A law enforcement whistle-blower who told investigators he witnessed a Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy conduct a “dirty DUI” arrest has been relieved from duty in what he said was retaliation for breaking the police code of silence.
William Howard of Danville worked as a reserve in the Sheriff’s Department for 19 years until he was dismissed Tuesday without explanation and ordered to turn in his uniform and weapon.
A department spokesman, Jimmy Lee, described Howard’s release as an internal matter and declined to discuss it. Reserves are “at will” employees and are subject to dismissal without cause, according to California state law.
Howard told The Chronicle he was ostracized by fellow officers, chided by commanders and removed from prime assignments in the months after he cooperated with internal affairs investigators who were building a criminal case against former Deputy Sheriff Stephen Tanabe, 49.