Berke­ley hires law firm for po­lice chief probe

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

BERKE­LEY | Berke­ley of­fi­cials have hired a law firm to in­ves­ti­gate an or­der by the city’s po­lice chief that sent an of­fi­cer to a re­porter’s home af­ter mid­night to re­quest changes in a story.

In­terim City Man­ager Chris­tine Daniel said Fri­day the firm of Ren­nie Sloan Holtz­man Sakay will con­duct an in­de­pen­dent probe of the March 9 or­der is­sued by Chief Michael Mee­han. Ms. Daniel re­leased no ad­di­tional de­tails.

The hir­ing of the law firm comes af­ter the union rep­re­sent­ing the city’s po­lice of­fi­cers de­manded an out­side probe, say­ing Chief Mee­han should be held to the same stan­dards as of­fi­cers.

“If a po­lice of­fi­cer uses poor judg­ment and vi­o­lates depart­ment pol­icy, he is placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave and is fully in­ves­ti­gated,” said Of­fi­cer Tim Ka­plan, pres­i­dent of the 160-mem­ber Berke­ley Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion. “As law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, we don’t just get to say ‘I’m sorry’ and have the whole mat­ter go away.”

Chief Mee­han has apol­o­gized for what he called his “er­ror in judg­ment” in or­der­ing his depart­ment’s spokes­woman to go to the home of a Bay Area News Group re­porter at 12:45 a.m. to re­quest changes to an ar­ti­cle pub­lished less than two hours ear­lier.

Chief Mee­han was un­happy with how 45year-old Doug Oak­ley had char­ac­ter­ized one of his re­marks from a com­mu­nity meet­ing about the Feb. 18 beat­ing death of a res­i­dent whose non-emer­gency call about an in­truder had gone unan­swered.

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