San Jose Mayor, Union Call for Investigations Over Former Cadet’s Claim SJPOA President Urged Recruits to Quit

The fallout from a former San Jose police cadet's opinion piece published in the San Jose Mercury News now includes both the city and police union calling for independent investigations.

Attorney Elyse Rivas, a former police recruit, wrote in the Mercury News that during her academy orientation she heard San Jose Police Officers Association President Jim Unland tells cadets to quit because it did not help the union's cause in fighting pension reform effects from Measure B.

On Tuesday, police union-backed mayoral candidate Dave Cortese called for a change in leadership of the POA in response to the opinion piece.

Rivas now acknowledges she did not hear Unland say "quit," but said it was clearly implied.

"The bottom line is the message was delivered by Jim Unlad that day during his orientation that it would be better for us to not be part of SJPD at the time because it undercut their cause," Rivas said.

Mayor Chuck Reed said he wants the city council to appoint an independent investigator to examine the union's actions, and sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag to investigate as well.

"Well this appears to be part of a coordinated effort by the police officers association to undermine the police department for personal gain," Reed said.

The POA fired back by calling for an investigation into Reed's actions, saying it was designed to help mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo's campaign.

Several people who were at the police orientation also signed sworn declarations.

"I was present during that time when it occurred and at no time did Mr. Unland use the words 'They should quit for the good of the department,'" said Officer Kevin Mank.

Unland also claims he did not tell cadets to quit.

"Last minute tricks by a campaign that is losing in the polls and is getting desperate," Unland said. "To be clear, I never told the recruits to quit."

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