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ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEWS CONCLUDED ON PASADENA OFFICERS

In 2012, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez contracted with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) to conduct independent investigations into eight personnel complaints filed with the Pasadena Police Department (PPD).  These complaints were primarily brought forth by a sole source between April and October of 2012.  An additional three complaints were received in late 2012-2013 and remained with the PPD for investigation.  The combined complaints were primarily centered on three officers and were generated during court proceedings related to an aggravated assault trial.  Chief Sanchez retained LASD as an independent, investigative body to expedite the investigations and to provide transparency for the process.  Per LASD procedures, the administrative reviews and findings are the responsibility of the contracting agency. 

By August 19, 2013, LASD had completed seven of the eight investigations. Subsequent to LASD’s investigations, PPD completed the administrative reviews, which determined the following findings: 

  • Complainant alleged officer failed to submit discovery material before trial. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and trial judge concluded there was no Brady violation; however, the PPD Administrative Review determined that there was a delay in the submission, a violation of department policy. (Sustained)  
  • Complainant alleged officer tried to influence witness testimony. (Exonerated)  
  • Complainant alleged inappropriate use of an informant.  (Exonerated) 
  • Complainant alleged traffic stop was harassment. (Unfounded) 
  • Complainant alleged unlawful arrest and failure to act by officer. (Not sustained) 
  • Complainant alleged officer interfered with a witness statement. (Unfounded) 
  • Complainant alleged officer failed to provide a copy of a search warrant and that the issuance of the search warrant was harassment. (Exonerated) 
  • Complainant alleged threats by an officer.  (Investigation by LASD on-going) 

The following is a summary of the three complaints investigated by the PPD: 

  • Complainant alleged submission of misleading police report. (Unfounded)  
  • Complainant alleged officer inappropriately recorded jailhouse telephone conversation.  (Exonerated) 
  • Complainant alleged officer made inappropriate comment. (Sustained) 

A “Sustained” finding occurs when there is sufficient evidence to establish that the act occurred and it constituted a policy violation.  A “Not Sustained” disposition is utilized when the investigation discloses there is insufficient evidence to sustain the complaint or fully exonerate the employee.  An “Unfounded” disposition means the allegation did not occur and an “Exonerated” finding means the alleged act(s) occurred, but the act was justified, lawful, and proper.  “Brady” refers to the disclosure process of material evidence deemed exculpatory or impeaching toward the guilt, innocence, or punishment of the defendant.  

Chief of Police Phillip Sanchez: 

“The Pasadena Police Department takes seriously any allegations of misconduct by its employees. If police personnel are found to have committed violations, they will be held accountable.  In a majority of the complaints, the investigations revealed that elements of the allegations were exaggerated or misrepresented in an attempt to tarnish the Pasadena Police Department’s professional reputation.  These complaints were a mis-direction from the truth - that hardworking and honorable detectives brought to prosecution dangerous criminals who had either taken life or significantly injured members of our community. The suspects’ disregard for the law and for life has left a profound impact on the victims and their families.  As law enforcement professionals, the Pasadena Police Department will continue to investigate complaints in a timely manner and maintain high standards in contemporary policing.” 

Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, Chair City Council Public Safety Committee: 

"As the Chair of the Pasadena Public Safety Committee, I would like to thank Chief Sanchez and his administrative team for pursuing the validity and truth of the 2012/2013 allegations of officer misconduct.  The comprehensive reviews, including both internal and external investigations, were appropriate given the series of complaints.  

“The Public Safety Committee and the City Council will continue to hold our Chief and Pasadena Police employees to the highest standards of professionalism.  Any sustained infraction of employee misconduct violates the public’s trust.  As such, community members are encouraged to report allegations of misconduct to Chief Sanchez, members of the Public Safety Committee or other appropriate agencies for review.  The Police Department has demonstrated that citizen complaints will be investigated in a timely manner and that employees will be held accountable.  If an investigation determines that the alleged conduct was proper, within policy and the law; the employee should be deemed exonerated.  The Public Safety Committee will continue to routinely provide oversight regarding the Police Department’s personnel investigations and use of force incidents to ensure we remain current and fair in our police practices.” 

For More Information:
Lt. Tracey Ibarra: (626) 744-7875

 

Posted: 8/22/2013 02:30:00 PM