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VALLEY PERSPECTIVE

Firing of Gerald Chaleff

February 11, 2001

* Re "Riordan Fires Police Panel Head," Feb. 6.

Poor Richard Riordan. So desperate to keep the music going that he fired the head of the Police Commission because he wouldn't dance to the Riordan fiddle.

Riordan should have learned about Gerald Chaleff last year, when Chaleff and most of the other police commissioners refused to whitewash the shooting of homeless woman Margaret Mitchell. As if that wasn't bad enough, Chaleff then said he wouldn't approve the LAPD Board of Inquiry's Rampart Report unless he read it first, and agreed with it.

If Riordan wanted a puppet Police Commission, he should have staffed it with the people he appointed to the Planning Commission. They seem a lot more willing to foul up the city by following Riordan's marching orders. Chaleff simply doesn't operate that way.

Riordan has never accepted the blame for even the smallest mistakes made during his administration, and his attempt to manipulate the inner workings of the Police Department is no exception. Community policing, recruitment and morale problems in the LAPD begin with Chief Bernard C. Parks, who was hand-picked by Riordan, and work their way down.

The commission is a civilian oversight committee and is not supposed to be running the department on a day-to-day basis. That's the chief's job, whether he likes it or not. Any problems should be placed squarely on the chief's shoulders, not the commission's, and certainly not Chaleff's.

Instead, Parks gets a salary raise and Chaleff gets the ax. Riordan is wrong again, and should apologize to the city.

WALTER N. PRINCE

Chair, Community Affairs

Committee PRIDE

Homeowners Assn.

Chatsworth

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