LAPD Panel Clears Captain of Wrongdoing

A Los Angeles Police Department captain accused of improperly processing the raises of two assistant chiefs who allegedly didn't deserve them has been cleared of any wrongdoing, officials said Wednesday.

Following a two-day hearing last week, a disciplinary panel determined that Capt. Daniel Schatz, who at the time was the head of the LAPD personnel division, did nothing wrong when he processed the 5% raises for then--Assistant Chiefs Ronald C. Banks and Frank Piersol.

Last August, then-Interim Chief Bayan Lewis reviewed a report from the department's inspector general and alleged that the three officials conspired to process the raises, even though he found that the two assistant chiefs were not entitled to them. He ordered all three men to appear before disciplinary panels for a formal review of their conduct and to determine what, if any, punishment they should receive.

Banks has since left the department to become chief of the Inglewood Police Department and will not have a hearing. Piersol, who was demoted to deputy chief by Lewis, is still awaiting a hearing, officials said.

All three men denied any misconduct.

Schatz said Wednesday that he feels vindicated. "I feel great," said Schatz, who is now in charge of the LAPD's transit bus division. "I have my integrity and reputation restored."

Department officials said Schatz is one of the leading contenders to be promoted to the rank of commander.

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