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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Claremont : 2nd Probe of Police Chief

October 06, 1988

City Manager Glenn Southard has begun an administrative investigation into the management practices of Police Chief Dexter Atkinson, who has been the subject of an inquiry by the district attorney's office for the past two months.

Atkinson has been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 4, when allegations surfaced that he may have violated the law by permitting three-time convicted drunk driver John Barber to perform 180 days of community service in lieu of serving a mandatory 180-day jail sentence.

Southard said his investigation will not duplicate the district attorney's inquiry, which is expected to be concluded later this month.

"I'm dealing with management and operational issues. They're dealing with possible criminal activity," Southard said. "There are numerous other issues besides the Barber matter that need to be addressed. . . . I need to assess the validity of those issues."

Southard would not specify the subjects to be investigated or speculate when the inquiry would be completed.

Barber, a Claremont contractor, was sentenced to a total of 180 days in jail by judges in Pomona and Orange County. Both courts permitted him to serve his time at the Claremont City Jail. Instead of spending the time in a cell, Barber helped remodel the police station and was permitted to go home at night.

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