Rep. Judy Chu (D-El Monte) e-mailed a letter this week to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office requesting a review of all rape cases submitted for prosecution in 2009 by the West Covina Police Department.
Addressed to Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, the letter asks the office to look into allegations of misconduct by West Covina authorities to ensure that proper investigative procedures were followed.
The letter came after a series of articles ran in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune about sex crimes investigator Tyler Kennedy, who recently was suspended over allegations of sexual harassment of an alleged rape victim. In addition, Kennedy was involved with a woman who filed sexual battery charges against her ex-husband. Those charges were dropped after Kennedy's relationship with the woman was revealed.
After a Tribune reporter asked Chu what she thought about Kennedy, the congresswoman said she would look into the matter, said her spokesman, Fred Ortega.
In 2009, 12 rape cases presented to the district attorney's office by West Covina police were rejected and no charges were filed, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the office. Gibbons would not comment on Chu's letter, but said it had been received and would be routed to the appropriate people.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Gary Hearnsberger, whose jurisdiction includes West Covina, reviewed 11 of the cases and said he found no evidence that Kennedy's involvement led to biased reports.
"Kennedy was involved in one or two of them, but he was never the lead investigator," Hearnsberger said. "There might be some suggestion out there that those cases weren't filed because of Kennedy, and that's completely untrue. There's nothing that suggests Kennedy has done anything that's illegal or improper in any of those cases."
West Covina Police Chief Frank Wills said he had no problem having the 12 cases reviewed again.
"We're very comfortable with the request," he said. "We have a very transparent organization, and we welcome any examination of our professional practices."