SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A 26-year-old officer with the Sacramento Police Department has been arrested and charged with two felony counts of filing a false police report, authorities announced Thursday.
Following a tip on her misconduct, Alexa Palubicki was placed on administrative leave. Authorities say the false reports were brought to their attention in July of 2020 by whistleblowers within the department. A sweeping audit of Palubicki’s entire arrest and supplemental report catalog was launched, reviewing the entirety of the reports made in her three-year tenure on the force.
According to internal police documents held as discovery evidence, revealed by reports from CBS 13 and the Sacramento Bee, Palubicki pulled over a Black motorist driving a car registered to a woman and discovered a firearm and a suspended license for the driver. On a police report for that incident, Palubicki and her partner allegedly wrote that they pulled over the driver for suspicion of DUI – a report that the DA’s office says is a lie.
The motorist initially faced two felony counts of carrying a concealed weapon and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license. Prosecutors dismissed the case a few weeks later due to insufficient evidence, and an internal probe into Palubicki and her partner began.
“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.”
Investigators interviewed department employees, reviewed body camera footage, and executed search warrants on electronic devices and social media accounts belonging to Palubicki before handing over the case to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
“As prosecutors, we must proceed only on cases where the evidence is trustworthy and legally obtained. We have the solemn duty to ensure that justice and fairness remain the touchstone of our criminal justice system. To that end, immediately upon being notified of Palubicki’s conduct, the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office conducted an internal case audit to identify any pending cases we had filed in which she participated,” the District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “Cases in which her participation was material and necessary for prosecution have been dismissed.”
The Sacramento Police Department said in a press release that they have instituted a number of policy changes to ensure a similar incident doesn’t happen again. Officials say those changes include the formation of an Inspection and Standards team that will conduct recurring audits of crime reports, body camera footage, and arrest reports, cross-referencing them with the law and police procedure.
The department says they are committed to being transparent as investigatory efforts continue.
“The internal affairs process regarding this case is still ongoing in accordance with state law. The department is committed to transparency and we will continue to update our community regarding this case as we are able,” a statement read.