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Dismissal of LAPD Chief's Nephew

January 04, 1998

If the facts reported in your article (Dec. 24) regarding the dismissal of Winston Parks, the nephew of Chief Bernard Parks, from the LAPD Academy are correct, it would appear that high-level officials of the department are bending over backward simply to give the impression they are not showing favoritism. Unfortunately, their decision seems to fly in the face of reasonableness.

This situation appears to involve innocent oversight of an event from Parks' early teens that did not even generate charges. If that were his only brush with the law, one might argue that he feared reporting it would prevent his acceptance to the academy, making intentional deception more believable and his dismissal legitimate. However, since he did report two other incidents that occurred in the same time frame, one must ask whether such a motive is operable in this case. Material omissions of fact by applicants for law enforcement positions should be thoroughly investigated. Appropriateness, however, would include taking mitigating circumstances into account.

Now that members of the LAPD administration have demonstrated their willingness not to show favoritism, let them prove they have common sense and some degree of respect for taxpayers by reversing their decision.

CRAIG H. KLIGER

Bakersfield

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