A Miramar College professor and retired cop was suspended after “brandishing” a firearm during an administrative meeting where he blew the whistle on fellow teachers, reports the San Diego Tribune.
Jordan Omens, a retired San Diego police officer and faculty member at the school of public safety, met with the administration in Oct. 2014 to explain that some teachers were illegally selling ammunition to students at the college’s police academy firing range. Later that day, he was suspended without pay for one year for “brandishing” his sidearm.
Omens claims the unwarranted disciplinary action was merely retaliation for reporting the ammunition sales and filed a lawsuit seeking one year’s pay, or $100,000.
But the district says Omens’ suspension was merited, citing his “brandishing” as the cause.
“Brandishing a firearm is a crime,” the district said in a legal filing. “Omens was placed on leave of absence and disciplined for brandishing the handgun.”
According to George Beitey, the dean of Miramar’s school of public safety and defendant in the lawsuit, Omens drew his holstered weapon during the meeting and placed it on a table with the barrel pointing towards him.
“I told Omens that we could not have a firearm in the room, and I attempted to grab it and remove it,” wrote Beitey. “[Omens] grabbed it first and said the gun was not going to be removed. He said he felt unsafe and that if I didn’t like it, I could call college police. He was extremely agitated as he said this, and I feared he may have shot us at this point.”
Omens believes the school used his suspension “to divert attention from the ammunition sales,” but the district says the selling of ammunition to registered students is an age-old practice, and legal.
“Nothing in the law prohibits sale by individuals who are not dealers,” the district said, adding that because staff members “were selling ammunition to registered students in a Police Science course, there was no violation of law in the sales.”
Omens’ administrative leave was completed last January and he will be returning to teach this fall.
(This article was submitted by freelance writer Brent Rogers)