So Long, Bernie 

But not before the desperate police chief tries to get the last word

Wednesday, Apr 17 2002

Police Chief Bernard Parks asked the Los Angeles City Council to overturn the Police Commission‘s vote not to grant him a second term and cranked up his long-simmering war with Mayor Jim Hahn. He accused the mayor of prejudgment and virtually of corruption.

In his hourlong speech Tuesday, Parks did not admit the slightest professional imperfection in his five years as chief. Instead, he blamed the LAPD’s problems of rising crime, a shrinking force and declining morale on the federal consent decree which followed the 1999 Rampart Division scandal, and was imposed in the wake of Park‘s inability to deliver promised police reform.

Parks made his widest-ranging accusations against his two prime antagonists -- the Police Protective League (the rank-and-file officers’ union) and Hahn. Parks alluded to “insidious outside pressures” on the LAPD, and compared Hahn‘s opposing his reappointment to 1930s political corruption -- “when we had the finest government money could buy.” Parks also claimed that Hahn had urged him to retire in January, and told him that he controlled the council and commission votes needed to oust him.

Related Stories

  • A Cop's Killing

    Controversial Det. Frank Lyga said he once threatened to reveal to the media that his 1997 shooting of fellow cop Kevin Gaines was "a sanction hit on Gaines by LAPD," according to a memo purported to be written by an officer to Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger regarding a talk...
  • Spider-Man Kicked Out of Echo Park Lotus Festival (PHOTO) 2

    In 2010 the masked characters known as the superheroes of Hollywood Boulevard won a huge federal court case that allows them to continue to perform on the Walk of Fame near Highland Avenue. See also: Superheroes Allowed Back On Hollywood Boulevard Thanks To Federal Judge's Ruling The Los Angeles Police Department...
  • Panties Beware

    There's pantsing, and then there's underpantsing. Police this week circulated security images (on the next page) of a man they say has taken pantsing to a new low: He has allegedly pulled down not just the pants of his female victims, but also their underwear. The women were attacked as...
  • 4th DUI Checkpoints

    The 4th of July is, as you well know, one of the drunkest holidays across the land. America! But it's hard to celebrate United States' independence when you're locked up with a bunch of losers. And since this is the land of democracy, the LAPD is giving you a fighting...
  • Here's a Story About a Naked Man, Psychedelic Drugs & 5 Hospitalized L.A. Cops 2

    It's not everyday that Los Angeles police officers get a whiff of a rare psychedelic drug like DMT. But that's what reportedly happened last night after cops responded to a report of a screaming man in Van Nuys. Officers responding to the reported screamer were "exposed to fumes and transported...

Parks also asserted that $3.5 million sent from the Mayor’s Office to the Police Protective League, ostensibly for the defense of officers accused of misconduct, may have been misused in a media campaign against him. “Was it to give them a war chest to go after me?” Parks asked.

One city attorney‘s official, not speaking for attribution, said the transfer was agreed to in the wake of a new city-charter provision that removed a previous system for officer defense. This was proposed under the administration of Mayor Dick Riordan, who appointed Parks.

Police-union president Mitzi Grasso said that Parks himself had approved the funding transfer. As to the accusation that the league used the money to campaign against Parks, Grasso said, “That’s ridiculous. He needs to confront the fact that 1,200 officers have left, morale remains low, and crime has skyrocketed.”

Hahn‘s press office refused to comment on Parks’ accusations. But a top city official speculated that, “If Bernie somehow wins this one, he‘ll be the most powerful person at City Hall. And that’s what this thing is really all about.”

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.