Tracy police captain resigns
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Aug 16, 2013 | 10324 views | 15 15 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Capt. John Espinoza has resigned from the Tracy Police Department, according to Chief Gary Hampton.

Tracy Police Chief Gary Hampton said Espinoza’s resignation became official on July 30. He served 18 years with the department.

“My official statement is John Espinoza self-concluded his employment with the Tracy Police Department to pursue retirement,” Hampton said. “I first became aware of his desire to self-conclude on July 25.”

Espinoza joined the department as a lieutenant and was promoted to captain in 2005.

When asked why Espinoza resigned, Hampton said he could not confirm or deny the captain was the subject of a personnel investigation by city officials.

Police Capt. Jeremy Watney later said he could not comment because there was an ongoing investigation.

Jenny Haruyama, director of city administrative services, said on Wednesday, Aug. 14, that it was her understanding that Espinoza retired.

“You can leave your job and retire at any time,” she said. “It’s at the discretion of the employee.”

Haruyama said if Espinoza choose to resign and then retire from his former position he would have to file with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. She said as of Wednesday she hadn’t received any state confirmation.

Any possible investigation involving Espinoza would likely be closed because he is no longer employed with the city, according to Haruyama.

Haruyama said she knew of a civil matter involving Espinoza, but she was not privy to its details.

In March 2011, Espinoza filed a civil claim with San Joaquin County Superior Court that accused the Tracy Police Department and the city of Tracy, as well as police Chief Janet Thiessen and human resources director Maria Olivera, of violating his rights as an employee and peace officer.

The lawsuit had contended Espinoza was shunted from his position as second in command at the department and to another job without supervisorial capabilities.

According to a superior court official on Thursday, Aug. 15, the case is still ongoing and all parties involved are due back in court for a hearing at 9 a.m. on Sept. 3 in Department 11.

As for replacing Espinoza, Hampton said he plans to fill the position in the next 90 to 120 days.

Hampton said he will be working with officials in the city’s human resources department to conduct a promotional process. He said they have yet to decide if they will be promoting within or opening up the process to officers from other agencies.

“The last search (February 2012) we had a large number of candidates,” Hampton said. “We absolutely (need to replace him). It’s a critical position to the day-to-day operations.”

Espinoza was the division commander for the department’s special operations — general investigations; special investigations for drug activity, human trafficking and illegal gambling; and all non-sworn employees that includes dispatch and records.

Hampton said his department currently has four highly-qualified lieutenants — Dave Sant, Greg Farmanian, Mark Duxbury and Mike Vieira, who he felt could easily compete for the position.

“I want to ensure we get the best qualified candidate in there,” he said. “I believe they will compete quite well with external (candidates).”

Espinoza could not be reached for comment for this story.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

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August 27, 2013
He was a ego maniac who ruined many. Glad to see him leave.
August 24, 2013
Karma finally caught up with you, didn't it lil Juan.......

August 19, 2013

When Mendelson wrote about you as a "tilt at windmills". I shrugged it off. A tilt at windmills refers to Don Quixote, who fights windmills that he imagines to be giants.

"Second Thoughts: Lone man’s long City Hall tango ends in court

by Jon Mendelson Oct 05, 2012

STOCKTON — On Sept. 26 in the superior courtroom of Judge Michael D. Coughlan, one Tracy man’s long slog against City Hall apparently came to a close, the anticlimactic end of a four-year showdown.

Coughlan dismissed a lawsuit Paul Miles brought against the city, saying Miles’ numerous complaints — including violations of the Public Records Act and Brown Act, an open-meeting law — were improper and unfounded.

August 19, 2013
Santa Claus may know who is naughty and who is nice. On the other hand nobody else has this special Santa-knowledge in the human conscience and psyche. Only those believing it to be true. When this belief even has "persistence" in ones ego it is known as a pattern of special powers. In other milder words, Mendelson said it was an "obsession". [A type of Don Quixote who imagines the city employees to be evil giants]

So let's just segway, to the here and now and we have an article about a guy who resigned and magically he get's elevated to the benevolent Rudolph status. Right? The opposite of the evil giants. Ok, I can see you are trying to make the city fit into your lawsuit and make this guy a marytr. Right? Projecting. Right? If so, I get it. And maybe I'm wrong and you can explaing. Anywa, Mendelson said some people thought he was "polarizing". Do you feel that is why he didn't get to the police chief chair or do you disagree with Mendelson? And unless you disagree with Mendelson and can prove your point, I don't really think this news proves your lawsuit has merit. Sorry to drop it out there like that, but maybe you needed someone to point it out?

At least he could have said he was going to spend more time with his family like the last chief did? Would that not be a more positive spin and a nice way to say he's a really nice guy but people really don't like working with him becasue he is "polarizing", like the last chief? I don't honestly know, but you might since you seem to know a lot. Just asking.
August 17, 2013
I don't understand pcmiles. If one person lies, he thinks those lies are dignified and honorable. He goes online making it sound like pcmiles is an expert character witness, but the Tracypress said he is holding a personal vendetta, if he continues his carp. So forgive me if I think he sounds biased a LOT.

If Janet says his kid wasn't using the crosswalk all of a sudden the entire city stinks and every cop (but this) one is no longer fit to testify in court. And this cop was so perfect he could have handled the Cantu case better or more honorably or more dignified or more of whatever carp pcmiles is dishing out this week.

I don't care anymore. Ya something stinks inside the triangle. Look in the mirror pcmiles. There I said it...

August 18, 2013
Pay attention, folks. This writer neither has the courage to identify himself nor has he cited a single fact to support his position. In contrast, I do not hide my identity and have supplied documents to support every statement I make. Go to and decide for yourself.

As an aside, this writer seems outraged because he believes Captain Espinoza has lied about something. A few observations:

1) The writer could have information regarding confidential investigations because he is high up in the TPD or City Government or because the TPD has leaked confidential information to him – which he has chosen to spread. Alternatively, he could be fabricating this information entirely. In either case, the writer’s ethical bankruptcy is clear.

2) I have posted compelling, indisputable evidence that several TPD officers, including Chief Hampton, have lied and submitted false reports regarding serious police misconduct. Where is the writer’s outrage in this matter? Who is the hypocrite?

August 18, 2013
pcmiles I have to ask why you even go online with a website, which I just looked at? It's redonculous. I have two children who argue over their toys and I have to ask if you feel like a little child sometimes? I once got a ticket from a police officer and he didn't get all the facts right in the report (just like the officer in your website who wrote 40mph instead of (25mph when schhool hours are in session). Stuff happens. I went to court and the judge tossed it. But I didn't start a website accusing the officer of being unethical and immoral. I won't give my name either because I don't want my name on your website. It sucs inside the triangle. Pay your ticket and move on with your life. That's my advice, but totally up to you. I will say that if you let it eat you up in side it will really suck dude. But you have nobody else to blame. It's like when you go to a scene of an accident and ask ten people you will get ten different answers. Don't take it personal. Just looking at it from a different perspective. That is the way I see it. We need to learn how to work together. But not that way dude. Well I don't think so anyway. I just don't see any proof of police misconduct. Ever been on jury duty? There are a lot of discussions that everybody in the room disputes but nobody starts a website that says the other guys opinion stinks.

Onions stink dude. People should agree to disagree.

Oh ok. My 2 cents.
August 19, 2013
Just_J - amen. Mr. Miles, in the grand scheme of things, is your crusade worth causing yourself a heart attack or stroke?
August 16, 2013
Captain Espinoza has conducted himself with dignity and honor while standing up for his rights. While he needs to look out for his own interests, it is my sincere hope that he will not settle his lawsuit and that the court record will both vindicate him and document the corruption of City officials.

A few additional points to consider:

1) While in this case it is probably appropriate, Haruyama’s statement that any possible investigation involving Espinoza would likely be closed because he is no longer employed with the city is typical of the City’s attitude. Nevermind that employees have committed criminal violations of law, and that there are victims of these crimes. Once they are gone, it’s not the City’s problem…

2) Hampton’s endorsement of Vieira is absurd. Vieira’s negligence, dishonesty, and filing of false reports are documented in the public record. See

3) The Tracy press has neglected to report some relevant details. In his amended complaint filed in Nov. 2011, Captain Espinoza specifically alleged retaliation by City Manager Churchill for filing his original lawsuit (see Espinoza-Amended.pdf. This will ultimately cost the City a great deal of money. Note that the City’s MOU with the S. San Joaquin Co.risk management authority does not cover losses associated with violations of law.

August 16, 2013
Karma is a female dog.
August 16, 2013
Interesting, considering Capt. Espinoza actually epitomized what a "good police officer", says, does, and upholds. People would never complain about Police, if every officer in the county had a personality like Capt. Espinoza.

Interesting that this 'Theissan era' problem was still is an issue.

Meh, 18 years is still pretty good. I assume at some point your simply too old to go out there and chase the local copper thieves and bank robbers.

God speed into retirement, sir.
August 16, 2013
The ‘Thiessen era’ problems are still issues because the City has not dealt with the root causes of the problem: a City Manager, City Attorney, and Chief of Police who are dishonest and – according to clear and direct evidence posted at – criminal. This is a direct result of the ethical and moral bankruptcy of the City Council leadership.
August 16, 2013
sorry: see
August 16, 2013
I liked this guy. Just great! Got a real police officer. This makes me sick. "They" said he lied. Give me a break! Many on the force, If they told the truth, "They" would lie their way out of it.

What a loss.
August 16, 2013
"self -concluded"? Sounds like a term better suited for describing a suicide rather than someone quitting their job.

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