By Terry Miller
A Heavily redacted but widely anticipated audit report on the Pasadena Police Department Detective Bureau was released Friday after months of court delays.
The report cites findings of poor record keeping, supervision and investigative techniques made public last month in a summary that was leaked to media.
According to attoney Skip Hickambotton: “Approximately 22.4% of the Report is redacted. (751 lines have redactions and there are 29 lines per pages. The Report has 116 numbered pages – the numbered pages do not include the cover page and other preliminary pages. 751 lines approximate 25.9 pages of the 116 page report.)
We have not yet had the time to compare the previously-released Executive Summary with this redacted Report to determine what is new.
It is clear that the City has not released all of the Report that it could legally release. The City has asserted a cornucopia of objections to justify the redactions; Citing “Privilege Objections.” Only two of those objections (the 2nd and last checked boxes) appear to be grounds for redaction that legally require the City to not disclose the information. Some of the grounds asserted appear to be specious – e.g., what pending litigation is there over events that occurred at least 5 years ago? Some of the grounds are so broad that you could fly a Boeing 747 through them – e.g., the City’s Official Information Privilege and the City’s judgment that the “public interest served by non-disclosure … outweighs the public interest served by disclosure.” What is the specific public interest served by non-disclosure here?
City Manager Beck has not learned the lesson from his past debacles that it is better to put out to the public as soon as possible all of the legally-releasable information. He is still playing games by asserting broad objections in order to conceal from public scrutiny the details of Pasadena PD problems that occurred 5 or more years ago. The City Council finally made it clear to the City administration on the OIR McDade Shooting Report that it should release all of the information that it can legally release. Mr. Beck needs to withdraw those grounds of objection that are within the City’s right to waive (assuming for the purposes of argument that they are validly asserted) and release a report that redacts only to protect the privacy rights of police officers or other persons.”
The 108-page Veritas Assurance Group Inc. report says supervision of detectives was poor as was training of investigators and supervisors. Inaccurate record keeping, problems with interrogations and witness interviews and numerous other issues.
“In most of the homicide cases examined, there was little or no evidence of actual supervisory oversight of the investigation,” the report stated.
The audit, did however compliment Chief Sanchez and those under his direct command for being extremely cooperative during the audit.