SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento police officer was arrested for two counts of filing a false police report, the department announced on Thursday.
Officer Alexa Palubicki, 26, had been with the department for three years and was the subject of a months-long investigation. The Sacramento Police Department said in a news release that Palubicki had been placed on administrative leave as soon as details on her misconduct were received.
Her arrest was the product of a 100-page internal investigation. It stemmed from a traffic stop Palubicki made at a gas station that spiraled into allegations of misconduct.
The report detailed the event, stating Palubicki pulled over a Black man and arrested him for being in possession of a loaded firearm. The report shows Palubicki initially pulled the man over for illegal parking at the gas station but later added suspicion of a DUI for probable cause after consulting with her fiancé who is also a police officer.
Another part of the report read, “the issue of concern was the inconsistency between the initial SSD jail booking arrest report and the SPD crime report.”
The department said that information was brought forward by other officers last July. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said the charges relate to an incident that happened on July 11, 2020.
The DA’s office said it conducted an internal case audit to identify any pending cases filed that Palubicki had participated in. Cases in which Palubicki’s involvement was deemed “material and necessary for prosecution” were dismissed, the DA said.
Further details regarding the alleged false reports were not yet available.
“This individual’s criminal behavior has no place in the Sacramento Police Department. I am grateful for the other officers in this department who demonstrated strong integrity to come forward with information about this individual,” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn. “The Sacramento Police Department took swift action against this employee by removing peace officer powers and placing the individual on administrative leave.”
Though Palubicki was the lone officer arrested, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told CBS13 that there are more officers under investigation. It is unclear how many.
“There are additional officers that are involved in some form or fashion in the administrative review. There are additional officers on administrative leave, but nobody else has been charged with a crime,” Chief Hahn said.
Sacramento police said once it received information regarding Palubicki’s alleged misconduct, a thorough audit of her arrests and reports during her three years of employment was conducted. This included dozens of interviews, reviewing footage of bodycam footage and in-car camera footage, as well as surveillance footage from various cases.
Palubicki’s cell phone and social media accounts were also investigated.
“The Department has instituted a number of changes to prevent incidents like this from ever happening again,” the department said in the news release. “These changes include creating an Inspection and Standards Team that is responsible for conducting reoccurring audits of arrest reports, body-worn camera footage, and crime reports to ensure that arrests are lawful and within policy.”
Sacramento police said the internal affairs process regarding this case is still ongoing and that the department will remain transparent on the case going forward.
Palubicki served as a youth leader in the police department’s activities league. If convicted, she faces up to three years in prison.
“I couldn’t tell you what her motive is. I can just tell you that we believe that that’s what she did,” Hahn said.