Eight months after the Los Angeles Police Department called for a blue-ribbon panel to investigate the department’s handling of the Rampart corruption scandal, Chief William J. Bratton says funds are lacking to begin work.
The Los Angeles Times says that chairperson Connie Rice, a civil rights lawyer, has office space and investigators, but has not been provided funds to get the investigation “up and running,” according to Bratton.
The civilian panel was created by the Police Commission last summer to assess the department’s handling of allegations of corruption raised by former officer Rafael Perez. In 1999, Perez confessed to LAPD detectives that he and colleagues in the Rampart Division’s antigang unit routinely beat and framed suspects and lied to cover up unjustified shootings.
Bratton and Police Commission President David S. Cunningham III told the Times they are seeking private donations to pay for Rice’s panel.
In other LAPD news, Bratton fired officer Kelly Chrisman for using department computers to look up confidential law enforcement data on celebrities. The Times says Chrisman asserted during misconduct hearings that he was assigned to map locations of celebrity homes to alert beat officers about stalkers and other problems. Officials denied such a project existed.
Chrisman obtained files on Sharon Stone, Kobe Bryant, Courteney Cox Arquette, Sean Penn, O.J. Simpson, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore and others in the entertainment and sports fields. He will contest the firing.