Seventy-three former Fullerton College Police Academy attendees have filed a class action claim against the North Orange County Community College District and the Fullerton College Police Academy Director, Jerry Lee Stokes, for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and negligent training, hiring and supervision. The class is represented by eight former students of the police academy on behalf of all members of academy class numbers 44 and 45, which began in August of 2014 and August 2015 respectively.
The claim is the result of the Fullerton College Police Academy failure to properly certify class number 44 or class number 45 with the California Commission on Police Officers Standards and Training (POST), prior to admitting students into those academy classes. California regulations require a police academy to certify each academy class at least 30 days prior to the first day of instruction.
On the first day of instruction, the police academy director promised academy students a POST certificate upon completion of the program, which would make them eligible for California police officer employment. However, the academy director knew they had not received approval from POST to begin the police academy for neither class 44 nor 45.
As a result, students from class number 44 fully completed the program and are now ineligible for police officer employment in California. Students in class number 45 left the academy after two and a half months of training when it became public knowledge that the police academy was not POST certified. Those students are now ineligible for police officer employment.
The claim is a prerequisite to bringing a lawsuit against a government entity in California. The College may accept or reject the claim. If it is rejected, a lawsuit will be filed on behalf of the students. The civil case seeks monetary damages from defendants. The students are represented by consumer attorneys, Jeffrey Roberts and Michael Jeandron, of The Roberts Law Firm in Orange County.
“These students made incredible sacrifices to pursue their dreams of becoming police officers only to be told their efforts were for nothing,” said Attorney Jeffrey Roberts. “It’s time for Fullerton College to accept responsibility.”