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

Monday, November 09, 2009

State of the Union: Elections during an Economic Recession

"I like to promote women because they're easier to control."

----City Employee, allegedly said during a meeting last year.

UPDATE*******The trial of former RPD Officer Robert Forman currently under way, more to come

The Riverside Police Officers' Association is currently holding elections including for the president spot which comes up biennially. Nominations were fielded at the general membership meeting in October and it looks like current president, Det. Chris Lanzillo will be facing off against challenger, Sgt. Cliff Mason after Sgt. Gary Toussaint who initially entered the contest withdrew his name from consideration. The association which currently numbers about 370 will be casting its ballots this month to determine its leadership and its future in some very uncertain times. So far this election looks difficult to call.

Perhaps Toussaint's decision not to run means he's going to throw his lot behind Mason? The sergeants have probably been left feeling that they have lost the most this past year or so with having not only positions frozen which impact assignments and staffing at their rank but they are also adversely impacted by the lieutenants freeze since more than a few of them have undergone the arduous process to put themselves on the list for promotion into a rank where there's currently no upward movement. What they've wanted more than anything appears to be a condition in their MOU that is similar to that enjoyed by the detectives since the early 1990s and that is a mandate on the filling of any vacancies within that rank. And there's been some turmoil between members of that unit and their sergeants representatives, which have seen some degree of turnover in the past year or so. So, it's not that surprising that one has emerged from this rank to run for the presidency spot given their sentiments that their situation has gotten more difficult as the city's budget picture gets bleaker. Not to mention the dynamics between the city manager's office's micromanagement of Chief Russ Leach that continue to play out, in front of an apparently apathetic city council. Although one former city councilman, Art Gage, said that he had spoken with City Manager Brad Hudson on this issue several years ago and Hudson had promised to stop doing it. Clearly that hadn't happened, Gage said recently and it needed to have stopped.

But it won't until the city council says no to Hudson and his department. And that kind of majority just doesn't exist on the city council right now.

The detectives on the other hand have seen their vacancies get filled thanks to the MOU that dates back to former chief, Ken Fortier but have faced work-related crunches in their respective assignments. In addition, among the 15 people who currently comprise the sergeants' list (and that promotional process has also seen some recent changes) were detectives who like the sergeants above them are hitting a brick wall due to the current stoppage of promotions at the supervisory ranks. The detectives have been successful at having members of their ranks win the presidency, the most recent being Lanzillo who received the lion share of the new officer vote when he ran in 2007. And that's probably the largest population within the union right now, are officers hired within the past 5-7 years. That's due to the tremendous hiring that took place in 2000-2004 not to as much fill new positions as fill old ones vacated when the department underwent a staggering 80 percent turnover beginning in 1999 after the fatal officer involved shooting of Tyisha Miller and after the city entered into its consent decree with the office of then state attorney general, Bill Lockyer. During the consent decree, the department grew by hiring new officers especially between 2003-06 but also began piling on more management positions as well anticipating a day when it would be quite larger and perhaps as part of a pattern in a city which is somewhat top-heavy especially since Hudson came to town. The biggest changes under the decree came with the sergeants who saw their numbers nearly double with mandates put into place involving officer/supervisor ratios in the patrol and traffic divisions as well as the expansion of the Internal Affairs Division's roster of investigators.

In 2005-06, 45 more positions for officers were created but before all of them were filled including several in traffic that had been promised, things began to get chilly in the city's economic picture and the freeze began. Hiring since about 2008 has been very uneven and except for the thawing of six positions (which attracted 80 applicants within several days of posting), has been at a standstill.

Still, even with the department being on average, fairly new and very young, the officers at the entry level face vacancy rates which lessen the number of officers on work shifts with only six being loosened up in recent weeks and the city failing to get stimulus money from the federal government to fund up to 15 positions. And concerns about staffing particularly staffing on shifts continues to grow, even as the city has less money to spend on its basic services including public safety. It's not likely that police officers will be laid off as the public safety employees which also include fire fighters, paramedics and code enforcement officers so far are exempt from city layoffs. A better situation than in other cities including in the Inland Empire but still a difficult situation with no end at least not until 2012.

Still, that's small comfort to people who call the police and they either don't get a response or face delays because the police are receiving so many calls especially the swing shifts. One security guard at a city-owned facility had called that a man was mentally ill and trying to hit him with a chair while threatening. The officer he encountered a day later while that officer was patrolling apologized on behalf of the department but admitted that sometimes, they couldn't respond quickly or at all to the calls they received. He didn't seem happy about it, just realistic.

State of the Union

Traditionally, sergeants haven't been favored by union voters at least not in recent years and not since Sgt. Jay Theuer elevated to that position in late 1999 and he was elected after being involved in a lawsuit when he failed to be promoted to lieutenant. The supervisory unit used to be about half of the size it is now but it's still fairly small compared to the size of the officer unit. And being in the supervisory positions over both officers and detectives, there might be some dynamics between those two ranks that might impact the voting patterns. But then the RPOA membership has been deeply divided in different factions, divisions which extend even into the board of directors.

The last presidential election showed that with Lanzillo defeating Tutwiler by about 80 votes, with about 70 or so members not casting votes for either candidate or at all which reflects some pretty deep splits. Not much has changed in the past two years in that regard as the union leadership found some pretty big obstacles to its goals in the city manager's office and their own police chief who of course is currently directed by the city manager's office. It's interesting that anyone in the RPOA would want to run for the top office in one of the most difficult time periods in the city's history. A time when any wish lists will mostly end up being put aside and with more rocky labor negotiation efforts on the horizon but two have stepped forward to make a race out of it. No doubt, both will take their cases to the voters as to why they should be chosen and that the union's members will cast their votes accordingly until a winner is chosen to lead the union for the next two years beginning in January.

The Board and particularly its Political Actions Committee have seen resignations, most notably by long-term board member, Sgt. Christian Dinco last spring not long after a particularly contentious endorsement process involving the fourth ward city council race. Some of the board members backed incumbent Frank Schiavone while others worked on the campaign for his challenger, Davis. One board member said last spring that the morale and tensions within the police union hadn't been this extreme since the days after the Miller shooting. If that's the case, then no matter who winds up having tallied the most votes, the president elect (whether that's the incumbent or not) will have his work cut out for him. Dealing in a city that has a reputation among its unions for being unfriendly to labor and the reality of a budget crisis which hasn't spared the police department from huge cuts.

Different versions of events emerged of what happened during the ward four endorsement process that took place last spring as to whether the vote was unanimous or not and if so, which vote. Whether all the members of the PAC had been present on the day of the final endorsement votes.

Still, the RPOA followed by the Riverside Police Administrators' Association had endorsed Schiavone. Actually, it was more of an interesting development on the side of the RPAA which had initially taken a position that it wouldn't endorse any of the candidates running for the city council and then abruptly decided to endorse Schiavone and the two other incumbents, Andrew Melendrez and Nancy Hart in their races. That caught people's attention mostly because the former president of the RPAA, Lt. Darryl Hurt and Lt. Tim Bacon, who served on its PAC were suing the city over what they called both the politicization of the promotion process and the practice of retaliating against union leaders. One of the defendants and the focus of some of the most serious allegations, was Schiavone. In their lawsuits, Hurt and Bacon had stated that Schiavone had threatened one lieutenant who associated with them to stay away from those "troublemakers" if he wanted to get promoted.

Bolstering the potential impact of Schiavone's alleged statements was the fact that at the time they were made, Chief Russ Leach was allegedly living in Schiavone's pool house. Both Schiavone and Leach had defended that situation at a community policing meeting held at the Orange Terrace Center in the months before Schiavone's election by saying that Schiavone was not Leach's boss like Hudson was but it's probably a safe bet that City Attorney Gregory Priamos is left to come up with a legal strategy to limit the impact of that living arrangement on the litigation filed by the two lieutenants in terms of how much civil liability the city faces if it pays out on these lawsuits either in settlement or after a trial.

Some people at City Hall and elsewhere really hoped that once Schiavone was out of office, that the situation involving the police department would improve and that the police chief would be free of his influence. One council member said that the recent problems with the creation of Strategic Plan 2 might have been more related to Schiavone's influence on the police department before he left office. Allegations of Schiavone's involvement were pretty prevalent during the election and included whether or not he tried to get some department's detectives (who allegedly complained) to initiate investigations against his adversaries including one who allegedly visited a man who appeared at a court hearing involving Schiavone's legal action challenging then candidate Paul Davis' campaign statement, and whether or not as alleged in the lawsuit filed by the two lieutenants, he had involved himself or had any influence on the department's promotions. It's hoped that these allegations were duly investigated if reported and that they were just, allegations and put to rest although the ones alleged in filed lawsuits will continue to be litigated in court. But allegations with merit or not, the environment of micromanagement by City Hall and the perceptions it's created make for a situation ripe for problematic behavior and even greater perceptions that it's the rule.

But the disturbing part of that was that there was that incident where four members of the public were expelled from a city council meeting and at The Group meeting, several officers said that someone on the dais had tried to call detectives to investigate the four people's actions and none of them would do it. If that's the case, who on the dais did that given that Schiavone was one of the individuals directing the expulsion?

At any rate, not much has changed since Schiavone's ouster because no one has stepped up to the plate to address the dynamics of the police department and city management.

Many had hoped that when Leach came back off of his recent medical leave for back surgery and held a larger than normal meeting with command staff in July that it would be a sign of a newly independent leader of the police department but that future hasn't yet shown itself. And as stated, it won't until the city council as a body addresses that issue because face it, if that's what Hudson and DeSantis are doing, then no one else can effectively rein in their enthusiasm but those who meet regularly to evaluate Hudson's work performance.

It's not clear if there's been a ripple effect on the RPAA from the litigation that's been filed against the city by two of its members and the fact that it endorsed one of the defendants in the city council race, essentially opting to throw its support as a body of individuals (which is different than individual bodies) to one of the lawsuit's defendants rather than two of its own dues paying members.

What often goes undiscussed or even unknown is the tremendous work expenditure done by the board members of the RPOA. Whether or not you agree with them on everything or anything, you can't fault their work ethic. And dealing with the current turmoil inside the police union which stems largely from the economic rupture in Riverside has been made it even more difficult.

Traditionally, union leaders often feel overworked and under appreciated and whether or not that's the case of the RPOA, is not clear but if so, that's hardly unusual. However this summer, rumors emerged that for the first time that the RPOA was contemplated hiring a retiring officer to provide administrative support or even run the union getting paid to do so. A practice which has been done in other similar associations and if true, wouldn't be surprising either because of the time constraints on members of its leadership especially right now in an understaffed police department. After all, it must be difficult to balance two busy tasks, working as a police officer and running a labor union not to mention everything else in a person's life.

But being president of a union in the city of Riverside has never been an easy task during the best of times and these are not the best of times. It's bad enough to chew up and spit out any leader, in a city where its management is hardly labor friendly and its elected leadership seems to too often bend to the will of that management. Lanzillo is no light weight (having served about 10 years in the union board) and some compared him favorably to a pit bull, when it comes to dealing with issues but the city's been biting its unions back, as the SEIU's leadership experienced when it voted to receive its already set 2 percent raise increase during a time when some members of management including department heads were getting raises of at least 10 percent.

But the SEIU benefited heavily when the city management apparently didn't read the entire MOU and inadvertently approved something that it wishes to revoke. Good luck, and reading the fine print of labor contracts should be part of any competent public policy and city management training curriculum.

Uh Oh

Last year, one department head's spouse allegedly began bragging to the wrong people that this department head got a hefty raise (and this spouse emphasized just how hefty) at a time when the department itself was facing cuts to its budget of over 25 percent. That created a firestorm and between that and penalties being faced by another employee who was trying to retire using his higher salary which was vetoed by CALPERS (the city's retirement plan for its employees) made for a quandary or two. This employee allegedly wound up not being able to retire for at least a year. The alleged reason was that the city had never publicly posted his higher salary, an action remedied when it posted a bunch of ceilings for raises of about 40 executive and management employees last December. Still people posted online on the Press Enterprise that employees were being laid off from Public Works while its head, Siobhan Foster (who has run afoul from some of her department for allegedly not having an engineering background) received a 15 percent pay raise in a division which historically has been an epicenter for labor pains in this city. Did she or didn't she, some asked while others said, of course she did. That's the state of the city, the part of it that doesn't appear in Mayor Ron Loveridge's annual address at the Convention Center that actions by the Seventh Floor have created a turbulent and unhappy environment in areas of its work force.

Then when Leach renewed his contract until 2013 last December, people asked themselves, did he agree to take the same salary, a lessor salary or did he get a raise. If so, how much? Believe it or not, his new maximum ceiling raise would grant him a higher pay check than it would his boss, Hudson. And I wasn't the only one who noticed that as it had members of several labor unions scratching their heads.

Human Resources Board Vice-Chair Ellie Bennett asked some pretty intense questions as she's prone to do and asked Human Resources Director Rhonda Strout and her colleague Jeremy Hammond who's deputy director what steps that department heads including themselves have taken with making sacrifices like those they expected of the nonmanagement city employees including those who were laid off. Because Bennett continued, if employees had to make sacrifices and take cuts, furloughs or whatever, management should show its leadership by lining up at the front of the line to face them first.

There was complete silence and the two employees looked at each other and then they looked down. What does that mean? It's true that even management employees had to forgo the 2% raises like everyone else but was this offset by maximum ceiling raises received last year? Assurances have come out of City Hall that no one got raises (and to be accurate, this means everyone even those who signed new contracts last year in public safety department head positions), but the doubts have only increased, including now as it's become clear that if SEIU employees in particular, are safe from layoffs until Jan. 15, that all bets are off the day after that moratorium ends.

It's not likely that the police officers will face a similar situation but if the department is forced to make more cuts like the rest of those in the city, it's pretty clear that these will be the unkindest cuts of all, given that the police department is so bare-boned and approaching skeleton crewed that it's starting to fall back into the pattern of unfilled vacancies and fewer supervisory positions that haunted it during the 1990s, the final decade of not only the century but of the department's independence from outside oversight and scrutiny. One veteran employee recalled how when he was working as a sergeant pre-consent decree that he supervised 15 officers and that was when the department's officers averaged about 10 years older than they do now in 2009. He said that at minimum, veteran officers needed 30 minutes of involvement a day and newer hires more along the lines of an hour and a half. Is that still happening now and is it possible for it to happen?

Being a sergeant is the toughest of all ranks, many have said including Leach on an occasion or two. It's not difficult to see why that might be true. With one step on the streets and one step in the administration, a sergeant has to balance themselves between both worlds without declaring allegiance to either and all while learning in a small department to supervise the same officers they might have been peers with a day earlier. It's not like the Los Angeles Police Department with nearly 10,000 officers and miles of city horizontally or the New York City Police Department with 40,000 sworn bodies and miles of city both horizontally and vertically where they can assign sergeants far away from their former partners or squads. Riverside's only got about 370 some bodies and a few miles of city and thus, it's harder to give new sergeants distance from their old haunts.

One concern of sergeants is that they want to make sure they have the time to spend with a younger work force and not have to compromise that level of involvement with higher ratios. Officers want to work knowing that they'll first of all be backed up when necessary by other officers and second, that there will be officers doing so who aren't fresh out of the academy. Both have reason to be concerned now with vacancies across the board. Initially, lower numbers of officers might more gravely impact front-line officers and assist sergeants with the ratios but the continued decline of sergeants which is expected to continue next year will soon reach the critical level of no return if that hasn't happened already. If the lieutenant positions remain frozen and increase as expected in the next year, then the employees at that level may see their burnout increase and the numbers from that rank that have to go on medical and stress levels increase. After all, they are humans not machines and since lieutenants were in some cases working at least partial double shifts and having difficulty scheduling vacations (to the point where there was at least discussion of having the command staff work in reserve watch command capacity), it is looking to be a very difficult year for this rank as well.

Although the Field Operations Division will be heavily impacted, Special Operations is facing the loss of two out of three of its lieutenants including its second traffic lieutenant in 18 months. The plan is to fill the traffic lieutenant position which is necessary but that will either strap the lieutenants further in the field division or it will lead to the promotion of a lieutenant in title only. Lt. Larry Gonzalez who's been in the assignment less than six months but is more than capable of handling any additional challenges will inherit the PACT division and the K9 unit will be received back into the field operations division fold.

Some have said that the response from the city manager's office to requests for more police officers have been complaints by one employee in particular, Asst. City Manager Tom DeSantis that police officers already get paid too much money. The response to that has been that DeSantis should himself become a police officer, undergo the training and go out on the streets. No offense, but it would seem that first of all given his unfortunate tantrum in Hemet, he probably wouldn't get hired and that's most certainly for the best. He's busy enough apparently micromanaging the police department anyway, when he's not making the labor negotiations process more arduous for all involved, in fact the last contract involving the RPOA that was signed in 2006 was mired for months until he left the table and then after that, things went more smoothly.

But that was then and this is now, and this election is taking place in the midst of the city's economic meltdown, which has been spun in so many different ways, some more realistically than others. Police officers drive cars with hundreds of thousands of miles on them and rotate their take home cars even at the higher ranks (though Leach is much more partial to Chrysler 300s than the tried and true, Crown Victorias), while employees in the city manager's office allegedly go through their take home cars including Crown Vics (which incidentally are riding off into the sunset after 2011 putting a lot of law enforcement agencies in knots trying to find a sturdy replacement with great reverse drive) somewhat more quickly.

So any president elect or re-elect is going to face serious challenges and it's up to the voters in the union to decide amongst themselves which of the two candidates can better handle that or at least according to their beliefs. Of course reality is what it is, and often it's difficult for any elected official even a labor president to understand what the job is really like, until they plunge into it themselves. One complaint and it's often valid is that there's so many issues to deal with and many complaints and that a person can only do so much and it can get to be overwhelming at times, and time is something that might be at a shortage if officers serving on the union board are carrying a lot of over-time in their schedules.

Until a person has held that position and all it entails, it's often difficult even to imagine what lies ahead and that makes things really tough. That's probably something Lanzillo learned and had to find a means to address and that will be the case with Mason as well if he gets elected instead, especially if this election further divides the union into more and more pieces. Who will be assigned the task of rebuilding the puzzle? Who will be entrusted with trying to do the impossible task of keeping the department from sliding further into a state where it reaches the level of being unable to provide adequate staffing? Because unless the public becomes more involved in this troubling issue, that's what will happen. Maybe a surprising observation from a critic (and I am that) but maybe you have to be a critic to see it because one thing about cheerleaders is that they never look really closely at anything and if you don't, you won't see the larger picture. Hans Christian Anderson figured that out about the disconnect that exists between emporers and those they rule in one particularly insightful tale.

And so it will be the case here. As always.

Here's some basic information about the RPOA.

Approximate size of the units

(and these numbers are rough estimates due to constant fluctuations in departmental staffing in these positions)

Officer Unit: @320

Supervisory Unit: (sergeants) 48-50

Past presidents:

Det. Jeffrey Joseph, 1999

Sgt. Jay Theuer, 2000-2001 (until promotion)

Officer Pat McCarthy (2002-2005, promoted to sergeant during second term)

Det. Ken Tutwiler (2006-2008)

Det. Chris Lanzillo (2008-)

Current Board of Directors

The association including its leadership have seen a lot of turmoil this year for different reasons, including the massive budget cuts faced by the city which have impacted even its public safety departments including police. The department has seen up to 30 or more sworn positions frozen including at the supervisory level and even a greater number of civilian positions remain vacant. By the time of the year, five lieutenants and six sergeant positions will remain unfilled. In addition, another sergeant or two are on leave and apparently it's not clear whether or not they will return to work. Labor negotiations were fairly stagnant given that it wasn't realistic to achieve any gains in salaries and benefits and most of the attention by this labor union as well as others was to protect what they had.

The Budget Picture and Staffing Positions

The association leadership had asked Paul Davis in 2008 quite a while before he ran for city council to audit the city's preliminary 2008-09 budget as well as its anticipated revenue stream to fund that budget. It wanted this information and any projections of the fiscal picture down the road so that it would be able to strategize effectively for its labor negotiations beginning in early 2009.

Davis did what the leadership asked and said that by November 2009, the city would be experiencing a $14 million shortfall in its revenue projections, a prediction as it turned out came true. The picture that has been painted of the city's budget situation was much different than that which occurred the last time the RPOA had negotiated its contract in 2006. That negotiation process had been filled with greater turmoil and turbulance given that the RPOA after contesting the negotiation practices of the city manager's office were locked out of the process by City Hall for two months. One lawsuit and a large rally during a city council meeting later, the RPOA had its contract but in the meantime, the nation entered into its worse economic downturn since the Great Depression and as since the epicenter of this latest recession triggered by the collapse of the housing market was located in the Inland Empire, Riverside is caught in an economic mire that shook it in 2009, with it probably hitting bottom by the end of 2010.

This put all the bargaining units including the RPOA on much different footing as merit pay was cut citywide including in the police department and step pay was frozen as well, which greatly impacted the promotional process. The department promoted officers recently who were given the higher rank but apparently not the salary increase that customarily goes with it. That puts the department in a huge dilemma as its supervisory levels dip into some pretty critical territory. Do these promotions get filled and the resultant bodies assigned to fill critical vacancies including two vacant lieutenant positions in the Special Operations Division? What about that vacant position sergeant position in the Sexual Assault or Child Abuse Division or in the Vice unit? But oh wait, they might be filled through promotions but it might take a while before your paycheck reflects it. That's pretty detrimental to the lieutenants to be making sergeants salaries because unlike sergeants, lieutenants aren't eligible for over-time pay which makes them good workhorses by the way. So if they don't get lieutenants' pay do they still get sergeants' overtime? So if you have a couple or more lieutenants go out on medical or stress leave including at least one who ultimately retired in the past couple of years, is there any relation?

Remember what consultant Joe Brann told the city council and city manager's office (though Hudson was absent) about issues that could be encountered like burnout and stress among officers including supervisors working in situations of high vacancy rates and lower staffing? After he presented that information among other cautionary notices about needing to address the department's staffing issues, Asst. City Manager Tom DeSantis responded with some very suspect statistical information that he was never able to back up factually and then the city manager's office made sure that was the last audit that Brann would give under his contract which expired about six months after that audit. When the city manager's office was asked through the California Public Records Act to provide the data to back up DeSantis' calculation of a 4.5 officer to supervisor ratio in June 2008, Hudson's office deferred that request to City Attorney Gregory Priamos who responded with a link to the fiscal budget which didn't include information on officer/supervisory ratios.

The officer/supervisor ratio currently stands at about 5.5 according to different sources and is artificially lowered by the reduction on the officer side of the comparison, given that all but six officer positions have remained vacant. Even if there are fewer sergeants including fewer field sergeants, the ratios can remain lower if there are fewer officers and promoting into the sergeant rank can directly impact the number of officers if officers are promoted directly to the sergeant positions or indirectly if detectives are promoted to sergeant and then their positions are filled (as by mandate under the MOU) by officers.


Dave Dominguez

Mark Boyer


Pete Villanueva (summer, 2008)

Brian Baitx (autumn, 2009)

Robert Meier (autumn 2009)

Rick Tedesco ( by December 2009)

Ken Raya (by December 2009)


Kevin Stanton (autumn 2008)

Leon Phillips (promotion, July 2008)

Lisa Williams (transfer, 2008)

Don Taulli ( had postponed his retirement for a year, December 2009)

Duane Beckman (December 2009)

Patrick Watters (December 2009)

Officer: 19-26 (depending whether cited figures include six recently approved positions)

Civilian : At least 35

Police Department Vacancy Rate: 10%

To (as always) be continued...

Another business in downtown Riverside shuts its doors, this time it's a bank.

A Lake Elsinore city councilman who is the focus of a recall petition speaks out after being arrested for drunk driving.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Buckley said today that he has no intention of resigning his council seat.

"I apologize. I take responsibility. I hope the community understands. I'm already working to resolve the matter quickly and appropriately," he said this afternoon.

"It's never a good time for somebody to do something stupid. It's never a good time for a council member to do something stupid. It's really never a good a time for a council member facing a bogus recall to do something stupid," Buckley said. "I hope the community will be able to separate the two issues."

Lake Elsinore police Sgt. Marc Cloutier said that, while a DUI checkpoint was underway Friday night at Mission Trail and Malaga Road, Buckley was stopped about 9:30 p.m. on nearby Casino Drive because he had no front license plate. Cloutier said the officer was on the lookout for drunken drivers who might be trying to avoid the checkpoint. Cloutier said they have no reason to think Buckley was trying to avoid the checkpoint and the officer did not witness Buckley driving erratically.

Cloutier said that, while talking with Buckley, the officer became suspicious that he had been drinking. Buckley took a Breathalyzer test, but Cloutier declined to release his blood alcohol content. Cloutier said it is the department's policy not to disclose that information in any DUI case.

About a week after announcing that it might have to do employee layoffs, Riverside County's financial director announces his resignation.

Press Enterprise Columnist Dan Bernstein comes up with names for the Riverside County District Attorney's office new SWAT team if it ever creates one.

Vehicle sales have dropped in Riverside County which translates into less revenue through sales taxes.

Press Release

City of Fresno Selects Eddie J. Aubrey As First Director of the Office of
Independent Review


Joined by Mayor Ashley Swearengin and community
members, City Manager Andy Souza today announced the appointment of Eddie J.
Aubrey of Federal Way, Wash., who has 29 years of public service experience
as a former police officer, deputy prosecuting attorney and judge, as the
City of Fresno's first director of the Office of Independent Review.

As director of the Office of Independent Review, Aubrey will work
independently of the Police Department chain of command to provide City
policymakers and the public with an objective, third-party analysis of
internal investigations to ensure those investigations are conducted in a
thorough, fair and unbiased manner.

"The role of independent reviewer requires excellent analytical skills,
research ability, investigative skills, knowledge and experience in the
profession of law enforcement, problem-solving, integrity, forthrightness,
innovation, transparency, and effective communication, " Souza said. "Eddie
Aubrey has demonstrated throughout his career that he possesses all of those
essential characteristics. " Mayor Swearengin also said Aubrey's background
will put him in a "unique position" to carry out the responsibilities of the
independent reviewer.

"Eddie Aubrey's experience as a police officer, prosecutor and judge will
give him a 360-degree view of the issues that the independent reviewer will
be called upon to address," Mayor Swearengin said. "Combined with his
integrity, excellent communication skills and strong commitment to reaching
out to the community, he will be a catalyst in ensuring that there is trust
between law enforcement and Fresno residents."

"I'm honored to be given the opportunity to make a difference in Fresno,"
Aubrey said. "I'm committed to building trust, adding value and helping to
strengthen policecommunity relations in the city."

Aubrey, 50, spent five years as a police officer with the Santa Monica
Police Department and nine years as a police officer with the Los Angeles
Police Department. During that time, he conducted thousands of
investigations as an officer with those departments.

During his time with the Los Angeles Police Department, Aubrey used his
skills of problem solving in high-stress, high-pressure situations while
conducting numerous town hall meetings with citizens following the Rodney
King incident in south-central Los Angeles. Aubrey also trained new police
officers in both Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

Aubrey also spent 10 years as a deputy prosecuting attorney in the King
County Prosecutors Office. Most recently, he served as a judge pro tem with
King County District Court in King County, Washington, and as director of
public safety and risk manager at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma,

Aubrey, who will report to the City Manager, will start work on Nov. 30. He
will be paid an annual salary of $107,000.

The Office of Independent Review will be located in the Dickey Youth
Development Center, 1515 E. Divisadero, Fresno.

Aubrey received a juris doctorate from Seattle University School of Law and
also earned a bachelor's degree in business management from the University
of Phoenix. He is a member of the National Association for Civilian
Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), a non-profit organization that brings
together individuals and agencies working to establish or improve oversight
of police officers in the United States.

Riverside City Hall will be hosting a public discussion on the future of Magnolia Avenue at its 3 p.m. meeting Tuesday, Nov. 10 which is like today!

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