An Issue of Public Safety
San Diego Reader
By Joe Deegan | Published Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006

...Chief Lansdowne announced his selections for promotion two months
Wrote Sullivan, "I truly believed that I was passed
retaliation for participating in the lawsuit.
On July 20, 2004, I made a
formal request through the Chief's office for an administrative appeal for
denial of promotion on factors other than merit."

California's Police Officers Bill of Rights grants officers in Sullivan's situation
the right to such an appeal. So does Article 41 of San Diego's memorandum
of understanding with its police personnel. Nevertheless, wrote Sullivan,
"the chief's office fought my request for administrative hearing for
ten months." Finally, through the work of the Police Officers
Association's attorney, the department granted a hearing "on
condition that the chief would not have to answer any questions
related to the qualifications or the subsequent conduct of the other

Meanwhile, during August 2004, Channel 7/39 correspondent Tony Shin did
a series of reports on the
Central Division's investigative team. The
team's leader had failed to complete investigating 900-plus criminal
cases assigned to her division. It turned out, reported Shin, that the
department had recently promoted the officer in question to
lieutenant. On a day shortly after her promotion, she came back to
Central Division to reclassify 160 of the late cases as "No Contact
Required." That action precluded any subsequent investigation into
the cases, a number of which were serious felony cases.

Shin later won a News Emmy for his reports. By phone, he tells me that his
investigation relied largely on anonymous conversations with several
officers who witnessed the former team leader reclassifying the cases after
her promotion. "The officers were appalled at what they perceived as a
clear cover-up," says Shin. On the video of his reports, I watch Shin stand
first with Chief Lansdowne, then with executive assistant chief William
Maheu, and ask them what the department planned to do about the
incident. Maheu attempts to downplay its significance, arguing that most of
the cases had already been finished and needed only official sign-offs. But
Lansdowne acknowledges that improprieties may have occurred and
promises to conduct an investigation whose results he will announce at a
later news conference. "The news conference never happened," Shin tells

On May 26, 2005, Mark Sullivan went to the police chief's office for the start
of his administrative hearing. The hearing officer was deputy city manager
Bruce Herring. (Herring was later named in the Kroll report as having
breached fiduciary responsibilities in the city's recent pension crisis.) "None
of the discovery information requested by my counsel was produced,
including my own promotional file," Sullivan wrote Sanders. "Chief William
Lansdowne was the first witness to be interviewed."

The sergeant and his attorney learned the following. First, a committee of
the police department's assistant chiefs, not the police chief's promotions
board, made the choices during the July 6, 2004 selection process. Second,
all the assistant chiefs that day had pictures of each candidate for
promotion (there were 63). Third, the selection began with each assistant
chief choosing his top five candidates, winnowing the group down from
there. Fourth, the assistant chiefs made their selections on minimal
merit-based information about the candidates.

In both the promotions to sergeant and to lieutenant, three white males, one
Hispanic male, and one black female were selected. Lansdowne denied that
any formal or informal "promotional formula" was used. "The fact that two
dissimilar candidate pools could yield the same promotional results
regarding race and gender," says Sullivan, "was just coincidental, according
to the chief of police."

Sullivan tells me he found Lansdowne to be quite forthcoming in testimony.
"We were getting all kinds of good info, especially about the use of the
pictures," he says.

In his letter to Mayor Sanders, Sullivan wrote that later in the hearing,
"shortly after these revelations, the deputy city attorney representing the
chief of police advised my counsel that the chief had an important luncheon
engagement and would need a break. As a courtesy to the chief, my
counsel agreed to reschedule the remaining portions of the chief's interview
at a later date. That date has never occurred. The chief's office advised my
counsel we would have to take the chief of police to court to finish the

Sullivan says he didn't know ahead of the hearing that Lansdowne
would need the so-called break. I ask him if shortly before the
deputy city attorney announced the break, the chief's lawyers were
whispering in his ear
. "They were," he tells me, "but we had no idea what
it was all about. We did notice that the attorneys were grimacing a lot at
what he was telling us."

Mayor Sanders did not respond to Sullivan's letter. Eventually, the sergeant
did go to court seeking a continuation of the hearing. In January of this
Judge Judith Hayes ordered the police chief to finish the hearing and
to release Sullivan's promotional file. But "in an apparent act of defiance to
the judge's order," Sullivan claims, "only half of my promotional file has
been delivered."

On June 15, Sullivan completed his administrative appeal hearing in the
police chief's office. This time, assistant chief Howard Kendall, who was not
an assistant chief at the time the promotions were made, was the hearing
officer. Less than a month later, on July 10, Kendall responded with a denial
of the appeal. In explaining his decision, he told Sullivan that "the identity of
the person or group making promotional decisions has nothing to do with
whether you were denied promotion on grounds other than merit." But
Kendall did not address how little merit-based information the chiefs used
when they made promotional choices.

Sullivan argues that the role of the assistant chiefs and their selection
method violated the settlement terms of the Police Officers Association
lawsuit. On July 23, he wrote back to Kendall. In a point-by-point recitation,
he painted a picture of the assistant chiefs committee usurping the primary
role of the police promotions board. The way the process ought to work,
according to the city's appointing authority manual, is that the promotions
board is to recommend officers for promotion. The board is to decide on the
basis of merit determined by written tests, oral interviews, and work history
and evaluations. It can take community and department needs into
consideration too...
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Fifth San Diego
police officer
accused of
Apr 14, 2011

Diego Police Department
sergeant accused of stalking
and harassing a female
colleague is one of five
members of the agency
facing allegations of criminal
conduct, a department
spokeswoman confirmed

Kenneth H. Davis, a 23-year
SDPD veteran, has been
reassigned to desk duty
pending the outcome of the
case, public affairs Lt. Andra
Brown said.

Davis was charged in
February with one count of
stalking and three counts of
making harassing telephone
calls, according to Brown,
who said the alleged victim is
a female officer on the force.
A preliminary hearing in the
case is set for April 27.

Authorities declined to
release details about the
allegations and did not
publicly identity the officer or
disclose any other
information about the case
until this morning.

Four other San Diego police
officers have been accused
of various crimes over the
last several months.

A motorcycle officer whose
name has not been released
by the department is under
investigation for allegedly
causing an off-duty Feb. 22
traffic accident on Murray
Ridge Road in Serra Mesa
while intoxicated and fleeing
the scene of the crash. The
District Attorney's Office is
reviewing the allegations.

In March, an SDPD vice
officer resigned amid
accusations of raping a Point
Loma Nazarene University
student at an El Cajon home.
He has not been charged in
the case, which remains
under investigation. Police
have withheld his name, as

On March 11, Officer Anthony
Arevalos, 40, was arrested
after a woman accused him of
sexually assaulting her
following a traffic stop in the
Gaslamp Quarter. Four other
women subsequently came
forward and made similar
allegations against Arevalos,
who has pleaded not guilty to
18 felony counts, including
sexual battery, false
imprisonment, assault under
color of authority and
receiving a bribe.

On March 24, SDPD Officer
Roel Tungcab was arrested
by sheriff's deputies in the
aftermath of a fight with his
wife at their Imperial Beach
home. Tungcab, 39, faces
misdemeanor domestic
violence charges.
San Diego police
Judge Judith Hayes
Good cops
Bad cops
SDPD cop allegedly
blew .32 in DUI case,
felony hit & run
charges pending
Apr 13, 2011
By Phil Blauer and David

driver who followed an
off-duty San Diego police
officer on the freeway and
then witnessed an alleged hit
and run crash is speaking out
to News 8.

The witness asked to be
identified only by his first
name: David.

He said he noticed off-duty
San Diego police officer
David Hall changing lanes
suddenly and driving
erratically on southbound
I-805 just before the Murray
Ridge Rd. exit on the evening
of Feb. 22.

"He kept going, violently
changed lanes from the
number five lane to the
number four and almost hit
somebody, then back the
other way. That's when I
grabbed my cell phone
speakerphone and called
911," David said.

The witness said he followed
Officer Hall as he exited the
freeway and crossed over the
Murray Ridge Rd. bridge.

According to the witness, the
41-year-old officer was
driving a brown SUV and
stopped in a left-hand turn
lane. A woman driving a silver
Mustang was headed south
when the officer turned left in
front of her.

The Mustang broadsided the
back of the officer's SUV,
spinning his vehicle around.
Officer Hall got out of his
vehicle and spoke to the
woman in the Mustang, who
complained of head and neck
pain. Then a few minutes
later, he got back in his SUV,
drove over the sidewalk, and
left the scene of the accident,
getting back on northbound

"This is stuff you see on TV.
People don't really leave
accidents, do they?" witness
David said.

After calling 911, the witness
said he gave police the
license plate number of the
SUV Officer Hall was driving.

Police traced the license
plate number and found
Officer Hall at his home in
Linda Vista. A San Diego
police sergeant on the scene
decided not arrest Hall, even
though Hall failed a
breathalyzer test.

Instead, Officer Hall was
advised that he would be
receiving a letter in the mail
notifying him of potential
criminal charges.

Felony DUI and hit & run
charges are now pending
against Officer Hall,
according to the defense
attorney representing the
traffic cop.

"(Officer Hall) has been on
the job for 14 years. He has
an unblemished record, no
disciplinary history, no
anything. He's a good cop,"
defense attorney Cole Casey

Casey said he has just
received the police report on
the incident and some of the
evidence will be challenged.
News 8 has learned Officer
Hall's blood alcohol level is
alleged to have been .32 --
exactly four times the legal

"Certainly if that's a true
blood alcohol number and
the results are competent
results, yeah, that can create
some challenges in
defending it. But the first
inquiry is, are those valid
results?" Casey said.

The attorney said Officer Hall
was once DUI Enforcement
Officer of the Year with SDPD
and he is fully cooperating
with the incident investigation.

"He's understandably upset,
understandably shaken by it.
We're dealing with a good
police officer who had a lot on
the line here," Casey said.
"He's not looking to run from
this or anything else. He just
wants to have his day in court
and address the charges

As far as what punishment
Officer Hall should get if he's
convicted, the accident's
main witness has some
thoughts of his own.

"If the rules say, you get a
felony DUI and you cannot be
an officer then under that
guideline maybe you can't
have your job anymore,"
witness David said. "But I
don't think having a DUI
necessarily means you're a
bad police officer. Maybe
he's a great police officer."

Attorney Casey told News 8
that he expects Officer Hall
will be arraigned on felony
charges in early May.
Rogue cops
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