BARSTOW • The city will pay out $200,000 to a former Barstow Police Department officer under the terms of a lawsuit settlement soon to be finalized.
Attorney Marla Brown, representing former Officer Pete Holm, now employed with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, said they got notice via email April 13 from one of the attorneys representing the city that the settlement had been approved. The parties came to a proposed settlement agreement in February but the terms were not released at the time.
Aside from the $200,000 monetary payment, the settlement also included language noting that Holm left the police department in good standing, Brown said.
Holm resigned in April 2007 after an incident in which he claimed that supervisors pressured him to alter a traffic collision report that put then-Chief Caleb Lee Gibson's son-in-law at fault. When he refused, Holm alleged, now-retired Lt. Rudy Alcantara and then-Sgt. Keith Libby, who is still employed as a detective with the department, prepared their own supplemental report putting the other driver at fault.
Holm's lawsuit against the city, which was filed in federal court, also named Alcantara, Gibson and Libby as individual defendants.
Holm said Wednesday that he was satisfied overall with the terms of the settlement and relieved to be finished with the case.
Brown said Holm's case was one of a number of instances of nepotism and favoritism in the police department during that era, which led several other officers to resign around the same time.
"This is a pretty ugly situation," she said. "These were some of the more egregious allegations I've seen in regards to professional law enforcement."
In addition to the initial situation with the traffic incident report, Brown said Holm was followed and threatened by people associated with the defendants, to the extent that his family relocated out of concern for their safety.
Barstow City Attorney Yvette Abich stated via email that the settlement is not yet final and will be brought back before the City Council at a future closed session to finalize it. Attorney Art Meneses, who represented the city in the federal case, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The proposed settlement also needed approval by the board of the Employment Risk Management Authority, the city's insurance group.
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