chief Dailey and Tassone have a history. They worked together previously at the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office and the Office of Emergency Services. Since Tassone's hiring in 2017, he was promoted to sergeant then commander within seven months.

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