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Fresno PD wrongful termination trial begins

Monday, January 09, 2012

Opening statements began in the trial of two former Fresno police officers who claim they were wrongfully terminated from the department.

Richard Gaines and his wife Jaimy Quesada say they were discriminated against back in 2005 - while working as probation officers on the force.

August 2005, that was the month Richard Gaines and his now wife - Jaimy Quesada quit their jobs as first-year officers with the Fresno Police Department.

The two turned in their resignations amidst an ongoing police investigation in Clovis. At the time Gaines claimed he was stabbed by an unknown man after he answered his front door and was determined unfit to return to work.

Shortly after, sources told Action News, Gaines quit because he would've likely lost his job for making false statements to Clovis police. Statements Clovis PD wouldn't specify, but said didn't quite add up. Gaines - they said - waited close to 20 minutes after the alleged stabbing to call for help, making at least two other calls to his then girlfriend, before dialing 9-1-1.

Our cameras weren't allowed in court, but we learned the attendance record for both officers was also in question. According to police records - Gaines and Quesada missed more than 400 hours from work.

Prosecutors argued the couple often coordinated their time off time to be with one another - while the defense disputed the two were sick. Gaines - they said - missed 4 1/2 months because of pneumonia. Quesada was sick with bronchitis. Attorneys also said the couple cares for a special needs child - but prosecutors contested the boy's mother has sole custody.

Witnesses are expected to take the stand again Tuesday.

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fresno police department, lawsuit, court, fresno, fresno county, local, linda mumma
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