CHP Employee Claims Supervisor Assaulted Her, Agency Failed to Act

Data pix.

SACRAMENTO -- A Sacramento woman says she fears for her safety following a relationship she started at work and now she's received a letter giving her the right to sue the California Highway Patrol.

"Took me up and took me to his bedroom and just by these two fists he just kind of pulled me and threw me on the bed,” said Delila Fontana. "He said, 'If this is the last time I'm going to have you, I'm going to have you the way I want to have you.'"

Fontana said that sexual assault last October in Rancho Cordova was the worst moment of a four-year relationship she felt pressured into by her civilian supervisor in data processing at CHP headquarters.

It’s a moment she claims is indicative of the manipulation she endured from him since being re-hired by the agency in 2014. At the time, she was in the middle of a divorce and said she was feeling vulnerable.

"He threatened me at the very beginning when we got really close because he said that he's been waiting for two years for me when I was his boss,” Fontana said. “I was afraid of a lot of things. So, he kept saying ‘let's go to lunch’ for months and months and months and months, and I finally just kind of gave in."

Fontana said that led to beatings and verbal insults.

"He would use work as a tool to start saying I'm not doing a good job or embarrassing me in front of my staff," she said.

"The most egregious thing is that they're going after her now,” said Fontana’s attorney, Richard Lewis. “I mean, it's the essence of retaliation. They're believing the attacker and they're trying to protect the attacker and they're coming after her."

"They came with five officers to walk me out to my car, wouldn't let me get my things," Fontana said.

She claims that happened after she got brave enough to report the alleged assault internally in October at the CHP and rebuffed a post-assault pass from her supervisor.

Fontana was placed on administrative leave last November.

"I have to report to Mr. (Redacted) and he has every right to call me and check up on me," Fontana said.

According to her lawyer, moves like that are one part of what he plans to go after the CHP for in civil court on behalf of his client now that they've received a right to sue letter under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. It's the necessary first step in such a case against the agency and some of its employees individually.

Sexual harassment and discrimination are also part of the claim.

The CHP would not detail its policy on fraternization between employees to FOX40 or clarify what's been done in this case due to private personnel concerns, saying in a statement:

The CHP takes all allegations of misconduct by its employees, whether on or off duty, very seriously. All allegations are investigated and appropriate action, as necessary, is taken as a result of that investigation. The CHP strives to be transparent with requests for information from the public and the media, however, the release of certain personnel information about employees is prohibited by state law.

The CHP is a professional law enforcement organization that holds its employees to high standards of conduct and strictly enforces its Equal Employment Opportunity policy designed to ensure a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. The alleged misconduct of an employee does not reflect the values, hard work, dedication, and professionalism the CHP and its more than 11,000 employees who proudly work each day to provide the best in safety, service, and security to the people of California.

Fontana is suing civilly because she says she was too afraid to reach out to police.

“He told me he has Rancho police friends and I was scared,” she said. “He said if I ever betrayed him that he would hurt me."

FOX40's attempts to reach out to the supervisor accused have not yet been successful.

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