JUNE UPDATE: I’ve spoken with another police officer who wants to know why we haven’t posted any more information on this story, as there were many witnesses to the alleged act. Rest assured, we are not going to stop digging until we get to the bottom of this.
FEBRUARY UPDATE: I spoke yesterday with the officer in question who has stated unequivocally that an incident did in fact occur, and that Councilman Jones has mischaracterized his innocence. The officer has been instructed by City Human Resources Department to avoid further communication with us.
We all know that Christmas parties are notorious for bad behavior on the part of some of the participants. When you are an elected official maybe you believe you can get away with some extracurricular activity without reproach. And maybe you are a just a bigger target for nasty accusations that aren’t true.
Which is the case with Councilman F. Richard “Dick” Jones?
We have been informed by separate sources, both in the Fullerton PD and in City Hall, that Jones slapped a female Fullerton police detective on her buttocks at a police union Christmas Party on December 18th at the Summit House restaurant; and that the physical assault was followed up with a dismissive slur regarding Dick’s perception of the officer’s sexual orientation.
Yesterday we sent Dick Jones an e-mail asking him to respond to this allegations. Here is what he said:
I just learned of this allegation this weekend. This is completely untrue and I have no idea why or how this rumor was started. People who know me, know I would do no such thing to anyone. Thank you for asking me. Such an accusation is very upsetting as there is no truth to it!
So now we have an accusation and a denial, and as yet no response from the officer in question. So the real question is why anybody in the Fullerton PD would attempt what would evidently be a smear on Jones? That’s a good question and one we will be pursuing.
In any case, difficulties arise, including the possibility of a cover-up of this alleged incident within both City Hall, as well as in the ranks of the police union itself. Apart from the issue of a typical hush-up for a politician, there remains the subject of other parties who may have a stake in making sure that news of the alleged incident doesn’t get out. The City Manager is a close personal friend of Mr. Jones, and would certainly render any investigation problematic. Meanwhile, the police union is apparently in the process of bargaining a new agreement and may very well be in need of Jones’ vote.
If true, the incident would certainly center on the behavior of Jones, of course; and also the rights of the officer in question who may be feeling pressure from her bosses and also from her union brethren to let the matter go – at least for now.
Alternatively we are confronted with the possibility that someone within the Fullerton Police Department has concocted and sold a story in order to make Jones look bad. But what for? Who knows? In any case, the timing may be poor. Angering a potential vote during labor negotiations is probably not the best idea.
We’ll stay on top of this as best we can. Particularly to make sure that this situation doesn’t end up playing a part in a labor agreement negotiation.