SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A Sacramento police officer was arrested for allegedly filing a false police report, the department announced Thursday.
Police identified the officer as 26-year-old Alexa Palubicki and say she had been with the department for three years.
They first became aware of the possible false report when other officers reported it in July of 2020. Palubicki was then placed on administrative leave.
According to the department, there are other officers on administrative leave in relation to the case. They have not identified those officers.
Neither the DA nor the police department has said what was on the alleged false report, but the DA says the charges involved a July 11, 2020 incident.
The Sacramento Bee, however, reports that documents they obtained show the incident occurred at a Shell Gas Station near Discovery Park. According to the documents, Palubicki and her partner approached a man who had parked across two parking spots to inform him he was parked illegally.
While Palubicki was doing a records check, her partner said she had noticed marijuana in a cup in his car. They then searched the car and found a loaded handgun despite the man not giving permission.
The Bee reports that the probable cause for the search had come under question after the charges against the man were dropped.
Following the reported misconduct, the department began investigating all of Palubicki’s arrests and interviewed dozens of employees, along with going through in-car cameras and body cameras. Investigators also searched through her cellphone and social media accounts.
“This individual’s criminal behavior has no place in the Sacramento Police Department. I am grateful for the other officers in this department who demonstrated strong integrity to come forward with information about this individual,” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn.
Sacramento police handed the case over to the county district attorney’s office, and say Palubicki faces two felony counts of filing a false police report.
As a result of the investigation and arrest, the DA is looking into any ongoing cases they have that involve Palubicki. Any cases where Palubicki’s involvement was “material and necessary for prosecution” were dismissed, according to the DA.
Cases in which Palubicki was involved but not vital will still continue. The DA says they have notified the defense team on those cases.
Hahn adds they have made changes to make sure this doesn’t happen again, like creating an Inspection and Standards Team. The team would be responsible conducting reoccurring audits of arrest reports, body-worn camera footage and crime reports to make sure arrests are lawful.