Lawmakers call for CHP chief’s resignation

first_imgSchwarzenegger appointed Brown, a 30-year CHP employee, in September 2004. Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said the governor has asked Brown to work with legislators to correct problems within the Highway Patrol. “The governor fully supports Commissioner Brown and is confident that he is working to keep California safe,” McLear said. Several law enforcement organizations and some other lawmakers also defended Brown, praising him for what they see as a quick response to fix problems in the agency. They said problems are inevitable in an agency with 11,000 employees and a $1.8billion annual budget. Romero and Garcia also sent a request for an audit of the CHP to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which will consider it next month. “We need to point to one facet of this commissioner, and I would say that would be gross inefficiency as the manager of an organization,” Garcia said. SACRAMENTO – Two legislators said Thursday that the California Highway Patrol commissioner should resign because of a series of problems the lawmakers said illustrated a lack of leadership. The legislators, a Republican and a Democrat, said the problems plaguing the CHP under Commissioner Mike Brown included a spike in suicides among officers, faulty state contracts and questionable use of state-owned equipment. “Clearly, the problem is leadership at the top,” said Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles. During a news conference, Romero and Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, said they wanted Brown to resign. If he doesn’t, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should fire him, they added. Among problems the two lawmakers cited: A suicide rate among officers that is 7.5 times higher than the national average for the general population. A no-bid contract for nearly 10,000 new handguns that have not performed as promised. Most recently, a key part failed during training, forcing more than 3,000 guns to be repaired. Alleged misconduct by command officers, including one assistant chief suspected of driving drunk, others accused of sexual harassment and Brown’s personal use of a state-owned aircraft. Brown has no intention of resigning and welcomes a state audit, CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader said. “Each of those allegations, as it has arisen, has been addressed,” she said. Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, whose Assembly Transportation Committee oversees the CHP, said calls for Brown’s resignation were premature. “I found him to be responsive whenever issues surfaced,” Nava said. Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, called Brown “a loyal and trusted public employee.” Representatives of the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs’ associations also supported Brown.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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