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Metro Digest / Local News in Brief

Use of Police Files Wrecked Political Drive, Activist Says

April 26, 1991

Political activist Michael Zinzun testified in a lawsuit Thursday that his 1989 campaign for a seat on the Pasadena Board of Directors fell apart after Assistant Los Angeles Police Chief Robert L. Vernon used a department computer to circulate anti-terrorist files against him.

Under questioning from his lawyer, Zinzun testified in his Superior Court lawsuit that he received numerous threatening phone calls--including several with racial slurs--after newspaper reports that Vernon used a computer in the department's Anti-Terrorist Division to obtain material on Zinzun.

Zinzun said Vernon's actions left many voters with the impression that he was a terrorist. Deputy Los Angeles City Atty. Mary House said that Vernon never distributed material from computer files, but only newspaper and wire service articles from a private computer service to which the department subscribes.

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