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Local News in Brief : Police Chief Won’t Be Prosecuted

No criminal charges will be filed against Claremont Police Chief Dexter Atkinson, who has been on paid administrative leave since August, when allegations surfaced that he had helped a three-time convicted drunk driver evade a mandatory jail sentence, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced.

The drunk driver, John Donald Barber, was sentenced to 120 days in jail last year by a Pomona Municipal Court judge. Instead of doing the time in jail, Barber, a licensed contractor, spent 96 days working eight hours a day on police station renovations.

The district attorney was looking into allegations that Atkinson provided false information in a letter he wrote to the court attesting that Barber had completed his work program.

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Lawrence Mason said there were no grounds to prosecute the police chief in the light of a Municipal Court judge’s ruling last month that Barber had adequately served his sentence.

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Atkinson remains the subject of an internal investigation ordered by City Manager Glenn Southard. The police chief will remain on leave until the results of the investigation are announced sometime after Thanksgiving, Southard said.


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