Arcadia officers placed on leave amid investigations

ARCADIA – Two Arcadia police officers are on paid leave amid criminal and administrative investigations into alleged wrongdoing, officials announced Tuesday. Details of the allegations were not available.
The names, ranks and lengths of employment were not released for either of the two involved officers, nor was any information about the circumstances which led to the investigations.
Arcadia Police Chief Robert Guthrie said he placed the officers on paid administrative leave March 15. The department also requested a criminal investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
But police said they could not comment on the specifics of the allegations.
“We want to maintain the integrity of both the investigation, and secondarily, maintain the due process rights of the police officers,” Guthrie said. “I don’t want to do anything that, even unintentionally, compromises this investigation in its initial phases.”
“We want to make sure through this whole process we’re as transparent as possible, but regarding our personnel matters, we really can’t comment,” said Capt. Paul Foley.
But he added that he was optimistic that, “At some point, that investigation will become a public record and everything will be on the table.”
Guthrie and Foley said the allegations against the officers did not stem from an interaction with any member of the public.
“It’s internally driven,” Foley said.
“There’s no concerns regarding contact with the public,” Guthrie added.
District attorney’s officials confirmed they were looking into the Arcadia officers, but also declined to speak about what the officers are accused of.
“We were asked to help with an investigation,” D.A.’s office spokeswoman Jane Robison said. “Other than that, we can’t comment because it’s an ongoing investigation.”
Arcadia Mayor Bob Harbicht said the probe is a “personnel matter” and that he was limited in both what he knew about it and what he could say.
“The city manager called me and informed me they were putting two officers on administrative leave and that he couldn’t disclose to me or any other council member the circumstances,” Harbicht said. “He did assure me that it had nothing to do with the public. It’s an internal thing.”
While Harbicht said he was concerned about the matter, he said he had confidence in the police department and anyone they might bring in to help with the probe that it would be handled properly.
Arcadia City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto said the police department was carrying out the administrative investigation while the district attorney’s office handled the criminal investigation, but declined to elaborate.
“We don’t comment on any personnel matters under investigation and we don’t comment on any ongoing criminal investigation,” Lazzaretto said. “We’ll be happy to speak to you when everything’s wrapped up but at this point we’re in the investigation phase.”
– Brian Day and Brenda Gazzar

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