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California

This California police chief is being investigated, but officials won’t say why

The police chief of Desert Hot Springs has been put on paid administrative leave for a misconduct investigation, but officials would not say what he was being investigated for.

Dale Mondary, who has been the city’s police chief since 2015, was placed on leave at about 2 p.m. Monday as the city investigates potential misconduct by the chief, said city spokeswoman Doria Wilms. Wilms said the investigation is a personnel matter and would not say more about it.

“There are certain protections city employees have with respect to privacy,” and the chief is a city employee, Wilms said. “We are in the midst of conducting an extremely thorough investigation.”

Deputy Chief Jim Henson will step in for Mondary in the meantime, she said.

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Mondary replaced Chief Jeff Kirkpatrick in 2015, who was acting as interim chief after Dan Bressler left the role. Bressler’s contract was not renewed in 2014, and he was later investigated for allegedly sending officers emails telling them not to speak with city council members, the Desert Sun reported.

Wilms said she did not know about the Bressler case and could not immediately give more details about that investigation. She said the city did not have further comment about Chief Mondary.

Several City Council members and the Desert Hot Springs mayor could not immediately be reached for comment. Councilman Russel Betts said: “That’s a personnel matter, and that’s something I wouldn’t be able to comment on.”

alejandra.reyesvelarde@latimes.com

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Twitter: @r_valejandra


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