LAPD Chief Charlie Beck defended himself and his daughter Tuesday after questions were raised both about his handling of a disciplinary case involving her and her sale of a horse to the department’s equestrian unit, where she is assigned.
During a regularly scheduled meeting of the civilian police commission that oversees the department, Beck made an indirect reference to the sale of the horse by his daughter, Brandi Pearson, an officer with the mounted unit.
"My family members have done nothing wrong. They don't deserve the scrutiny that I do," Beck told the commission.
The Inspector General is looking into the sale of the horse, which was purchased by the private not-for-profit Police Foundation, which raises funds for equipment, training and supplemental supplies for the department.
Beck is currently being considered for reappointment to a second five-year term.
After the meeting, while Beck addressed reporters, he became visibly irritated with questions implying a conflict of interest.
"It's not fair," he said. "It's not right. It's not accurate. I'm very sorry that so much has been put out that is so false."
Beck said the entire transaction was handled by Deputy Chief Michel Moore, that the horse was sold below market value and that no public money was used in the sale. Beck got upset with one reporter who suggested his daughter had been promoted to the Metro Division early.
Beck said that the average tenure in the force before that promotion was six years and his daughter has been in the department for eight.
A second incident involving Pearson also raised eyebrows. The Inspector General is also looking into the case of Sgt. George Hoopes, who said he had a romantic relationship with Pearson when they both worked at Hollywood Division.
Hoopes said the relationship was consensual, but the LAPD sought to have him demoted because he was Pearson’s superior officer at the time of the relationship - a violation of LAPD policy.
But the issue was settled before the matter went to the Board of Rights, an internal hearing process. Hoopes was never demoted and the question being investigated is whether the chief intervened to keep his daughter from public embarrassment.
The department responded to the allegations in a statement.
"The Los Angeles Police Department takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and rigorously investigates and adjudicates disciplinary matters within the bounds of the law. This includes ensuring that any actual conflicts of interest or any appearances of a conflict of interest are avoided."
"Recently an internet blogger has been posting stories alleging, among other things, improprieties in the investigation and adjudication of discipline against personnel of the Los Angeles Police Department. These posts contain numerous misleading and blatantly false statements and are based on incomplete and inaccurate information," the statement read in part.