Friday, September 21, 2018
Unsuccessful Judicial Candidate Calls for Police Chief to Resign
Diamond Insists Stance Is Not Related to LaChasse’s Actions Adverse to His Candidacy
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Criminal defense lawyer David Diamond, who was defeated June 5 in his effort to gain election to the Los Angeles Superior Court, has called for the resignation of Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse who disputed the representation that he had endorsed the candidate and who executed a declaration, used in a writ proceeding, impugning the legitimacy of his chosen ballot designation.
Diamond wanted to be billed as “Police Commissioner/Attorney” but then-Deputy District Attorney (now Judge) Troy Davis challenged that designation and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel ordered that it be winnowed to “Attorney.” She declared that service on the Burbank commission did not qualify as a “principal” pursuit, as required by the Elections Code as a basis for a ballot designation, noting:
“Scott LaChasse, Police Chief for Burbank, states that the Police Commission meets once a month for an hour or two….”
Reported on Website
Diamond’s plea that the police chief step down was reported Wednesday by Fronnie Lewis on the website Media City Groove.
The lawyer remarked yesterday:
“This matter has nothing to do with the previous election as I currently have an obligation to the citizens of the City of Burbank as a Police Commissioner. I believe that the Chief of Police intentionally made false and misleading comments to the public at large. Responses to FOIA requests confirm that the Chief knew I was running for office. His denial of this fact is puzzling and unbecoming of a public servant.”
LaChasse said in a March 21 email to the MetNews, in response to an inquiry as to whether he had endorsed Diamond:
“I had absolutely no knowledge that he was running for a judgeship, and I have not and will not endorse him.”
Diamond, in response, provided a Feb. 16 email from Sherre Nakamura, LaChasse’s secretary, saying:
“Chief would be happy to provide his endorsement. Do you need a letter? If so, please provide contact info and format the letter should take.”
LaChasse elaborated on March 22:
“Here’s the deal……………I am tired of the exchanges. I stand by the declaration. I did not, will not and cannot endorse any political candidate using my occupation as an identifier. On the rare occasions I have endorsed a candidate, I indicated in writing on the candidate’s pledge card my identifying information with the notation that my current work status could not be used. I allowed my retired status from a former employer to be used. Again, I had no knowledge that Diamond was running for office. I find NO email notification to me indicating he was running for a judgeship. Had he informed me he was a candidate, I still could not endorse him. Even if I had been so inclined, I first would have waited to see who the other candidates were for that office.”
“My belief was that Diamond had sought an appointment for a judgeship from the Governor. I did not submit a letter of recommendation.”
Diamond, in his explanation yesterday for seeking LaChasse’s resignation, added:
“He also ridicules those that serve and represent defendants without financial ability to hire their own lawyer. Mocking one who defends those who are homeless or without financial means is unbecoming of a Chief. I want to be clear, my contention about Mr. LaChasse has nothing to do with the election results or sour grapes.”
Diamond charged that LaChasse failed to fire his deputy chief for “racist remarks.” The remarks, in jokes Tom Angel emailed in 2012 and 2013 while working for the Burbank Police Department, were unearthed in 2014, and reported by the Burbank Leader in 2016, leading to Angel’s resignation from the post he then held as chief of staff to Sheriff Jim McDonnell.
It was reported that in 2014, LaChasse counseled Angel and ordered that he cease sending ethnically insensitive emails.
Diamond went on to say:
“In addition, the Chief allowed multiple internal affairs complaints to expire rather than investigate them thus making them die by operation of law.
“As such, I feel that the Chief must resign. If his actions were exhibited by one of his officers, they would be done. He either lied to the public and newspaper outlets or has lost the mental capacity to remember the facts. Either way, he must go. When he was hired, the public was told it would only be for a few years. The rank and file want a new chief. He failed miserably in dealing with Tom Angel and by sitting on several internal affairs complaints, it constitutes dereliction of duty.”
LaChasse has been chief of police since 2010.
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