A former member of an elite law enforcement task force, fired for allegedly having sex with a police informant and then lying about it, said he was never directly questioned about his relationship with the woman, who he asserted was not an informant, according to a police internal affairs file on the case.
The voluminous file, obtained Wednesday by The Times, sheds new light on the case of San Diego Police Sgt. Harold E. Goudarzi, 43, who worked in the department for 21 years before Chief Bob Burgreen upheld his firing this month.
Goudarzi’s attorney, Everett Bobbitt, said his client plans to appeal his firing to the city’s Civil Service Commission, which will decide whether the punishment was appropriate.
An original member of the task force, which was established to investigate the killings of 44 prostitutes and transients since 1985, Goudarzi was accused by police administrators of having a four-month affair with Denise Loche, a Mira Mesa woman who police said worked as an informant for the multi-agency group.
In his recommendation to Burgreen that Goudarzi be fired, Police Capt. Dick Toneck said the sergeant allowed “a personal relationship . . . to evolve from a professional relationship” while Loche was an informant, a violation of department guidelines.
Goudarzi is alleged to have had sex with Loche five to seven times during those four months, to have given her $300 of his own money--including a $100 personal loan--and to have told Loche that he purposely lied to Assistant Chief Norm Stamper when Stamper questioned him about the affair.
Toneck said Goudarzi answered “no” to three questions posed by Stamper: “Do you have a personal relationship with this woman?"; “Do you have a social relationship with this woman?” and “Is there anything embarrassing to the task force or that could in any way compromise its integrity?”
The internal affairs file quotes Goudarzi as saying he does not remember the first two questions being asked and that two of four people in the room at the time did not remember those questions.
Answering “no” to the third question “was a true statement,” he said in the file. “At the time (I was questioned last August) I considered (Loche) a friend of mine, and there was no indication that there was going to be a change. Based on my state of mind at the time, it was a truthful answer.”
Loche was not an informant and was not registered or paid as such because she was not providing exclusive information to the task force, he said.
“She was an individual who would talk to anyone that would listen at the time about whatever they were looking at . . . " he said. “I don’t feel that she was any more an informant than any of the many people that I have talked to during my career.”
Goudarzi said Loche never received money from the task force or any other law enforcement agency to whom she provided information and was never classified as an informant in any of those cases.
Police administrators disagreed, asserting that Goudarzi “directed and controlled certain investigative activities . . . while (Loche) was serving as a police informant” for the task force.
The investigation concluded that Goudarzi conducted himself “in a manner which brought the department into disrepute, reflected discredit upon (himself) as a member of the department and impaired the operation of the department.”
The internal affairs report, more than 500 pages long, contains interviews with Goudarzi, his ex-wife Patricia, Loche, task force members, Stamper and others. It also includes polygraph test results, transcriptions of tape-recorded interviews between Goudarzi and Loche, expense sheets and internal memos.
But it does not include sensitive information about the task force investigation, one of the most intense and highly publicized in San Diego law enforcement history. Police officials had feared that a full internal investigation of Goudarzi would inadvertently lead to disclosures about important task force information.
Bobbitt, Goudarzi’s attorney, said his client has been careful not to reveal anything that could jeopardize the investigation, which includes the serial killings and the possibility of police involvement in the slayings.
Goudarzi is scheduled to meet with the media this morning to discuss his case.
As part of her work with Goudarzi, Loche tape-recorded a conversation with a San Diego Tribune reporter in an attempt to find out what he knew about possible files that may have made clear who killed Donna Gentile, a police informant and prostitute slain in 1985.
Loche said Goudarzi drugged her last October and claimed that, while she was hallucinating, he took a photograph that appears to show ram horns sprouting from Goudarzi’s head. In the report, Goudarzi said he showed her an example of “acrillion photography” that he got at a convention that measured the magnetic field, or aura, around his body.
He said neither he nor Loche had taken drugs that night.
The department has dropped all charges related to Goudarzi’s alleged relationship with psychic Kelly Roberts, who worked with the department on a series of slayings in the Clairemont and University City areas.
Roberts said last week that she was aware that she was no longer part of the Goudarzi case and has been waiting for the department to publicly acknowledge that it could not prove that she and Goudarzi had an improper personal relationship.