Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday it was unacceptable that some LAPD officers, including high-ranking members of the command staff, had been accused of wrongdoing involving alcohol abuse and sexual misconduct.
“There’s certain behavior we’ve seen in recent months that’s unacceptable,” the Mayor said.
While not referencing any specific incidents, Garcetti told reporters all members of the department should be held to a higher standard of behavior than the general public, and no LAPD officer should get special treatment because of a high rank.
“I think [LAPD Chief] Mike Moore is committed to making that message loud and clear, to cleaning up what’s gone on, unfortunately, with some individuals for too long, with too many chances, and to make sure that your rank and file are treated the same way as command staff.
“There should be no special treatment just because you’ve got bars or stars on your uniform,” he said.
Garcetti said he personally addressed a command staff meeting in recent months to relay his concerns that some senior members of the LAPD had been allowed to get away with things that should have resulted in termination.
“If it was a lower ranking officer they would have been gone a lot earlier,” Garcetti said.
The LAPD has been confronted with a number of troubling incidents in recent months, including the sudden retirement last year of Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas. NBC4 reported Villegas announced his departure after he had been placed under surveillance by an internal affairs unit, and was suspected of having an inappropriate relationship with a younger female officer.
Villegas’ wife, Ysabel, announced she was suing the LAPD after she claimed another male officer she had dated was distributing explicit photos in an alleged campaign of so-called, “revenge porn.”
The officer she accused, Danny Reedy, has denied any wrongdoing. He’s been placed on leave from the LAPD while the LA County District Attorney’s Office considers criminal charges.
Former LAPD Commander Nicole Mehringer has accused the Department of unfairly firing her, after she was charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly being drunk in public in an incident in Glendale last year.
Mehringer says in a variety of legal filings she was punished far more severely than many male officers for a relatively minor incident of misconduct. She’s filed legal action to challenge the termination and has filed a separate lawsuit against the City and police chief. She’s pleaded not guilty.