Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck spoke with reporters Tuesday, directly responding to allegations that he exerted improper influence in a disciplinary matter involving his daughter, who is an LAPD officer.
The chief called reports that she’s received favorable treatment “disgusting” and “absolutely false.” He made the comments a week before the Police Commission is scheduled to vote on his reappointment to another five-year term.
The LAPD’s inspector general acknowledged during a meeting of the Police Commission that he is investigating the circumstances surrounding the department’s purchase of a horse owned by the chief’s daughter, Officer Brandi Pearson. She is a member of the LAPD’s elite equestrian unit.
“My daughter, who I have no financial ties with, did sell a horse for under market value to the City of Los Angeles,” Beck said. But he added that the money to buy it was privately raised by a police foundation. He said the foundation has bought horses for the LAPD in the past. The department owns 27 horses.
Speaking to reporters at police headquarters, the chief also angrily denounced suggestions in the news media that his daughter lied during an internal affairs investigation into a sergeant, whom she dated.
“To say things that are absolutely false with no basis in fact about my children is absolutely unacceptable,” Beck said. Beck added that he has had no influence on the decision to reverse a planned demotion of the sergeant for an improper relationship with a subordinate.
The chief suggested stories about LAPD favoritism are simply efforts to undermine him. “I think some people feel they will be made stronger if I am made weaker in this process.”
Allegations of favoritism have caught the attention of members of the police commission as it considers whether to reappoint the chief to a second five-year term.
“I am concerned about the allegations and I am pleased that the inspector general is looking into them and will report back to us,” said commissioner Robert Saltzman.
He said he did not know whether the inspector general’s report on the latest questions surrounding the chief’s performance would be available in time for the commission’s planned vote August 12. Saltzman added he is reserving judgment on whether he’ll vote to rehire Beck.
“I’m waiting until we get to the end of the process before I make my decision,” Saltzman said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, who appoints the police commission, expressed support for Beck. “This is a police chief I’m very happy with,” Garcetti said Monday.