Police commission president disagrees with Chief Beck's action in discipline case

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In the wake of a Los Angeles Times report suggesting that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck gave preferential treatment to an officer, the president of the Los Angeles Police Commission said Tuesday that the incident — like everything else — will be considered when grading the chief’s performance and possible next term offer.

“In the evaluation, … of course this issue comes up," Police Commissioner President Steve Soboroff said at a commission meeting in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday morning. 

Soboroff added that he disagreed with Beck's actions in the case of officer Shaun Hillman, 33, the son of a retired LAPD officer. Soboroff was reacting to Beck's action to spare Hillman and disregard the recommendation of a disciplinary board that the office be dismissed after he was caught on tape outside a bar uttering a racial slur, and later denied it to his superiors. Instead, Beck placed Hillman on suspension, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

“I can respect that,” Soboroff said.  “But we don’t have to always say the same thing at the same time.”

Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck’s five-year terms ends this year. Beck is eligible for a second term if the mayor offers him one, subject to approval by the L.A. Police Commission and the city council.

Beck did not attend the police commission meeting Tuesday. He has been scheduled to be away this week, Soboroff said.

This isn’t he first time the police commissioners and the police chief have disagreed on disciplinary issues. Last year the former commission questioned why the police department didn’t have a penalty guideline that clearly defined what types of misconduct would earn warnings, suspensions or other types of discipline.

More recently, Soboroff and the police chief were at odds over disciplining eight officers who violated department policy when they fired about 100 rounds at a truck during the manhunt for ex-cop Christopher Dorner in 2012.

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