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San Diego City Council OKs $250K For Ex-SDPD Officer's Defense

Christopher Hays at a hearing on April 22, 2014.
Christopher Hays at a hearing on April 22, 2014.

The City Council on Tuesday authorized the City Attorney's Office to set aside as much as $250,000 to retain outside counsel to defend former San Diego police Officer Christopher Hays against any lawsuits filed by women who contend he groped and illegally detained them.

The City Attorney's Office cited a conflict of interest for its request to hire the law firm of Haight, Brown & Bonesteel.

So far, Hays faces one federal lawsuit involving three plaintiffs. The city defends employees against litigation for their actions while the workers were on duty.


Hays, 30, pleaded guilty Aug. 22 to felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of assault and battery under the color of authority by a peace officer. The ex-officer faces up to a year in jail and probation. He remains free on $130,000 bail pending sentencing on Sept. 26.

Before the plea bargain, Hays was looking at nearly four years in prison if convicted.

Three women testified in April that they were groped and forced to perform inappropriate acts after being contacted and searched by Hays, a four- year SDPD veteran who resigned the day after he was charged in February.

A fourth woman also claimed Hays groped her after her arrest for shoplifting, according to SDPD Detective Cory Gilmore.