Despite an ongoing investigation, a police officer who struck and killed an Iowa woman with a sport utility vehicle while patrolling Mandalay Beach in Oxnard two months ago is back on duty.

A mandatory psychological evaluation found that Senior Officer Frank Brisslinger, who was driving the SUV that ran over a sunbathing Cindy Conolly on June 12, and had been on paid leave up until last week, is mentally fit to return to his job, although he has been assigned to a different area, according to Oxnard Police Chief John Crombach. Officer Mark Polo, Brisslinger’s passenger, resumed work in June.

Of course, this is not the end of the matter for Brisslinger, or for the city of Oxnard. A police report on the incident is expected to be concluded any day now, at which point it will be turned over to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office to determine if there is sufficient evidence to file criminal negligence charges against the officer.

Even if Brisslinger is found to have violated police policy, it would not guarantee his immediate expulsion from the force, says Alan Wisotsky, special counsel for the Oxnard Police Department. Disciplinary action in such an instance could include “anything from a verbal reprimand up to and including termination.”

Meanwhile, Mark Hiepler, an attorney representing Conolly’s family, indicates a lawsuit is waiting in the city’s future.

He says most beaches that receive more than 100,000 visitors annually prohibit police vehicles from driving on the sand unless an arrest is being made, and those that do allow them to regularly patrol the beach utilize all-terrain vehicles, which are lower to the ground and provide better sightlines than SUVs.

While he “reserves the right” to name individuals in the suit, Hiepler says chances are the city will be the focus.

“An entity that fails to train, an entity that fails to have a policy, is usually the one that is the main defendant,” he says.

Prior to the Fourth of July holiday, Conolly’s family issued a letter requesting changes to the police department’s method of beach patrol, including hiring lifeguards, using ATVs and setting a policy for when, where and how officers drive the vehicles. Crombach says “each and every request” is currently being reviewed for possible implementation, and adds that such modifications were already being considered in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

As for why those procedures were not in place before the accident, “You do the best you can in terms of policy practices and procedures absent a crystal ball,” Crombach says. “We felt in terms of training officers to drive in a beach environment, for the limited amount we do as ancillary to patrolling in the area, we believed we had it covered. It’s not until you have something completely tragic occur … that we realized, in retrospect, we could have done a lot better.”

Wisotsky suggests the city will probably agree to settle with the Conolly family out of court.

“The city will likely accept responsibility and try to make them whole, at least to the extent that money can do that,” Wisotsky says. “It’s not going to bring her back.”