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Ex-director of Boise's police oversight office files lawsuit against the city

City of Boise

The former director of Boise’s Office of Police Accountability filed a lawsuit against the City of Boise after his termination last week.

Jesus Jara was put on administrative leave at the beginning of the month. On Friday, the City called a special council and voted 5-1 to terminate him, citing concerns over his professional judgment and a lack of confidence in the actions of the office.

In a statement, Mayor Lauren McLean said the termination came after the City realized Jara had reviewed footage from 8,000 Boise Police body cam recordings without cause.

On Monday, attorneys for Jara filed a suit against the City for retaliation, defamation and wrongful termination. The suit states Jara was concerned over the City’s handling of former Chief of Police Ryan Lee, previously investigated for abuse of force and later terminated.

The lawsuit says Jara received “conflicting guidance” on how to handle high-level or sensitive complaints against command-level officers and that the body cam reviews were part of the OPA’s scope.

Jara is seeking damages for lost wages and benefits as well as libel, emotional distress, and attorneys’ fees.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.

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