Saldivar Subpoenas Police Records

The lawyer for “angel of death” suspect Efren Saldivar has subpoenaed a Glendale police detective and the department’s records in an effort to clear his client in the 2-year-old murder investigation.

Attorney Terry Goldberg said he needs details from the ongoing police investigation to defend Saldivar in a lawsuit filed in March 1999 by a Glendale family. Saldivar is accused of wrongdoing in the death of John N. Schwartz, a 91-year-old Alzheimer’s disease patient.

In March 1998, Saldivar, a former respiratory therapist at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, told police he caused the deaths of 40 to 50 terminally ill patients between 1989 and 1997. He later recanted on national television.

“I want the police to come forward and tell everybody that they completed their investigation and found no evidence whatsoever that he has done anything wrong so he can get on with his life,” Goldberg said. “More than two years has gone by and that is more than sufficient time to analyze whatever evidence there was.”

Scott Howard, Glendale city attorney, said he wasn’t aware of the subpoena from Goldberg but the city typically tries to dismiss subpoenas if information is sought in a pending police investigation.


Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky, a USC constitutional law expert, said the courts typically side with police and delay the release of information while a criminal investigation is continuing. “It is not a basis for denying it, but delaying the release,” Chemerinsky said.

Goldberg said he needs information on the entire investigation because that is part of the evidence the Schwartz family will try to use against Saldivar.