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Officer Accused of Brutality Appeals Firing by Contessotto

August 21, 1986

HUNTINGTON PARK — William J. Lustig Jr. has appealed his firing earlier this month by Police Chief Geano Contessotto. Lustig, 30, had been accused of brutality in six lawsuits and two legal claims filed in 1984 and 1985. Lustig's Aug. 6 firing, however, had nothing to do with the brutality allegations, the chief said. Contessotto said Lustig was fired for not reporting an on-duty auto accident July 20 involving a patrol car.

"He (Lustig) did not report an accident and that's a cover-up by omission," the chief said.

He said that five people, including a child, were riding in a car that was struck by Lustig's patrol car. The accident resulted in some "soft-tissue injuries" such as whiplash, the chief said. The chief has not responded to a written request from The Times for more information about the accident.

A hearing on Lustig's firing before the city's Civil Service Commission has not been scheduled, said Chief Administrative Officer Donald L. Jeffers.

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