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Assistant chief with L.A. World Airports resigns following tax evasion investigation

An assistant chief with the Los Angeles World Airports Police Division resigned Monday following a federal corruption investigation involving the former chief of police at the Port of Los Angeles.

Brian Walker, who oversaw the department’s office of support services at Los Angeles, Ontario and Van Nuys airports, was on administrative leave before he resigned, police spokesman Rob Pedregon said.

The Rancho Cucamonga resident, 52, was charged in February with a misdemeanor count of filing a false tax return in 2012 after federal prosecutors began investigating Ronald Boyd, who oversaw the seaport’s police agency. Walker, who pleaded guilty in June, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday, but the hearing was delayed.

Walker’s attorney Robin Yanes said prosecutors interviewed his client after they learned he worked with Boyd at Torrance security company At Close Range Inc. Boyd had an ownership interest in the company.

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“He was fully cooperating with them, honest and forthright,” Yanes said.

Boyd was indicted in April 2015 and accused of defrauding the city for “private gain” and providing confidential information about the port to a software company that was developing a smartphone application. Later, Boyd pleaded guilty to tax evasion for failing to file taxes on the Torrance company, and providing a false statement to the FBI.

Walker’s attorney said his client was wrongly persecuted because of his ties to Boyd and “now he is losing his job on that.”

According to U.S. District Court documents, Walker failed to report income from his work with Boyd’s company as well as the owner of American Guard Services Inc.

The charging document alleged that Walker stated he made $149,756 in 2012, but his income was actually “substantially higher than that amount.”

His attorney said Walker has paid his outstanding tax debt, which was roughly $10,000.

After Walker pleaded guilty, the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers’ Assn. called on the inspector general to investigate the division’s command and operation practices.

“The situation with Chief Walker is unfortunate,” association President Marshall McClain said in the June statement. “The public expects our officers to follow the law and we expect our police chief and command staff to follow the law.”

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Walker oversaw the division’s fiscal operations, a $130 million budget, including overtime, according to the police website. He also was responsible for seven units, including human resources, internal affairs, training, communications, backgrounds and recruitment, crime analysis and video network enforcement. Walker managed critical technology projects, the firing range and airport intelligence.

At one point, Walker, who worked with the division for more than 21 years, served as the acting chief of police.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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