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Some Things Just Don’t Add Up About Selecting the New LAPD Chief

There’s something about cops that’s always intriguing: They think that 2 plus 2 always equals 4, well almost always. It’s that just the facts, M’am, literal-mindedness they need to turn hard evidence into theories of crimes and nail suspects.

A case in point is the appointment of Charlie Beck as Chief of Police.

Now Beck is a street cop, popular with the troops, immensely likeable and off to a great start in wooing the concerned citizens who are showing up at meetings all around the city for meet-and-greets accompanied by the mayor himself who continues to wear his imaginary LAPD badge as a fig leaf over his administration’s many failings.
Thumbnail image for ANTONIOBECK.jpg
But for some in the upper ranks of the LAPD and others with insider’s knowledge of how the process worked, the selection of Beck as Chief doesn’t add up

Even by the standards of how Bratton (with leverage from insiders) and Willie Williams (with grade inflation on oral interviews to boost his low scores) got to be in charge of the LAPD, the selection of Beck seemed like a “screwball” process.

Some facts stand out immediately.

There was no nationwide search by a headhunting firm as has been the practice (and is being done to find someone to run the DWP) and it only took a month or so to pick the next chief based on a couple of interviews each with the mayor.

Bratton indicated for months that Beck was his favorite and made it perfectly clear in the end that the Chief of Detectives was his first and only choice for a successor.

His top cronies from the Police Executive Research Forum, Chuck Wexler and Miami Chief John Timoney, formerly chief in Philadelphia, also apparently weighed in with their own advice to help Beck move up the list where he ranked well below a host of other candidates based on overall command experience.

Timoney slipped into LA late in the process and met with commissioners with the story being put out that he was applying for the job. Yet, he didn’t make the cut despite credentials far more impressive than any of the LAPD candidates, raising suspicions he wasn’t there as a candidate but as an adviser.

What supposedly happened in this curtailed process without clear requirements set down in advance for the job, itself extraordinary for such an important post, was that dark horse Michel Moore, who wasn’t on anybody’s short list, came out at the top of the finalists’ list Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell, Bratton’s well-liked No. 2, coming in second.

With two white guys at the top of the list and a couple of women deputy chiefs and Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger, who is black, in the running, Beck still jumped over all of them to reportedly complete the list of three submitted to the mayor.

In the minds of some in the know, with no offense to Beck, it just doesn’t add up.
The whispers among insiders is that Beck really didn’t make the list of three but was inserted into the third spot when the commission was confronted with the knowledge that the situation could turn into a controversy instead of a coronation because the mayor already had agreed to follow Bratton’s advice.


Here’s the way the City Charter defines the process:

“The
recruitment and selection of qualified candidates for the position of
Chief of Police shall be administered by the general manager of the
Personnel Department, in cooperation with the Board of Police
Commissioners, through a system of open competition based on professionally accepted recruitment and selection standards.  The general manager of the Personnel Department shall refer a group of at least six highly qualified candidates to the Board of Police Commissioners, which shall then provide a list of three recommended candidates, in ranked order, to
the Mayor for review and for appointment of one of them to the Office
of Chief of Police. At the request of the Mayor, the Board of Police
Commissioners shall provide the Mayor with an additional list of three candidates, in ranked order, from the group of candidates previously provided by the general manager of the Personnel Department.”

In
other words, if Beck’s appointment was always a done deal between the
mayor and Bratton, the problem was getting him on the short list of
finalists to avoid going back to the other three candidates from the
Personnel Department’s list of six.
It would have gotten ugly.

The
problem with all this is the one raised previously: Beck, by all
accounts, is a good cop and a good guy who will need all the help he
can get from the experienced command staff around him.

He
doesn’t need Bratton and his pals telling him what to do. And he
certainly doesn’t need the mayor, who was overshadowed by Bratton even
as he rode his coattails, upstaging him everywhere he goes, taking
credit for his achievements or taking the opportunity to politicize the
LAPD as he has every other department in the city.


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26 Responses to Some Things Just Don’t Add Up About Selecting the New LAPD Chief

  1. Anonymous says:

    What doesn’t add up is Ron Kaye’s persistent view that there is always a darker side to things.
    I guess as an avowed “anarchist” Ron would never have a sunny disposition on anything.
    Hey Ron, how was your wife’s cooking tonight?
    I am sure “something just didn’t add up” and you told her your crazy theory on what was wrong with dinner.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What doesn’t add up is Ron Kaye’s persistent view that there is always a darker side to things.
    I guess as an avowed “anarchist” Ron would never have a sunny disposition on anything.
    Hey Ron, how was your wife’s cooking tonight?
    I am sure “something just didn’t add up” and you told her your crazy theory on what was wrong with dinner.

  3. Anonymous says:

    8:01PM, it`s easy to shoot the messenger. Morons like you got us where we are, a third world city. F… off. Go back where you came from.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is common knowledge that most promotional exams in the city are a fraud with ranking rigged to get the person/people management want. A bigger joke is the City’s Personnel Department that is party to this corruption.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How can a Deputy Chief with only 3 years experience (BECK) be selected over an Assistant Chief (McDonnell) with 7 years experience at the top level. Let it be known that Beck is deciding now who is team will be. No doubt he’ll put his losers up with him. If Beck thinks for one minute of demoting Chief McDonnell the favorite of cops and community members, let me say for the record here and now ALL HELL WILL BREAK LOSE.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don`t the incompetent smucks know, that everything will come out, sooner or later? Feel sorry for poor Charlie.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Poor Charlie my ass, he’s the man that is showing no integrity and not standing up for the truth. Truth be known they (Mayor and staffers, commissioners) think we’re stupid and are insulting our intelligence. Everyone in the city know the truth Beck was not on the finalist list. He was put there at the last minute. This was all a dog & pony show for the Mayor. Little Joel Rubin did a horrible job of trying to spin to help after the flood gates went crazy but in fact confirmed this was a scam and fraudulent process. Good people will be moved and over shadowed by a bunch of Beck cronies who are as incompetent as the Mayor. Thanks Beck for making LAPD as corrupt as city council and the Mayor’s office. You’re looking pretty shady and you haven’t been confirmed yet. How do you sleep at night??????????

  8. LKitsch says:

    This was not a hire for a mid-level financial analyst or computer technician, or even for a patrol officer. It was an appointment of a high ranking department leader, whose success or failure will determine the future of the City, let along the Mayor’s political fortunes.
    Tests and ranking systems, like those used by the City’s Personnel Dept., are good for quantitavely measuring the qualifications of line workers and lower level managers. But positions like that of Chief are about leadership and the ability to move people and articulate a vision, much more than about technical competency.
    Selecting such a leader is a qualitative, intuitive process that cannot rely much on test scores. It is up to our elected leaders to make that judgment on behalf of the people of the City. If they are right, we will have greater success in our Police Dept. If they are wrong, we will suffer, and they will be held accountable on Election Day.
    In short, hang the rating system in this case!

  9. crooks and liars says:

    we all now any thing the mayor and city hall stand for is a scam

  10. Anonymous says:

    WTF??? Was there a crime committed here like say Fraud? If so where is the bought and paid for city attorney, the Police Political League goons or better term “pussies” not doing anything about this? The board of directors of Political league have told people this was a scam process from the get go. But like the pussies they are instead of doing something for the rank and file, they act like mice. The Mayor is using Beck like a lapdog for his own political gain. The gang banger mayor has nothing to speak of himself so he jumps on LAPD wagon. Doesn’t the DA have an Integrity Unit to investigate these type of matters or what about the AG? There’s too many people talking about thsi inside city hall, inside police headquarters, all over the city, all over the nation all because the new selected Chief is in bed with Mayor and Bratton.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wake up 3:18PM. That`s LA!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Wow, you have have it right, Ron! This is the truth and everyone inside knows it. Not that it will make any difference. We can only hope that Beck will go outside his good old white boy clique of cronies and figure out for himself what it means to be a Chief in 2009.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I was shocked watching the news last night and what happened in Wilshire area where a domestic violence suspect went back and stabbed his girlfriend. What was shocking at the press conference there was no Mayor or Charlie Beck, no interim Deputy Chief Downing. Where were they and why weren’t they at that press conference? Is this the way Charlie Beck is going to run and hide behind the Mayor’s skirt when something happens with LAPD officers? The dumb ass Mayor was eating Pink’s hot dogs in front of the media and Charlie Beck is having media tag along where ever he goes but for Beck not to be at that press conference is a major red flag or at least Downing should have been there. Who is running the show these days besides the idiot Mayor?

  14. Anonymous says:

    And wasn’t Beck leaving soon since he is really officially retired in DROP program? Now all of a sudden he is Chief. What kind of backroom deal was worked out to put him back on payroll and pay him a hefty chief’s salary on top of his retirement pay as a deputy chief? It appears more and more that some things sure don’t add up about this selection.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, great candidates got snubbed unfairly. Beck will be sitting pretty as arrogant as the command staff are saying he is and good candidates that have done a good job working hard to transform LAPD under Bratton’s 7 years will have to be moved or retire because of this asshole. Charlie Beck is known to be a goof off and a 9a-5pm guy. No one ever saw him around the office after 5p cause he headed home while the other candidates attended numerous community meetings and events all over the city. Beck kept saying at the Mayor’s Tour of him, “I realize how much support the people have for LAPD.” Maybe if Beck got his ass out into the communities he would already know that but he didn’t. This is the real shame in all of this. The dialogue should be kept open so the entire city can know what a sham and how crooked the process was. They aren’t fooling anybody. This topic is being discussed at meetings thanks to blogs like this one.

  16. Anonymous says:

    OMG!!! Rick Orlov has a puff piece on Beck today. Leave it to poor old timer Rick to be out of the loop. This is how outrageous and crazy Beck has made this story instead of giving the appointment of a Chief some class and respect Beck has made it a laughing joke just like he is. Beck has become the kiss ass for the corrupt city council members and has lost all credibility as a leader and man.
    “”Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, arranged a meeting this week between Beck and African-American leaders. In the middle of that session, the Rev. Al Sharpton called to offer his support for Beck’s nomination.

  17. Anonymous says:

    CLASSIC!!!
    http://www.laweekly.com/2009-11-12/news/lapd-chief-charlie-beck-39-s-poodle-political-problem/
    LAPD Chief Charlie Beck’s Poodle/Political Problem…Will the new chief get led on a leash by Villaraigosa, or be his own man? Charlie Beck is a cop through and through, but last week he was introduced wholeheartedly to a world apart from crime stats and pressed blues: He became, essentially, a politician.

  18. Walter Moore says:

    I’m glad someone was promoted from within the department to the top position. It makes no sense, and is insulting to loyal members of the force, to hire some stranger who doesn’t even live here.
    Beck seems qualified for the job. He’s spent his entire career in the LAPD. So let’s support him unless and until he proves he’s not worthy of that support.
    And let’s not blame him for the fact that Villaraigosa is the Mayor, and that Bratton was the prior chief. That’s not his fault.

  19. anonymous says:

    I don’t see this as a post against Beck so much as those who orchestrated his selection.
    Sooner or later the man will be pressed to pay back those who “invested” in him. Hopefully, for him, those repayments won’t stray too far from his principles.

  20. anonymous says:

    Do police chiefs and general managers have to sign resignation letters when they are hired? Commissioners have to do that when appointed, before their terms even start.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Not related to this thread, but relevant anyway. Just wanted to thank you Ron for allowing our comments to be posted unlike some other fishwraps in town. Currently, Jon Regardie of the rag “Downtown News”, a beneficiary of AEG and its blighting billboards, has yet another negative article on Trutanich, where the likes of corrupt Jan Perry is made out to be a saint. My comment was about their critique of the City Attorney when below his picture is an animated ad of “LA Live” which question the honesty and motives of such writers and publications with vested interest. Did not publish my comments. Have had similar experience with the other bigger fishwrap. No negatives about the Mayor are allowed.
    Just wanted your readers to know about the biases in local papers, and the pointlessness of such publications.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I’ve worked with Charlie Beck on various projects for more than a decade (I’m not a police officer or a political employee). He is a hardworking, smart, man who truly cares about improving the many diverse LA communities. He has the support of MANY in the LAPD and community groups because he has proven himself over and over as a capable administrator with a human touch.
    I’ll bet most of you sit back and criticize but have probably done very little yourselves to roll up your sleeves and improve LA neighborhoods. I can’t speak to the “process” because I wasn’t involved in it. Regardless, Charlie has put his money where his mouth is and has earned his shot.
    Give the man a break, he’s going to do a great job as the Chief!

  23. Undocumented American says:

    According to LAobserved, our new Los Angeles city police chief, Charles Beck, lives in Walnut, CA and has been a resident of Walnut since 1996.
    http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2009/11/chief_beck_endorses_roski.php
    Means he hasn’t lived in the City of Los Angeles for at least 13 years and (According to Bing Maps) has a daily commute of 26 miles from Walnut to Downtown Los Angeles.
    If I were him, I would move closer to work (like in the City of Los Angeles) or I would try to find another job that didn’t have such a long commute. Especially since the 10 freeway is so congested during the rush hour.
    Maybe he could travel by helicopter now…
    What will it be next? A mayor of Los Angeles that lives in Newport Beach?

  24. Anonymous says:

    A very Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  25. dreavids says:

    uh. bookmarked thoughts.

  26. Incredible post, thanks, I am going to book mark you now!

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