Sergeant Molly Hansen was employed by the Guadalupe Police Department during a work shift in June of 2010. Chief of Police Mitchell confronted Sergeant Hansen, accusing her of making changes to the Department work schedule without his permission. During the discussion, Sergeant Hansen became upset and went into her office to continue her duties. The Chief and another officer named Charmoli went to Sergeant Hansen’s office to continue the conversation regarding the schedule.
Unbeknownst to Sergeant Hansen, Officer Charmoli, standing outside the office, was acting as a witness to the conversation. When Sergeant Hansen walked out of her office to retrieve the schedule from the bulletin board, she noticed the officer standing in the hallway. Sergeant Hansen told the officer to leave. When he did not, she placed her hand on his chest and gave him a subtle push.
The Department sought a criminal investigation for battery against Sergeant Hansen for her making contact with the officer in the hallway. The District Attorney refused to file the charges, and the Department—using only the criminal investigation into the meritless battery accusations—served Sergeant Hansen with a notice of termination in August of 2010.
The matter was heard before an arbitrator. The arbitrator considered the fact that Hansen is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 105 pounds, while Charmoli is about 6 feet tall and weighs 240 pounds. The arbitrator determined that it was not accurate to describe touching as an attack or as an intent to injure or harm Charmoli. The arbitrator overturned the Department’s decision to terminate Sergeant Hansen and awarded her backpay.
On behalf of Sergeant Hansen, I would like to thank everyone who supported her through this ordeal. Also, thanks to PORAC and the LDF for providing Hansen with the resources to clear her name and return to the position that was unjustly taken from her. Finally, Sergeant Hansen would like to thank the Guadalupe Police Officer’s Association for its unwavering support throughout her appeal process.