A private investigator because she "feared for her life," testified Wednesday that a deputy in Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates' intelligence unit assigned her to spy on one of Gates' election foes and report who attended the opponent's fund-raiser.
The private investigator, Deanna Short, said the same deputy promised her a permit for a concealed weapon in exchange for information on another of Gates' political opponents. She quoted the deputy as saying that Gates "had personally approved it."
Short's testimony came during a $5-million lawsuit against Gates and Anaheim officials in U.S. District Court. It was filed by private investigator Preston Guillory, who alleges that Gates arranged for him to be prosecuted on charges of impersonating an officer and carrying a concealed weapon because he was working for Gates' political opponents.
Guillory was acquitted of the charges in 1985.
Short testified that she has worked for several police departments in the county, usually helping in special undercover vice and narcotics investigations. She said she first worked for the sheriff's intelligence unit about 1970.
She said one of her contacts with that unit was Stan Kincade, with whom she developed a romantic relationship. "We were personal friends. We shared a meaningful relationship," she testified.
The relationship began in 1982 and continues to the present, she said.
It was Kincade who assigned her to attend a fund-raising event for one of Gates' election opponents, George Patrick (Pat) Bland. She was assigned "just to report who was at the meeting," she testified.
After completing the assignment, she received $50 from Kincade, "but not as payment" for the work, she said.
She testified that in another investigation by the intelligence unit--of Bobby D. Youngblood, another of Gates' election foes--she turned over to Gates' investigators information about allegedly stolen bonds.
She said Kincade had told her that once he received the information, "for my cooperation, I'd be given a concealed-weapon permit issued by the sheriff."
Kincade "said Gates had personally approved it," she testified.
Cross-examined by Eric C. Dobberteen, Gates' attorney, Short conceded that she had contacted the Sheriff's Department to offer the information on Youngblood and that she never received the permit.
She testified that Kincade had told her that the permit was waiting for her but that she did not pick it up.
One of Guillory's attorneys, Michael J. Cisarik, read parts of Short's deposition made in 1985 as part of Youngblood's lawsuit against Gates, alleging political spying.
(That suit was settled out of court when the county agreed to pay $375,000 to Youngblood, Bland and George Wright, another of Gates' election opponents.
(Although the county denied any connection, the settlement came after a secret sheriff's tape recording of a classroom lecture by Wright was found in Kincade's garage. Before the discovery, sheriff's investigators had denied under oath that Wright had been under surveillance.)
In her deposition, Short had said that her relationship with Kincade had been strictly business, that she had never worked for the Sheriff's Department, that she had never received money or promises from the Sheriff's Department, and that she had never been asked for information about Youngblood or Bland.
Lied Earlier Out of Fear
She testified Wednesday that she had lied because "I was in fear of my life and my family's."
She said that twice her car had been firebombed and that Kincade "on several occasions" had cautioned her "not to get involved in this political ordeal."
On cross-examination, however, she conceded that she did not know who had been responsible for the firebombings. She conceded that in gathering information on Youngblood she had dealt with a man "known to deal in explosive devices."
And she agreed that Kincade may have been only expressing concern about her personal safety.
Asked directly by Dobberteen whether she believes anyone at the Sheriff's Department had been responsible for the firebombings, she said she does not know.
Short, a defendant in the current lawsuit, is not being defended in court because she cannot afford a lawyer, she said. She denied that she was offered exemption from having to pay damages in exchange for her testimony.
Rancho Santiago Phone Call
Earlier in the day, Thomas F. Adams, chairman of the criminal justice department of Rancho Santiago Community College in Santa Ana, testified regarding a telephone conversation he had with Gates in 1979.
Adams' department operates a law enforcement academy that trains police officers and sheriff's deputies. Among its instructors was Wright.
Adams said that during the conversation, Gates said: "And by the way, as long as you have George Wright working for you, you will not have any of my support."