Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Police Vehicle
The legal problems for the city of Burbank and its embattled police department got a whole lot worse this past week. On Tuesday, well-respected Ex-Deputy Police Chief Bill Taylor filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that he was demoted to captain for drawing attention to several serious incidents in the department, including discrimination against a group of minority officers. Taylor joins four Burbank police officers, a lieutenant, and a former detective, in suing the city for alleged misconduct and unfair treatment in the BPD.
The filing of the Taylor lawsuit comes as no surprise. Rumors about it have been making the rounds in the city for weeks now. Nevertheless, the filing of the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court amounts to a legal bomb blowing up in Burbank. I have a copy of the lawsuit, so here are the major incidents cited by Taylor, which he says cost him his position as Deputy Police Chief.
“During March 2009, a sworn employee of the Burbank Police Department was accused of sexually harassing numerous females at the Burbank Animal Shelter. The employee was accused of inappropriate sexual comments and gestures. When Claimant (Taylor) was notified of the allegations of sexual harassment, he recommended to Chief of Police Tim Stehr that the employee be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Chief of Police Stehr became agitated and demanded that the employee not be placed on administrative leave for a long period of time and ultimately directed Claimant (Taylor) to bring the employee back to work prematurely before sufficient investigation had been undertaken. Claimant (Taylor) informed the City Manager (Mike Flad) about this incident and that it was handled inappropriately on or about April or May 2009.”
The suit alleges, “… Chief Stehr’s motivation to retaliate against Plaintiff (Taylor) arises from his own personal experiences being subjected to discipline for having sexual intercourse in a police vehicle while on duty. Consequently, Stehr minimized complaints of sexual misconduct and frowned upon Plaintiff (Taylor) for reporting it and taking the issue seriously.”
“Claimant (Taylor) repeatedly complained from April 2008 through April 2009, to Stehr that minority (African-American and Hispanic) probationary police officers were being singled out by the Patrol Captain (Pat Lynch) at the time, and some of his staff, for termination on account of their race. Claimant (Taylor) was able to stop the terminations by refusing to support the record that had been unjustly prepared to support the potential terminations.”
“On or about April or May 2009, Claimant (Taylor) informed the City Manager (Flad) that some department personnel were attempting to unfairly terminate probationary minority officers.”
“In or about January 2007, an IA investigation had been initiated based upon an allegation that a lieutenant, while he held the rank of sergeant, had used excessive force against a suspect. The investigation was conducted, interviews were taken, and evidence was gathered. In or around 2007 all of the documents, flash drive and interview tapes pertaining to the case that were stored in a locked office in the Burbank Police Department were stolen. The theft could have only been committed by an employee of the Burbank Police Department. In a memo to Stehr dated November 19, 2007, Claimant (Taylor) requested that an outside agency be contacted and brought into the Burbank Police Department to investigate what appeared to be a burglary within the Department by Department employees. In the memo, Claimant (Taylor) specifically requested that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Burbank City Attorney’s office become involved. Claimant’s (Taylor’s) request to bring in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was angrily denied. On or about April or May 2009, Claimant (Taylor) informed the City Manager (Flad) about the 2007 burglary and the Chief’s failure to take appropriate action.”
These allegations are explosive because they show a direct link to one of the most powerful officials in Burbank city government, City Manager Mike Flad. If indeed Flad had knowledge of these incidents and his actions were as described in the lawsuit, well, the city manager should find himself on the hot seat answering some pretty tough questions. Also, if Flad knew about these incidents in the Burbank Police Department, were other city hall officials aware of them as well?
Also in my opinion, if Taylor’s allegations are true, his reactions to these incidents should have earned him a promotion and not demotion.
Frequently, Taylor has been described as the moral compass of the Burbank P.D. Stripping Taylor of his Deputy Police Chief position and knocking him down to captain sends a disturbing message. It says the Burbank Police Department is adrift in troubled waters without sufficient direction and guidance. A situation that could prove to be very costly for the city and its citizens.
Meanwhile late yesterday, a statement slamming the lawsuit and Captain Taylor was posted on the Burbank city website: “…The City intends to vigorously defend this case and seek all available and appropriate sanctions, including court costs and attorney’s fees, against Mr. Taylor for filing this false and frivolous lawsuit and defaming the reputations of the City and Police Department.”
Moral compass???? When all is said and done, you will see that Taylor is the real crook. I hope you continue frothing at the mouth and asking for his head to roll, when you find out the factual set of events.
For everyone interested in reading the lawsuit here it is linked below. I would guess Manny doesn’t need to read it he already knows everything.
Here is a link so everyone can read the City of Burbank press release, you know it’s the one Manny doesn’t really want you to see.
Be sure to vote on the poll and let everyone know what you think of the City of Burbank website
Manny no matter how you dice it bro, there is so much corruption from the top down that someone needs to come in and take over this city.
We know Manny you think Mayor Bric is a moral compass. Yaba Daba Doo as the Flinstones say.
Manny, I’ve read your reply over and over… which leaves me with 2 thoughts for you – 1st You appear to be someone who has it out for Cpt Taylor, did he ever arrest you and you’re feeling a bit vendictive. 2nd. You’re an absolute idiot and obviously have no clue what’s going on in the real world.
JK ! Good For You !..
If 1/10th of this stuff is true…why are these people still in power? Is our city council so corrupt and full of spineless people that they refuse to do their job. What are we electing these people for?
Mayor Bric could redeem himself if he would just look out for the taxpayer. Fashionably late does not apply here.
Will the real Mayor Bric PLEASE stand up!
Manny, Manny, Manny
Always saying wait to see. Always saying when the real story comes out.
Manny you sure like to give a hint you know the real story but you sure never back any of that up.
So far what we have is a lawsuit that refers to memos and investigations, and a city that says in a press release nothing about any of it is true. Now how can that be ?
I stand with Bill Taylor. “Moral Compass” is hardly an adequate term to describe this courageous public servant.
I just got off the phone with one of my friends, one of my heroes, Borden Olive. He says “I have known Bill since he was a beat cop in Burbank.” Borden is fond of alliteration. “I will go anywhere, anytime, anyplace and testify to the man’s character and integrity. He is a good man. He is good people.”
Borden knows good people. He just retired after 50 years at various levels of power in service to LA County. In a county of 10-12 million people, the most diverse place on the face of the planet, the 16th-17th largest economy in the world; he always was a leading force fighting to make this an American culture based on equal rights, justice and respect and dignity for all who live here.
He stands with Bill Taylor.
Me, John Brady, a minor league civil rights leader? Well after Fronnie described me as someone who has “stellar credentials for fighting racism” I can suit up now. I have known Bill for eleven years and can attest to his character. He was the one back when Chief Newsham, not knowing what to do but knowing something had to be done, would turn and get things done when it came to minority relations. We have had an outstanding relationship ever since. He has always been the go to guy on issues of fairness and outreach to the community.
On a related issue. I have to disagree with my good friend Mike Nolan. It is about being called “Paco” and “Jap” and other ethnic slurry names at work. The job of a police officer is stressful enough without having a hostile work environment to put up with. That’s why I alerted my friend Brian Moruguchi from the Professional Police Officers Association about what was going on here and invited him to the Commission meeting that was, we found out later, illegally canceled.
Now looking back as to why there was so much opposition to me I can’t help but think that one of the red flags I may have raised in my application was the issue of “recruitment”. I wanted an aggressive program because I felt we were lacking in some manner. Oops! I may have tread in a festering pile of bigoted duck doo.
Bill Taylor was on top of recruitment and if you notice some of the dates on the paper work they seem to coincide with my application.
In conclusion:Borden and Brady stand with Bill. Manny we still don’t know who you are. This is the time for the courageous to stand and demand answers both for the good officers on the force and for the all the people of Burbank. Not just for those who vote. Not just for those who go to parties. But for all who live here. We who participate have the responsibility for those who don’t to make their life better too. It is our duty.
I remember when the guy who writes the society column for the local newspaper was a council member pretending to represent everyone in Burbank. Well that sure didn’t last long but he never left the Burbank party scene. He started reporting on the A list in Burbank as they frolic around and laugh at all the rest of us.
The funny thing is the A list never changes. It’s the same list you find getting paid by our tax dollars and coming in asking for our tax dollars. It’s the same list that gets appointed to power by their party buddies on the city council. They party like it’s 1999 while the rest of us struggle to survive, and laugh at us while they do it.
All of that always looked crooked to me, today it looks even worse.
If you didn’t see this one yet you have got to check it out
Mr. Brady, I will start off by saying I have met you in the past. I applaud the efforts that you have done with the Human Relations Council. I agreed that you should not have been appointed to the Police Commission because you were in fact on probation for a criminal offense. You thought it was a personal vendetta against you. I do not believe it was any vendetta but the fact is you were on active criminal probation. Nothing more, nothing less.
As for your support for Captain Taylor as the “moral compass”, it is a joke. At one time, Captain Taylor was a straight by the book cop. Unfortunately, Captain Taylor started affiliating himself with people who were not straight by the book. He was very much influenced to do things, he should have never even started. You and Mr. Olive can go and destroy your credibility trying to stand up and defend Captain Taylor. People change and a lot of times, it is not for the good. In this case, this was the classic example.
Captain Taylor would pick and choose who he went after. I would hardly call that “fairness” as you would say.
Bill Taylor was not on top of the recruitment because he was being told lies by another supervisor. Captain Taylor was no where near the lines of fairness and impartiality.
Captain Taylor then took the easy way out of work. That’s a good honest man?
Enough said, Captain Taylor will get what he deserves.
Mr Brady was on probation for a criminal offense but don’t forget while probation goes away the criminal offense never goes away once your convicted. So Manny we have a mayor who has a criminal record with the same criminal offense as Mr Brady does. In other words its ok to be mayor with a criminal record but that same criminal record does not let you be a police commissioner. What nonsense!
The reason why John Brady was tossed off the PC was because of his liberal politics. The proof is that the council replaced him with his exact opposite in philosophy.
Worse, the city then went after Brady in court and fought against dropping his probation. They claimed he couldn’t serve because he was on probation, and then fought to keep him on probation so he couldn’t serve! What does that tell you?
If what you just said is true Jim C it tells me they are rats because they spent the publics money just to keep things the way they wanted them.
Deputy Chief Taylor, unhappy with his career as the city claims in its press release or happy with his career as the city claims on his bio page ?
I know it is hard for some of you to comprehend, but please try reading and comprehending what is written. John Brady was on active probation, plain and clear. If he wasn’t on active probation, I am sure he would still be a current member of the police commission. Mr. Brady’s offense was only a misdemeanor, so there would have been no problem for him to serve on the commission. Danny, you have some problems with reading comprehension. I never made any mention to any criminal records. I am well aware Mr. Bric has a prior drunk driving arrest. He was not on any type of probation while running for city council. I believe the only time you could not and should not hold office or be part of a commission is a felony conviction. Not that difficult to read and understand.
Jim C. spreads his horse manure with the position of liberalism as to why Mr. Brady was kept on the commission. The biggest laugher about Jim C’s account is the city fight against the probation dismissal. NO JUDGE is going to drop anyones probation. The City has a moral obligation to make sure an arrestee serves his terms of probation. Funny how if the shoe was on the other foot, you would all be up in arms. So continue on with your fantasy!
JK, there is no Deputy Chief. Your so called “Moral Compass” is looking at some BIG problems in the near future.
What a line of bull. Of course we have bias. Did we all forget how Stacey Murphy walked away with a slap on her hands after her MAJOR screw up with drugs, scandal, guns etc,and now has the gull to show up at functions as if nothing had ever happened!!!!
Of course, people use their power within. To believe otherwise is foolish.
For the council to finally speak out after the 7th lawsuit is beyond words. Why did they not put the city at ease earlier. How much of our tax dollars has been spent thus far???
Let’s be clear about one thing, this was a time bomb waiting to happen. When NO one with authority fixed it of course it exploded, what else did you think would happen.
One of the writer’s makes a comment about a 1/10 and they are correct, we should Never tolerate this type of behavior, regardless. What happened to equality, fairness and justice for all, which is what our founding fathers fought so hard for. Did we lose that after a few centuries??? Our soldiers still fight today for our precious freedom, why must a small community department think they are exempt.
Everyone who has come forward is suddenly rotten to the core and has an ulterior motive? How long are we going to put our heads in the sand.
“The biggest laugher about Jim C’s account is the city fight against the probation dismissal. NO JUDGE is going to drop anyones probation.”
Really ? NO JUDGE will end a probation early ? That’s exactly what a judge did for Morton Downey Jr, i’ll provide the link but I am not sure if Burbank showed up to oppose the judge removing the probation for Downey jr.
Mr Brady? so what do you think of your Moral Compass friend now? Curious minds want to know. Keep passing out the Kool Aid. Please show up to the next Police Commission Meeting to support him.
They should fire all BPD and bring in the Shriffs
They are much nicer
Manny…first off, you are wrong. I am J Brady’s attorney. Judge’s terminate probation early ALL THE TIME.