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Former DHS Police Officer Heath Dead

By   /   October 9, 2013  /   Comments Off

Former officer Andrea Heath was involved with a variety of high profile internal matters regarding the Desert Hot Springs police department.

Heath’s $5 million discrimination lawsuit against the city naming former city manager Rick Daniels and former police chief Patrick Williams was winding its way through the courts.

Andrea Heath’s report to the FBI was instrumental in the convictions of former Desert Hot Springs police officers.

The circumstances of death are under investigation.

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Settlement of Retaliation Lawsuit Against City Was Scheduled

Desert Hot Springs Police Patch

CATHEDRAL CITY, CA – Former Desert Hot Springs police officer Andrea Danelle Heath died last night around 10:00 PM in her Cathedral City residence on Garbino Road, according to the Riverside County Coroner.

Sources inside the police department [names withheld] say Heath died of a gunshot to the head. The matter is under investigation by the Cathedral City police department.

Officer Heath, age 44 and survived by a 10 year old daughter, shared her Cathedral City residence with Desert Hot Springs police officer Jimmy Martin Henson. According to police department sources [names withheld] Henson was at home with Heath at the time of the incident.

Andrea Heath was involved with a variety of high profile internal matters regarding the Desert Hot Springs police department.

A $5 million retaliation lawsuit initiated by Andrea Heath against the city of Desert Hot Springs has been winding its way through the courts.

That lawsuit identifying retaliation by former police chief Patrick Williams was withheld from Petaluma city council members prior to their 2012 hiring of Williams as their police chief, after his resignation from Desert Hot Springs. Former city attorney Ruben Duran was instrumental in the withholding of Heath’s lawsuit until after Williams’ hiring was officially confirmed as Petaluma Police Chief.

The 2011 investigation by the FBI of the Desert Hot Springs police department resulting in the conviction of Officer Anthony Sclafani for excessive use of force and his subsequent incarceration in the federal penitentiary was initiated by the whistle-blowing of Officer Heath and former Desert Hot Springs police chief Walt McKinney.

Andrea Heath

Andrea Heath

A recent decision by the 9th Court of Appeals just last week upheld whistle-blower protections afforded police officers such as Andrea Heath.

“We had a settlement conference scheduled tomorrow,” said Jerry Steering who is Heath’s attorney. Steering said her death made no sense since he talked with his client only yesterday and said she was not depressed.

“She got a new job with a delivery service,” said Steering. “Andrea was demoted, harassed and fired because she talked to the FBI. You know why she was blackballed by the police community? Because the DHS PD found her unfit for duty after she refused to work a shift with Sclafani. She was afraid he would whack her for her talking to the FBI.”

Anthony Sclafani is now serving four years for his conviction on two counts of civil rights violations.

Also relating to the FBI investigation initiated by Andrea Heath and concurrent to her Desert Hot Springs police service was Desert Hot Springs officer, David Henderson. Henderson was indicted along with Sclafani, plead guilty to a misdemeanor civil rights count and was sentenced to a year’s probation.

Police officer and Police Officer Association President Paul Tapia alleged much of the same complaints as that of Andrea Heath whose lawsuit against the Desert Hot Springs names city officials, including former City Manager Rick Daniels and former Police Chief Patrick Williams.

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Related articles:

LA TIMES http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/desert-hot-springs-officer-convicted-of-civil-rights-charge.html

PETALUMA ARGUS COURIER http://www.petaluma360.com/article/20120713/ARTICLES/120719831/0/community?tc=ar

FRIENDS OF DESERT HOT SPRINGS http://friendsofdeserthotsprings.com/dhspd.htm

ORIGINAL ARTICLE IN DESERT VORTEX  http://www.desertvortex.com/2013/10/09/dhs-police-officer-dead/news2/12959/news

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About the author

Dean M Gray

Writer, Artist & Publisher. Dean started in the newspaper business at the age of nine earning 90 cents a week walking 3 miles delivering a newspaper door to door. 500 miles later he graduated to a bicycle route. Delivering news evolved into reporting news when he started publishing his first independent newspapers in high school. He served as editor for college newspaper has been published in newspapers and magazines. Dean has been writing his way out of a paper bag and traveling uphill ever since. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. His publication is Desert Vortex News - http://www.desertvortex.com

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