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City Buzz: BPD lawsuits, investigations, and controversies

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BPD cases and lawsuits

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Tim Stehr, when he was Burbank Police Chief back in the spring of 2008

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — Tim Stehr at City Hall when he was Burbank Police Chief back in the spring of 2008

Where is ex-Burbank Police Chief, Tim Stehr? Some reports say he’s planning to continue on a loooong European vacation for at least three months, perhaps more. On the other hand, a reliable source tells me Stehr is due back in the Southland next weekend.

Stehr’s vacation has resulted in an expensive delay in the discrimination and retaliation case of Burbank Police Officer Cindy Guillen-Gomez. The City Attorney’s Office got a stay order one day before Guillen-Gomez’s trial was to start. I’m hearing Stehr’s getaway cost thousands of dollars –maybe as much as $30,000 in legal and court fees.

Also, get this,  the City Attorney considers Stehr such a valuable witness — he gets paid! Stehr has admitted it. Guillen-Gomez’s case was filed two years ago and the City Attorney’s Office is still using delay tactics to avoid going to trial. And taxpayers are picking up the bill.

About a year and a half ago, former LAPD guy, Scott LaChasse, was brought in to clean-up the department after Stehr resigned. Now LaChasse has been named in some recent lawsuits filed by Chris Canales, Jose Duran, and Omar Rodriguez. All three were among officers fired by LaChasse last year. More lawsuits, more drama.

New Internal Investigation of the BPD

At last week’s city council meeting, City Manager, Mike Flad, announced a new internal investigation of the police department. This was in response to earlier comments that evening from Burbank producer/director, Jerry Day, who said he had observed some BPD officers walking out of a store with items they did not pay for.  Also, Day pointed out he had seen other officers go to the cashier and pay for stuff. Day expressed concerns about the impression this might be giving of some BPD officers getting “freebies.”

City council hires own investigative unit

Speaking of investigations, months ago, the Burbank City Council hired a couple of high profile attorneys of its own.They report directly to the council — not the city attorney nor the city manager. Yeah, more lawyers being paid for with taxpayer dollars. So far, very little information has been provided to the public about the law firms getting this money and for what services.

Appointments & Police Commission Controversy

On the city council agenda tonight, the filling of vacancies on various commissions, boards, and committees. Also, the city council is set to discuss a worn-out, but apparently still kicking controversy from last year about Police Commissioner Jim Etter.

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- (l-r) Police Commissioner Jim Etter, Chair Bob Frutos, at the Police Commission Community Forum at the Buena Vista Library in Burbank April 20, 2011

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — (l-r) Police Commissioner Jim Etter, Chair Bob Frutos, at the Police Commission Community Forum at the Buena Vista Library in Burbank April 20, 2011

The fire that keeps this melodrama going and taking up council time is apparently a long standing feud between Vice-Mayor Dave Golonski and the Etter family. When the matter comes up tonight, Golonski should recuse himself, thereby allowing the rest of the council to finally settle it.

 

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2 Responses to City Buzz: BPD lawsuits, investigations, and controversies

  1. Leonidas Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    When will you report out on the losses? Dunn? Now Omar Rodriguez. More losses than wins eh?

  2. BurbankResident Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    How about the fact that Omar Rodriguez’s discrimination law suit was thown out of court on summary judgement last Friday.

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