Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Mayor Gary Bric read a statement at last night’s council meeting.
Finally, after weeks and months of mostly silence or as some folks have described it stonewalling, the Burbank City Council spoke out last night about the controversial and very messy situation surrounding the police department. Back on May 13, I wrote a post about the alleged problems in the BPD and called on the city council to not… ” wait until it all explodes into a full blown controversy, but step forward now and explain the situation to residents.” Mayor Gary Bric and city council members Anja Reinke, David Gordon, Jess Talamantes, and Dave Golonski did not heed that advice from me and other citizens, but remained tight-lipped about the situation.
So after seven lawsuits have been filed by former or present members of the Burbank Police force, including a former Deputy Police Chief, and persistent rumors about investigations by outside agencies like the FBI, the city council is going public about the growing scandal.
At the beginning of Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Bric announced he would read something “very important” … “a statement” he says the council members agreed to earlier in the evening, in closed session. Here is the full text of that statement, which is now posted on the city Burbank website.
Statement from Mayor Gary Bric
Burbank City Council Meeting
September 29, 2009
There has been a lot of press recently regarding issues at the Burbank Police Department and I’m sure the community is concerned and wants to make sure that these issues are being appropriately dealt with. There have been a number of lawsuits and claims filed that contain multiple allegations of improper conduct ranging from wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation to abuse of force and various forms of covering up such activities. These are all very serious allegations and I think it is clear to everyone that the police department is facing some major challenges. All of these allegations have arisen from sources within the department or from former members of the department.
As a result of allegations prior to these lawsuits, a number of investigations have been initiated both by the department and by outside entities at the invitation of and with the cooperation of the city. These investigations began long before the filing of the lawsuits and claims mentioned above. Chief Stehr requested the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department come in and perform an independent investigation. The city also began an independent investigation using an outside attorney and an outside investigator, both of whom report directly to the City Attorney and City Manager’s office. Your Burbank City Council has met with the outside attorney in order to confirm that there are no limitations on the scope of the investigation and to indicate that any signs of lack of cooperation by anyone within the city are to be brought to the Council’s attention. The Sheriff’s department requested that the city hold off commencing its investigation until the Sheriff’s investigation was completed. In addition to these investigations, the FBI has been conducting their own investigation into these matters and we are cooperating with their inquiries to the city. It is our understanding that when the Sheriff’s investigation is complete, it will be forwarded by the Sheriff’s department to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. The city’s investigation is now ongoing and includes all of the issues raised by the lawsuits and claims that have been filed and will also include any additional issues that may arise in the future.
While we cannot legally share the details of any of these investigations, we felt it was important to share with you that the issues in the Burbank Police Department are being taken very seriously and investigated by outside independent agencies. These investigations have been taking what seems like a very long time, but the investigators know the seriousness of the allegations and are making sure they do a complete and thorough job. We are frustrated that we cannot share more detailed information with you, but the integrity of the investigations and strict legal rules governing the privacy of police officers that may be under investigation prevent us from making any further comments.
While we know the entire community is disappointed to know that there are issues within the police department, please rest assured that the City Council is taking every step possible to make sure all of the issues are identified and that steps are taken to make sure that any problems that are identified are dealt with in a manner that insures they are never repeated. This may mean some severe consequences for any persons involved in misconduct, but we believe the integrity of our police department is extremely important to this community and is our paramount concern.
With our firm commitment to discover and correct any misdeeds within the police department, I can assure you the majority of the men and women in our police department are not involved in these issues and we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize the excellent job they do protecting the safety of our community during these difficult times.
End of statement
In the past, city council members have reluctantly acknowledge some “lawsuits” and “investigations,” but in this statement for the first time, there is public disclosure of the involvement of the FBI. The investigations are said to be looking into conspiracy charges and a pattern of corruption as well.
Recently, the call for leadership and action from the mayor and city council has become loud and demanding from Burbank residents. Now that those city officials have taken action, will it ease public fears, anxiety, and bolster confidence in the city leaders’ abilities to handle the police scandal and all of its ramifications? At this point, we will have to just take the mayor’s suggestion, from last night’s council meeting, to “stay tuned” and see what happens.
Wow…that was quite a council meeting! I have to say it was nice to hear Bric finally say something…even if it is a little late. Better late than never.
Why does he do what Golonski says? Why not allign himself with Gordon or Renike. Well mabye not Reinke…she is still in Korea eating stinky cabbage. Talamantes looks like he wants to crawl in a hole.
One question though. How can all these investigations be from prior to the lawsuits? Taylor just filed his…boy that was a quick investigation. Flad is very good at investigating himself. I am not buying it.
Mr Nolan last night questioned Mayor Bric about a few things. On question was who wrote what the Mayor read.
Mayor Bric replies by telling Mr Nolan he is wrong and then proves Mr Nolan was correct the statement really was not written by Mayor Bric.
Burbank City Council meeting last night Mr Nolan asked the question who wrote what the Mayor read. Here is the clip.
Mayor Bric responds and says Mr Nolan is wrong, but watch as Mayor Bric proves Mr Nolan is right. Maypor Bric didn’t write the statement.
I only have one thing to say to Mr Bric. Get real!
How can the very same people who are charged with allegations still be in charge of their own investigations? Getting to investigate yourself must be nice.
Chief Stehr, Juli Scott, and now Mike Flad are all named in complaints, yet they are hiring lawyers, vetting witnesses, and briefing the city council. Please get a grip folks.
All the other officers are on admistrative leave after being accused…why is Chief Stehr still sitting in the council meetings?
For instance, Juli Scott was recently giving “sexual harrasment” training at the police department. In front of 75 or so officers she starts to talk about the lawsuits and how they are all BS. It is reported that Scott continues her rant and says the city will fight these suits and if they lose they will appeal them at all cost. Then they will seek damages against the complaining officers. Cost to who…not you Juli..just the taxpayers.
Great Scott! Problem is one of the officers in the room is the female that is suing the department for this very same behavior Scott is training about. Isn’t that harrassment? Humuliation, intimidation, and legal threats at your work place mean anything?
Julie Scott’s a fool if she thinks the city can collect “damages” from a plaintiff when they don’t prevail. The most they could get– the most– is legal fees paid.
She is also clearly harassing the female officer in front of her peers in a “sexual harassment” workshop by threatening and subjecting her to humiliation and embarrassment about the PROTECTED ACTIVITY of filing a discrimination lawsuit to address wrongs. The woman should contact her attorneys immediately and amend her complaint to include this recent reprisal incident, if true.
What Scott is doing is trying to unlawfully intimidate the Plaintiff at this BPD employee meeting, which is– I believe– the root claim in many of these officer suits in the first place, right?
Don’t you love how these incompetents prove their own charges against them, by act, word and deed? They’re fools. Even if there’s nothing to the original lawsuits, the city is clearly engaging in ‘retaliation for engaging in protected activities’ by going after the employees for bringing up the concerns.
Stretch, since you seem to know everything in the police department (or are you a police officer?). Why dont you tell the people here who is doing the internal investigation? Who is running the investigation? What has happened as a result of the internal investigation? You seem to know so much. Are you going to go under your rock again?
Sorry Fronnie, had to come on here. I know it bothers you.
Since you are being a little civil tonight I will answer your question. A private investigation firm named Gardner and Associates is doing the internal investigations. Captain Craig Varner is acting as the city rep. There has been nothing as a result of the internal investigation into misconduct (still ongoing). Nothing will be done because once again the city chooses to listen to the crooks and hire somebody they can manipulate (money talks) to have a desired outcome.
This is what Stehr did to cover up the Guatemala guy beating. Pay a lawyer enough and they will tell you their mother did it!
The “bakery robbery” incident (I have to conceal the name not to give too much detail) is the only thing that is being investgated by the Sheriffs and has been concluded. That the Mayor got that part correct.
Manny it is sad that you claim to be an insider yet you know nothing. Everyone is talking about this stuff…you just have to ask nicely.
Like Stretch said as long as your comments are civil, you get to participate. If your comments return to the previous low level of nasty insults and heckling, I will delay or remove your comments. That is your only warning.
You seem to forget, I’m the moderator here. Your comments appear on this blog because I allow it.
Fronnie – all Manny said was that he thinks you don’t like his posts. You replied that he forgets you are moderator?
As for insults, etc – here are some by your admirers which you seemingly ignore:
jane says “You’re an absolute idiot and obviously have no clue what’s going on in the real world.” – sep 19th
reese says “Dumb, Dumb and Dumber.” sep 11th
It’s quite obvious that I will never see any stories on what’s going right in Burbank, like Henry’s opening down the block from me or the community center on San Fernando, etc. All lawsuits all day.
We know you are the moderator and we know which point of view you like. We know that if we disagree we will either be hit with “Others have a right to disagree” – as if we said they didn’t or “I don’t work for you” – but apparently you willingly work for the chronic complainers who lounge around like nothing good every happens. How about some balance, some good w/ the bad???
“Yawn” is right. Not you again! Since you are traveling through the comment archives of this blog —read my previous comments to you again. If you understood them, you would not be asking the same questions in your present post.
The warning to Manny goes to you as well. Be civil. Or I will delay or remove your comments.
And Al, you’ve proven in your comments that your comprehension of issues and even the English language is, ah, challenged. In my opinion, a discussion with you is pointless.
“It’s quite obvious that I will never see any stories on what’s going right in Burbank, like Henry’s opening down the block from me or the community center on San Fernando, etc. All lawsuits all day.”
Right here. In fact, I broke the story almost two weeks ago.
Why would I think the news in town is the opening of a market named Henry’s. To me the openeing of a store is advertising and not news.
The real news story in Burbank is the opening of this new Henry’s Market ???
With everything that is going on right now in Bubank and in the world that opening is hardly the most important thing going on.
The FBI coming to town to investigate, that I think is news.
So glad that Al set us all straight on everything, the real news is Henry opens a market and all the rest is just not worth being interested in. Who cares what abuse takes place in Burbank when we can shop at a new market and push shiny new carts around the place. they do have shiny new carts right ?
So much for Henry’s Market dominating the news anytime soon Al.
Here is the top news story and it’s spreading nationwide
Mayor Bric says on this the police chief is being investigated. So why is he there running things while he is being investigated. This is all crazy!
HA HA!!! So where is all the support for the Moral Compass? Rodriguez and Karagosian???? Is that because the are being criminally investigated by the FBI? Sounds as if those 3 are guilty of some federal crime. Maybe those lawsuits were a smokescreen as I had previously stated.
Frannie, come on and comment. I want to hear what excuses you have. Stretch, where are you?
Manny, you have strange way of thinking. Is everything confrontation to you? I read in a blog months ago that the FBI was investigating…thats your news? LOL
Its a sad day that you are happy 12 of your friends are possibly in trouble. I thought 7 officers were suing with several more making complaints. I am not as smart as you but arn’t there are still other officers making allegations? How did the chief not know about this stuff?
Bottom line = this city has some problems! Time for some kind of takeover by an outside agency.
First you need to learn how to spell my name. It’s Fronnie NOT Frannie. Gee, if you can’t get that right after all this time!
Secondly, I don’t see why your gloating — the FBI has not released any names or details of its investigation.
A Los Angeles Times reporter apparently has done a search of court documents and has come up with a list of names of current and former Burbank police officers involved in that excessive force investigation by the FBI.
Again, there is no official word from the FBI on that investigation or who is involved. Here’s the link to the L.A. Times story http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-burbank-police2-2009oct02,0,2354835.story
Seriously!! announcing the opening of Henry’s Market is advertising,which has been going on for several months.
As a resident & business owner in this community, I find it more note worthy to hear the real stories of what is going on within the city, especially the police department. What happened to transparency? I have lived here for 20 + years and thought it was a wonderful city with outstanding departments and come to find out that we have more than a few rotten eggs.
Julie Scott is a prime example of STUPID & ARROGANT!! she is conducting a “Sexual Harassment” training the only female officer that is included in the lawsuit is part of training and she goes off on a rampage about “appeals of the lawsuit and making the officers pay”?
1) I did not know that these types of conversations were part of a Sexual Harassment training. I guess I have been training people incorrectly!
2) To think that the people sitting in the room did not know that she was addressing the female officer in the room is beyond comprehension. How stupid does Julie think the people are?
3) Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves. If you have nothing to fear, leave it to the court systems to handle it. Why does Julie feel compelled to intimidate, humiliate and attack the officer. Does her higher position give her that authority?
4) It all goes back to, why are the officer’s wrong and they are right????
Just because you speak up does not make you wrong. It should put people on notice to look into what is going on. What happen to justice is blind? Or is it only blind to the upper chain in command?
Lastly spending our tax payers dollars on issues that could have been resolved at a fraction of the cost, how do you explain that. I believe that all who knew and lets face it, many knew, behaved in a capricious and arbitrary fashion, protecting their own at the expense of others.
As a resident, I DEMAND ANSWERS!!! and I want heads to roll immediately. They should go on unpaid administrative leave immediately and not be part of the investigation. Do we really think that they are going to be non-bias? when it’s their lively hood on the line?
I guess in his own mind Manny makes points that can be comprehended but I sure don’t get his ha ha point at all.
No matter what direction your thinking goes this all points to massive mismanagement from the council on down.
I share your disappointment and frustations with these lawsuits and investigations. Also, I’m shocked by Assistant City Attorney Juli Scott’s rant toward police officers and one female officer specifically during that recent training session. If city officials do not rein in Scott, they are putting their stamp of approval on her conduct.
I have more to say about this in a new post called “Burbank official goes on the attack over those police lawsuits.”
Thanks for your patience in dealing with the technical problems on my blog over the past few days. Some of the glitches have been fixed, others are still being worked on by my site’s web host techies and maintenance team.
Your story and the story as told by Stretch regarding the sexual harrassment training comes as no shock to anyone who has been ivolved for a long time in Burbank.
Reign is would have been a good idea years ago, but now it will only be the right t5hing to do and have no real impact on the mess they now find themselves in.
Also to those who say wait and see this and wait and see that, no matter what we will see a mess that could have been avoided with a little competence in upper management!
Manny should be thrilled to learn that your blog in particular, and the subject in general were quite the topic with many locals as they shopped and visited at—–you bet: HENRY’S MARKET!!
This mess can and will be cleaned-up, and you folks are all part of that cleaning process. BLOGS are what some believe forced OFFICIAL BURBANK to issue the stupid press releases===and you all deserve the credit.Thanks.
Thanks for visiting and leaving that update on Henry’s Market.
Also, I appreciate the blog compliments.
Thank you everyone,
Keep blogging because hopefully this will force someone in management to step it up a notch and I’m sure the people behind the scenes investigating would like to read what we are discussing.
Considering they have numerous attorney’s and getting help from Oklahoma ( now we have to go out of state to hire people, because we don’t have these specialties anywhere in California)you would think they would finally start to get things right. Oh! I’m sorry that would only happen in our responsible world, not the elite clubs world, since it does not cost them any money, because it’s not their money, it’s taxpayers thousands of dollars being spent.
That is why Juli Scott is reported as saying “we will fight these BS lawsuits at all cost” What? It must be nice to have Mike Flad writing blank taxpayer checks to defend yourself and your friends.
Did anyone catch the story in Texas about ex Burbank captain now chief Gordon Bowers? Apparently, he started some Tom Hofel Foolery down there and the local city coucil was quick to take him out. “Texas Style”
Why in the hell does the Burbank Council not act as quick and direct? They should call down to Texas and see how its done.
I must share with you that I finally had a few minutes to view the youtube that was done with Gary Bric with Leyna Nguyen last week and just so that I did not speak out of turn I replayed it several times and I will quote what she said.
” Mayor Bric is not sure how the FBI got involved they just showed up one day”
Are you kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you really think we are that stupid.
First we are told that no one knew, than we are told that they knew and were investigating it before the lawsuits were filed and just last we he says that they just showed up?
How does the FBI just show up. How is it possible that the city officials are that arrogant and insulting to the community they are suppose to serve.
Yes, I tell you they must all be promoted to their level of incompetency.
To the blogger who keeps saying wait and see. Yes we are waiting and yes, we are seeing, stupidity, at it’s absolute best. Give us a break and stop spending our money.
The council should review all the meetings, interviews, etc, etc, before opening their mouth.
Lastly to allow names of officer’s that have been subpoena to appear in the paper appears to be another intimidation tactic. Where is the chief’s name, I am sure he too got one?
Manny – whoever you are, you have so much hatred and anger. I hope you don’t wear the blue’s uniform otherwise you might just be one of the one’s they are accusing of this abuse. What ever happened to the brotherly code of Blue, where they take care of their people and not in a negative way.
Oye vay, this is way out of control beyond immediate repair. This is like the Exxon spill where it has taken years to clean up that mess and they are still cleaning it up.
I really believe that Mayor Bric knows nothing about anything. If he knows anything he is one great actor for playing stupid so very well.
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