A Glendale police officer who led the investigation of two brothers charged with robbing and shooting an armored car guard denied in court this week that he had an affair with one of the defendants' wives and improperly coerced her into implicating her husband.
The actions of the officer, Joseph Jiminez, have been the subject of an internal Police Department investigation and public scrutiny since a pretrial hearing a month ago. At the hearing, Kimberly Giordano, whose husband is accused of pulling the trigger, testified that Jiminez had sex with her in the spring of 1988.
Testifying Monday after a five-day recess in the trial, Jiminez said he called Kimberly Giordano frequently in the months after the shooting. But asked by Deputy Dist. Atty. Jo Ann B. Glidden if he had a romantic relationship with the Lancaster mother of four, Jiminez answered softly, "No, ma'am."
Alfred Anthony Giordano, 26, and his brother, Peter Paul Giordano, 31, are on trial of charges of attempted murder and attempted robbery in a failed heist Dec. 31, 1987, that left the armored car guard, Howard White, permanently confined to a wheelchair.
Defense attorney Robert C. Swanson said in opening statements that he would show that the Glendale police investigation leading to the arrest of the two brothers was tainted by impropriety. He said he would prove that Jiminez had sex with Kimberly Giordano and arranged for money to be paid to her to elicit her testimony.
Kimberly Giordano is a key witness for the prosecution. She testified at the preliminary hearing and again two weeks ago that her husband told her after the shooting that he shot an armored car guard. She also testified that she helped her husband saw down an Uzi-type weapon in the days before the shooting.
Defense Goes After Officer
In his opening statements, Swanson asserted that Jiminez threatened Kimberly Giordano that he would disclose to her husband that they had an affair if she did not agree to testify.
On Monday, as the trial of the two brothers entered its third week in Pasadena Superior Court and Jiminez took the stand for three hours of cross-examination, it appeared that Swanson intended to put Jiminez on trial.
Under questioning by Swanson, Jiminez said he arranged for Kimberly Giordano to receive a $2,000 advance of the reward money offered by the armored car company for the apprehension of the guard's assailant. One of the award money checks, for $500, was given to her the day before she first testified against her husband, Jiminez said. Two other checks totaling $1,500 were given to her several months after the preliminary hearing, Jiminez said.
But under questioning by Glidden, Jiminez said the payments were approved by his superiors at the Glendale Police Department and Sectran Security Co., which offered the $5,000 reward.
Jiminez also said the money was given to Kimberly Giordano because she was afraid of her husband and wanted to move to protect her children.
Jiminez testified that he took her out for meals three times after her husband was arrested in March, 1988, once picking her up at her parents' home in Placentia.
Asked by Swanson why he took Kimberly Giordano out, Jiminez said, "Just to see how she was holding up."
Alfred Giordano is believed to be the man who shot White five times at close range with a 9-millimeter semiautomatic Uzi during a robbery attempt outside Valley Check Cashiers at 6344 San Fernando Road. White was carrying an empty money bag at the time. Peter Giordano is believed to be the driver of the getaway car.