Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Should Unqualified Sergeant Johnny Patino be Promoted as Chief of Police? Special Council Meeting to Decide.

Council Member Ricardo Pacheco, Sergeant Johnny Patino,
and Mayor Manuel Lozano (top row - from left to right).
Baldwin Park City Council appointed an unqualified Sergeant - Johnny Patino to be the temporary police chief after the former and Police Chief Michael Taylor was fired for the second time. Today, the Baldwin Park City Council will decide by special meeting whether he should permanently be appointed to the position. Even the temporary appointment is controversial, because the police rank and file consider Patino to be incompetent, as he can't even pass the standardized lieutenant test.

Furthermore, officers point to Patino's lack of experience to become chief. This is because chiefs are usually promoted from captains, who respectively are promoted from lieutenants.

Generally, minimum requirements for the chief job requires at least three years of experience in administration. Patino has almost none.

Hence, the City Council leapfrogged Patino two positions to make him chief. This is not a surprise, given Baldwin Park's scandalous and tumultuous history with its chief of police hirings and firings.

These corrupt practices can be traced to at least 1999. In 1999, Chief Lili Hadsell was promoted from lieutenant to chief. She never held the role of captain. Around October 15, 2013 - concerned residents questioned Hadsell's leadership when her 19-year old daughter was caught with a 23-year old man with illegally possessing narcotics outside of a Motel 6 in the City of Chino.

Shortly after this incident, a new elected city council fired Hadsell around December of 2013. She held her position for approximately 14 years.

Hadsell sued the City of Baldwin Park and on March 26, 2019 - the court and jury awarded her a $7 million judgment against the City for sexual harassment and gender discrimination. After attorney's fees, the City is now on the hook for $9 million. This is the largest judgment attached against the City in its history. Hadsell's case is currently pending appeal.

Then, there was Michael Taylor, who was fired twice. The first time, Taylor was fired for being a racist.

After his second hiring, the LA Times reported on his controversial contract, which stated that Taylor could only be fired for being convicted of felony, such as murder, rape, or robbery. Taylor increased his pay in his contract to make himself an extra million in retirement.

Taylor was also caught accepting drug money to run for public office. Some even question whether Taylor was a pederast.

Employee witnesses allege that Taylor showed up to work drunk and worked less than 30 hours a week, for which he was paid over $234,000 a year.

Also in between Taylor's tenure, there was the hiring of Inglewood's Lieutenant David Salcedo. Notice again how the City choose a lieutenant over a captain.

Salcedo appeared to be a problem employee in the City of Inglewood. Although he was a Captain, he was demoted to Lieutenant in December of 2017.

Baldwin Park's rank and file allege that he appeared to have anger mental health issues and would repetitively snap a rubber band against his wrist to keep in control. Thankfully, Salcedo was hired for only 49 days, before he was fired around September 20, 2017.

The LA Times reports that Salcedo alleges that Council Member Ricardo Pacheco ordered him to retaliate against citizens who were criticizing Pacheco with signs and banners characterizing him as a jackass. Salcedo, like Hadsell, filed a lawsuit against the City of Baldwin Park and Ricardo Pacheco for $10 million. The lawsuit is pending.

Patino's temporarily hiring has impacted Baldwin Park's Police Department. Since Patino has been chief, a number of Baldwin Park officers have left the force to other cities. Rank and file allege that Mayor Lozano prefers hiring hispanic brass over anglo managers - who can pass their exams.

Currently, California state controller's office is auditing the City. It's routine for audits to look at hiring and performance evaluation practices of public agencies.

Perhaps, its findings will confirm a quote by Daniel Alarc√≥n: “Nepotism is the lowest and least imaginative form of corruption.”

No comments:

Post a Comment