“He’s not a politician and the politicians got him. They blamed him for use of excessive force, then blamed him when he held back in the riots.” — Dennis Zine in tribute to former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates.
Those are the words that reveal all you need to know about Dennis Zine, traffic cop, police union leader, $300,000 a year city pensioner and Councilman — a man so shameless that he is running for controller of this nearly banktupt city’s finances and audits without the slightest qualification.
He probably can’t even balance his checkbook, he certainly never sounded the alarm about wrongdoing at City Hall except to blow hot smoky air to conceal is go-along, get-along version of public, something to virtually all his colleagues mean nothing more the self service and service to special interests.
Zine’s tribute to Gates came on the occasion of the death in April 2010 of a man usually described as “the polarizing former police chief whose 14-year tenure ended amid widespread criticism over his department’s response to the city’s deadly 1992 riots” as well as the Rodney King beating and the systematic covering up of widespread use of excessive force against minorities and police spying on prominent civilians.
I suppose some people would say it’s alright to color the truth when someone dies — current Chief Charlie Beck called Gates “inspiring … one in a million” while former Chief Bill Bratton had the decency to offer faint but honest praise: “He was a man of deep convictions He was very happy to stand up for them, whether you liked them or not. And he enjoyed being in the middle of the bull’s-eye.”
When chief-for-life Gates, a man above the law was on the run and had become the beleagued Daryl Gates, Dennis Zine, the union leader, was standing on street corners weeping for the cameras about the injustice the poor chief was suffering at the hands jkof — heaven forbid! — “politicians.”
And when the politicians and the police union ganged up on Gates’ successor, Willie Williams who was so over his head he was drowning from day one, and he gave the cops the three-day work week without knowing the costs and problems that would ensue.
Did union official Zine care?
“We need to stop attrition and take care of our officers now,” said Zine, noting LA was the first city to implement the three-day week. “We’re trying to make them happy and make this an attractive position despite the stress and hazards.”
Did the public care enough to keep him from infiltrating the Charter Reform Commission where he helped make sure that the new Charter was an incoherent hodgepodge filled with so many meaningless provisions as to guarantee the public will never make the slightest difference in the way City Hall does business?
Did the relatively affluent and well-educated voters of the Southwest Valley couldn’t bother to get informed enough to avoid electing Dennis Zine three times to the Council, where his $180,000 salary and perks like an SUV and massive staff help augment his $100,000 pension as a cop?
No. No. No. But yet you will probably elect him to be the controller of your tax dollars, the watchdog on the fraud, waste and mismanagement that goes on every day at City Hall.
There are two highly qualified candidates with extensive experience in the private sector in business and demonstrated commitments to public service as community leaders.
Cary Brazeman and Ron Galperin would both be better at the job of controller than Zine or Wendy Greuel has been. It’s in your interest to have an intelligent person who knows what he’s doing watching your money.