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Montebello Police Chief Blurs Ethics Line After Questionable Use of City-Paid Public Notification System



Kevin McClure

Montebello Police Chief Kevin McClure used an emergency public notification system, paid for by the city, to refute articles by HMG-CN.

By Brian Hews

The audio was clear; Montebello Chief of Police Kevin McClure stated that crime was up in Montebello this year.

He blamed most of the increase on Proposition 47, the initiative that reduced the classification of most “non-serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” from a felony to a misdemeanor.

But McClure was strong in his statement; crime was up in Montebello in 2016.

Yet a campaign mailer that the newly elected Jack Hadjinian mailed in September, a mailer financed by the Montebello Police Officer’s Association, (MPOA), clearly stated crime was down 18% in Montebello.

It was, but in 2014; the latest time crime statistics were available for Montebello. And that was when Bill Molinari was Mayor.

The Hadjinian mailer failed to point that detail out.

After obtaining the mailer and audio, Hews Media Group-Community News published an article and posted the audio and the mail piece, pointing out the inconsistency between McClure’s statement that crime was up in Montebello and Hadjinian’s mail piece that crime was down 18%.

See story click here.

McClure, obviously conflicted, emailed a letter to HMG-CN contradicting the article.

But there was no indication in the email of what McClure was going to do next, or the fabrications he would spin to counter his crime statement.

The first paragraph of the McClure letter stated, “I just learned of recent inaccurate reports in articles by the Hews Media Group that I was, a) interviewed about crime rates in the City of Montebello, b) contradicted the Mayor in the interview, and c) had an argument/confrontation with the Mayor about a campaign ad.

First fabrication by McClure:

McClure claimed in the letter that HMG-CN interviewed him.

HMG-CN never stated that the newspaper interviewed McClure; HMG-CN obtained the digital audio from source and then published the contents.

In the audio, published online by HMG-CN, McClure clearly indicated crime was up, in fact he said, “ it’s very hard for me to say this, crime is up.”

Second fabrication by McClure:

McClure did not contradict Hadjinian.

Hadjinian’s mail piece, paid for by the MPOA, was sent to Montebello residents claiming crime was down 18% in Montebello.

Yet McClure’s clearly stated in the audio that crime was up in Montebello.

Third fabrication by McClure:

McClure claimed he did not have a confrontation with Hadjinian.

Several sources who regularly attend City Council Meetings told HMG-CN that they saw Hadjinian and McClure in a heated conversation at a meeting days after the mail piece was sent out.

HMG-CN had every intention of running McClure’s letter as a Letter to the Editor until McClure’s anger got the best of him.

In an extremely questionable and obvious politically motivated maneuver, on Nov. 2 at 3:36 p.m. McClure posted the letter on Nixle, a city-paid public notification system used by police and other agencies to send out emergency notifications to the public.

 

 

 

 

Anyone can subscribe to Nixle, (the Los Angeles Sheriff’s use Nixle), and receive texts such as “Sheriff’s Homicide Detectives are continuing their investigation into what appears to be a possible accidental shooting in East Los Angeles on Saturday evening.”

It is a public system – paid for by Montebello tax payers – used to send out emergency notifications. The use of the system by McClure calls into serious question why he chose to post what was basically a Letter to the Editor on a system such as Nixle.

A letter that was riddled with fabrications.

“McClure used Nixle as his own personal newspaper, probably under Jack Hadjinian’s orders, to call into question what was a true story,” said one Montebello resident who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution.

“This is a blatant threat to every reporter in the area by McClure. If you publish a story about us we will come after you, violate the law, and shoot the messenger. You have to question his leadership.”

And McClure also blatantly ignored and violated Nixle’s Terms of Service by using the system to send out the letter.

The specific restrictions as listed in the Nixle’s Terms of Service that McClure violated are:

“Under the Terms of Service, the Sender MAY NOT:

(a) act in an unwanted, threatening, harassing, abusive or offensive manner toward any recipient;

(b) use any of the Services for political, commercial or advertising purposes;

(d) post, submit or otherwise do anything with the Services, Content, or Web Site that is unlawful, harmful, tortious, defamatory, profane, obscene, libelous, or hateful to the average user;

(k) transmit fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading communications.”

Among other things, the letter was certainly (using words under each bullet point)-

  • (a) harassing,
  • (b) used for political purposes,
  • (d) defamatory and libelous,
  • (k) deceptive and misleading.

 

A screenshot of Nixel’s Terms of Service is below, the entire Term of Service can be found by clicking here.

Screenshot of Nixel's Terms of Service.

This is not the first time McClure’s leadership skills and departmental actions have been questioned or were questionable in nature.

McClure was sued by several officers in a discrimination lawsuit filed in June 2012 that listed a number of allegations against McClure.

The city of Montebello, and several other police officers in the department were also named in the suit.

The four officers in the lawsuit claimed McClure ignored minorities when promoting officers; removed African American art from inside the department; dismissed cultural diversity training as a “bunch of sh–;” called African Americans filthy and women “MILFs” (an extremely derogatory sexual reference); and ignored the many officer’s attempts to report illegal activity in the department.

The lawsuit also alleged that McClure routinely covered up investigations into illegal misconduct by Montebello officers, including a probe into an officer-involved shooting and excessive force allegations.

Also, consistent with McClure’s questionable and politically motivated posting of his letter on Nixle, the officers claimed in the lawsuit that they endured political pressure from the department to support certain candidates in city council elections.

See Nixle letter click here.

 

 

 

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