Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Job Burnout made me do it

Cops always mumble and grumble when people they arrest make excuses for the act they committed which allegedly led to the arrest. There are no excuses, they say, only choices. Well, except when it comes to cops and the choices they make.

Like with Al Kennedy, formerly an investigator of the RPD Sexual Assault and Child Abuse(SACA) Unit...fired after having sexual relations with a rape victim on a case he was assigned.

First some background:

The latest in the Travails of Al Kennedy

Al Kennedy is a former sexual assault investigator with the RPD. He was fired by Chief Russ Leach in 2001 for having sexual relations with a rape victim. He claimed SHE came onto HIM and the sex occurred only after her case was closed. The episode came to light after the woman filed a law suit against him, the department and the city in U.S. District Court. The case ultimately settled for around $25,000.

Kennedy's supervisor, Capt. Michael Blakely decided that a written letter of reprimend, and 90 days spent in interim performance review was sufficient discipline. His supervisor, Deputy Chief Audrey Wilson decided that an 80 hours suspension without pay, was sufficient discipline. Chief Leach disagreed, and fired Kennedy. Wilson was told about the termination and later informed Blakely that she had disagreed with it. Apparently, that is sufficient evidence to reinstate Kennedy to his job, even though it is Leach, not Wilson, not Blakely, who has the sole discretion when it comes to disciplining an officer.

Well, in 2004, Kennedy got his job back, when the arbitrator reinstated him after three years on the sidelines, without backpay, yet with the same seniority as he would have earned if he had worked during those three years.

The department scratched its head.

The city scratched its head.

What is a three year suspension? Does it exist? The city council ultimately voted soon after to appeal the arbitrator's ruling and it is still progressing through Riverside County Superior Court. Kennedy is appealing the ruling too. Yeah, he wants his job back so he can return to work but he wants all his backpay too.

The city aided and abetted in Kennedy's pursuit of a cash payday when it dropped the ball completely, only months after filing its appeal against Kennedy's reinstatement, in Riverside County Superior Court. The court kept summoning Riverside City Attorney Gregory Priamos to court, and the letters kept being returned to the post office, 'undeliverable.' How can letters sent to City Hall be undeliverable? Because City Hall, gave the court clerk, the wrong mailing address.

Eugene Ramirez, attorney for the city appeared in front of presiding judge Stephen Cunnison and explained that he had not been notified about the case since last February. Cunnison decided not to drop the city's appeal after all, and the case will continue to move forward.
Days later, a sworn afidavit by Michele Flowers was submitted to court, where she said that asst. City Attorney Jim Brown had told her that HE had discovered that the city had missed court dates while doing a routine docket check. Technically, that is not direct perjury but perjury by proxy, since Flowers was not giving false information herself, but relating information told to her by Brown which was false. He had checked the docket soon after an email was sent to Priamos's office, relating the fact that the city had been ordered to show cause why the case should not be dismissed due to failing to properly proceed. I should know. I sent that email.

Frank Schiavone, councilmember, also was the recipient of an email on this matter, but did not respond. But how could he? The city atty is supposed to be in the pocket of the GASS Quartet. Now, if it had been George Carvalho, the city manager, screwing up, then Schiavone would be all over this mess.

How come there are no sessions discussing the mistakes made by Priamos?

Why is his behavior not held to the same standards as Carvalho?

Why is his behavior not held under the same magnifying glass, as Carvalho's?
Because the City Attorney's office was not paying attention, the city almost faced the forced reinstatement of a disgraced detective who was fired for sexual misconduct with a rape victim on a case he was investigating. The city would have had to face either putting this man back on the force, or paying him with a physical disability retirement, which would cost the city thousands of dollars. The arbitrator who reinstated Kennedy had a retirement in mind when he made his decision. However, awarding a corrupt officer with a retirement package sends a message that this and other types of odious misconduct are fine, because although you may lose your job for a while, you'll make bucket loads of money back in the long run. That's how bad cops get rewarded, River City style!

But the episode of Al Kennedy's inability to control either his sex drive or his need to exercise power a woman at her most vulnerable did not end there. What would this sad soap opera be without its star jester?

Former Lt. Jay Theuer soon entered the fray, with Kennedy's defense:


Theuer issued a memo stating all the problems in the SACA unit which over two years, led Kennedy to perform the desperate act of repeatedly unzipping his pants and having sex with a woman. Kennedy was "burned out" after working in the SACA unit and had requested a transfer to the RAID unit, which took him six months to receive. Then apparently, around the same time the disturbing misconduct came to light, supervisors apparently noticed that for the previous two years, Kennedy was not doing his job. He let numerous cases slide including the rape of a 14 year old girl by a 35 year old parolee. At least the department found his neglect of that particular case, unacceptable.

Theuer stated in his memo some startling statistics, including that there were only two SACA investigators to cover all the rape and child abuse cases in a city with over 250,000 residents. Investigators typically received 30 cases each a month, and collectively handled 3,000 a year.

Problems existed within the SACA including failure by supervisors to perform evaluations on the investigators. Failures to properly assign cases, prioritize and track cases existed as well. These issues are serious, and should have been addressed immediately by the department, as is the issue of employee "burnout" a real problem for detectives assigned to the emotionally charged crimes of rape and child abuse.


Employee burnout. Administrative problems in an overtaxed, poorly supervised investigation unit, can not, should not and shall not be accepted as excuses as to why one sexual investigator, by his own admission, exercised appalling judgement and lack of consideration for anything or anyone outside his own sexual "needs". Kennedy needs to be held accountable for his choices. Yet it is those same people who complain about the poor choices made by people they arrest, who are the first to line up to defend this man and his poor choices, using some bizarre oppression card. That, and insinuations and innuendos that the woman involved was the REAL sexual predator in the situation. When cornered, blame the victim! It's always so gratifying to see law enforcement do its part to continue abhorrant behaviors to keep women in their place.

All this chest beating about the emotional state of the man who committed the misconduct. Nothing at all about the emotional state of a woman who had reported being raped and tortured, then is told that the investigation into her rape has hit a dead end. Detectives are carefully trained on how to interact with rape victims, because the emotional state of a woman who has experienced great trauma and violation often means that they are vulnerable in ways they had not been previously. Even if the woman had pursued a relationship, Kennedy's responsibility was to kindly and gently refuse, but then to do so would be to put her needs above his own. And if she was not the one, then what he did was, if not rape itself, too damn close to it for comfort and too damn close to it if one is a detective entrusted to investigate some of the most sensitive crimes. It is also a spit in the face to all the dedicated and hardworking detectives assigned to investigate rape and child abuse. One wishes that an outspoken member of that unit like Theuer would realize it. I am sure his colleagues do but they have opted for silence, over valor.

(Believe it or not, not ALL women think police officers or detectives are DA BOMB! So give that assumption a rest, please.)

Leach, for once, stepped outside the shadow of the RPOA and did what he needed to do in this case, which was terminate Kennedy's employment. He realized that the credibility and integrity of the SACA unit was at stake. Who can trust a division with intimate details about their crimes, and access to their bodies, if the detectives are having sex with the crime victims? Claiming rights to "consenting" women's bodies in which they are not entitled.

An arbitrator with extremely poor judgement excused Kennedy's conduct by reinstating him to his job, even while stating in his ruling that Kennedy had committed very serious misconduct.

The city council made history by not immediately paying off a white officer who was terminated.

Judge Cunnison received the case after both sides decided to appeal.

And interested parties, girls, boys, women and men in the city of Riverside await the judges' next move with trepidation, hoping a disgraced detective remains off the force.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Will the city ever pay these officers their bounties?

For killing Tyisha Miller, three officers received the following payments from the city in the guise of "disability retirements."

Michael Alagna: $50,000 + 1/2 his RPD salary tax-free for life

Wayne Stewart: $100,000 + 1/2 his RPD salary tax-free for life

Gregory Preece(sergeant): 1/2 his RPD sergeant salary tax-free for life.

But what of the remaining two shooters who had probationary status at the time of Miller's killing?

What of them?

Word is Paul Bugar is especially bitter that he was on probation on his birthdate when the shooting occured, and has been fighting in court to prove that an 18 month probationary period is just way tooo long...Given that he was only on the force 8 1/2 months, was a year too long? Nine months too long? Or maybe he was just someone who never should have been given a gun, especially since he brought the moniker, "Bronco Billy" from his stint in the military police under the Air Force to the RPD?


Paul Bugar (aka Bronco Billy)

Bugar began his career in the military as a police officer and canine handler for the U.S. Air Force. According to court records, at least one Black supervising officer at March Air Force Base where Bugar was stationed made allegations of racism against him, including that Bugar refused to work with a Black supervisor, that he used racial slurs, that he loved to draw his gun so much, he was nicknamed 'John Wayne' or 'Bronco Billy' by other servicemen. He did some dog handling time near the Mexican border for U.S. Customs in the town of Laredo, Texas. For unknown reasons, Bugar was discharged six months early from the U.S. A. F. allegedly, because he didn't want to reenlist for another two-year stint. He then became a police dispatcher, then entered and graduated at the top of his class at the San Bernardino Police Academy and was hired by the Riverside Police Department. Minority officers disliked him, but the Whites loved him, even more so when he became their martyr after he and three other White officers were fired in 1999 for killing Miller. Allegations made against him by former RPD officer Rene Rodriguez included an assertion that Bugar had bragged, by saying he "capped that bitch twice in the head." Meaning he fired the first shot and the last two bullets in the execution. After being fired from the RPD, Bugar was hired by San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in 2000 as a dispatcher. After community protest, he was moved to computers, but later earned a certificate in criminal analysis and is working as a criminal analyst with the department.

Bugar's new haunt


Daniel Hotard

Daniel Hotard's background is more of a mystery. Whispers of allegations of racism involving him in high school, but nothing concrete. He was hired by RPD after a stint in the U.S. Marines where he drove trucks. He was allegedly turned down by both Riverside County Sheriff's Department and the Corona Police Department for unknown reasons. He last worked as a law clerk at a law firm located in the Inland Empire.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Interview with a computer generated cop


HOST: Hi and welcome to our show. Here as our guest, is Officer "Hands Tied" who was the poster child and role model of the RPOA's controversal ad campaign it ran during this past election. He is here to answer questions about what the RPOA hoped to accomplish through scaring the voters to vote against Measure II.

OFFICER: I object to you using the 'scare' word. We are here to enlighten and inform the public through any means necessary.

HOST: Okay. Enlighten then. What message did you hope to enlighten the voters with?

OFFICER: That you vote our way, or don't count on us coming to your house in any rush when crime comes to you or your family's door. In 1999, we didn't make unnecessary arrests because we felt like we had to make some sort of political statement that if you fire white officers especially for killing an NHI...excuse me, Black person, the city will pay.

HOST: Are you aware that the State Attorney General might be paying attention?

OFFICER: That Carpetbagger from the North? Not at all. We're just biding our time until he is gone and then it will be business as usual in the streets of Riverside.

HOST: You know, I can't see why Measure II passed. No I can't.

OFFICER: Me neither. *scratches head* It's those hippy commie free lovin' bastards that are ruinin' our city....

HOST: Tell us a little bit about yourself. About your background. How long have you been a cop?

OFFICER: (pauses) I don't know. All I know is that I opened my eyes, looked down and my hands were tied up with rope.

HOST: Had you been drinking?


HOST: Got yourself into a situation you couldn't handle?

OFFICER: No! I was sent here to send a message. Mess with the RPD cops' right to not be accountable to the public and you won't get a cop at your door when you need one.

HOST: Like that woman who was abducted in her own garage and raped despite triggering her alarm for help, just because she didn't pay the $25 permit fee to the city?

OFFICER: I have no knowlege of that.

HOST: How have response times been since you lost the ballot measure?

OFFICER: I don't know. I'm just here to send a message. You'll have to take it up with my union.

HOST: Would that be the Screen Actors' Guild...Or the international fellowship of computer generated workers?