PALOS VERDES ESTATES
A Non-enforcement Culture of
Corruption & Laziness
INTRODUCTION: With the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department now having received international attention for negligence and arguably corruption, the longstanding problem of non- and selective law enforcement no longer is an issue about which merely local residents complain. What has become clear is that the PVEPD under Jeff Kepley’s weak oversight, through ignorance, indolence, and/or malice, has misconstrued and mangled the meaning of the word “discretion.” Indeed, as it relates to his officers’ sworn duty to enforce laws effectively, there is outright, rampant abuse of discretion at all levels of the PVEPD, and this has gotten our City into serious legal trouble. Furthermore, at a $7.5 million/year cost (vs. Sheriff quoted at $3.4 million/year), the PVEPD puts the City at risk of bankruptcy by consuming 55% of the entire City budget and over 99% of the City’s property taxes.
PVEPD SYSTEMIC MISCONDUCT
PVEPD Scare Tactics Backfired. Ahead of the March 7, 2017 Measure D/Parcel Tax vote, PVEPD union head Sgt. Steve Barber reportedly engaged in subterfuge and other tactics apparently designed to scare PVE residents into voting “Yes” for a parcel tax on all our PVE homes estimated at $70-90 million over 12 years. Despite complicity from PVE City officials Dahlerbruch and councilpersons, voters saw through the City’s fake news, determining NOT to vote to tax their own homes via an escalating, unnecessary tax. The PVEPD’s blatant attempts to intimidate or alternatively propitiate PVE voters by becoming omnipresent on NextDoor.com, combined with its unprecedented show of force at the March 14, 2017 PVECC meeting, only exposed their true characters further. Steve Barber’s late September 2017 speech to the City Council (click here), in which he vehemently opposed ANY cuts to PVEPD personnel, left nobody unsure that the officers’ focus was on protecting their own bank accounts took vs. protecting PVE residents or the City’s budget.
PVEPD Union Onetime Head Steve Barber: opposed any cuts to staffing at the PVE Police Department.
Make no mistake of the fact that PVE taxpayers as a whole were neither disinterested nor duped. Extraordinary voter turnout (within 1% of 32-year record and ~ 50% higher rate than the prior two votes) coincided with close scrutiny of the group that coincidentally was illegally posting lawn signs and would have received essentially all of these hard earned resident savings – the PVE Police Department. From voters’ own experiences and what they learned from others troubled by the PVEPD’s behavior, there is no question that PVEPD misconduct played a role in the vote’s fortunate outcome.
“False Attribution” of Peaceful PVE to PVEPD Peace Officers. Surprisingly, even after highly publicized, incontrovertible evidence of systemic PVEPD law non-enforcement (e.g., Bay Boys – click here, Big Orange Cycling Gang – click here), some in PVE reflexively still advocate keeping the $7.4 million/year PVEPD (vs. $3.4 million/year w/ 12% more patrol hours, contracted LASD). Ask yourself, “Can I cite just one episode where the PVEPD engaged in an extraordinary, or even exceptional act of law enforcement?” Not once, despite dozens of inquiries, has a single PVEPD advocate been able to give even one example of such an accomplishment. Combine that with the documented fact (click here) that having the deeply staffed and experienced LASD protect PVE would save the City $4 million in the first year — eliminating nearly 100% of the $4.2 million structural budget deficit caused by the PVEPD itself.
This easy, law enforcement enhancing budget solution played a significant role in Measure D failing – why transfer $70-90 million of PVE taxpayer money into a police department’s pockets if you simply do not need to do so? Why not instead save all that money for your own retirement, your family’s regular needs or your kids’ education? It is important for residents to recognize that PVE is uniquely fortunate not to require a huge law enforcement budget due to the City being inherently safe. This is due to its remote location away from freeways/dangerous regions, few/narrow entry points, ocean and famously efficient Torrance PD protected borders, and mature/affluent demographics that do natural subdues resident lawbreaking. So ask yourself, “Why is PVE spending 99% or more of its property taxes, nearly 60% of its budget and 400% of what RPV pays per resident on its LASD police force, especially during a budget crisis?
“Can You Site PVEPD Misconduct, Law Non-Enforcement? “ A reasonable rejoinder to a request for examples of PVEPD excellence would be one asking for an example of PVEPD misconduct and/or negligence. Well, this is an order that many in PVE can fulfill, and in shocking abundance. Yet, by what the Coalition has learned from resident in-person discussion and online chatter, it is evident that a subset of PVE taxpayers still remains unaware of the true character of the City’s sworn law enforcement officers. For any of you who perhaps think that it may work to your benefit by having a local police department with whose officers you think you are “friends,” remember that law non-enforcement is a two edged sword. You personally could be the one harmed by these PVEPD officers’ repeated determination not to enforce the law, whether it be at the hands of a trespassing assailant or belligerent cyclist (see below).
In order to shine some sunlight on what “the PVEPD does wrong,” the Coalition highlights below just the most serious of dozens of verified (witnessed), undisputed (by PVEPD/PVE) and documented (formal reports) episodes of PVEPD misconduct — collected almost entirely from only a few households in one small neighborhood of the Malaga Cove region. If this is a representative sample of PVE as a whole, imagine how ubiquitous is law non-enforcement citywide.
Bay Boys Lawsuit Documents Longstanding PVEPD Law Non-Enforcement and “Indifference”: Details have emerged during the Bay Boys lawsuit (click here) of intentional, systemic law non-enforcement by Jeff Kepley and his officers. The lawsuit was preceded by an article in the Guardian (click here) that led to our fine city of PVE gaining international infamy and shame due solely to the PVEPD’s misconduct. None of this was a surprise to the Coalition, as we have posted on this website a deep “case file” proving precisely this problem for nearly half a decade. Indeed, it was only a matter of time before the PVEPD’s determination to dishonor their oath to enforce the law finally drove a victim to sue the City.
9 Hour Response Time to Urgent Call for Help by PVE Resident Being Assaulted by Foreign Trespasser: see Aaron Belda, Steve Barber and Hazel Menendez sections below. It is important to note that despite the obvious bias that comes from PVEPD internal affairs investigations being conducted by the PVEPD’s own officers on their friends, two counts of misconduct relating to dispatcher Menendez’s decision not to dispatch a squad car were sustained against her. It is also very important to note that despite the high probability that within the LASD’s Lomita station under Capt. Beringer such a potentially fatal act would lead to immediate dismissal, some 4+ years later Menendez continues to be the person who could answer your call to save your life from an attacker.
Non-Resident Drives Wrong Way into Oncoming PVE Traffic, her Passenger Assaults Filming PVE Resident Witness Carrying Baby on Back; PVEPD Pursues False Charges Against PVE Resident: see Luke Hellinga, Steve Barber and Sean Tomlins sections below. The Coalition has collected myriad, documented examples of the PVEPD favoring non-resident “peers” to officers over prosperous PVE residents.
DUI Marijuana Smoking Driver Not Cited, Much Less Arrested: see Tony Gonzalez section below. This PVEPD officer, paid over $140,000 in total compensation in 2015, determined to allow a driver who Gonzalez himself stated openly was exhibiting probable cause of DUI of marijuana to drive away through our City without even a citation for the crime, much less an arrest.
Illegal Man-made Fires & Fireworks Launched Over Malaga Cove Homes Not Cited or Mis-Cited: In the midst of perhaps the worst drought in S. California history, the PVEPD has witnessed but not cited a multitude of infractions involving illegal fires, fireworks and even incendiary sky lanterns launched to float over homes around Bluff and Malaga Coves. In one case, a PVEPD officer caught an illegal fireworks launcher (shooting large explosives over residents’ homes) but incompetently wrote on the citation a violation of a PVEMC section dealing with removing plants/trees without City permission (it is likely this impeded prosecution). In the case of illegal sky lanterns over Malaga Cove homes, PVEPD Officer Kyle Shea (on 05/18/2016 in middle of drought) determined not to enforce the law because the non-resident violator had launched the floating ball of fire as part of a prom proposal (you can’t make up things like this).
PVEPD Biased to Cover “Cyclists’ Backs,” Issuing Few Biker Citations Despite Rampant CVC Violations while Pursing False Claims Against PVE Motorists: see Jeff Kepley section below, and also click here. In one example, a Malaga Cove area resident was accused falsely of attempted vehicular manslaughter as retribution by a Big Orange cyclist to whom the PVE resident expressed discontent over illegal cycling; the PVEPD aggressively pursued the PVE resident despite a) no evidence to support the false claim and b) much evidence of Big Orange making numerous, similar false claims against other PVE residents. Jeff Kepley has proven, though the cyclists’ own written statements and Kepley’s own actions/in-actions, to be a supporter of illegal cyclists abusing PVE’s roads and other resources.
Countless Other Examples of PVEPD Misconduct/Negligence: In the spirit of focusing on the more egregious behavior of the PVEPD, we excluded above a large collection of other documented PVEPD habitual misconduct. This includes the following:
- lawsuits filed against the PVEPD/PVE for Civil Rights racism/Antisemitism within the PVEPD (see Sroggins/Siounit cases below);
- illegal ALPR (license plate recognition) related non-enforcement;
- illegal noise (PVEMC Chapter 8.28) non-enforcement;
- illegal parking (PVEMC Chapter 10.40.30) non-enforcement;
- illegal drone/UAV (PVEMC Chapter 8.24 and 2016 FAA rules) non-enforcement;
- PVEPD refusal to enter Bluff Cove to enforce narcotics and other lawbreaking, and
- many, many more non-enforcement examples as the PVEPD’s corrupt and indolent unprofessionalism runs through the department virtually as a matter of unwritten policy.
PVE City Government Finally Conceded What Really Appeared to Be Behind PVEPD’s Jeff Kepley “On Leave”: Was Kepley Was Creating Paper Trail for Disability/Tax-free Retirement Benefits?
Jeff Kepley’s Dubious “Stress Leave”/Vacation Cost PVE Taxpayers ~ $70,000.00: Since the man hired to be the strong, effective head of law enforcement in a city of nearly zero hard crime became so “stressed” that he dubiously had to go on leave, he is estimated to have cost PVE taxpayers approximately $70,000.00 as of his official “retirement” announcement in late August 2017 (click here). To put this in perspective, the city is scrambling to save a $1,000 here and a few $1,000 there (see photo above) to plug a $4.1 million/year “structural” budget deficit. Adding Kepley’s insult to his department’s injury, this budget deficit forcing PVE to drain precious City reserves was caused almost entirely by the PVEPD $7.5 million/year budget costing approximately $4 million/year more than the $3.4 million/year quote offered by the LA Sheriff (which included in that lower price 12% more patrol service hours).
Prelude to Sudden Termination of Kepley’s Position as PVEPD Chief: On April 25th, Jeff Kepley appeared quite healthy in his seat next to Treasurer Lozzi for the first half of the City Council meeting (click here for video replay). However, as seen from photos below, by the time Victoria Lozzi stated her firm view that the City “needs” the “Feasibility Study from the Sheriff as a baseline” (here at 2:27), Kepley had left the Police Chief’s seat for the rest of the meeting. The very next day, despite not a single word regarding Kepley’s imminent departure at the City Council meeting the prior night, City Manager Tony Dahlerbruch sent written notice to the PVEPD staff informing them Kepley was no longer their Acting Chief of Police (see below). However, as has been seen before with our City Manager, Dahlerbruch did not want PVE’s voting taxpayers to become equally informed, especially since Kepley would be taking over $22,000 out of taxpayers’ pockets during his sudden, five-week “stress leave”. Dahlerbruch and the City Council know all too well after the PVEPD POA’s failed lawn sign campaign that PVE voters are acutely sensitive to shenanigans within the budget-busting, $7.5 million/year police department. Only when forced by this website’s E-mail alerting PVE residents over a week later did the City confirm that Kepley’s prior position as Chief had terminated.
City Manager Dahlerbruch Continues to Hide Material Information from PVE Taxpaying Voters: Dahlerbruch & the City Council hoped five weeks would slip by without any leak to the taxpaying public of Kepley’s position terminating via his now 3-MONTH, $50,000+ “stress leave”; the Coalition labeled Kepley’s position as terminated, again being the truthful party
What Is the “Sheriff Feasibility Study”? A Sheriff Feasibility Study (SFS) is the next step that a potential Sheriff-protected city takes after obtaining a quote such as the $3.4 million/year LASD proposal received but hidden by Tony Dahlerbruch five-six months before the March 7, 2017 Measure D vote. Reportedly according to Tony Dahlerbruch himself (click here and see bottom of Page 5), it would take PVE two-four months to complete its own Sheriff Feasibility Study. Click here for an example of a Sheriff Feasibility Study conducted for the city of Santa Paula, California, and which was completed in under two months (March 8 – April 28).
The Meeting Before the Meeting: According to multiple sources close to the situation, the Kepley-Dahlerbruch relationship took a very, very bad turn for the worse ahead of the April 25th PVECC meeting related to Kepley’s intended lack of participation at an all-departments “pre-presentation” in the City Manager’s office. We are confident that upon City Manager Dahlerbruch surpassing his threshold of tolerance for Kepley’s poor performance, Dahlerbruch properly, finally rebuked Kepley in extremely direct terms. This confrontation reportedly set the stage for Kepley’s blindsiding Dahlerbruch with his notification that he “needed” to go on leave due to stress (e.g., hypertension). A source has confirmed that PVE councilwoman Jennifer King was particularly outraged at Kepley for this dereliction of duty by the City’s chief law enforcement officer, possibly considering a “legal response.”
Kepley’s Unethical Strategy: Tax Free Retirement? As early as May 4th, the Coalition reported on this site and elsewhere that the evidence supported the theory that Kepley selfishly had bailed out of a sinking ship both in petulant defiance of newly assertive “boss” Dahlerbruch and to document “disability” to assist his rumored imminent retirement (which reportedly already privately had been informed to Dahlerbruch but not announced to PVE residents.) Reportedly, Kepley was engaged through late August 2017 in combative negotiations with the PVE City Council over whether his retirement will be classified as normal or medical. Assuming he accomplished the latter, Kepley will be able to take from PVE taxpayers not only ~ three quarters of a million dollars in compensation over 3 years, including ~ $70,000 at the end of his tenure when he determined not to show up for work, but also again when he pays less taxes on his retirement/pension income. How can any PVE resident vote to spend over 1/2 the City budget on a police department whose most senior officer treats PVE taxpayers with this level of disrespect?
Dahlerbruch’s Judgment Goes from Bad to Dangerous: As is patently obvious now, Dahlerbruch/the PVECC recklessly or negligently failed to obtain a Sheriff Feasibility Study between the September 2016 date of receiving the LASD $3.4 million quote and the March 2017 Measure D Parcel Tax vote. Had Dahlerbruch prudently procured the study during that five-six month period, the City could have placated the PVEPD by sincerely portraying the effort as a mere contingency plan in the “unlikely” event Measure D were to fail. However, now with Measure D’s failure a fait accompli, Dahlerbruch neglecting to complete the study has put the entire City in a much more precarious position vis-a-vis the PVEPD.
PVE Government Hid the One Crucial Fact from Voters: For the six months preceding the 2017 Measure D vote, Tony Dahlerbruch never gave voters the straight story on cost/benefit
Sheriff Feasibility Study Must Be Procured Immediately: As is obvious to any prudent, risk managing individual watching this budgetary debacle unfold, the City must not waste another day in obtaining the LASD Feasibility Study relating to the $3.4 million/year Sheriff quote. As of today, we residents have already lost well over ONE YEAR since Tony Dahlerbruch received this quote at under 1/2 the cost of the PVEPD, including four months having passed since the City Council knew with certainty that the City is officially in a budget crisis. In order to prevent any “unintended and irreversible consequences,” the City can follow Tony Dahlerbruch’s own belated, conditional recommendation made in his April 25, 2017 staff report (click here and see bottom of Page 5): “the City Council make it publicly clear that the Phase I study is for informational and data collection purposes, not expressing an intent.” Again, though, it must be emphasized that had Dahlerbruch prudently procured the Feasibility Study in late 2016 well before the voluntary tax underlying Measure D predictably failed, the City would not be anywhere near this bind in the first place.
City Council in Material Breach of its Fiduciary Duties of Due Care and Loyalty: PVE voters, finally now informed by the Coalition of the previously hidden $3.4 million Sheriff quote (w/ 12% more patrol service hours), are even more likely to be logical and vote down this unnecessary tax burden. Despite this probable risk to the budget, the City Council perilously determined on April 25th to defy PVE’s very own Treasurer’s prudent guidance that “we need that Feasibility Study from the Sheriff.” This reckless judgment now has put PVE residents in the unnecessarily vulnerable position of prospectively relying for many months on police officers scheduled to report to work while knowing (after a failed second parcel tax vote in April 2018) they will be replaced by the Sheriff. This inaction apparently led by fmr. Mayor Jennifer King is a flagrant breach of the City Council’s fiduciary duties of due care and loyalty to each and every resident. If Jennifer King’s game plan is to put the City into perilous straights intentionally to scare residents into voting to tax themselves, we here in Palos Verdes Estates all have a much bigger problem on our collective hands than Tony Dahlerbruch’s incompetence.
The Coalition must note that it does not make these claims against the PVEPD lightly; to the contrary, every claim made on this website is documented and remains undisputed despite (since 2012) an outstanding request herein for formal rebuttals. These claims are factual.
PVE Police Dept. Wall of Shame Members:
(out of approximately 50 PVEPD employees)
John Eberhard Wall of Shame Induction (click me)
Aaron Belda Wall of Shame Induction (click me)
David Hinig Wall of Shame Induction (click me)
Jeffrey Kepley Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Erick Gaunt Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Steve Barber Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Hazel Menendez Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Kenneth Ackert Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Tony Gonzalez Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Luke Hellinga Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Mark Velez Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Steven Lebeau Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Alex Gonzales Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Sean Tomlins Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
David Drapeau Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Sean Crisfield Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
Bradley Lemmon Wall of Shame Nomination (click me)
PVEPD Embarrasses PVE Residents and Impairs Property Values Due to Intl. Notoriety: The widely reported Bay Boys lawsuit (click here) filed against Jeff Kepley and the rest of PVE government was merely the most recent embarrassment we have suffered here in PVE due to our incompetent officers’ misconduct. Despite consuming nearly 60% of the entire City budget and over 99% of all residents’ property taxes combined, the $7.3 million flowing into the PVEPD hasn’t been enough for them to behave honorably. See below for two lawsuits filed by the PVEPD’s own officers against the City for racism and anti-Semitism.
PVEPD Sued By Its Own Police Captain for Being Racist vs. Blacks (Kevin Scroggins v. PVE: Case No. BC446138, filed 09/23/2010; click here)
PVEPD Sued By Its Own Officer for Being Abusive Anti-Semites (Benjamin Siounit v. PVE, Case No. BC499984 , filed 01/28/2013; click here)
Many PVEPD officers born, raised and living outside PVE’s conservative, high-property tax paying culture evidently “relate” and thus actually sympathize with those law breakers who share with these officers a lower sense of public civility and who place a far lower value on law abidance. This helps explain the confounding and corrupt behavior of many PVEPD officers refusing to issue citations to, much less arrest, misdemeanor and felony law breakers within our fine City. Manifestations of this out-of-sync PVEPD mentality include, amongst myriad examples, PVEPD officer(s) a) guiding an alleged female victim of the Bay Boys to make a citizens arrest herself (rather than the PVEPD making the arrest), b) supporting the interests of (rather than bringing in for questioning/arresting) a non-US citizen who trespassed upon, assaulted, and obstructed the call for police assistance by a PVE resident (see Belda below), and c) merely issuing verbal warnings (rather than citations/fines) to law breakers who repeatedly damage the peace and tranquility entitled by law to PVE residents and visitors.
WHAT IS MOTIVATING THIS PVEPD ABUSE? Residents’ dominating explanation for the PVEPD’s habitual aversion to effective law enforcement is its collective desire to maintain the status quo of being massively overpaid (~ $170,000/year in total compensation is not abnormal; click here) by staying under the radar, disturbing as few lawbreakers as possible in the process. The Coalition, and now countless PVE residents, was appalled to discover that the PVEPD consumes 99.3% of all of the cumulative property taxes paid by hard working PVE residents. Take a moment to let sink in precisely what has been approved by Kepley’s friend, City Manager Tony Dahlerbruch, and the PVE City Council. This scandalous act basically amounts to an unprecedentedly massive $6.6 million/year (click here) transfer of wealth from the PVE taxpayers (click here for Page 17) to non-residents associated with the PVEPD who drive into our city every single day to take nearly every single penny of our property taxes and then return home outside PVE to spend it.
PVE Employees Shockingly-High Compensation (click hyperlink)
The obviously overpaid and overstaffed (see photo above) PVEPD shows up for perhaps the safest and lowest workload police officer job in the country. There naturally (due to remote location away from freeway/inner cities and elderly/affluent demographics), and not due to any particular effort or approach by the driving-in-circles or parked PVEPD, occurs in PVE a miniscule amount of hard crime (click here for PVE stats and then compare here to Redondo Beach and here to Hermosa Beach). Further making an expansive/expensive police department totally unnecessary is the scarcity of even very few misdemeanors outside garden variety vehicular violations and outstanding warrants.
You will struggle to find another city in the USA any LESS in need of an expensive police department. Click on link above to see why the PVEPD is overpaid to do almost nothing.
Thus, officers have enormous financial incentive to “play nice, quiet and stay under the radar,” issuing few citations and thereby reducing the odds of any sunlight being shined by those cited on the PVEPD’s status quo of an absurdly high ratio of compensation-to-risk. Alternatively, some believe that there is actual malicious intent driving officers’ overt discrimination against the very law abiding residents whose legal right to law enforcement lies at the core of the justice system. Officers’ behavior fitting this profile include Aaron Belda, Steve Barber, Erick Gaunt, Tony Gonzalez, Steve Lebeau, Alex Gonzales and Hazel Menendez.
DISCRETION DEFINED. While police officers have “discretion” to recognize that a law breaker has committed the forbidden act inadvertently (and not through negligence or outright disregard for the code as with Desire Kocarslan), they are not supposed to enforce selectively legal codes and ordinances passed by legislative branches of a local, state or federal government. Such behavior is indeed the definition of “corruption,” as it unfairly favors one party (the law breaker/criminal) over the other (the community members impaired). If a law exists that a citizen is not permitted to commit a certain act, and such act is committed to the detriment of others in the community, a non-corrupt police officer issues a citation as the most effective means of inhibiting repeat or copycat offenses. At the risk of stating the obvious, this is why speeding and parking tickets are issued nationwide.
Judge Rules Ultra Vires/Illegal or Invalid Dahlerbruch City Govt 2-Year Crusade vs. Residents (click hyperlink)
Corruption & Negligence of Tony Dahlerbruch (click hyperlink)
THE BUCK STOPS WITH CHIEF JEFF KEPLEY & TONY DAHLERBRUCH. Jeff Kepley tolerated, if not encouraged his officers’ misconduct as described on this webpage. Tony Dahlerbruch tolerated, if not encourged, Jeff Kepley and his officers massively excessive compensation and tepid law enforcement (in 2013, Dahlerbruch actually defended sustained police misconduct as being committed in “good faith.”) Kepley had incentive to protect his own cushy setup of getting compensated ~ $225,000/year to commute Mon-Fri up from La Habra to “manage” what sadly amounts to an overstocked fraternity house.
In line with this, Jeff Kepley shunted aside the simple concept of governance in order to satisfy various PVEPD officers’ desire to maintain property tax cash transfer into his department’s pockets, while also feeding his and others’ need to feel some semblance of power. With officers such as Alex Gonzales, Tony Gonzales, Steve Barber, Aaron Belda and Steve Lebeau, frail egos fragilely supported by little but the badges pinned on their shirts plays a corrupting role as well; indeed, these public servants fear deep down they would command zero respect in other societal and occupational venues, as their skills seem confined to the low-paid Uber driver talent of driving around cars between various points in the City.
Word around town is that Mark Velez, who shockingly is allowed to run a law firm defending law breakers while also being a public law enforcer, undermined Kepley at every opportunity.
SUMMARY: Taxpayers reasonably expect that the police department will enforce written laws in a manner that discourages both repeat offense by the violating party, and others who become aware of the impactful, negative consequence levied upon those already caught. Without impactful law enforcement executed via material consequence (punishment), law breakers shall have no incentive to cease their antisocial deportment. This is the simple truth that Jeff Kepley negligently has chosen to ignore in favor of trying to win a popularity contest with those imposters who report to him. Kepley’s job also may be at high risk if Mark Velez, passed over repeatedly for the chief’s job, has his way with Tony Dahlerbruch and the City Council.
CHARTER INDUCTEE ONTO
PVE POLICE DEPARTMENT WALL OF
Fmr. PVE Chief of Police, John Eberhard
At the bar instead of putting criminals behind them.
JOHN EBERHARD: for allegedly overseeing, if not directing, alleged police misconduct, John Eberhard was the first to be inducted onto the PVE Police Department Wall of Shame. While it has been said that even oblivious Tony Dahlerbruch “encouraged” John Eberhard’s sudden resignation after recognizing John Eberhard’s obvious incompetence, it is John Eberhard’s dishonesty that had been a better kept secret until his final days at the helm. It is sad that John Eberhard’s father (Coach Gil Eberhard), whose name graces a PVE baseball field, must look down on his corrupt son with the utmost in paternal disappointment. John Eberhard’s beleaguered wife Cindy Eberhard, son Dalton Eberhard and daughter Peyton Eberhard, as well as his niece Kristi and nephew Brian, must be acutely ashamed at sharing the Eberhard name with John Eberhard.
NOTE FROM SITE TO WALL OF SHAME OFFICERS: All those listed on this page are encouraged to contact the site immediately if he/she would like to provide a signed, notarized affidavit exclusively disputing accusations made against him/her. Such affidavit then may be made available on this site, allowing the public to consider “his/her side” of the story.
Palos Verdes Estates hires interim police chief Hinig, John Eberhard pension spike and education questioned (October 2013)
Palos Verdes Estates Police Chief John Eberhard Denies Pension Spiking Rumors (September 2013)
EVIDENCE AGAINST WALL OF SHAME INDUCTEES AND NOMINEES FOR THEIR ALLEGED POLICE MISCONDUCT IS HEREBY PRESENTED; YOU, THE PUBLIC, SHALL BE THE JUDGE. Note: Official corroborating evidence, including conclusive written statements and oral testimony in court made by the involved parties, has been and will be made available to site viewers seeking validation of all matters on this post. Unsurprisingly given the veracity of the claims against the Wall of Shamers, at no time since this site’s 2013 launch has any party offered the site any evidence refuting the claims against them, much less disproving them.
——— STEVE BARBER ———
INDUCTED ONTO WALL OF SHAME
INDUCTED for SHAME: Sergeant Steve Barber
for Supporting Falsification of Witness Testimony (as alleged) and systematic law non-enforcement; request for investigation pending (Unknown – Present); based on presumed discrimination alongside Chief Eberhard, Steve Barber’s shameful supervisory behavior actually led to the District Attorney being presented an unsubstantiated charge of robbery against the PVE residing victim of assault for using the voluntarily offered assailant’s phone to call for police assistance, which itself never arrived (see Hazel Menendez below).
The approval sign-off that cemented corruption charges
UPDATE (09/2017): Steve Barber is alleged to have engaged in police misconduct, including making critical, inappropriate statements to a resident reporting a crime about the resident’s mental state.
UPDATE (03/2017): Steve Barber, as head the PVEPD union he heads, solicited on NextDoor.com (using a fraudulent account that claimed PVEPD HQ address as his residence) and elsewhere for residents to receive “Yes on Measure D” signs that were illegally placed in PVE public parkway. To say the least, for a PVEPD sergeant to be complicit, or worse direct, the breaking of a City law against such sign placement makes a mockery of the very law enforcement oath to which he and his cohorts swore.
Illegally Placed PVE Police Officer Association Signs: even City Councilman Jim Vandever was complicit in breaking the law, placing Barber’s Measure D sign on public parkway in front of his home on Paseo del Mar.
UPDATE (06/28/2016): Steve Barber was videotaped (click here) witnessing and permitting, over the course of nearly one hour, repeated criminal acts by the Big Orange Cycling Gang that led to PVE resident motorists being backed up over 2 miles along PV Drive West/PV Blvd. Barber admitted that enforcing the law was not even being considered by him and his colleagues, instead themselves dedicated to the peace and tranquility of illegal protesters with a history of abusive behavior toward PVE resident motorists. For more on Barber and Chief Jeff Kepley’s support of the illegal biker gang, click here.
UPDATE (02/24/2016): Steve Barber, in a questionable act of police misconduct, asked for personal information of a PVE resident (even though she was with her infant child), thereafter following her to her home in what could be considered a stalking fashion, presumably to learn where she resided.
UPDATE (06/06/2015): Steve Barber apparently is such an unskilled detective that an 11-year old boy was able to trick him into believing a preposterous story of a supposed kidnapping attempt (click hyperlink). The silly tale that the child concocted was obvious as such to just about everyone communicating with the coalition, but that didn’t stop Steve Barber from embarrassing our City throughout the county while squandering more of PVE’s scarce resources on the “ghost hunt.”
Steve Barber’s Ghost Kidnapper & Ghost Kidnapping Van
BARBER COMPENSATED ALMOST AS MUCH AS COMPTON CITY ATTORNEY! In near-lowest crime in USA city Palos Verdes Estates, PVEPD “Traffic Cop” Steve Barber (http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2012/palos-verdes-estates/barber-steven/ ) is compensated virtually the same as the at-risk-daily-of-assassination, highly trained and educated Compton City Attorney (http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2011/compton/cornwell-craig-j/ ). How can the PVE City Council justify compensating a man whose skillset leads to the job of guiding light traffic around a car commercial film shoot at a rate of over $170,000 per year?
——— DAVID HINIG ———
INDUCTED ONTO WALL OF SHAME
Fmr. PVE Chief of Police, David Hinig:
PVE’s rid of him after a few months of dishonor
DAVID HINIG: David Hinig was a lock to be inducted onto the PVE Police Department Wall of Shame for allegedly making false or misleading statements in response to a public inquiry while in possession of self-contradicting evidence, in addition to appearing to condone alleged police misconduct by Aaron Belda, Erick Gaunt, Steve Barber and Hazel Menendez. The men, women and children of Palos Verdes Estates collectively genuflect to God that this horribly dishonest and disingenuous man David Hinig has left our fine city, now unfortunately in the bumbling hands of Jeff Kepley.
CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATOR? The long record of civil rights violation allegations against David Hinig is extremely disconcerting. On April 22, 1997, after the cost to the City of Arcadia rose into the tens of thousands of dollars, the honorable U.S. District Judge Robert J. Kelleher entered a judgment and order against co-defendant David Hinig as Arcadia Chief of Police for violation of the Civil Rights Act (Case # 2:94-cv-04571-RJK). Previously in June 1995, Judge Kelleher denied defendants’ motion to dismiss the case. On July 21, 2003, David Hinig was served again in a lawsuit in which he was named a co-defendant for alleged violation of the Civil Rights Act (Case # 8:03-cv-00301-SJO-MLG). On December 15, 2003, David Hinig was served in yet another lawsuit in which he was named a co-defendant for alleged violation of the Civil Rights Act (Case # 2:03-cv-07179-ABC-Mc). Astoundingly, on April 7, 2006, yet another case alleging civil rights violation was filed against co-defendant David Hinig, this time in the Superior Court of California (Case # BC350368). Source: Bloomberg Law dockets. This is the man that the PVE City Council chose to protect our residents? More details that expose David Hinig as the shameless man that he is viewed to be are available by E-mailing email@example.com.
REJECTED BY RIALTO? Soon after the judgment and order against David Hinig in a case against him et. al. for violation of the Civil Rights Act (see above), it appears clear that Hinig sought to salvage his career by reportedly attempting to become Chief of Police of the Inland Empire city of Rialto. However, after a thorough background check by the decision maker similar to Tony Dahlerbruch but in Rialto’s “city administrator” position, David Hinig’s application was rejected in favor of Michael Meyers, who served as Rialto’s Police Chief from 1998-2005. Thus, while Hinig apparently was not qualified enough to lead a town in the Inland Empire, the PVE City Council and Tony Dahlerbruch’s questionable judgment and perhaps less thorough vetting process put David Hinig in charge of protecting ours.
——– AARON BELDA ——–
INDUCTED ONTO WALL OF SHAME
INDUCTED for SHAME: Detective Aaron Ledesma Belda
* FOREIGN TRESPASSER ASSAULTS PVE RESIDENT VICTIM;
* PVEPD DOES NOT RESPOND TO CALL FOR ASSISTANCE;
* TRESPASSER ASSAULTS & INJURES PVE VICTIM;
* TRESPASSER FLEES CRIME SCENE, PASSING POLICE STN.;
* CORRUPT AARON BELDA FAVORS TRESPASSING ASSAILANT;
* NON-CORRUPT JUDGE’s ACTIONS:
1) IMPEACH BELDA’S JUDGMENT & BIAS,
2) AFFIRMS PVE VICTIM DEPICTION OF CRIMES, &
3) ORDERS ASSAILANT TO STAY AWAY FROM VICTIM
Aaron Belda, the subject of multiple internal affairs investigations in 2015 alone, was inducted onto the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department Wall of Shame for Falsification of Witness Testimony (as alleged), and presenting to the District Attorney for consideration an unsubstantiated robbery charge against the peacefully residing PVE victim of trespassing, assault and obstruction of a call for police assistance; request for investigation pending (Unknown – Present);
Aaron Belda, in an act of apparent bias and discrimination, falsified repeated, written and verbal victim-corroborating witness testimony. This detailed, written and reiterated testimony clearly exhibited that the phone properly and legally obtained and used by a defenseless, naked PVE assault victim to call for never-dispatched police assistance was not taken by force (robbery) from trespassing/attacking assailant.
Appallingly, no warrant for the arrest of the assailant ever was issued by the PVEPD, which waited nearly five days to assign the investigation to Aaron Belda, who then waited until days later to conduct his assailant phone and E-mail interviews (the latter of which included Aaron Belda wishing the assailant “Happy Halloween to you too”). The assailant never was called into PVEPD for in-person questioning.
Making this even more shocking was that Belda had evidence in his possession of assailant acknowledging in writing that the attack had caused injury to the PVE victim, though assailant claimed unintentional (“I never meant to hurt you or harm you in any way …”). The witnessed crimes committed by the trespassing assailant were so serious that the assailant immediately hired a criminal defense attorney who has represented clients criminally accused of murder, manslaughter, and public beating/assault, including one imprisoned within months of the PVE crimes for kicking his wife in the ribs and attempting to choke her.
Finally, adding insult to injury, Aaron Belda submitted for consideration to the District Attorney a charge against the PVE residing victim for robbery despite non-existent evidence around such a preposterous claim, itself coming from obviously false and self-contradictory claims of the desperately-seeking- a- defense assailant.
Both witness and victim described in detail the transfer of the phone on the victim’s own property being the sole result of a voluntary offering from trespasser. Further supporting victim and witness truthful testimony is evidence possessed by Belda provided directly by the self-contradicting assailant/trespasser. The assailant/trespasser a) originally before being court served, admitted to the trespassing in not one but two separate written communications, b) described the phone as offered voluntarily from outside-the-spa assailant’s hand to victim standing defenselessly naked in middle of victim’s spa, c) originally before being court served, labeled this offered phone as “lost” in writing the night of the attack and d) originally before being court served, did not report the phone as robbed/stolen or even missing (the phone was never found and may still be in possession of assailant).
Again, the phone in question was offered to victim (to read an E-mail thereon) indisputably, but then wisely was used defensively by the victim (as recorded by PVEPD) to call for never-arriving PVEPD assistance. Consequently, that defensive act then precipitated the trespasser’s attack of the PVE residing defenseless victim (to obstruct the call for police assistance, successfully) and then flee the scene of the crimes. It is this trespasser, assailant and obstructer of police assistance who Aaron Belda determined to assist, instead of the PVE resident attacked and who he swore an oath to protect.
DISCIPLINARY ACTION RECOMMENDED: Aaron Belda should look at himself in his rear view mirror during his 1-2 hour drive home to Valencia, and ask himself the following three hypothetical questions:
“How must my now-ex wife Katrina Belda (formerly Katrina Lopez; divorce filed 02/2014 after alleged 10/2013 sexual-related incident with married woman Nadia ), irrespective of my fidelity or infidelity to her (Nadia?), or mother Jeannette Belda Schurz or grandmother Virginia Belda or aunt Deborah Belda Neilson feel when she reads how I treated someone I promised to protect in PVE just as I promised to protect her — a woman who could have been in the PVE victim’s position instead, attacked by a trespassing “ex” of Katrina Belda who in addition to the assault also stopped the Santa Clarita Police & Sheriff’s Department from arriving to her protection?”
“How would I feel if while I was away, my now-ex wife Katrina Belda, irrespective of my fidelity or infidelity to her (Nadia?), after a long day at work was enjoying privacy in our spa, but then late one night one of Katrina’s “ex’s”, who by his own written admission knew he was not now her boyfriend and that he had been told explicitly she didn’t want to see him, trespassed and then did to her what I allowed to happen with impunity to this PVE resident victim?”
“How would I feel if, after the Santa Clarita Police & Sheriff’s Department failed to dispatch assistance to my now-ex wife Katrina Belda’s emergency trespasser call, a detective from that department presented a charge of robbery against my wife Katrina Belda, irrespective of my fidelity or infidelity to her (Nadia?), for accepting a phone offered to her by her trespassing “ex” and which she used to call this same department for assistance, which never arrived?”
UPDATE (08/2016): Within one week of the conclusion of an internal investigation of Aaron Belda, this corrupt police officer filed a falsified police report against the informant of the information that led to such investigation. Such falsification included Belda fabricating the claim that the informant had placed himself in an obstructing position so close to the squad car that the informant allegedly could access firearms and the computer display inside the car. However, the District Attorney apparently recognized that Belda had fabricated this claim given the fact that at no time did Belda, who was being recorded and thus was limited in how he could falsely depict his actions, claim to have requested the informant step away from the squad car. This misconduct led to yet another internal investigation of Belda.
UPDATE (05/08/2015): PVEPD Captain Mark Velez concluded this only the most recent internal investigation of Aaron Belda regarding the April 19, 2015 “Malaga Cove School Drone Incident” – during which Aaron Belda determined recklessly to jump the city street curb/field border in order to drive across the Malaga Cove School soccer field being used by adults and children and then drive his squad car onto its basketball court in response to an unfounded complaint of a 4-ounce, $30 toy quad-copter being used illegally. Per a letter from PVEPD Chief Jeff Kepley, the formal investigation in finalized, concluded form determined that a) Belda (shamefully) had an “inadequate understanding” of the simple, longstanding PVE Municipal
Excerpt from determination letter from of just one of multiple 2015 Internal investigations of Aaron Belda
Code (Chapter 8.24) that he is highly paid to enforce, leading to Belda’s wrongly informing the family they could not fly the toy, and b) Belda should have considered using the alternative approach of perfectly accessible city streets, with Belda’s indiscretion forcing the PVEPD to conduct “further training in driving discretion and citizen approaches.”
———- KENNETH ACKERT ———-
NOMINATED FOR WALL OF SHAME
Kenneth Ackert: Falsification of a PVEPD Incident Report put him on Wall of Shame
NOMINATED for SHAME: Corporal Kenneth Ackert
for Falsification of a Police Report (as alleged), request for investigation pending (Unknown – Present); Ken Ackert, based on presumed discrimination in order to buttress a related investigation, falsified a police incident report by claiming an association between the reporting party to a crime and the criminal himself. Ackert had no reasonable basis for conveying this false information to PVEPD dispatch, particularly in light of the fact that the PVE resident he falsely claimed associated had himself reported the videotaped crime to the PVEPD only minutes earlier. Ken Ackert also was the target of a civil lawsuit brought by PVE resident Cynthia Ahearn (see below).
PVEPD Corporal Kenneth Ackert: target of lawsuit by PVE resident Cynthia Ahearn
NOMINATED for SHAME: Sergeant Erick Gaunt
for Falsification of Victim Testimony (as alleged), request for investigation pending (Unknown – Present); Erick Gaunt, based on presumed discrimination, falsified witness corroborated victim testimony that the assailant, reactively and immediately upon viewing and hearing the victim calling for PVEPD protection, violently assaulted the naked victim in a successful attempt to criminally obstruct the call for police assistance, subsequently fleeing the scene of the crime unstopped by the PVEPD officers not dispatched but stationed only three minutes away. Instead, Erick Gaunt falsely reported to the District Attorney in a falsified summary of the victim’s statement that the assailant entered the spa fully clothed in “an attempt to retrieve [assailant’s] telephone” [vs. victim and witness repeated, clear statements that motive was to quickly and immediately obstruct call for police assistance] … while waiting for the arrival of the PVEPD” [vs. no victim or witness statements ever made that the attacker waited whatsoever, but instead fled the scene of the crime immediately upon determining that the PVEPD stationed only three minutes away was soon to arrive].
Erick Gaunt doing what he does best:
protecting (his appetite) + being served BY the public
Again, as Erick Gaunt knew, it was logistically impossible for the trespasser to have been “waiting for the arrival” of the police department a) that the trespasser illegally succeeded in obstructing becoming sufficiently informed (see Menendez below) of its need to arrive in the first place and b) with which the trespasser avoided contact by fleeing (vs. “waiting” at) the scene of the crime. Furthermore, Erick Gaunt determined not to present for D.A. consideration the victim-described and witness-supported assault or obstruction of a call for police assistance, despite the latter actually being recorded live by the PVEPD recording system. Instead, guided by then-Chief of Police Eberhard (himself supervised by Tony Dahlerbruch), only the minor charge of trespassing was presented, with the probable understanding that the District Attorney’s docket was far too crowded with repeat offender violent crime prosecution to address this relatively minor, sole charge involving a first time criminal.
NOMINATED for SHAME: Hazel Menendez, sustained on two counts of police misconduct in January 2013 following request for internal affairs investigation (Unknown – Present); despite receiving the PVE home residing victim’s address while this naked victim was being assaulted by a trespasser (so violently that the call disconnected after PVEPD obtained victim’s address), Hazel Menendez determined not to dispatch a squad car to the victim’s residence, allowing the assailant to flee without being apprehended. As an apparent resident of Torrance, Hazel Menendez’s police misconduct was the subject of Internal Affairs Investigation # 12-004 conducted by Sgt. Steve Barber, concluding with two counts against her sustained, but shockingly Torrance-residing Hazel Menendez remains employed by PVEPD in line with alleged corruption by fmr. Chief John Eberhard. Since her police misconduct, Hazel Menendez has on multiple occasions (relating to other matters) had contact with the PVE victim, but only attempted to offer some semblance of apology for her negligent acts nearly two years belatedly, and only then disingenuously due to her being the subject of yet a second internal investigation into her conduct.
Capt. Mark Velez: Conflicted and discriminatory law enforcer who formed corrupt alliance in 2012 with Aaron Belda?
NOMINATED for SHAME: Captain Mark Velez for purportedly systemic conflict of interest and alliance with Aaron Belda during 2012 corruption incident (see above). Details to follow.
Captain Hunch? Mark Velez, supported one link up the chain of command by Chief Jeff Kepley, relaxed in the shade at this highly frequented PVEPD loitering spot until chased off by a disgusted PVE resident (lower PV Drive West and Via Almar, one convenient block from station)
NOMINATED for SHAME: Chief of Police Jeffrey Marlin Kepley for repeated exhibition of weak and ineffective leadership when he headed the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department. Given that Jeffrey Kepley never had been in the chief/senior-most management position at any police department, and had been captain in La Habra for only three short years, it should not be a surprise to the PVE City Council and Tony Dahlerbruch that Jeff Kepley failed in hisposition. The family of Jeff Kepley, including his father James Kepley, wife Cheri Kepley (formerly Cheri Ann Mohagen), Cheri’s mother Shirley Mohagen and father Keith Mohagen, his daughter Kristen Kepley and son Brandon Kepley, both of La Habra and Sonora, may find themselves ashamed to be related to the man upon learning how he has essentially and inertly supported corruption and other misconduct within the PVE Police Department, as defined on this post.
UPDATE (08/2017): Jeff Kepley’s position as head of the PVEPD formally terminated after it informally terminated in late April 2017.
UPDATE (06/28/2016): At Jeff Kepley’s direction, Steve Barber was videotaped (click here) witnessing and permitting, over the course of nearly one hour, repeated criminal acts by the Big Orange Cycling Gang that led to PVE resident motorists being backed up over 2 miles along PV Drive West/PV Blvd. Barber admitted that enforcing the law was not even being considered by him and his colleagues, instead themselves dedicated to the peace and tranquility of illegal protesters with a history of abusive behavior toward PVE resident motorists. For more on Barber and Chief Jeff Kepley’s support of the illegal biker gang, click here.
“PVEPD has our backs” writes Michael Barraclough, one of three co-leaders of the Big Orange Biker Gang that rampantly has broken the law throughout PVE
Specifically, Jeff Kepley’s lengthening list of underperformance included the following:
- Aaron Belda Menace to PVE: Determination to put the residents of PVE at risk by continuing the employment of corrupt officer Aaron Belda (see above). On June 18, 2014, Chief of Police Jeff Kepley was provided the first of a mountain of detailed, irrefutable documentation of Aaron Belda’s corrupt misconduct dating back to at least 2012. Such documentation includes a courtroom transcript that contains incriminating admission by the trespassing assailant who Aaron Belda favored vs. the assailant’s PVE residing victim, leading to the Judge’s essentially impeaching the corrupt conclusion of Aaron Belda (by stating that he believed the victim and directing the assailant to maintain a restrained distance from victim). Furthermore in an unrelated incident, in early 2015 Chief Jeff Kepley reportedly was provided detailed testimony from a husband and wife who alleged the wife was a sexually-related victim of Aaron Belda; an investigator reportedly hand picked by Kepley to investigate (clear his boy) Aaron Belda decided that the alleged victim could not prove her story. Only several months later, in yet another unrelated incident, the PVEPD internally investigated Aaron Belda for alleged misconduct at the Malaga Cove School (see above). Despite all of the above, in addition to other potential misconduct by Aaron Belda that may be unknown to the Coalition, Chief of Police Kepley determined to maintain the residents of PVE being at risk of Aaron Belda (until the Coalition is informed otherwise).
- Steve Barber Menace to PVE: Determination to put the residents of PVE at risk by continuing the employment of corrupt and inept detective Steve Barber (see above). Essentially, Sgt. Steve Barber approved of the corrupt 2012 acts by Aaron Belda described in detail above. Furthermore, Steve Barber has exhibited inept, poor judgment that unnecessarily terrified caring PVE parents during the summer of 2015 (see above). Despite the above, in addition to other potential misconduct by Steve Barber that may be unknown to the Coalition, Chief of Police Kepley determined to maintain the residents of PVE being at risk of Steve Barber (until the Coalition is informed otherwise).
- Refusal to Enforce the Law: Determination not to require his officers enforce the PVE Municipal Code and California Penal Code effectively via citation. In just the first year of Jeff Kepley’s tepid oversight of the PVEPD, there has been documented a multitude of incidents wherein he, along with Captain Tony Best, have determined to encourage a culture of non-enforcement of the law via impactful consequences, such as fines and/or citation. As is predictable, those non-impactfully punished lawbreakers have continued fearlessly to break the same law(s), putting Palos Verdes Estates residents at continued risk of physical and other harm. Those observing what appears to be systematic non-citation of proven law breakers are concluding increasingly that Jeff Kepley, potentially in concert with City Manager Tony Dahlerbruch, attempted to skew downward the public statistics of the true level of crime in PVE, possibly to buttress support for inconceivably high compensation currently being paid for their services.
Welcome to Jeff Kepley’s Version of Palos Verdes Estates
Jeff Kepley Under Investigation: As the Coalition desires to understand what could be motivating Jeffrey Kepley’s mismanagement of the Palos Verdes Police Department, it placed Jeff Kepley under investigation as of June 19, 2015. As part of this inquiry, any and all parties with information that may assist this endeavor are encouraged to E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Information may be delivered anonymously and off the record.
NOMINATED for SHAME: Luke Hellinga, for repeated failure to enforce the PVE Municipal Code and California law via citation, combined with alleged conduct unfitting an officer related to the Belda/Menendez incident (see above). Wife Sarah Hellinga, bless her soul at the Kings Harbor Church, should be ashamed of her husband’s feckless deportment in refusing to be a real law enforcer who has real impact on the community.
Luke Hellinga has exhibited an apparent disgust for doing his job – engaging in impactful actions to enforce the law. As reported by just one PVE resident from his own experience (there must be myriad more on top of this), the following is a sample of Luke Hellinga’s aversion to exerting small amounts of energy to engage in effective law enforcement:
- February 2016: Luke Hellinga receives incontrovertible evidence of two Redondo Beach residents driving on the wrong side (left lane) of Paseo del Mar against traffic, thereafter committing three additional crimes (including assault/battery of a PVE resident and thereafter filing a false report of a crime); Hellinga, with apparent approval from both Sgt. Steve Barber and Chief Jeff Kepley, determines neither to issue a traffic citation nor arrest either criminal.
- December 2014: Luke Hellinga, responding to multiple resident complaints of virtually an entire lane of Paseo del Mar (at PVDW) being blocked by over 10 illegally parked cars of guests to a private party, causing near head-on collisions as cars were forced to swerve into oncoming traffic, issues not a single parking ticket, much less orders the towing of the law breakers.
November 2013: Luke Hellinga, responding to a resident complaint of a law being broken, arrives to witness personally Chapter PVE Municipal Code 8.28.030 being violated; Hellinga, however, despite truly dozens of documented PVEMC violations by this resident, issues no citation.
- October 2012: Luke Hellinga, in response to learning that a PVE resident whose call for PVEPD assistance had been obstructed permanently (phone submerged in water) by an attacking trespasser, defends the PVEPD’s Hazel Menendez’s decision not to dispatch a squad car to the victim’s known/recorded address by asking victim, “Why didn’t you call back?”
NOMINATED for SHAME: Tony Gonzalez, for failure to enforce the PVE Municipal Code via citation. This highly paid officer (click hyperlink showing over $170,000 in 2013 total compensation), despite being witness to admitted law breaking, in addition to having access to PVEPD evidence of indisputable repeat legal violations, has shown himself determined not to enforce the law.*
UPDATE (07/24/2016): Sgt. Gonzalez determined, as part of his notorious reputation for law non-enforcement, not to issue a citation (much less arrest) for what was apparently a driver DUI of marijuana (HSC Section 11364 violation, amongst others). Gonzalez developed probable cause to search for illegal marijuana use and possession, but after brief pleadings by the driver Gonzalez merely gave him a parking ticket, allowing the driver to continue dangerously through PVE driving under the probable influence of the drug.
Tony Gonzalez, fully aware that this law breaker in just several weeks had been videotaped in the act of violating the law at least twice and warned by the PVEPD of her offenses on multiple occasions, essentially breached his sacred oath to the citizens paying his six-figure compensation.* As a result, Tony Gonzalez, presumably due to corruption or indolence, put an entire community and visitors thereto at serious risk of potentially deadly physical harm (click hyperlink).
Tony Gonzalez – definitely NOT a serious law enforcer; this Magilla of a man seems dressed to audition for the job perfectly matched to his simian mind (Disney Jungle Cruise tour guide)
Tony Gonzalez committed these acts with the explicit or tacit support and approval from both Captain Tony Best (Worst?) and Chief Jeff Kepley, both acutely made aware of the risks to the community’s wellbeing from this repeat offender. To get at the root of Tony Gonzalez’s negligence/corruption, a PVE resident in July 2015 asked him why he wasn’t doing his highly-paid job of law enforcement by issuing citations. The answer may shock you (one just can’t make this stuff up): “Where I live, people who are bothered by others breaking the law work things out themselves.” Gee Tony, then why would anyone need a police department to enforce laws, via citation or otherwise, in the first place? So Tony Gonzalez believes that in PVE, as in his own ‘hood, if a resident is being impaired by another who refuses repeatedly to obey the law, that impaired party (instead of obtaining an impactful PVEPD consequence) should just hop over to that guy’s house and what, hit him over the head with a bat?
Tony Gonzalez – instead of enforcing the law effectively via citation, here this barely evolved human finishes a friendly conversation about vintage BMW restoration with the law breaker
* Refusal to Enforce via Citation
2nd Grade arithmetic and reading comprehension remains beyond the mental limitations of Alex Gonzales and Steve Lebeau; Crib Sheet for monkeys: “NO” = illegal; “Parking” = stopped; “9” really doesn’t equal “10”; and “PM” happens when that big yellow ball falls into the ocean.
* Refusal to Enforce via Citation
NOMINATED for SHAME: Sergeant Steven Lebeau (2001 – Present)
July 2015: Sgt. Lebeau, in no uncertain terms, stated that he was a supporter of non-law enforcement via citation. Specifically, Lebeau supported the non-citation of a clear violation of the law on the evening of 07/15/2015, when two officers, Shea and Lemmon, personally witnessed the particular law being broken. Moreover, Lebeau intentionally misrepresented the particular code itself, falsely claiming that the circumstance of the violation (being seated in a vehicle claiming to have misplaced keys) negated the law. There is no provision in the law for an exclusion based on this or any similar circumstance – a fact of which Lebeau is fully aware. Thus, Sgt. Steven Lebeau favored the interests of the (non-PVE residing) law breaker over those of the residents to whom he has sworn a duty to enforce all laws, and not just the ones he is in the mood to enforce at a particular moment in time.
Chief Kepley directs wasting our tax dollars on snaring PVE residents in a stop sign trap on the one City street w/ nearly zero cross traffic but a convenient block from PVE Police Department HQ (Via Almar/ lower PV Drive West); God forbid his officers actually exert effort and take risks
Steve Lebeau’s apparent aversion to enforcing the law (as described above) does not drop so low as to keep him from his well known hiding spot a block from the PVEPD station. When it comes to the lightweight lifting of a stop-sign trap, Steven Lebeau (see photo above), Luke Hellinga and even a massively (over)paid police captain, Mark Velez seem more than content to park in the shade, fire up their smart phones and perhaps catch a resident out of the corner of their eye.
NOMINATED for SHAME: Alex Gonzales (2012 – Present)
August 2015: Officer Alex Gonzales, when questioned by a PVE resident as to why he was not committed to enforcing properly a law being blatantly violated (i.e., not comparable to someone driving 1 mph over the speed limit) in his presence, stated ignorantly that he had the discretion to act in a way that violated his sworn oath to enforce the law.
Alex Gonzales, after embarrassing himself by flirting with underage, law breaking high schoolers and boasting that he has his eyebrows groomed professionally. How many days do you think this candidate for a role in a Village People cover band would last in the Compton PD?
- Shamelessly but in line with the culture within the PVEPD, Alex Gonzales declared his determination to favor the interests of the law breaker (via non-citation) over the interests of those in the community who were injured by the unlawful acts.
Alex Gonzales jumps the curb along Paseo del Mar to position his squad car with a more gratifying view of the ocean below him; curb jumping seems to be favored by various PVEPD officers with Small ______ Syndrome seeking small jolts of “petty power”.
Sean Tomlins: spending more time on waxing his Village People mustache than identifying crime witnesses?
NOMINATED for SHAME: Sean Tomlins, for repeated acts of either non-enforcement or professional ineptitude. In the case of just one PVE resident victim, Sean Tomlins determined either solely or in corroboration with Steve Barber/Luke Hellinga to allow those proven and/or witnessed to committing crimes to escape without even a citation, much less an arrest. In February 2016, alongside Barber and Hellinga, Sean Tomlins misidentified a key witness to multiple crimes, leading to the filing of a false police report (see Hellinga above). Sean Tomlins also is notorious with some PVE residents for being found parked at the end of Paseo del Mar with virtually no line of sight of any crime (including traffic violators); see photo below.
Sean Tomlins: why patrol the streets of PVE when you can park at the end of Paseo del Mar and potentially catch some ZZZZZ’s.
NOMINATED for SHAME: David Drapeau, for repeated acts of police misconduct, including 07/24/2015 and 10/03/2015 alleged civil rights violations via Drapeau’s determination not to answer calls for police assistance from a selectively excluded PVE resident. David Drapeau, a non-PVE resident of Torrance, CA, allegedly committed the heinous acts of determining to ignore multiple phone calls and terminate unilaterally a call from a PVE resident seeking police assistance, with one instance involving the victim calling repeatedly from a City street at 12:20 a.m. David Drapeau has put out to the public a very ugly face of the PVE Police Department’s dispatch operations, supporting growing demand for that expensive subset of the PVEPD to be outsourced to a third party enterprise as is the case with many other Los Angeles County cities. Following misconduct from Hazel Manendez (see above), this would appear to be an excellent structural change to this deficient operation.
* Refusal to Enforce via Citation
NOMINATED for SHAME: Sean Crisfield, for failure to enforce the PVE Municipal Code via citation in 2015, including 09/12/2015 even given the Chief of Police specifically stated that specific violations shall be cited. Sean Crisfield displayed shameless ignorance of the background of the violations being committed, making material misstatements while further shaming himself with an abuse of discretion. Though only in his early 20s, Sean Crisfield appears to be on his way to either shameful PVEPD employment or unemployment as his record continues to be sullied with a refusal to enforce the law.
* Refusal to Enforce via Citation
NOMINATED for SHAME: Bradley Lemmon, for failure to enforce the PVE Municipal Code via citation (07/15/2015). Though like Sean Crisfield he shares the “young and dumb” label, Brad Lemmon has refused to enforce the PVEMC effectively via citation, even to the point of fabricating a nonexistent exclusion to a clear violation in an area of the City with intensifying crime.
POLICE MISCONDUCT: def. – refers to inappropriate actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties (e.g., false confession, false arrest, falsified evidence, false imprisonment, intimidation, police brutality, police corruption, racial profiling, surveillance abuse, and off-duty misconduct). Falsified evidence could be created by either the police/prosecution, the defendant(s), or by someone (including a detective) sympathetic to a particular party’s cause (e.g., prosperity and/or gender bias against a R.W.G.).
Click to: Corruption & Negligence of Tony Dahlerbruch
Click to: Matrix Consulting Getting Rid of Allan Rigg?
CORRUPTION: def. – An act done with an intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others
NEGLIGENCE: def. – Conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. A person has acted negligently if he or she has departed from the conduct expected of a reasonably prudent person acting under similar circumstances
FALSIFICATION: def. – the act of altering (information or evidence) so as to mislead
ULTRA VIRES: def. – a Latin phrase meaning “beyond the powers”. If an act requires legal authority and it is done with such authority, it is characterized in law as intra vires (“within the powers”). If it is done without such authority, it is ultra vires. Acts that are intra vires may equivalently be termed “valid” and those that are ultra vires “invalid”.
This web page and related posts and commentary represent both facts and opinions of the Coalition to Save PVE as protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Comments made by third parties represent their own representations of facts and own opinions.