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HomeNewsPolice union terminates office manager accused of fentanyl sales

Police union terminates office manager accused of fentanyl sales

SAN JOSE — The office manager of the San Jose Police Officers Association has been fired as part of its internal investigation into federal charges for using her work computer to order drugs from abroad and distribute them from her office.

Last week, Joanne Segovia, the association’s former manager and executive director since 2003, was charged with a 13-page indictment attempting to illegally import valerylfentanyl, a synthetic opioid.

In the wake of her arrest in connection with an ongoing Homeland Security investigation into a network that ships controlled substances from other countries to the Bay Area, Segovia faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The complaint alleges that Segovia continued to order controlled substances even after Homeland Security agents questioned her in February. Association officials placed her on leave on March 24 after search warrants were issued at her home and her association office, where pills were recovered.

According to a statement Friday, Sean Pritchard, president of the association, said that “the abhorrent criminal behavior alleged against Ms. Segovia should be the impetus to ensure that our internal controls at the POA are strong and that we implement all changes those alleged to occur earlier.”

Pritchard then said, “The independent outside investigator will conduct an unrestricted investigation into our operations and will have the full cooperation of the POA.”

The statement said Segovia’s termination concludes the first phase of an investigation, with an independent party, whose leader will be named “in the coming days”, investigating Segovia’s conduct, use of association resources and the extent of internal controls’ ability to signal its actions. .

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“The research includes, but is not limited to; the collection and expenditure of trade union dues; receipts and expenditure of the political action committee; processes, procedures and protocols of POA office operations; supervision of civilian personnel; electronic and internet checks; inventory of physical assets; as well as other areas identified by the independent investigator,” the statement said in part.

In comments Friday afternoon, association spokesman Tom Saggau said, “We have received assurances in conversations with the U.S. law firm to date that no one is affiliated, no police officer is being watched or suspected of involvement or any insider knowledge” of Segovia’s actions. “It’s the one issue there is that we feel really good about.”

After speaking to previous board members and presidents, none of whom could recall any red flag incidents or conduct, Saggau noted that the affidavit for the search warrant and indictment documents point to Segovia’s use of WhatsApp on a personal phone.

As for Segovia’s termination, he said the association’s board members were moving “with light speed.” There was no debate, no hesitation, as fast as they could go” after a discussion with legal counsel on Friday morning.

Saggau acknowledged the difficulty posed by Segovia’s executive director title, calling it a “misnomer” to believe she had management authority over more than a two-employee staff and the association’s internal functions. He added that the officers’ shock and anger had turned into “disgust.”

“Fentanyl has its hold on our community. It’s a dangerous drug, and someone affiliated with the accused POA is making us sick,” he said. “There is no sympathy for Mrs. Segovia.”

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