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February 19, 2013



There Was a Conspiracy to Oust Him, Daryl Gates Says in Book : He Says Bradley Aide Coached Testimony Against Him at Christopher Commission, but Deputy Mayor and Ranking LAPD Officers Deny Claims

    • In an apparent bid to force Police Chief Daryl Gates from office, Mayor Tom Bradley’s top aide allegedly coached other high-ranking members of the Los Angeles Police Department to deliver testimony damaging to the chief before the Christopher Commission in the wake of the Rodney King beating, Gates charges in his new autobiography.

The detailed assertion, contained in “Chief: My Life in the LAPD,” was strongly denied Monday by the principals involved, Assistant Police Chief David Dotson and Deputy Mayor Mark Fabiani.

The allegation represents the most serious of a number of broadsides in the book, often written in vitriolic or salty language, against Gates’ past and present foes.

“Chief,” which goes on sale Wednesday, is primarily a passionate, combative defense of the LAPD and of Gates himself. But it is leavened with self-criticism as well as an admission of police foul-ups, notably in the Hillside Strangler investigation. In addition to recent controversies, the book covers a number of historical events, including Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination and the Watts riots.

During the aftermath of the King beating last year, according to Gates, Fabiani telephoned Dotson “numerous times” in the weeks leading up to Dotson’s appearance before the blue-ribbon commission. In widely publicized testimony, Dotson said he was personally fond of Gates but asserted that the chief’s ineffective leadership had hamstrung the LAPD.

Several months after the fact, Gates writes, he learned of the cooperation between the mayor’s office and Dotson from Dotson’s estranged wife, Larryette. According to Larryette Dotson, she overheard at least one conversation between Fabiani and Dotson.

“In the weeks prior to Dotson’s appearance before the Christopher Commission, Deputy Mayor Mark Fabiani telephoned Dave at home numerous times,” Gates writes. “The two men spoke again the night before Dave testified, according to Dotson’s estranged wife, who told me this months later. She overheard Fabiani and Dave going over what he would say, even to the point of indicating his affection for me. Dave made notes on index cards from this conversation, and Mrs. Dotson brought them in to us.”

On Monday, Dotson bluntly denied that he consulted with Fabiani or anyone else in City Hall before delivering his testimony. The claim is “absolutely, unequivocally untrue,” Dotson declared.

“Everything I told the Christopher Commission was out of my head and my heart,” he added. “It was the truth as I believed it to be. It was not the product of any discussion with any other human being.”

Dotson, who is off duty and seeking a stress leave rather than accept a demotion to deputy chief ordered last week by Gates, says his estranged wife has made numerous false accusations against him and that the chief knows that. Larryette Dotson and her attorney could not be reached for comment.

Fabiani also flatly denied speaking with Dotson about Dotson’s testimony to the Christopher panel. “It’s unfortunate that (Gates) seems to have spent more time talking to Dotson’s wife than to Dotson, who is his assistant chief and could have helped him prepare for the riots,” Fabiani said Monday.

A spokesman for Gates’ publisher, Bantam Books, said the chief would not comment further Monday about the assertion.

In the book, Gates also charges that another former high-ranking LAPD official, retired Assistant Chief Jesse Brewer, “struck a deal” with City Hall in return for testimony critical of Gates. However, he does not report why he is suspicious of Brewer.

Brewer, one of Gates’ former LAPD assistant chiefs and now a mayoral appointee to the city Police Commission, said Monday he had no conversations with the City Hall officials about his testimony.

“I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about,” Brewer said. “Ever since since I’ve known him, he’s always accused everyone of conspiring against him.”

Although the testimony of Brewer and Dotson was widely reported last year, Gates has not previously revealed the purported evidence of a conspiracy orchestrated from City Hall. However, he has come under fire for conducting bitter internal feuds with his top commanders–including Dotson–that some officials claim hindered the LAPD’s ability to prepare for the riots that occurred after the King verdict late last month.

Also in the book, the chief accuses Mayor Bradley of “creating his own Tammany Hall” and bringing to the city “a rat’s nest of impropriety.”

Bradley’s press secretary, Bill Chandler, responded Monday: “Los Angeles residents are tired of Gates’ inflammatory rhetoric that simply boosts the outgoing chief’s own ego at the expense of the welfare of the city. Gates and his ghost writer have sensationalized and distorted the truth in this absolute work of fiction.

“It’s hard to believe anyone has any interest in the chief’s fictional account of history,” Chandler said.


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