There is little to update today about Anthony Bejarano, the Baldwin Park councilman who was arrested on Friday for alleged public intoxication.
As a side note, Bejarano was replaced last week on the Metrolink Board of Directors. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made two new appointments to the board following the fatal crash on Sept. 12, according to the LA Times.
Here is the follow-up story today that ran about what is going on with the police report taken when Councilman Anthony Bejarano was arrested on Friday.
Review sought in arrest of Baldwin Park councilman
Bejarano claims being targeted for opposing police salary hikes
By Jennifer McLain, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 09/22/2008 11:23:57 PM PDT
BALDWIN PARK – Councilman Anthony Bejarano’s arrest Friday on suspicion of public intoxication has him and another city leader questioning the integrity of the Police Department.
Councilman Ricardo Pacheco alleged a possible cover-up in the release of Bejarano, who was arrested – but not cited or charged – on Friday for allegedly being drunk in public.
Bejarano, however, believes he was unfairly targeted because of his opposition to salary increases requested by the Police Officers Association.
Chief Lili Hadsell said both accusations are unfounded and believes the arrest has been “blown out of proportion.”
“I don’t believe that he was unfairly targeted. He was not given special treatment,” Hadsell said. “It was a drunk-in-public arrest. We need to just let it go and finish the investigative part of it.”
Those arrested for being drunk in public are commonly released without a citation or charges filed, Hadsell said.
City and police officials are now awaiting the police report before deciding how to proceed. Hadsell said she did not expect the report to be released until next week because she was going out of town for a work-related conference.
Chief Executive Officer Vijay Singhal said he is still trying to figure out all the details.
“We have different versions coming from different people,” Singhal said. “We need to follow the process, and unless it is completed, no one can say for sure what happened.”
Bejarano was booked on suspicion of public intoxication shortly after 10 p.m. on Ramona Boulevard near La Rica Avenue.
The incident began when an officer stopped to investigate a white, four-door sedan stopped in the middle of Ramona Boulevard with two pedestrians standing nearby. One of those pedestrians was Bejarano.
The driver, 31-year-old Collin Spencer of Monrovia, allegedly moved the car a short distance in the presence of the officer and was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
Bejarano and 32-year-old Jose Diaz of Monrovia were arrested on suspicion of public intoxication as they appeared drunk and were standing in the middle of a major roadway.
Bejarano, an attorney, said he was handcuffed after he told Spencer he had constitutional rights and didn’t have to answer the officers’ questions.
“I was immediately arrested after that statement,” Bejarano said.
Bejarano said he had been drinking earlier in the night Friday but was not intoxicated when he was arrested.
On Monday, Bejarano said he believes there is already an investigation into the handling of the incident.
“At worse, it was a case of some kind of political retaliation,” Bejarano said. “At best, it was a misunderstanding.”
Pacheco said he plans on discussing the item in public once he gets a copy of the police report.
He also said he believes charges should be brought against Bejarano.
“I still need the facts, but if these allegations are true, and if the chief doesn’t want to take action, there are other measures of the law,” Pacheco said. “Like going to the District Attorney’s office.”