The trial court erred in denying the defendant’s Anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss a suit charging that the Inspector General had interrogated prison guards in violation of their rights under the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights Act.  The Legislature directed Inspector General to investigate the treatment of prisoners at the High Desert prison and report back to the Legislature on his findings.  The gathering of information for the report was protected conduct as an official proceeding and as an exercise of free speech in connection with an issue of public interest. The plaintiffs failed to show a probability of success on their claims since the POBRA restrictions on interrogating police officers applied only to interrogations undertaken in connection with disciplinary proceedings against the police officers.  The Inspector General’s interviews were not undertaken for that purpose.

California Court of Appeal, Third District (Hoch, J.); May 10, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 428