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Police chiefs and officers arrested in King City amid probe by DA

Crime, Law and JusticeTheftCrimeLaw EnforcementPoliticsCivil and Public ServicePublic Officials

SAN FRANCISCO -- A top Monterey County prosecutor confirmed Tuesday that a group of former and current King City police officials -- including the longtime former chief and acting chief -- have been arrested in connection with a district attorney's investigation.

Chief Assistant Dist. Atty. Terry Spitz declined to release details of the arrests and charges before a 2 p.m. news conference in Salinas, the county seat. King City, an agricultural town with a population of about 13,000, sits 50 miles to the south on Highway 101 in the Salinas Valley.

The officers arrested were identified in media reports as longtime Chief Nick Baldiviez, who retired in September; acting Chief Bruce Miller, Sgt. Bobby Carrillo and officers Mario Mottu Sr. and Jaime Andrade.

The Monterey County Herald reported that an official at the Monterey County Jail had confirmed Tuesday morning that at least four of the officers were in custody on charges ranging from embezzlement by a public officer to bribery.

Baldiviez, 49, of Bradley was in the process of being booked on embezzlement charges, the paper reported. His bail was set at $10,000. Miller, 49, of King City was booked on suspicion of bribery and his bail set at $20,000.

Carrillo, 44, of Soledad, was in custody and suspected of conspiracy to commit a crime and bribery by a public officer, with bail set at $60,000. Mottu, 53, of Greenfield, was arrested on a warrant alleging embezzlement by public official. His bail was $10,000.

According to the newspaper, the jail official said his records did not show Andrade was in custody, though Spitz confirmed he was arrested and said more arrests may follow. The four officers in custody were expected to post bail Tuesday, the Herald said.

NBC affiliate KSBW said that Spitz had confirmed a sixth unnamed officer was also arrested.

In mid-January, the station reported that search warrants had been services at the homes of Carrillo and Ken Tippery, an IT manager who regularly does consulting work with the city.

A sign reading "closed" was posted on the front door of the King City Police Station, which has a sworn force of 17. But Mayor Robert Cullen said in a phone interview that only the office was closed because the counter technician was out.

The Sheriff's Department has a small office in King City and is providing assistance and patrol officers, said Cullen, who was awaiting details on the charges.

"If someone picks up the phone and dials 911 they will have an officer who is going to respond in a timely manner," Cullen said. "That's important for people to know." 

King City officials have scheduled a news conference for 4 p.m. to explain how the department will move forward, he said.

 

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Twitter: @leeromney

lee.romney@latimes.com

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