After being caught caught on camera eating what totally looked like edibles, insulting a paraplegic and ransacking the dispensary— Jorge Arroyo, Nicole Lynn Quijas and Brandon Matthew Sontag were fired and charged with petty theft. Sontag racked up an additional vandalism charge for destroying surveillance equipment inside the dispensary. The Weekly learned weeks ago that Sontag was seeking to get his job back, but a police spokesperson refused to confirm or deny that rumor, simply stating that none of the officers were currently attached to the department.
Now the Voice of OC is reporting that in fact, Sontag’s been given his job back by a city appeals board. The Santa Ana City Council met at 8:30 this morning to decide whether to appeal the decision in Superior Court, as the deadline to appeal Sontag’s reinstatement is just days away. An official statement has yet to be made whether the officer was truly rehired, but city records show that a special meeting was held between August – October of 2016 to consider bringing him back. And by the looks of it, the city’s personnel overruled their previous decision to fire Sontag.
According to Jennifer McGrath, one of Sky High Holistic’s attorneys, when the city was served on Jan. 10th, 2017 with the most recent lawsuit regarding the cops in the raid, the Clerk said she was unable to accept service for the officers, as they were no longer employees. “As of January 10th no one had been reinstated,” says McGrath. “Of course, that may have pre-dated the official reinstatement.”
It’s possible that an official statement won’t be made by the city attorney if Sontag is allowed back into the Santa Ana police clan. “If they settle the matter by reinstating him,” McGrath says, “then there’s not really anything to announce.” But if he’s not, McGrath believes it’ll suggest that he’ll have a significant case against him. The results of todays special meeting likely won’t be known until early next week.
Check back for updates as this story is developing.