H-SANTA MARIA

Jun 26, 2012 9:23 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Family of Santa Maria Officer Albert Covarrubias Jr. responds to Santa Barbara County District Attorney's report

The Covarrubias family breaks their silence Tuesday in their first TV interview since the Santa Barbara County District Attorney found the shooting death of Officer Albert Covarrubias Jr. by another officer as legally justified.

KSBY spent more than an hour with Officer Covarrubias' father, as well as his widow. Gloria Covarrubias didn't want to go on camera but she said some things aren't adding up.

"She says that, she's not going to believe it. She's not going to take it. She says it does hurt for her to hear it but no one's going to tarnish his image in her eyes," said Albert Covarrubias Sr., father of Officer Albert Covarrubias Jr.

Her father-in-law spoke on her behalf. And for him, reading the District Attorney's report was just too difficult for him to finish.

Covarrubias' widow and father believe things weren't handled properly that January night. And they don't believe Officer Covarrubias had an inappropriate relationship with a 17 year-old Police Explorer.

"We want answers. We want justice. We want the clearing of his name. Are we going to get that? I don't know," added Covarrubias Sr.

They said the fact Police Chief Danny Macagni wasn't mentioned throughout the District Attorney's report tells them the department is hiding something. "What kind of a chief is he if these guys are doing things without him knowing. So can he be a chief? Is he a chief?" said Covarrubias Sr.

The Covarrubias family attorney, Gil Alvandi, also listened in on the interview via Skype. Alvandi said they have filed a court claim against the city. If the city doesn't respond within 45 days, then they will file a lawsuit against them and the police report.

KSBY reached out to the city regarding the claim. Assistant City Manager, Philip Sinco, said the city will respond in about a month.

Because of pending litigating, the city cannot comment any further at this time.

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