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San Ramon Police Officer Arrested

Investigator says patrol officer Louis Lombardi took part in a CNET scandal involving drugs and weapons.

A San Ramon police officer has been arrested on five felony counts in connection with a scandal involving several law-enforcement officers in Contra Costa County.

Police arrested patrol officer Louis "Lou" Lombardi, 38, when he came in to work Wednesday morning, according to San Ramon Police Chief Scott Holder.

Lombardi was booked at the county jail in Martinez on suspicion of conspiracy, grand theft of weapons and drugs, possession of stolen property and keeping an illegal assault rifle. He is being held in lieu of $760,000 bail.

"This is a dark day for not only the San Ramon Police Department but for all of law enforcement," Holder told a roomful of reporters Wednesday evening. "The action of one is not a reflection of the integrity of the outstanding men and women who serve our city. We are all saddened by the actions of our officer, yet we remain focused on continuing to be the professional organization we have been and will continue to be."

Lombardi's arrest comes after those of former CNET commander

The three men used to work for the Antioch Police Department. All were named in a 34-count criminal complaint.

Wielsch and Butler, both 49, pleaded not guilty in March to charges of conspiracy; selling methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids; and possessing methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids for sale.

Butler is suspected of organizing drug sales, using what Wielsch allegedly nabbed from evidence lockers.

Court records also accuse Tanabe of helping to sell steroids.

Butler and Tanabe also are implicated in what's being called a "dirty DUI" scheme, in which Butler hired attractive women to convince men to drink at bars and follow the women home. Investigators say Butler would then call Tanabe, who would pull the men over and arrest them on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The alleged DUI scheme also involved arrests by other law enforcement officers of men Butler targeted at bars in Concord and Clayton, but in those cases, the officers were apparently unaware of the trap.

When Butler and Wielsch were arrested, there was no indication that other officers were involved, said Holder, who's chairman of CNET.

On March 15, police got information that Lombardi, who used to work under Wielsch as a CNET narcotics agent, may have played a part in the scandal, Holder said.

San Ramon police and the district attorney's office then started looking into Lombardi's possible involvement.

Authorities served a search warrant at Lombardi's Discovery Bay home after arresting him when he showed up to work at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Holder would not release details about the case because it's an active investigation.

Lombardi has been placed on administrative leave. He was hired by the San Ramon department in 2007, when the city founded its police force. Before that, he had worked as a Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy since 1998.

“I’ve known him for many years, and it’s a sad day for us, but we’re going to get through this and in the end, our department will survive," Holder said.

– Bay City News contributed to this report

Tri Valley Guy May 06, 2011 at 04:36 PM
@ Jenelle It's is amazing what people will type on here..First off you need to learn how the system works before you place blame. People are Charged by the DA's Office, the police present the case and it is the DA's Office that decides to take it further. If you saw an officer take evidence (drugs) off someone and believe they were keeping it and not turning it in then file a report with the departments IA, that is what they are there for! And to print something about an officer that is completly not true!!! Come on... When has an 80 women ever been shot in San Ramon???? A simple check on my computer and I was able to find both instances Officer Gardineir was involved in and no they were not in the same year and both involved subjects with guns... Your women with the potato peeler story is from San Jose!!!! Lame!!!! If you are seeing "any" adult involved in a intimate relationship with a child and didn't say anything then you are part of the problem. So many want to complain after the fact but when they see something they believe to be wrong they do nothing... I have had contact with SR police and found them to be professional. Yes they should be held to a higher standard so if you see something you think is wrong report it!!!
Dave Enright May 07, 2011 at 01:03 AM
Sounds like a lot of inuendo and gossip to me. If you have REAL proof of illegal activity take it to the Chief of Police in San Ramon as it's obvious by what he's already done that he's willing to do the right thing. Also, just because drugs are taken and the suspect isn't charged isn't the fault of the police department. The DA's office charges the suspects, not the police. Like I said, if you have some real proof expose it to the light. I guess I would question why you haven't already?
Ralph Hoffmann May 07, 2011 at 02:22 AM
Jennifer, should I say, "I told you so."?
Mike in Springtown May 09, 2011 at 01:09 AM
I know for a fact that you are 100% wrong about these bad cops in San Ramon. I know of more. Lets just give it a few more weeks.
afraid of retaliation May 12, 2011 at 07:09 PM
I can't believe people think this is isolated. It's that kind of stupidity that these cops thrive on. This is a fraternity, you have to really mess up, as these guys did, to be ratted out by your own members! Look how the cops in the other cities took to the drunk driving info. Just proves that cops are against the very people who pay their salaries to "protect" them. Turns out cops are no better than the drug dealers they arrest and I bet that whole San Ramon department is rotten to the core! Fire them all and start over with a new chief and better attitude, as the saying goes, "it all starts as the top."
Kalani Schreiner May 14, 2011 at 04:17 AM
I feel that maybe you are not happy with yourself! Please try and understand that the San Ramon Police Department is and always has put it's community before anything else. The Chief of police is one of the best you could ever have running the department, He is beyond reproach! I am sorry that you have had bad encounters with police officers but you should feel very lucky to have the Department you have so lets not tear them down but support them in this time of need. As the department stands by the community then the community should stand by them. Mahalo Nui Loa
Janice P Ellis May 14, 2011 at 04:26 PM
Geez, afraid of retaliation - stereotype much??? You believe whole San Ramon police department is corrupt ? Every single officer??? What kind of fuzzy logic is that? Maybe you should consider a career in politics. I honestly believe that the majority of people who work in law enforcement do so with professionalism and dedication. However, I think the source of the problem that makes some officers veer off into a ditch is not being able to handle the power and control elements that come with the job. Any time we believe that we can make our own rules, we're in trouble. Any time an officer starts to believe that he or she not only enforces the law, but, it also above it, they're in trouble.
Kalani Schreiner May 16, 2011 at 06:29 PM
I agree with you but there is one thing that we all forget! Are not Police Officers only human as well? Do we as a community never make mistakes in life how many have done things they later regret, or have felt so bad that they just want to shrink into a hole. I no we may think we are all perfect but we are not! Well guess what Police Officers are human and feel that same, only they are plastered all over the news and news papers as villains. I agree that they are held at a higher standard which makes it harder to live by. Believe me that is very hard to live with.
Kalani Schreiner May 16, 2011 at 06:36 PM
I know for a fact all it takes is to make a mistake when you wear a badge and your whole life you dreamed about living is gone, and you then live the rest of your life regretting it no matter how small or large the mistake is. Please believe me your San Ramon Police Department is and always will be the best in California, so now lets all stand by them with support rather than trying to tear them down.
Noelle May 16, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Kalani - your beginning (no...continuing) to sound a little biased - maybe a little "too close" to the situation? Everyone makes mistakes and Lord knows most people regret their mistakes, but becomming a thieving, drug dealing cop is not just a little mistake. Sorry - just my unbiased opinion.
Kalani Schreiner May 16, 2011 at 06:51 PM
I do respect that! I just know that there are many great Police Officers who suffer because of the mistakes of the one's who are corrupted. I too live in a community where the police have Officers who may be corrupt but there are the majority who pay for the mistakes of the corrupt Officers on
Kalani Schreiner May 16, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Yes only God is the only one who knows the truth and the regrets of ones heart. I am not a San Ramon Police Officer nor work in the City of San Ramon, but I do know what an Officer goes through when a mistake is made by renagade Police Officers. The public turns their back on them and the trust factor is gone, people look at them with suspicious eyes. You then begin to worry about making even the smallest mistake, because of the public placing you as one of the bad seeds. A Police Officer is willing to place his life on the line for his or her community. When one graduates from the Police Academy, they know what they are willing to do and what they have to give up in life. It is a very proud day to know that you are willing to put your badge on and to have your community trust you to protect them. How many people are willing to run towards gun shots when to protect those who they serve? How many are willing to work the crazy shifts they work, to be out in the rain and cold when their families are home in a nice warm bed praying that their husbands or wives will come home safe after their shift? Please all I know is taht people are all human and being human we are going to make mistakes, so lets leave the judging to God and the courts and just stand by those Officers who are still pround to serve their comminity. My prayers are with the whole San Ramon Police Department and the City of San Ramon please hang in there all will be okay!
Janice P Ellis May 16, 2011 at 10:53 PM
I know it must be difficult right now for the officers who perform their jobs in an honest and ethical way. Since this story broke, every time I see a San Ramon or Danville police officer, the first thing I think is, "...is this one of the "good" ones, or is he or she corrupt too?" I mean, how can the average citizen know? We all understand that no one is perfect - we all make mistakes; but, come on - these officers veered WAY off into the ditch when they made the decision to do these dirty DUI schemes and selling drug evidence. And, if the brothel thing in Dublin proves to be true, I mean, how much more corrupt can you BE? Talk about living a double life! It's just human nature to wonder how all-encompassing the behavior of these officers is in a police department. I think we as citizens deserve to know.
San Ramon Citizen May 17, 2011 at 12:58 AM
To those who commented negatively toward the SRPD as a whole, do so because they themselves, feel they are above all. I wish nothing catastrophic would come upon those people, that they should not need the assistance from law enforcement in this life time. If so, would that make them a hypocrite? I hope those people are shielded by a supernatural aura so they are safe from all evil. I don't understand the motive behind those individual who care to make up story to incite others into ridiculing SRPD. Their comment to me, carry no credibility as they are too afraid to post their true full names. I respect SRPD and thank them for their unselfishness, to put their lives ahead of those in need. I am not including my name because I know cops in San Ramon would read this post as well, and I don't want any preferential treatment from SRPD. If I deserve a ticket, so be it. You are just doing your job. Thank you to SRPD.
Janice P Ellis May 17, 2011 at 05:11 PM
I find your viewpoints a little strange, San Ramon Citizen. But, let me get this straight - having a negative viewpoint against something means someone feels they are "above it all"? And, are you REALLY implying that people should not speak out against police officers who stray from the straight and narrow because we might need assistance from law enforcement at some future point in time? Are you SERIOUS??? I hate to break it to you, but, these officers have been charged with some pretty serious charges that they made the conscience decision to involve themselves in. And, these weren't just simple one-time mistakes of judgment - this was ongoing behavior. I still believe that the vast majority of people in law enforcement carry out their jobs with a high degree of ethics and professionalism. But, as the officers who have been charged here have so vividly reminded us, not every officer is following that standard. And we as average citizens have no way of knowing that, which is pretty unsettling when you really stop and think about it. Those in law enforcement are charged to uphold the law, not to willingly break it. Throw THEM under the bus, San Ramon Citizen, rather than we who speak out against them.
Kalani Schreiner May 17, 2011 at 08:13 PM
WOW! I am confused now! You mean the statements made about all of the San Ramon Police Department being corrupt is not true? So we all agree the responsible corrupt Officers should face their consequences and lose everything, and the San Ramon Police Department in whole should still be looked up to right? If that is the case there is no difference in opinions then! I have always believed the choices in life that we choose has two consequences they are good or bad consequences, and we all own them both so most of us chose the one with the best consequences but some choose to take the chance of picking the wrong choice and hope they don't get caught and have to deal with the bad consequences. Maybe being human is scarier than we think!
Janice P Ellis May 17, 2011 at 11:01 PM
Valid points, Kalani. The thing that bothers me about people with viewpoints like San Ramon Citizen is that he or she thinks we shouldn't have any questions nor concerns about these arrests! For all we know, the officers who have already been charged may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the total number of officers involved in this. How can we know? And, that's the unsettling thing. Yet, because we choose to QUESTION that (I was taught to ALWAYS be willing to question authority), you get people like San Ramon Citizen accusing US of thinking we're "above it all". No one likes to have to deal with the police, but, if we have to deal with them, I would REALLY like to be able to have some degree of certainty that Officer Good Cop is getting out of that patrol car, rather than Officer Bad Cop.
Kalani Schreiner May 18, 2011 at 03:29 AM
I would like to think the the rest of the San Ramon Police Department good Officers, I am very sure that the rest of the department has been looked into by now by those who are investigating the many departments in the County. Believe me I am very sure if there were more of Our San Ramon Officers involved they would have been exposed by now and dealt with. I am very proud of the Chief Of the San Ramon Police Department because of his swift action after finding out there was a corrupt Officer in his ranks, That is how he has always been and will continue to do! I feel that you can trust the whole Department and not wonder if the Officer getting out of his patrol car is good or corrupted, I think they are all hurting as well as their community because I feel they also wonder what the community thinks of them as well.
Janice P Ellis May 18, 2011 at 05:48 PM
I agree, Kalani. Being a police officer is difficult enough, without having the added stress of having residents in our community wonder if you're some kind of crook too. But, please understand that, my point is that while exposure is one thing, the unsettling thing is that these officers were conducting themselves this way for who knows how long. I mean, what if they hadn't been caught? It absolutely amazes me what people dream up sometimes. I mean, what goes through your mind when you're thinking of taking drug evidence and selling it? At some point, instead of deciding "...yeah - that sounds like a good idea; I think I'll do it...", you'd think they'd head for the nearest counseling facility. The same goes for those three St. Isadore's employees who are accused of embezzing over half a million dollars. It's bad enough to steal, but, from a CHURCH??? I can't imagine being able to get a good night's sleep with that kind of stuff on my mind.
Kalani Schreiner May 18, 2011 at 07:30 PM
I know! If we as a community worry about all that is going on while we are nice and warm in our homes, life would be terrible and we all will be afraid to leave our homes. That is what a Police Officer is for to keep us safe at all times. I know if an Officer is driving the streets especially at night he/she looks at the families in their nice warm homes. They feel very proud to help keep them safe and sound through the day and night. So that leaves the Officers out driving around in the elements protecting us wondering how their families are doing, knowing that there is an Officer driving around their community protecting their loved ones until they return home. Life is full of wonders and what we need now is more trust in those who protect us, for they walk the line for us.
Mike in Springtown May 19, 2011 at 01:26 PM
Kalani You are the wife of a cop and that tells me that you think the world of the cop you are married to. I know this will upset you but not everyone is in this fairytale world you live in. Lets start with the nice warm home you talk about. I bet they are cold because they dont have the money to pay for PGE and they are probably one house payment from losing that house you talk of. I can see you think the police are the only ones that work hard and in a un safe environment. The truth is these cops need to be locked up for life. They have been up to know good for a long time. Its just like all the police that work in san ramon that are double dipping as in collecting a pension from the sheriffs department and now working for the SRPD Every san ramon cop over 50 in this department is doing it. That is how this gets all started. From the top on down. They all want to get a $100,000 pension and keep working for another $120,000 to $190,000 a year and if you think working 3 days a week is hard work you must be crazy. They are the ones at home with their families. My brother in law is a san ramon cop and in 17 years I saw a real nice fun to be around guy turn into the biggest a-hole that I know. And I dont trust him and never will. So none of this crap surprises me at all.
Kalani Schreiner May 20, 2011 at 03:06 AM
I am sorry Mike! Well no I am not a wife of a Police Officer, you see I happen to be a male, sorry! I don't live in a balloon I know about people since I have dealt with them most of my life . I know that the Officers are not all getting $100,000 pensions maybe close but not that much. What is wrong with retiring from one Department and being hired for another? Does that make them all bad Police Officer? They earned their retirement and just want to still stay in Law Enforcement and that means making more money that is also okay, I personally know many people who get medically retired and work in another field making over $150,000 in other professions does that make them a bad person so maybe we should say everyone who works in a different profession and still collects their pension from the other is bad? This all does not make sense at all! I am sorry you hate so much you really must be a very unhappy person and I agree there are bad people in every walk of life and we all have to deal with them but please lets not make accusations about a Police Department who has done nothing to you. I live in a very nice home and I work very hard to keep it that way. I also feel your numbers are made up as well as the amount of pensions, please don't just guess and throw out statement which you don't know about it really makes you look very bad! The San Ramon Police Department is loved by many, so if you ever need a Police Officer I know for a fact they will stand by you.
Tri Valley Guy May 20, 2011 at 04:24 AM
@Mike Most of your posts are against cops and fire, so my guess is you have issues with both and even by admission a problem with your brother in-law. Pensions of both are public record as are salaries don't blame them for what they get, blame those that approved them. Seriously the job of a cop is not one most would want. A fireman is a bit different, don't get me wrong I don't have issues with them, but on a day to day basis unless they are a paramedic they are imo making more money than they should. I do think cops should be held to a higher standard as they are looked up to and have a lot of power. If found guilty, no breaks! As with anyone charged with a crime everyone deserves their time in court so until this is done I will refrain from finding them guilty. I do feel bad for good officers as everyone, including me,wonders when we look at them if they are involved. Of course now that I heard the Fed's are on the case as well this could become very interesting. I just think most of your anti cop and fire posts are due to your issues with your family member. You know the applications for both are open to you or I and either of us could have applied. With the economy the way it has been those jobs look a lot better now. A few yrs ago I would have never even considered either of them,of course I had a nice fat 401 then :) My guess is in another few yrs when things turn the other way, then as before I won't even be paying attention to their pensions
Terry Steinman May 28, 2011 at 09:58 AM
Kalani, I've lived in San Ramon for almost 30 years and your name sounds very familiar. You may not be married to a police officer but didn't you used to be a Contra Costa Sheriff's Deputy assigned at one point as an Officer in San Ramon? There aren't too many male cops named "Kalani" especially one that waxes poetic day after day about how great the local police department for which they used to work is so it begs the question: Did you used to be a San Ramon Police Officer? Are you still a police officer? If you used to work for San Ramon why didn't you say so up front? If you are the one I remember from many years ago you've certainly lost a lot of credibility with me. You should have disclosed your obvious bias up front to all of us here. You may feel exactly as you typed here but it sure would've made a difference to me knowing you posted what you did as a former police officer and not an average joe citizen like the rest of us. That wasn't right.
Kalani Schreiner May 31, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Mrs. Steinman, I apologize to you and everyone else if you felt that I spoke out of turn. In answer to your question, yes I am the Kalani you know and I have been retired for the past nine years now because I had three heart attacks and a quadruple by-pass. I have been a citizen such as you and have had run into police officers in the city I live in who were bad seeds. I still would not blame the Police Department in my town but I blame the individual officer who is the bad seed. I do not consider myself an officer but a citizen. There are a lot of great Officers out there and I know they are doing their best again I am sorry to have misled you but it should not matter if I was a police officer in my past life or not, it is only what is fair to the community and the Officers. I do miss the San Ramon Community very, very much and always think about what it would be like to work again as a San Ramon Police Officer. I loved serving your community and felt like all of you were part of my family (O'hana) , but that is all over now and I have gone on with my life. I went back to work as a Respiratory Care Practitioner in a Hospital where I have been for the past eight years now. I still feel that your community should stand by your Police Department! Please consider this and I will continue to pray for the whole city. Alohas Nui Loa
Dena R June 01, 2011 at 02:06 AM
You all are some grown people, act like it!
Kalani Schreiner June 01, 2011 at 02:24 AM
Amen to that!
Terry Steinman June 03, 2011 at 11:27 AM
Mr. Schreiner, Thank you for your response. I wish you nothing but good luck in your "second career" and hope you are past all of your health troubles. As far as what's going on in the city in which I live I hope the police department can get past what they find themselves in and certainly hope Officer Lombardi is the only bad apple in the barrel. I truly do as my interactions with San Ramon officers over the years has been nothing short of professional and pleasant I don't think they are all bad. Should we find it's a systemic problem with other officers involved I would be trul disappointed as I've held them in high regard in comparison to other neighboring agencies. I guess time will tell. Again, I wish you good health and peace to you. Terry
jim April 19, 2012 at 10:29 AM
These cops are the ones out there raiding drug houses, [to arrest drug dealers] and then steal not only the drugs,but personal property, to keep for themselves, and then do it again each raid, they put people in jail for drugs that were never turned in as evidence, the sad part about the whole deal is the fact that ,all police do things exactly like this everyday there on the job,maybe not at the same level,but cops love to arrest anyone for a DUI,and a DUI can ruin a life for years, then that cop goes out drinking himself after his shift and drives home after,does he get a DUI. NO he doesnt cause hes a cop and he can do it , YOU CANT, double standard ,i hope they put all these envolved away for the rest of there lives,thats what they deserve ,i hate cops,there all pricks
Kelvin May 09, 2013 at 08:55 AM
The San Ramon police department is crooked in it's entirety. These "fine" officers are prejudice, profiling, lying, and stealing. Our community knows all of this, however, citizens are living in fear and are intimidated by these very officers into not speaking out against all of the wrong that is being committed in the city. Any person who lives in the great city knows that our law enforcement officers diminish any value that we have as a whole.

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