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Huntington Park : Ex-Chief Asks for Job Back

July 09, 1987

Former Huntington Park Police Chief Geano Contessotto, who was fired last month, is seeking reinstatement, his attorney said this week. A hearing before the City Council on Contessotto's administrative appeal is scheduled July 16, said Donald L. Jeffers, Huntington Park's chief administrative officer. The former police chief alleges that he was unfairly discharged from the position and was not informed of the City Council's complaints against him, said Hugh R. Manes, Contessotto's lawyer.

"I fully anticipate that after they (the City Council members) give him an opportunity to be heard, he'll be reinstated," Manes said. "He never should have been fired to begin with. . . ."

The City Council appoints the police chief and is empowered to dismiss him, Jeffers said. Contessotto was named chief in June, 1983.

On June 22, the City Council suspended Contessotto pending a July 24 dismissal from his $4,949-a-month position. No official reason for the dismissal was given, but the next day Mayor Thomas E. Jackson said the council had no choice but to replace Contessotto to "return the city to its prior stability."

Contessotto, 40, and the 48-member Police Department have been under intense public scrutiny since December, when Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner charged two former officer with using a stun gun to torture a juvenile they had arrested and were questioning. The Police Department also is the subject of several lawsuits alleging brutality.

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