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Is Nixon Model to Contessotto?

August 31, 1986

Huntington Park Chief of Police Geano Contessotto comments that he is "not a crook" and that there is an ongoing campaign "by The Times to discredit his department" (Southeast/Long Beach sections, Aug. 21). I guess former unindicted co-conspirator Richard M. Nixon is his role model.

Just recently the chief informed the public that he saw no "misconduct in (his) department" (Southeast/Long Beach sections, July 6). He has now assigned an officer to review past misconduct allegations and to consider "whether retraining for officers is needed." In 1984 and 1985 he had appointed a captain to examine 17 internal investigations, and he (the captain) sustained only one complaint. I have to wonder if the captain was reassigned because he found a valid complaint and if that was the "deficiency" the chief was concerned about when he removed him.

As for the forwarding of police misconduct investigations to the district attorney's office for action, if I were a police officer, I would welcome it. One only has to review the actions taken by the district attorney's offices against law enforcement at all levels (federal, state and local). They leave no doubt in my mind that these offices are not independent agencies, but nothing more than house counsel for law enforcement.

--VAL RODRIGUEZ

Signal Hill

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