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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pasadena : Fired Officer Back on Force

December 06, 1990

James Ballestero, who was fired from the Pasadena Police Department in 1987, resumed his job Monday as ordered by a Superior Court judge after Ballestero sued the city to reclaim his post.

Ballestero, who re-entered the force at top pay of $21.50 an hour, will be assigned to desk duties until he completes a three-week police academy refresher course in January, said Police Chief Bruce Philpott.

After two years on the force, Ballestero was fired in 1987 after an internal investigation concluded he had used excessive force in arresting Steve Rivers and Michael Zinzun during a violent confrontation in 1986 with residents of the Community Arms apartment complex.

But Judge David P. Yaffe concluded the city lacked evidence that Ballestero had used excessive force on Rivers or that he was the officer who blinded Zinzun in one eye.

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