MAYOR ANTONIO R. VILLARAIGOSACity of Los Angeles
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJune 24, 2008
CONTACT:Matt Szabo(213) 978-0741
MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF OPEN POLICE DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made the following statement in response to today's vote on SB 1019, state Senator Gloria Romero's legislation to open police officer disciplinary hearingsto the public.
"The Los Angeles Police Department has a long history as a national leader in transparent disciplinary processes for police officers - particularly when it comes to police officer use of force.
"Until 2006, the disciplinary hearing process, conducted by the Board of Rights, had been open to the public and to the media. However, a state Supreme Court ruling closed the process and denied continued public access to the hearings.
"While there is some debate over the interpretation of the ruling, there is no debate about what is best for the people of Los Angeles and the LAPD.
"Opening the disciplinary hearing process to the public is common sense - and it's good for everyone involved. It provides officers a venue to explain their side of the story. And it protects against a rushto judgment against the men and women of the LAPD.
"Most importantly, transparency in these hearings strengthens the relationship between police officers and the communities they serve.
"So today it is with great disappointment that the Public Safety Committee of the State Assembly failed to pass SB 1019, state Senator Gloria Romero's legislation to open the disciplinary process once andfor all.
"I commend state Assemblymember Mark Leno for his courage in supporting this bill, and I urge the Chairman and all members of the committee to take a stand on this issue, reconsider the proposal andcast a vote on this vital piece of legislation.
"Senator Romero's bill will restore the original will of the people of Los Angeles and ensure that Los Angeles remains a national leader in open, transparent government - especially when it comes to the laws governing police conduct."