Loran Candelas, who is suing Cathedral City and its police chief, Travis Walker, for a wealth of allegations, including sexual harassment, sex-based discrimination, battery, emotional distress, and more, is telling the truth, her attorney told Uken Report.
“I absolutely, 100% believe her,” Darren J. Campbell, Candelas’ attorney told Uken Report.
Campbell also said he refuses to refer to Walker as “police chief.”
“Anyone who would do that to a woman does not deserve the title of police chief,” Campbell told Uken Report.
Walker is currently sidelined from any duties in the department. He was placed on paid administrative leave on May 2 for unspecified reasons and remains on leave today.
On July 29, Campbell filed an 11-page complaint in Riverside County Superior Court in Palm Springs and demanded a jury trial.
Read the entire lawsuit by clicking here.
Candelas, a dispatcher with the Cathedral City Police Department, alleges that Walker forced himself on her in an Indian Wells hotel, placed his penis in her hand on one occasion, on numerous occasions fondled her both under and over her shirt, and rubbed her legs with an S-hook, which is designed for stretching and stress relief.
Walker allegedly would make up reasons that he needed to see the employee in his office alone and she allegedly had no choice but to comply with Walker’s demands, according to her complaint filed with the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Walker would grab her hands and force her to touch him, according to the complaint. Walker would also allegedly text her on her personal phone from either his personal or work phone. You may read all of the allegations by clicking here.
In the complaint, Candelas claims she feared retribution, suffered emotional and physical abuse. She is out on medical leave. She also alleges Walker abused his position of power. Candelas also alleges that Cathedral City failed to prevent the alleged harassment and discrimination.
On July 3, Walker was notified that Candelas intended to sue, according to the complaint. On July 22, Cathedral City notified Candelas that it rejected her claims.
At this time, there are no pending charges against Walker.
“After a thorough review of the case presented to us by the investigating agency, (the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department), we did not file charges due to a lack of sufficient evidence” John Hall, Public Information Officer for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, told Uken Report.
However, an internal administrative investigation continues into the allegations, City Manager McClendon said. Exactly who is conducting the internal investigation is unclear.
“Please be advised this is a personnel matter and a litigation matter, therefore the city cannot comment further,” Tami E. Scott, Administrative Services Director for Cathedral City told Uken Report.
“As in any matter, if we are provided new evidence, we can review the case again,” Hall said.
Sakunthala E. Ethirveerasingam, who goes by the professional name “Saku E. Ethir,” is based in Riverside. She is representing Walker. She did return two phone call requests or one email request for comment on her client’s behalf. Ethir was once suspended the State Bar from practicing law, according to the San Bernardino Sun. Read the full story here. She once worked for a firm, which represented police unions in Southern California. Ethir was accused of triple billing, according to Above the Law, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the world of law. Read its story by clicking here.
- Travis Walker: Discover Cathedral City
- Saku E. Ethir: Linked In
- Lawsuit: Shutterstock