Following the Leader

a lineup of updates and tidbits Burbank and beyond

Archive for September 2009

Statement from Mayor Gary Bric

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Statement from Mayor Gary Bric
Burbank City Council Meeting
September 29, 2009

There has been a lot of press recently regarding issues at the Burbank Police Department and I’m sure the community is concerned and wants to make sure that these issues are being appropriately dealt with. There have been a number of lawsuits and claims filed that contain multiple allegations of improper conduct ranging from wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation to abuse of force and various forms of covering up such activities. These are all very serious allegations and I think it is clear to everyone that the police department is facing some major challenges. All of these allegations have arisen from sources within the department or from former members of the department.

As a result of allegations prior to these lawsuits, a number of investigations have been initiated both by the department and by outside entities at the invitation of and with the cooperation of the city. These investigations began long before the filing of the lawsuits and claims mentioned above. Chief Stehr requested the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department come in and perform an independent investigation. The city also began an independent investigation using an outside attorney and an outside investigator, both of whom report directly to the City Attorney and City Manager’s office. Your Burbank City Council has met with the outside attorney in order to confirm that there are no limitations on the scope of the investigation and to indicate that any signs of lack of cooperation by anyone within the city are to be brought to the Council’s attention. The Sheriff’s department requested that the city hold off commencing its investigation until the Sheriff’s investigation was completed. In addition to these investigations, the FBI has been conducting their own investigation into these matters and we are cooperating with their inquiries to the city. It is our understanding that when the Sheriff’s investigation is complete, it will be forwarded by the Sheriff’s department to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. The city’s investigation is now ongoing and includes all of the issues raised by the lawsuits and claims that have been filed and will also include any additional issues that may arise in the future.

While we cannot legally share the details of any of these investigations, we felt it was important to share with you that the issues in the Burbank Police Department are being taken very seriously and investigated by outside independent agencies. These investigations have been taking what seems like a very long time, but the investigators know the seriousness of the allegations and are making sure they do a complete and thorough job. We are frustrated that we cannot share more detailed information with you, but the integrity of the investigations and strict legal rules governing the privacy of police officers that may be under investigation prevent us from making any further comments. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Times Community News

September 30, 2009 at 9:49 am

The Early Edition – Burbank Leader

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After relative silence, the City Council Tuesday revealed that the Burbank Police Department was under some stage of investigation by the FBI, Los Angeles County sheriff and an outside attorney over allegations of misconduct within the ranks.

After relative silence, the City Council Tuesday revealed that the Burbank Police Department was under some stage of investigation by the FBI, county sheriffs and an outside attorney over allegations of misconduct within the ranks.

FBI probes Police Dept.
CITY HALL — Four days after the city released a statement calling the latest lawsuit filed against its Police Department “baseless and disingenuous,” Mayor Gary Bric on Tuesday said the FBI was investigating allegations of misconduct within the ranks.

Creative solution for fundraising
BURBANK — Burroughs High School students Desiree Martinez and Brittany Lewis spent their Saturday night sleeping in a cardboard box.

Park patrol plans on hold
CITY HALL — Residents will have to wait another nine months for the possibility of a dedicated park patrol officer after city officials last week decided to exhaust a dwindling federal grant for the service through June.

Three students catch H1N1
BURBANK — Students at three Burbank Unified School District schools have been stricken with swine flu, but administrators said the virus has not reached levels forecasted by state health officials.

Win is big step for Burbank
BURBANK HIGH — The Burbank High and Crescenta Valley girls’ volleyball teams want to participate in the playoffs in November.

Locals run well in league opener
ARCADIA — There’s still two more Pacific League meets left to be run this season, but on Wednesday, Arcadia High took the first step toward possibly dethroning six-time girls’ league cross-country champion Crescenta Valley.

EVERYONE’S BUSINESS: Civil speakers prevail
Hello, fellow Burbank folk. Some of you know me, or at least my words. I have written letters to the editor and spoken to the City Council numerous times over the past few years, opining about the Chandler streets and bikeway, the outdoor smoking ordinance, council behavior, water conservation, beautification of city streets and other things.

Written by Times Community News

September 30, 2009 at 8:31 am

Posted in Updates

Police looking for victims of hit and run, car-jacking

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Police are asking for the public’s help to locate the victims of an attempted car-jacking and hit-and-run that occurred about 10 a.m. Friday shortly after a man and two boys robbed the Citizens Business Bank at 4100 W. Alameda Ave.

Officers during the chase pursued the suspects down Pass Avenue, Olive Avenue and Barham Boulevard in Universal City before ending up at Highland Avenue on the southbound 101 Freeway. One of the suspects attempted to car-jack a motorist as traffic was stopped on the opposite side of the freeway. He was unsuccessful and ran off, and police are seeking to identify the victim of this attempted car-jacking.

Police are also asking anyone who may have been struck by the suspect vehicle, which is a silver, older model 4-door Lexus, to please contact them at 818-238-3000.

Anyone having information regarding this case is asked to contact Det. Pfrommer, investigation division-persons bureau, at 818-238-3246.

Written by Christopher Cadelago

September 29, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Crime report recap through Monday

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Police and Fire Building (City of Burbank)

Police and Fire Building (City of Burbank)

The following were taken from reports filed at the Burbank Police Department:

A 10-year-old girl was taking shower in her home in the 700 block of San Jose Ave. on Sept. 22. When she stepped out of the shower, she looked up at the window spotted a man peeping in. She ran off screaming and the  police were notified and conducted an area check but were unable to locate the suspect. He is described as possibly Asian, 50 to 55 years old, with dark hair and silver-framed glasses. There have been two similar incidents in the past week in the 600 and 700 blocks of South Sixth Street.

Police reported there were three separate incidents where windows were shot at with what appeared to be BB guns. A 54-year-old Burbank woman reported that someone had shot out the front passenger window of her 2004 Ford Expedition parked at Jolley Drive and Scott Road. An employee of the business at 225 S. Glenoaks Blvd. reported the front window had been shot and cracked. The business at 530 S. Glenoaks Blvd. had its front glass door shot out.

A 15-year-old gang member on Wednesday was arrested for assaulting two 17-year-old boys with a kitchen knife. The 15-year-old walked up to the two victims in the area of Jannetta Avenue and Floyd Street. He then then pulled out a kitchen knife from pocket and pointed it at the two victims. One of the victims picked up a wooden stick to defend himself.  The suspect grew alarmed and ran off. The 15-year-old was positively identified as the suspect and arrested.

Police officers Friday responded to the area Buena Vista Street and Thornton Avenue regarding a large gang fight involving about 20 to 25 people.  By the time officers arrived the fighting had ceased. Men were detained but none admitted to being in a fight nor did they provide any information about the identity of possible suspects. All these subjects are known or associate gang members. Officers then responded to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center after receiving word of two possible stabbing victims. Officers contacted the subjects but they provided no information other than they were attacked by Latino men. The two victims were treated for lacerations to their heads and released. Gang investigators are currently conducting an ongoing investigation to try and determine the suspects in the case. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Christopher Cadelago

September 29, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Burbank, Burroughs football teams open Pacific League play

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Burbank quarterback Adam Colman leads the Bulldogs into their league opener against Crescenta Valley (Dan Watson/The Leader).

Burbank quarterback Adam Colman leads the Bulldogs into their league opener against Crescenta Valley (Dan Watson/The Leader).

BURBANK VS. CRESCENTA VALLEY

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday.

WHERE: Moyse Field (Glendale High).  RECORDS: The Bulldogs and Falcons are both 2-1.

LAST WEEK: Burbank had a bye; Crescenta Valley defeated La Cañada, 28-35.

OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs should be well rested for the Pacific League opener after having last week off with a bye. The Bulldogs’ only loss was a 17-14 setback in overtime to Chaminade in the first week of the season. The Falcons needed a late field last week to gain the win against the Spartans. The team has a solid running back in senior Harry Pessy, who gained 226 yards in 17 carries last week. Burbank junior quarterback Adam Colman has completed 32 of 62 passes for 508 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions.

SOMETHING INTERESTING: The Falcons are ranked No. 5 in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division. The Bulldogs are No. 8 in the same division. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jeff Tully

September 29, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Sports

Tagged with , ,

Man pleads not guilty to rape, grand theft

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CITY CENTER — The 45-year-old man accused of raping an unconscious 24-year-old man in his Burbank apartment pleaded not guilty Monday to felony charges of sodomy and oral copulation of an unconscious individual and grand theft of personal property.

Richard Scott Poland, of Burbank, remains in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 27.

Poland was arrested Thursday on the 200 block of East Magnolia Boulevard, four days after his tryst with a 24-year-old resident began at Sardo’s Grille and Lounge on North Pass Avenue, police said.

Detectives said the victim, barely conscious but in an effort to document his attack, uploaded footage of the rape onto Stickam.com, a live streaming social network.

Full story here.

Written by Christopher Cadelago

September 28, 2009 at 5:46 pm

City names economic development team

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Credit: City of Burbank

Credit: City of Burbank

Burbank, with an eye toward economic development, last week announced a new team to extend the city’s goal of being a major driver of the region’s economic engine.

The group, led by City Manager Mike Flad, is comprised of city executives, including Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes, Interim Community Development Director Greg Herrmann, Assistant Community Development Director Ruth Davidson-Guerra and Economic Development Manager Mary Hamzoian.

The 14-story Pointe Project and Empire Center office tower are among those looking for tenets. Hamzoian said in a statement that availability, along with the city’s prime location, are key selling points to possible companies.

The team will meet with community stakeholders and business owners to address priority areas and provide a roadmap  for future of economic development.

Written by Christopher Cadelago

September 27, 2009 at 10:14 pm