Police Investigate Calls to Officials in Burbank

Times Staff Writer

Burbank police said Thursday that they are investigating complaints by several Burbank city officials that someone is harassing them with telephone calls using recordings that play repeatedly.

Police Chief Glen Bell said he had received complaints from Mayor Al F. Dossin, Councilman Michael R. Hastings, school board President Audrey P. Hanson and the city attorney’s office about the calls.

Bell said the perpetrator could be charged with using the telephone to harass, a misdemeanor.

The phone calls contained a recorded message criticizing City Atty. Douglas C. Holland, Hastings said. He said the voice sounded like that of a Burbank resident who has frequently criticized the Burbank City Council in the past.


Hastings said his wife received up to 20 calls in two hours Tuesday. Dossin said that he received five calls within a 15-minute period earlier this week, and that messages on his answering machine one day were filled with recordings of the voice.

Bell said Pacific Bell traced calls coming into the city manager’s office late Tuesday and reported 14 of them in a 45-minute period.

Bell said the law authorizes tracing calls made for the purpose of harassment.

He said the phone company traced the calls to a Burbank residence.

Bell said police would not act until they had completed a survey of the officials, asking whether they want to bring charges against the suspected caller.

The maximum penalty for each charge would be six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, he said.

Dossin said he wanted to prosecute. “These are grown adults doing these kinds of pranks, and they should be punished,” he said.