Former Cop Who Claimed Harassment Against Petaluma Police Chief in SoCal Found Dead

Former Desert Hot Springs Police Officer Andrea Heath sued that city last year, naming Petaluma Police Chief Pat Williams in the suit. His previous job was as chief of that department.

A former police officer whose federal lawsuit named Petaluma Police Chief Pat Williams while he was at his previous job was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot last week.

Andrea Heath, a former Desert Hot Springs police officer, filed a $5 million federal lawsuit against that city last year, saying Williams discouraged her from cooperating with an FBI investigation of the use of excessive force there, then retaliated against her when she did cooperate.

She was found dead Oct. 8, The Desert Sun reported. Her lawsuit was thrown out, but she appealed and her lawyer was hopeful.

“We were going to win the appeal,” Jerry L. Steering told the Desert Sun, adding that he found it hard to believe Heath would kill herself when they had such a positive outlook on the case.

Williams offered his condolences in a statement to the Petaluma Argus-Courier, but said the court was right to dismiss her lawsuit.

The case could still move forward if an heir or estate-holder wishes to take it up, the Argus-Courier reported.

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