The City of San Diego may have to set aside $250,000 to defend against civil lawsuits after a former police officer admitted to misconduct while on duty.
The City Attorney's office is asking for that money in the event it was needed to hire outside council to defend former San Diego Police Officer Christopher Hays in any lawsuits stemming from his case.
Hays pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of assault and battery under the color of authority by a peace officer on Aug. 22.
Hays had resigned from the police department after four women claimed he had inappropriately touched and groped them during pat downs while he was on duty.
Hays faces a maximum of five years behind bars but may wind up being sentenced to about one year. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 26.
When news broke of Hays' arrest, then-Chief William Lansdowne ordered an outside audit of the police department from the U.S. Department of Justice. Lansdowne’s successor, Chief Shelley Zimmerman, supported the audit.
When former SDPD Officer Anthony Arevalos was convicted and sent to prison for a number of sex crimes, the City Attorney said the city faced a dozen lawsuits from victims in the case.
In June 2012, one woman received a $45,000 settlement from the city, her attorney told NBC 7. Six months later, the San Diego City Council announced a combined $245,000 award to two women who claimed Arevalos sexually assaulted them.
In September 2013, the City of San Diego paid $795,000 to a woman identified in court documents as Jane Roe who was not involved in the criminal case.