Hire officers? Abolish the police? L.A.’s election reveals deep divisions over the LAPD’s future
In this file photo, David Dominguez, the former LAPD chief, sits in his office on July 20, 2013. The Los Angeles Police Commission voted 5-0 on Wednesday to recommend David Dominguez be placed on trial on charges of corruption, extortion and perjury. David Dominguez is accused of taking more than $11 million in commissions from more than 300 police settlements over 25 years.(Photo: Paul Marotta/Los Angeles Daily News)
L.A. County voters approved a ballot measure in November to establish a commission with broad powers to propose measures, oversee the county’s law enforcement agencies and decide appointments to the commission and other positions. The vote brought into question whether the commission, to be known as the Los Angeles Police Commission, would be able to take action to resolve persistent problems or whether it would be unable to do so until a judge ruled on the issue through litigation.
The commission, headed by former Chief David G. Dominguez, was elected to its first term in January, succeeding retiring Chief Charlie Beck. Dominguez, the second-highest-ranking police officer in the city, is accused of taking millions of dollars in commissions from more than 300 police settlements over the past decade.
The commission will be in charge of choosing an LAPD director who will replace current Chief Charlie Beck. Dominguez would be eligible for one of four positions: president of the commission, commissioner or at-large member and president-elect. The commission has made no decisions about who to put on the ballot for the position, which must be filled within 90 days. Those are subject to approval by the County Board of Supervisors and will likely include other city and county officials.
The commission has the ability to investigate claims of police corruption, including allegations of taking commissions. In the case of Dominguez, the allegations are made by at least three former employees: Michael L. Slaton, former deputy chief at the LAPD’s Rampart Division