LAPD says no evidence former Chief ordered probe of LA Mayor – NBC Los Angeles

on Jun12
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An investigation into allegations that former LAPD Chief Michel Moore had ordered a criminal probe of Mayor Karen Bass’ receipt of a USC scholarship – concluded that there wasn’t proof it happened, police officials said Tuesday.

“In fact, there’s not a scintilla of evidence to suggest that he [Moore] provided any type of order whatsoever,” Police Commissioner William J. Briggs, II announced during a meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners.

The findings were confirmed by the Police Commission’s Office of the Inspector General, which conducted the investigation into the allegations of wrongdoing by the former Chief.

The claims about the alleged order, which Moore denied as soon as they were published in the LA Times in December, 2023, were contained in complaints filed by 2 detectives who worked in the LAPD’s internal affairs unit, known as the Professional Standards Bureau.

Former LAPD Chief Michel Moore talks with reporters alongside Mayor Karen Bass and LA County District Attorney George Gascon at a news conference to discuss the apparent serial murders of several homeless men on December 1, 2023.

In the complaints the detectives objected to LAPD investigators being used to pursue information that, they wrote, could have been used by Moore in his effort to win a second term as Chief, and one complaint said it would be unethical for City resources to be used on such an endeavor.

The lawyer who represents the detectives was dismissive of the findings, as he said the Inspector General failed to thoroughly investigate the matter and never interviewed his clients.

“I can think of no instance when the IG or the Commission found any wrongdoing by Moore,” said attorney Greg Smith.

“It appears that they are protecting his image as opposed to investigating wrongdoing,” he said, and added other officers had raised similar concerns about the alleged Bass order in addition to his clients.

The Moore allegations surfaced after a former USC dean had been sentenced to federal probation, after she admitted to her role in a scheme to bribe former LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas with a scholarship and other benefits for his son.

Ridley-Thomas was convicted at trial and sentenced to 42 months in prison. He’s appealing the case.

Bass received the scholarship to the USC school of social work while she was serving in Congress, and has said the House ethics committee had approved her receipt of the award, valued at around $95,000.

Bass’ office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

At the Commission meeting Briggs appeared to confirm that the detectives who made the complaints are now themselves the subjects of an inquiry.

The motivations of those officers who made these false allegations are the subject and will be the subject of a continuing investigation,” he said.

Smith said that appeared to be an effort to silence whistleblowers.

“Now the Commission intends to retaliate against those officers in a blatant attempt to chill the rights of employees who wish to file complaints against high ranking LAPD officials who commit misconduct and abuse their positions,” Smith said.

The Inspector General’s office said it was not able to share its reports but said in a statement it had concluded its investigation into this allegation against former Chief Moore.

“The OIG recommended a finding of ‘Unfounded’ to the BOPC, meaning that a preponderance of the evidence showed that the investigation determined the allegation did not occur as described,” the IG said.

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