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  • Published: June 19, 2017

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) - Three women at a local grocery store chain say they were sexually harassed at work, and they claim their supervisors allowed it to continue. Now, they've filed lawsuits. Kayla Swanger said she's worked at Stater Bros for 11 years, and her goal was to move up in the company. It's why, according to a complaint, when a supervisor at the store in Hemet spoke, she said she listened. "I didn't want to seem pathetic, or that I couldn't be in charge, and it sucked, it…Read More

  • Published: December 10, 2015

In 2013, a former police trainee was called to testify about an allegation that a sworn officer had assaulted her in 2006 while she was learning the ropes at the Fontana Police Department in Southern California. The former trainee, or cadet, testified that the incident occurred during a ride-along in Fontana, a city east of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County. Officer John Garcia drove up at night to a deserted area where she said he told her that “little gangsters” were defacing walls with graffiti. According to a court…Read More

  • Published: July 8, 2015

A jury has awarded $315,295 to a former Fontana Unified School District police dispatcher who sued the district after she said she was fired in 2012 as retaliation for reporting that a district police officer had sexually assaulted two other dispatchers. The jury on July 2 awarded Jolee Berdnik $128,679 for past economic loss, $111,616 for furture economic loss and $75,000 for noneconomic loss, including mental suffering, court documents say. Berdnik’s attorney, Upland-based Brian Hannemann, said Berdnik plans to apply to get her job back. Berdnik was a probationary employee…Read More

  • Published: July 7, 2015

A former Fontana Unified School District School Police dispatcher has been awarded more than $315,000 by a jury after she claimed she and three other co-workers were sexually harassed by a former FUSD School Police officer. Dispatcher Jolee Berdnik had claimed that she was released on probation in retaliation for making a report against John Garcia, the former officer. The FUSD denied releasing the dispatcher in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, and instead claimed that there were legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons for releasing the dispatcher three days short of her completing…Read More

  • Published: March 6, 2015

SAN BERNARDINO — (March 6) A jury on March 2 awarded Fontana Unified School District administrative technician/police dispatcher Amanda Vandervoort $1.487 million after a 21-day trial in her lawsuit in which she alleged negligence on the part of the district and sexual assault by former district police officer John Frank Garcia. Before the punitive damages phase of the trial was to begin on March 3, the jury was informed that the attorney for Garcia, Michael Marlatt, had agreed on $5 million punitive damages stipulation. Unless the district appeals the award…Read More

  • Published: March 3, 2015

SAN BERNARDINO - A jury has awarded a former Fontana Unified School District police dispatcher nearly $1.5 million after the woman sued the district and one of its former police officers, who she accused of raping her while on duty. Following a 21-day trial that began on Jan. 20 and spanned six weeks, a jury returned Monday with a judgment of $1,487,000 in compensatory damages against the school district and its former police officer, John Frank Garcia. The second phase of the trial, in which the jury would hear testimony…Read More

  • Published: May 26, 2013

Four women who work in a school police department have filed lawsuits against a former officer, claiming that he raped and sexually assaulted them. The lawsuits say John Garcia, 43 had been dogged by a history of sexual misconduct before he went to work for the Fontana Unified School District and sexually assaulted four women, according to the San Bernardino Sun. The suits claim that Garcia was a "serial sexual predator who used his position as a police officer to prey upon females who worked alone at night." The alleged…Read More

  • Published: May 26, 2013

Four women claimed in their lawsuits that the school district hired the officer despite a previous allegation. Four female employees of the Fontana school police department are accusing a former officer of sexually assaulting and raping them, according to lawsuits. The women are suing former school police Officer James Garcia and also the Fontana Unified School District, which allegedly hired Garcia despite the fact that he had been previously accused of sexual assault. "We want justice for our four clients," said the women's attorney, Brian Hannemann. "They were sexually assaulted…Read More

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